T O P I C R E V I E W
Member # 108207
posted 08-09-2013 07:18 PM
I'm new here and not very good at talking about myself, but here goes. I'm 18, born a female and was fine about calling myself a female until a couple of weeks ago when I began reading into gender identity and how there's a "spectrum" of genders rather than just the standard "male" and "female". And, well, it got me thinking about myself a little (something I rarely do). When I was younger, I did a mix of everything. I'd play with barbies and play skipping rope like the girls did, but also play tag and climb trees with the boys. I wasn't a "girly" girl, but didn't do much to be labelled a tomboy either. I never really aligned myself with either gender since I played with both, but I was under the impression that I had ladyjunk, therefore I was a girl and just a strange one at that. Now the thing is... I realised I still don't align myself with them. I definitely do things that can be perceived as "girly" or "manly", but not enough that I really can define myself as being one or the other and suddenly saying I'm female just doesn't seem okay any more. In my mind I'm some person who just does what they like regardless of gender. On the other hand, I'm fine with having a female body and don't really experience dysphoria aside from small discomfort with my chest. I could be overthinking it too much and maybe I'm just a non-girly girl, and yet binding my chest to create a more ambiguous appearance appeals to me. I talked about it with my mum, who was incredibly supportive, and we're going to try some homemade binding methods (nothing dangerous like ACE bandages) before spending some money on a proper binder if it's for me. I just keep getting this tiny voice in my mind saying I'm overthinking things, and to be honest it's driving me crazy! I guess it's just a matter of unifying mind and body, and I'll admit getting my hair cut to a shorter length did wonders, but does it really qualify me as genderqueer? Or am I mirroring the whole "I have a headache and the internet says it's a brain tumour" thing? It's all getting a bit blurred and confusing the heck out of me! I know what I did in my childhood probably wouldn't affect what I do now, but I can't help but wonder. Anyway, thanks for reading and sorry it's so long! Any input would be appreciated, maybe just to see things through a fresh pair of eyes
Member # 90293
posted 08-09-2013 09:49 PM
Hi Jones18 and welcome to Scarleteen,
I'm so glad to hear your mum is supportive. As you said, there's a spectrum of gender identities. That means too that there's a spectrum of what it means to be a woman or a man, and a spectrum of what it means to be genderqueer, and a spectrum of what it means to be trans*,...I think you get the picture. What I'm wondering is: Putting aside your fear that you could be overthinking this, what term feels more comfortable to you: genderqueer, woman, girl, female (or any other term for woman), or another non-gender-binary term? There's no right answer here, and it's perfectly okay to say you don't know. It's also okay if you have an answer but that answer changes next week, or next month, or next year. Nothing that you're doing--cutting your hair short, experimenting with binding your chest, and so on--is irreversible. Personally, I'd say these things are on the same level as any other body changes or modifications someone might make. Certainly, these actions have greater significance to you, and I'm not trying to discount that. What i'm trying, and perhaps not very well, to say is that you get to experiment with your body, to try on different changes to see how they feel to you, regardless of your reasoning for doing so. It's your body to do with what you wish. There's nothing wrong with that and it doesn't mean you're overthinking anything! I know you've said you've been doing a lot of reading. Has any of this reading been on our site? If you haven't seen it, here's an article we published about gender a while back.
Genderpalooza! A Sex & Gender Primer
Member # 108207
posted 08-10-2013 11:16 AM
Thank you for replying, Robin!
That article you linked was really helpful. I think the term androgynous fits me best, seeing as I do a little of everything, but maybe that'll change in the future. I think what's adding to it as well is that I've been in therapy for quite some time with social anxiety, so maybe I'm just gaining the confidence to be myself without worrying what everybody else thinks. In any case things have become a bit clearer since I made this post and certainly after reading the article!
Member # 90293
posted 08-10-2013 11:49 AM
I'm glad to hear things are becoming clearer for you.
And yes, it can definitely feel new to have confidence, and to try new things. Sometimes new feels scary as well as exciting. Feel free to come back to chat about this gender exploration at any time.