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Author Topic: genderqueer
JackOfSpades
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Hi, Iím new here and this might help anyone who has ever been confusedÖor itíll just make for a long read, whatever

I'm 18, I'm female and I feel more like a boy than a girl. Iím not a transsexual as in wanting to have a penis and feeling trapped in the wrong body, but the image I have of myself in my head is a male person not a female person. Somehow that can work out for me having a womanís body and yet feeling Ďmanlyí and although itís been pretty damn confusing working things out.

When I was younger I was aware of it but it didnít bother me. It was just a fact I knew about myself. But then you get all insecure growing up and some stuff happened to my body that made it impossible to really pretend to myself that I was a boy. Obviously. Going through puberty was rough, not only because of my gender issues but it didnít make things any better.

First of all I thought I was just immature or something, like when girls reach a certain age they are expected to naturally become more feminine. I now realise thatís a pretty crap expectation to have of girls in general. Loads of girls are tomboys and everyone assumed that Iíd grow out of it. But Iím growing into it. Being feminine or whatever, itís really not about the makeup or the clothes you wear, because I tried that, and it didnít change how I felt inside. I just felt small and invisible. I became happier when I stopped trying to make my body move in a way which felt unnatural for me and make it look like someone who was not me.

I am lucky, because my family never forced me to act or dress in a certain way. I am glad for that because I know there will be people reading this who are still in the closet so to speak because they are too afraid to be themselves out of fear. I encounter a lot of s*** every day because of who I am, but thank god I have a loving family who I can always count on.

Yeah. On that pointÖpeople get picked on for all sorts of reasons. Some people get really intimidated when they see a person whoís sex is uncertain; just like some people are homophobic etc. The other day I was waiting in a cue and a group of adults started giggling and whispering about me. What is it? Is it a freak? I appreciate that Iím gonna cause curiosity. Iím 5Ē9 so Iím not exactly conspicuous for a start I have very short hair, I wear menís clothes and I contradict the previous two things by having breasts (which surely answers the question of my sex?!) But yeah, people are rude to me within earshot when they could either wait till Iím gone to collapse into giggles or better still, just shrug it off and move on. I donít mind if someone asks me to my face whether Iím a man or a woman if they actually canít tell.

Just to throw in another contradiction; Iím straight. Actually, it shouldnít be contradicting anything because gender and sexuality arenít magically linked like that. But people assume that Iím a lesbian. Iíve had to persuade people I know that Iím straight because in their words ďWhy are you so butch if youíre straight? Men donít find that sexy.Ē Well most donít, because of what society insists is attractive and possibly, although Iím very sceptical, through evolution. But I wouldnít make myself uncomfortable and sad just to impress someone anyway.

Anyhow the reason Iíve posted this is just to get some responses from anyone else who is genderqueer or unsure. Do you find it difficult and lonely sometimes? I sound like itís a handicap or something, and itís not all doom and gloom. I like being unusual a lot of the time, but it would be cool to know that thereís other people who have this in common.

Thanks everyone

-jak


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daringpurplemonkey
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you are amazing. sorry- I had to say it! your story is amazing and I'm impressed at how stong you are. reading that has helped me relax and feel happy- I'm not questioning my gender, but I am a teen figuring out who I am. and you have inspired me (as corny as I am sounding) to be myself no matter what. you seriously rock.
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logic_grrl
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Solidarity!

I'm another hetero female who's naturally butch enough that I fairly often get people assuming I'm a lesbian if they're not assuming I'm a boy (I once got hassled on the street by some jerks who thought I was a gay man, which was ... interesting).

There aren't a lot of role models for people who are female-bodied but whose gender expression is "masculine", and I think a lot of us have trouble figuring out where we stand, and whether we identify as female-to-male trans guys (whether we want to alter our bodies or not), butch women, or just butch and somewhere between genders.

And while there's some acceptance of butch women within lesbian culture, straight culture seems to have a total block about our existence (which also silences the heterosexual or bisexual guys who are attracted to butch women - and they do exist).

So ... yeah. It is odd, I know, trying to figure out your identity and gender expression without many role models.

But it is interesting! And, nice to meet you!


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gorgeous_girly123
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unbelievable and very inspiring!
thank you for sharing that, u must be such a strong person, i cant say enough how i admire your...strength (just to repeat myself!)
Okay i sound stupid, but i think you're an ideal person to talk to when in times of need. Im not in your situation but i am a teen, wondering about whcih roads to take and where they will lead.
You're amazing, and thank you
xxxx

------------------
There may be detours from the gravel road, but we manage these small paths and end up back on the main again...

****


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Blink
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Hey Jak

I'm 17, and I feel similar to you in that I am female-bodied, but feel more like a boy. But for me, this is complicated because I don't feel masculine at all--I feel like a very feminine boy. Still, I feel pretty weird about my body, but not weird enough to transition, especially because I used to pass as male most of the time and I really didn't like it.

Speaking of which, I've definitely had experiences like yours where people say rude things around me. One time I was on a long train ride and some teenage boys behind me got into a debate about whether I was a "[derogatory term for gay men] or a girl," and then started talking about how they had beaten up gay men. I was really scared and angry. But in most situations where the people behind me are discussing my gender and I'm not in physical danger, I don't mind much. It's really helped me to remember that if people can't understand my gender its their problem, not mine, and it's not my responsibility to conform to their expectations or make them more comfortable in terms of my gender.

Sometimes people ask me to my face if I'm a girl or a boy, and, while I appreciate that they ask instead of making fun of me, I really hate it because I don't know how to answer them. Recently I've started to just say, "No" when asked, and then explain a little about my gender identity. Sometimes they get it, sometimes they don't.

Right now, I identify as genderqueer, and prefer to be called by the gender neutral pronoun set ze/hir (although some of my friends find ze/zir easier, and that's ok too). I am queer--before I was thinking about my gender issues, I identified as lesbian, but as I see myself more as a boy, I'm starting to feel more bisexual. But I'm currently in a committed relationship with a woman, so I don't plan to explore that.

Anyway, I really liked reading your post, and I hope reading about my experiences helps you.

[This message has been edited by Blink (edited 06-19-2005).]


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JackOfSpades
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Thanks for all your replies! Logic - you put into words what I was rambling on about and it's reassuring for any teenager to feel understood

It made me feel humbled actually that people think I'm strong, because recently I haven't felt strong at all. I'm having problems with my boyfriend, not because I doubt the fact that he's attracted to me, but because occasionally he says questionable things. "I didn't fall in love with some big, macho girl, I fell in love with you." Seriously, it's a contradiction in terms - fair enough, I'm not macho in the sense of all those bad male stereotypes (never crying, having the emotional intelligence of a snail etc.) but I have some positive masculine traits and I'm proud of them.

Having a sexual relationship with a man is sometimes quite weird for me. I know I am straight, that's not the issue. See I may be more masculine than he is, but there are some things like intercourse for example, that seem irreversably based on the traditional gender roles.

If I rationalize it, sex doesn't have to be a power trip for anybody, but I guess the stuff I see and hear every day about sex follows the rules of male dominance and female submission, so it's somehow become like that in my head.

Anyone got any ideas how I get over this??

much appreciated.

-jak



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