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» Scarleteen Boards: 2000 - 2014 (Archive) » SCARLETEEN CENTRAL » Gender Issues » Gender Confusion

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Author Topic: Gender Confusion
Nyctophile
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Member # 45625

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To start off, I'll say, I'm biologically female, and I really look the part.

I've never really disliked my body any more than most teenagers. I just really wish I was less feminine. I want quite badly to be more androgynous. But there are still days when I really enjoy being feminine. I own a lot of skirts, and I do wear them. But whenever someone refers to me as cute or girly or ladylike, I get offended. I don't want to be cute, there's nothing I want less. I'm not saying I want to be more manly, so much as maybe.. more boyish, would be the word? It seems to vary depending on my mood.

I think it would be easier if I was smaller (chest and otherwise), so I could look boyish in jeans and whatever. But as I am, even if I'm wearing a men's suit and no makeup, I still look undeniably girly. And it pisses me off. Even my face looks girly.

I wouldn't call myself genderqueer, because as I've said, there are still days when I feel like wearing skirts and all that. But "girl" feels a bit foreign, too.

Is there a word for this? Advice?

(At the very least, is there a comparatively cheap way to bind my breasts, sometimes?)

Posts: 3 | From: Halifax | Registered: Jan 2010  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Heather
Executive Director & Founder
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You're singing my song, Nyctophile...or at least one I've had off and on during my life.

So, a few words from a larger perspective as well as a personal one.

It seems like you know that you get to present yourself however you want, and also use whatever language you want to identify your gender. What I hear you saying is that you feel comfortable identifying as feminine, for the most part, but also are mostly not okay with identifying as or being seen as femme. Does that sound about right?

If it does, I hope you know lots of cis gender women don't feel or ID as femme. Some ID as butch (even those who aren't queer), others more androgynously. I hear you saying genderqueer doesn't work for you, but girl doesn't either. What about other language? Are their other terms you like or can come up with that feel like a fit? For myself, one thing I always used that has felt like a good fit for who I am per my gender was identifying as a broad. Many years ago, in a very fun night out where a bunch of friends and I were talking abut language, that word came up and someone defined it as a woman who could throw a serious punch. Literally and figuratively, that worked for me. [Smile]

I'm not so sure we can avoid being described by others in certain ways sometimes. I hear you on the "cute" thing. I got that for a lot of my life. I'm short, I'm very hourglass, I have big cheeks and big blue eyes and freckles: I got cute a lot, and it drove me totally nuts, too. Pushing 40, and doing things in my life that other people respect a lot, I find that a) I get called that a lot less often, even though I still look the same and b) I mind it less. Likely in part because I know I'm more than cute, but also know that...well, yeah, I can be cute sometimes. [Razz]

(I confess, no one has ever called me ladylike or girly. That likely has more to do with my behavior, though, than how I look.)

But I hear you: I've felt a lot like you do, and did very strongly at times in my life. I don't identify with femme much at all, not in my own presentation or gender identity, nor do I connect well with that of others. All the same, people will tend to identify me that way, whether I like it or not. And it really can be very frustrating. At the same time, I remind myself that people get their gender ID'd by others in ways that aren't accurate ALL the time: it's not just me at all.

Per how you present, the times I want to bind, I find what works for me are sports bras that are a size or two too small. I often got boys parts in operas when I was studying music in high school, so spent too much time taped (sometimes WITH tape, literally) down to want to use an ace bandage, but binding with an ace is also common.

With the jeans and a lot of other things, it can be just learning what cuts to get and how to wear them. If you want to go for looking more androgynous when you're curvy, that often means wearing things looser than you usually do, and wearing pants lower on your body, and shirts that go longer. You just have to experiment, and often shop in the men's section, but it is doable.

I don't know how you wear your hair, but if it's not short already, you might consider experimenting with that. I shaved my head in the 90's, and while that really wasn't a good look for me (I have a very round head, so I looked like a Cabbage Patch Kid, and I also have very wavy hair, so having it short is often more work than leaving it long), it did feel good emotionally to try that and live with that for a while. Perhaps obviously, too, you don't have to wear makeup or shave if you don't want to: in my daily life, I rarely do either, and some of that has to do with my gender ID.

It might also help to recognize that it's always worth questioning our own perceptions of gender. For instance, what IS a girly face? What features make it so? And what do we think, then, of male-bodied or male-identified people who have what you'd call "girly" faces? Who decides what's girly? How sage is that judgment?

Does that help? If not -- or if so -- happy to talk more if you like. [Smile]

--------------------
Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
About MeGet our book!
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

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Nyctophile
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It's good to know other people are feeling this.

Yeah, I've been reading up a lot on gender-related things. Regardless of the personal connotations, it's something that interests me. That's it, more or less.

And yes, I know there are a lot of cis women who are pretty butch or tomboyish. I do like dyke; it's definitely female, but it has a rough edge to it, it lends itself better to androgyny. But I'm not sure it's what I'm looking for, if that makes sense.

I'm hoping that as I grow up, maybe I'll get more defined cheekbones, or something, but in the meantime, It just frustrates me so much. I know they mean it as a compliment, but it's just not what I'm aiming for, at all.

Thanks for the tips on binding, I'll be sure to try it.

My hair is already pretty short, but I'll probably get it even shorter, the next time I go in.

In regards to myself, I'd say that my face looks 'girly' because it's very rounded. I have almost no cheekbones to speak of, full lips, and roundish eyes. Maybe if I can lose some weight (which I am trying) I'll get more defined cheekbones, at least, but in the meantime, there doesn't seem to be much I can do with it. I'm not sure whether that's reasonable, but when is people's perception of these things?

A lot of it, too, is that I barely know what I want. I'm a Goth, too, so even if I was a boy, I'd probably still wear eyeliner on a regular basis. It just doesn't translate that way.

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Heather
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Well, given I had my teens in the punk and new wave scene in the eighties, it was hard for me to find any boys I knew who did NOT wear eyeliner. [Smile]

(I really, really miss seeing male-bodied and male-identified folks in eyeliner everywhere I look! Sigh.)

A lot of people have round faces (and yep, I have one myself), of all genders. My male-bodied partner now has one, the men in my mother's family -- where I got mine from -- have them, too. So, it might make you feel better to just look at the men in your family you come from, if you can. Chances are, you'll find at least some of your features in them, as well.

Can't help you with the cheekbones: I have them, sure, always did, but the roundness of my face tends to make them kind of a nonissue, and what I weigh has rarely impacted that at all.

I don't know if it'll help you, but I know one thing I grappled with was that the people I was most attracted to always were very androgynous. Thus, they were the people I tended to find the most beautiful, and I think for a while there I was basically trying to apply that beauty standard to myself without realizing I was doing that (or remembering that they all found ME beautiful, so).

[ 01-31-2010, 06:40 PM: Message edited by: Heather ]

--------------------
Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
About MeGet our book!
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

Posts: 68290 | From: An island near Seattle | Registered: May 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Nyctophile
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I know there are a lot of guys with rounder faces, but somehow, mine looks girly no matter how I look at it.. It might be more perception than how I really look, but it's still frustrating.

I have definitely noticed that the people I'm the most attracted to are very androgynous, but I think a huge part of that attraction has always been envy, as well. (And I don't think they are as interested in me as I am in them, either...)

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Jill2000Plus
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quote:
Originally posted by Heather:
I really, really miss seeing male-bodied and male-identified folks in eyeliner everywhere I look! Sigh.

I've got love for you if you were born in the 80s
the 80s...

Ah, Calvin Harris. And David Bowie.

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Always knock before entering my room when I am in there alone, as I may be doing all sorts of wonderfully thrilling things that I'd rather you didn't see.

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Heather
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Born in 1970, actually. Spent my teen years in the 80's. [Smile]

--------------------
Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
About MeGet our book!
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

Posts: 68290 | From: An island near Seattle | Registered: May 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Jill2000Plus
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My sincerest apologies for this grievous error [Wink]

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Always knock before entering my room when I am in there alone, as I may be doing all sorts of wonderfully thrilling things that I'd rather you didn't see.

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zombot
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Since your hair is short (correct me if I'm wrong) have you ever thought of cutting your sideburns completely straight? Its kind of a thing the mind registers as male. And if you want binding tips PM me I'm willing to help.
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atm1
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(zombot, PM is disabled for our users safety)
Posts: 2262 | From: in transition | Registered: Apr 2008  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Ronlak111
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There are same feelings with my friend also. She don't like that someone tell her that she is quete or be a sexy. She wants to be harder then man.

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Rons

Posts: 31 | From: India | Registered: Mar 2010  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
   

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