Gender identity questions

Any questions or discussions that you ONLY want to discuss with our staff or volunteers.
(Users: please do not reply to other users here.)
hiImcrocheting
not a newbie
Posts: 18
Joined: Thu Apr 28, 2022 3:19 am
Age: 18
Awesomeness Quotient: The fact that I won't give up something I love
Primary language: English
Pronouns: she/they
Location: somewhere peaceful and quiet

Gender identity questions

Unread post by hiImcrocheting »

So my relationship with my gender identity is weird.

I'm AFAB, sometimes I feel so happy to be in a feminine body. I love my voice, curly hair and just everything about my own body. Everything just feels so natural, and being female feels like the best thing in the world.

However, every once and a while, I'll have days that I just feel something about my body is slightly off. Like I'll avoid looking in mirrors and windows just so I won't see my own reflection. Those days are usually accompanied with anxious thoughts and feeling a bit depressed, but nothing serious enough to stop me from going to school.

I have asked myself many times questions like: do I want to do top surgery? Do I want to transition? And no matter how "weird" I was feeling that day, the answer is always "No". I just have this gut feeling that those stuff aren't for me.

But that has always left me confused. If I don't want any of that, why do I still feel that sense of weirdness ever once and a while? And am I still valid to identify as enby or a gender-fluid person even if I don't want to transition?

I'm also thinking that the "slightly off days" are caused by anxiety, since I do experience derealization because of that. So maybe I'm just confusing questioning gender with anxiety symptoms?
Sam W
scarleteen staff/volunteer
Posts: 8344
Joined: Mon Jul 28, 2014 9:06 am
Age: 31
Awesomeness Quotient: I raise carnivorous plants
Primary language: english
Pronouns: she/her
Sexual identity and orientation: queer
Location: Desert

Re: Gender identity questions

Unread post by Sam W »

Hi hiImcrocheting,

So, there are a few things to touch on here. One is that someone can be nonbinary, genderfluid, or even trans and not be interested in what we think of as the big elements of transitioning. But, it sounds like you're not sure if the feelings about your body on those off days are related to your gender or to something else. When you're thinking about those instances of feeling "off," do those feelings seem to focus on a certain part of your body or appearance?
hiImcrocheting
not a newbie
Posts: 18
Joined: Thu Apr 28, 2022 3:19 am
Age: 18
Awesomeness Quotient: The fact that I won't give up something I love
Primary language: English
Pronouns: she/they
Location: somewhere peaceful and quiet

Re: Gender identity questions

Unread post by hiImcrocheting »

Hi Sam,
I think they tend to focus on my face and sometimes chest. So when I walk into a bathroom, I see my face in the mirror, I'll get that weird feeling of wanting to look away. Or when I'm taking a shower, sometimes I'll try to look away and try not to see my chest's reflection in the mirror.

It's odd, since there are still times when I'm completely fine with looking at everything about my body, but there will still be times that I feel that weird feeling.
Sam W
scarleteen staff/volunteer
Posts: 8344
Joined: Mon Jul 28, 2014 9:06 am
Age: 31
Awesomeness Quotient: I raise carnivorous plants
Primary language: english
Pronouns: she/her
Sexual identity and orientation: queer
Location: Desert

Re: Gender identity questions

Unread post by Sam W »

Got it. When you think about those moments of wanting to look away, are there certain thoughts or feelings that tend to accompany them? And when/if you imagine them being different on those days, what do you imagine yourself looking like instead?
hiImcrocheting
not a newbie
Posts: 18
Joined: Thu Apr 28, 2022 3:19 am
Age: 18
Awesomeness Quotient: The fact that I won't give up something I love
Primary language: English
Pronouns: she/they
Location: somewhere peaceful and quiet

Re: Gender identity questions

Unread post by hiImcrocheting »

I think I tend to feel that, this person in the mirror doesn't look like me, I know the personality is me, but the appearance is just weird. I'll feel like wanting to look different, but I don't have certain parts of me that I wanna change. I guess I was a bit self-conscious of how my eyes and face shape looks. People used to tell me that my eyes are too small and I don't really have a "girl's face shape", that made me felt a bit uncomfortable. I'm also getting a shorter haircut this weekend, so that may help with it.

As for the chest part, I think it's just a bit weird for me to look or stare at my chest, if that makes sense. Since I don't have huge breasts, I barely notice it when I'm wearing a casual T-shirt, and I like that. I think the only time that I'll feel uncomfortable about my chest is when I can visually see it, so when I'm in the shower or changing clothes. Other times I feel ok. I guess I maybe want it to be smaller? Like not completely off my body, but even less noticeable for myself. I think I want a less-gendered body.

Also, I've been looking at photos of different trans masc people for the past few days, and I can pretty much say for certain that I don't wanna become a man. I think I want to be more gender neutral, so maybe non-binary is a better label for me.
Siân
scarleteen staff/volunteer
Posts: 785
Joined: Tue Jul 04, 2017 6:10 am
Age: 33
Awesomeness Quotient: I ask ALLLLL the questions
Primary language: English
Pronouns: she/her
Sexual identity and orientation: Figuring it out
Location: UK

Re: Gender identity questions

Unread post by Siân »

Hey hiImcrocheting :)

It sounds like you've got some ideas about how you might like to describe your gender - like non-binary for example - which you can start to try out for a little while. As you start trying this on, I wonder what the difference is, for you, between feeling like a woman but not wanting to look too "feminine", and feeling like you're nonbinary. I ask, because a lot of the things you've talked about are to do with your looks - you haven't said much about who you feel like you are on the inside.

What do you think having a description for how your gender feels might mean for you? You've talked a lot about what you *don't* want - like to take major medical steps or be seen as a man - but less about what you do want.

For what it's worth, I don't think you need to *do* anything. Sitting with any description of your identity for a little while is fine - worthwhile even. We can talk about what it means for you, and help you explore that some.

If you find yourself wanting to start expressing your gender in a different way, we can talk about that too!
hiImcrocheting
not a newbie
Posts: 18
Joined: Thu Apr 28, 2022 3:19 am
Age: 18
Awesomeness Quotient: The fact that I won't give up something I love
Primary language: English
Pronouns: she/they
Location: somewhere peaceful and quiet

Re: Gender identity questions

Unread post by hiImcrocheting »

Hi Sian,

What I want about my gender...hmm...
I think I prefer shorter hair, not like a complete pixie cut, but like around my ears, which is actually my current hair style! I actually felt genuinely happy when I saw my reflection in the mirror with shorter hair, I feel like it's the hair style I want, and it fits with who I am on the inside. However, a lot of people, mostly adults I know, will say stuff like: "Wow, you keep cutting your hair shorter." paired with a weird look on their faces. My brother also said that I look old after getting my hair cut. So I actually am not feeling really confident about it now.

As for clothing, I like to wear jeans or trousers paired with a nice jacket, I don't really like wearing dresses or skirts, it just doesn't feel right with me.

I do like it when people call me ma'am or miss though. Even when I was experiencing with she/they back then, when strangers call me "miss", I don't feel super uncomfortable. And it's still the same nowadays, I'm ok with people referring me to those feminine terms, but for some reason, I don't really like it when my parents call me their "daughter", or when my brother says I'm his "sister". In these special cases, I'd rather them call me their "child" or "sibling". I guess it's because "ma'am" and "miss" sounds more formal in a sense? Like I feel like I've been taken seriously by that person. (if that makes sense...)

I don't really know what kind of changes I can make about my gender identity currently. I am experiencing a new hair cut though! My hair has never been this short, and I think I like my reflection in the mirror a bit more now. :D
Mo
scarleteen staff/volunteer
Posts: 2257
Joined: Thu Jul 31, 2014 2:57 pm
Awesomeness Quotient: I'm always wearing seriously fancy nail polish.
Primary language: English
Pronouns: he/him, they/them
Sexual identity and orientation: queer/bisexual

Re: Gender identity questions

Unread post by Mo »

I'm glad you're enjoying your new haircut! I have definitely had the experience of trying a new significantly shorter haircut and getting a lot of comments from people where it seemed like they were maybe trying to either fish for gender-identity-related information or tell me they didn't like it without saying that directly. And it was a little frustrating for a bit, but I felt so good with that haircut that it was worth it. Plus there were folks in my life who agreed with me that it looked great, and that validation was helpful as well. :) I'm glad you're liking how you look with the new haircut, it's amazing to me how much making a change like that can make me feel better about all of my presentation.
Post Reply Previous topicNext topic