Home > Uncategorized > I give in: an actual intro of sorts

I give in: an actual intro of sorts

So, I’ve mentioned in my profile that I identify as androgynous. It is, I suppose, time for me to explain what I mean by that, largely because everyone will have their own idea of what it’s supposed to mean. This is the part where I give the disclaimer that every person’s gendered experience is different (that is every PERSON, not every trans person) and that my definition of what it means to be androgynous will be different from others identifying themselves as such. Here we go.

The basic principle behind it all is that I am neither male nor female. I do not personally consider myself a fusion of the two. I mix “masculine” and “feminine” characteristics and behaviors rather freely, but I don’t associate those with being male or female particularly so they don’t inform my identity. Neither do I identify as neutral, or nothing, I have a gender of some sort, I just have no helling idea what to call it. The visual I use to explain it is this: imagine a line, with male on one end and female on the other. Now picture a dot way up in outer space away from the line. Doesn’t matter where really. That dot is me. Naturally this causes some basic communication issues. I’ve already discussed the pronoun issue, but it goes a little deeper than that. Gendered language can be really subtle, and I miss a ton of it. It takes me a moment to realize I’m being referred to when people say “he”, so imagine my confusion when people refer to the male/female ratio of a room or comment on any non-stereotypical behavior of mine. I basically don’t get standard concepts of gender, I’ve learned what constitutes masculine and feminine behaviors in my (contemporary American) society but I don’t really grok any of it on a deeper level and speaking about it is kind of forced for me.

In terms of body issues, which are rather common amongst trans folk, it fluctuates. I personally don’t identify with my body, and how much that bothers me really depends on my mood and level of undress. I hate facial hair and don’t identify with what’s growing out of my chin that sometimes I forget it grows back. I am occasionally legitimately surprised at my body when I undress, like I expected it to change while I wasn’t looking or something. Occasionally it manifests as serious psychological pain, in the vein of what others refer to as “dysphoria”, though this has become rare as I’ve learned to “deal” with it (I think my methods for that deserve their own post, suffice to say there are probably better methods out there). As I am a college student and not exactly well-off, actually doing something about my body surgically speaking is a ways off. I try not to think about it too much.

The last thing I want to mention is how triggering gender stuff can be. Pronouns or gendered words being used in reference to myself, especially if I have to use them, can cause or exacerbate a period of depression, anxiety, or dissociation. Bathrooms also can be a huge issue. If I know I’m going to be home or in an area with gender-neutral bathrooms anytime later in the day, I tend to hold it in public unless it’s an emergency. If I’m already having issues (see depression, anxiety, and dissociation above) I avoid public restrooms or even going to the bathroom in general to the point where it may be unhealthy (ever not go for two days, yeah, bad idea). I think details about bathrooms deserve their own post as well.

Hopefully that was enlightening. If this is stuff you already knew about and had a handle on, good for you. If it’s new to you then that’s good too, check about for more. I don’t have a lot of resources linked here, but some of the people I link to have plenty so go for it.

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  1. me
    June 13, 2010 at 17:04

    i’ve been thinking a LOT about gender lately … ito my own identity, but also ito how it could possibly be represented as an entire spectrum … i came to the conclusion that it’s pretty impossible to limit it into a finite number of definitions …

    • chartreuseflamethrower
      July 17, 2010 at 09:53

      It really is. Doesn’t help that when you try to stop using binarist/cissexist language, you end up speaking what most people would consider “gibberish”.

  2. Mel
    July 25, 2010 at 07:50

    I just wanted to say that, while I can empathize with your distaste for public restrooms (hell, gender aside even, who really ever wants to use a public restroom?!), but holding it in for more than like 12 hours can cause serious damage to your body. It can actually mess up your bladder so bad that you’ll end up needing to go every 2-3 hrs without fail, it won’t be able to hold it at all.

    I say, just go in the women’s if there’s a need to use one, there’s stalls (and probably cleaner ones, at that), and really, if a guy uses a stall in a women’s room, who cares? It’s a stall, it’s not pervy. But if a girl uses the men’s room, it’s rather awkward. So, I vote women’s, as being “safe” for both sexes.

    • July 26, 2010 at 21:17

      I realize how bad for me it is, that’s part of why I brought it up. Sometimes, though, it’s not about which bathroom to use in public, I hold it sometimes at home too when I think I can’t handle my body at the time. There have even been times (I try not to do this anymore) where I specifically dehydrate myself so I won’t have to go at all (or less, maybe, I wasn’t actually thinking it through at the time). I’ve done unhealthy and stupid things in the name of avoidance.

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