dominicdemeyn

:Neutrois Niche:

Tag: gender identity

Gender: the new religion

I am beginning to think that gender is the biggest lie that humanity has ever created. I don’t think any aspect of gender is biological, in fact, I believe it is 100 per cent social construct.

Gender is like religion, it is there because we humans love to believe in something and set rules for ourselves because we cannot live with the uncertainty and possibilities that are provided to us when we are able to say that we are in full control of our lives and we are the ones responsible for ourselves and we only have this life so we need to make the most of it. It’s scary to have so many options and noone to guide us. So we turn to God, because he knows better and if there is a problem we can blame him or the devil, or we turn to gender and blame each other.

The problem is not necessarily that religion, for example, or gender, is inherently evil, but it inevitably creates a ‘them’ and an ‘us’ and different warring groups that all want to impose their ideas on other individuals. Such is the nature of religion, and such is the nature of gender. It interferes with our lives to the point of us losing the security it was meant to provide us with.

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My name, my name, myself?!?.

I know it’s the same boring stuff: gender, names….

Recently I’ve had another little gender bender win, and I’d like to share it. I think it’s a win for all who hate to be put into oppressive roles by others, for all who are sensitive enough about their personal space (both the physical and the mental).

I’ve called myself Dominic for a while now and I’m STILL not deluded enough to think I have reached the stage of <Android> or that the name Dominic really represents me. I don’t think a name ever will.

But I’m using the name as a defence against being labelled without thought; I would like to create some form of juxtaposition, the female-ish body, the male-ish name, the changing personifcations that sometimes emerge within me, and the often stereotypical expressions or body language that is represented by my body (my limited expression-tool of self).

I think this idea might be catching on. I think many self-confessed men and women don’t even like being called casually ‘he’ or ‘she’, not because it’s SO WRONG, but because it does not take into account what else they are/can be apart from a ‘he/she’

At work (again), my supervisor is doing such a great job holding everything together and making sure we all function as a team. Recently, she has showed me the new work schedule and,voila, it had an invigorating energy to it, evethough nothing much but a few letters had changed. Mr and Miss (Frau/Herr) had been replaced by the first letter of our respective names, followed by our last names. It looked so much better than the restrictive rubbish that was there before, it looked so much better than normality. My name (my I.D. so to speak) has now been logged into the system, so everytime a new work schedule prints, it prints a part of myself that is very real and intense and alive. And I see myself projected in this writing, this whole document. It has no legal bearing, but fulfills me with a renewed sense of belonging, of not being fully alien.

We all have our uniqueness, we all have names. We are persons, not mere genders.

 

 

“I’m not trans”

In one of my recent posts I have stated, I think, that I am trans* because I want to transition. That is not really the correct way of describing being trans and should not be taken as a measure to describe other trans people and experiences.

I am trans*, but I’m not. I am trans, because I don’t fit into the cis-world, because I am not really cis (male/female), because I don’t fit the prescribed binary. So, in politically-correct (hetero-normative) terms, I probably should be placed in the trans* category (in the category ‘other’).

That’s fine, I don’t care much for being ‘cis’, whatever THAT really means. I don’t care for the politically-correct, well-established binary. Since I was born I have never fit in there, and back then I didn’t even know what trans/trans* was.

I am Neutrois and I want to change my body to fit my ideal. Like getting a tattoo or having a haircut, I want to shape my skin and other aspects of myself, because I am not happy with them (how they are at the moment). I know it’s a bit selfish and superficial, because I am ‘so obsessed’ with my body, but it is an indicator of who I am (inside, and I don’t mean organs here, I mean psychology and personality).

So, I’m happy for now to say I’m trans, eventhough I’m actually Neutrois.

I discovered this video on the Internet today. I rarely go on youtube, I am more of a reader of written blogs, but sometimes I stumble upon a video I can identify with.

Here’s one by laidbaqq. What was said in that video really resonated with me and I would like to share it on this blog with much appreciation:

A lot of trans people are bombarded with misconceptions by the wider community due to their not fitting into traditional gender roles and expectations. A lot of terms now encountered in the trans community are misunderstood and their use as dominating identity labels limit people’s freedom to move in society without gender bias.

queerbtw (Brennan) talks about this in the Femm Trans Boy-I’m not “really still a girl”. youtube video: Another must-watch for anyone interested in this topic and anyone struggling with labels.

I’m so glad that there are people out there who use their time to tell us about these things, to encourage diversity and resist the mainstream. They show us that transpeople, genderqueer people and others exist, that they have names and faces, and are real people. They have jobs, families, hobbies, they are not reducible to a label or a word or phrase or exclamation or something symbolic. They are flesh and blood, and they are walking amongst us!

I am Neutrois now

In the past couple of months many things have changed for me. I changed country, city, and, to some degree, lifestyle, and these were all choices I made willingly. I was driven in part by economic circumstance and dreams about re-establishing family ties, in part by the need to transition and feel better about myself (in my own skin).

The operation was a good idea, though many people will doubt that. I don’t think about it much, to me it is an established fact that I am Neutrois and I am justified to alter my body in certain ways.

But I do have doubts. I doubt people can understand what it’s like to feel Neutrois, I doubt I will ever be free of prejudice and misunderstanding, I doubt I will eventually find my place in society, because I am a fringe person, I seem to always live on the edge of what is normal. Though I would like to own my own place one day and stay at a job and work, and have a circle of friends, and cultivate good relations with my family, I seem to intrinsically live a different lifestyle, because I consider myself Neutrois, and am therefore an Other.

I never wanted to be trans*, but i seem to be trans* now, because my being Neutrois requires from me (from my personal view and seeking of happiness for myself) a transition. I do not transition in order to become Neutrois, because that is already in me, I am ‘it’, but I still feel the strong need to transition, to align my body with myself, for unless it changes, my body and soul will always suffer.

But society does not accept this. I go out, and people talk. I get questioned about being a girl or boy, until they settle on one or the other, I get told: “Ah, you’re just like the other one we met the other day”, and it feels like they actually stamp me with an oversized stamping tool that says: “We have just the right box for you”. Their interest lies not in knowing the truth about me or where I come from or where I am going, they want to re-establish their truth about themselves and the world they are accustomed to. I understand that quite well, as I myself often hide from unsettling things until I am ready to tackle them. But my response is not physical or verbal attack. I don’t try and injure the people I don’t like, eventhough there are many.

I feel that people go out of their way to belittle others. That is what I cannot understand, unless I look into the recesses of my most evil parts, and there I find some sort of comradeship. But seeing that I am often out and about alone and an easy target, people fall prey to their base instincts, their lack of reason and sense, their base thoughts, and attack me through well-thought-out words and phrases, that they know will pierce me just as much as a knife into flesh would. These are not all morons who use verbal slurs, but use the intellect and creativity they have to demean other people, because they cannot seem to think of other ways to use this talent.

“I am Neutrois” should be written on every T-shirt and other item of clothing I own and I am tempted to tarnish the basic and true colours with writing in order to be more fully understood. I only want people to ‘look at me’ in order to see positive difference and the possibility for change. They can distort a painting or burn a book, but they cannot distort me when I walk past. That must be very frustrating, that I am so important to them in this way but yet not important at all, and they can’t avoid noticing me, and yet just want me to vanish or be assimilated like a BORG from Star Trek.

“I am Neutrois” is a fact, whenever I walk past you, I am Neutrois, whenever you think of me, I am Neutrois, whenever I am silent, I am still Neutrois. I am beginning to be tired of always thinking of ways I need to change and adapt. I can only adapt so much without losing myself, I can only change so much in physical ways as to become more fully aligned with my (gender) identity. I am always going to be caught in the middle, like a half-human only, who is neither this and neither that and does not belong.

Perfection is clearly out of reach, humanity is a concept that is not wholly in my grasp. But Neutrois is still what I am, even if it sounds like a new sci-fi induced race.

The funny thing is that even if I wanted to fit in, I cannnot do so anymore, because I am compelled from an inner source to stick to this identity. I do make some small sacrifices along the way, but not enough to lose myself. I am still trapped in a female body (I am not denying that), but I am still Neutrois. Those who cannot grasp that concept cannot grasp the concept that a box may have different content than what is written on it, that writing on a box may be washed away or changed, even if it is done with permanent marker.

They cannot grasp the concept that they are not the only ones to decide who a human being is, and that they are not immune to re-definition and change, either.

Existence is dialogue, and that is why they talk TO me. They talk like throwing stones, their talking is more of a hissing, and yet it is part of the dialogue that establishes who we are.

I ignore them.

TO DO LIST

To Do List 2012

SO: Significant Others

I have recently haunted the TQ Nation forum again, to read about what’s new and what’s going through people’s minds. I am a bit of a stalker in that way.

I really like it there, it feels like a safe space, like all sorts of genres of people are recognised. After having partly transitioned into my non-existing gender, I have felt less of a need to speak a lot in every forum on the net dealing with trans issues and transition, because I feel a bit calmer and less angry (about my body and my situation). But I’m not fully transitioned yet and also might never be, even if I do one day become a robot, because, as one person said in a forum, it’s not so much about the physical stuff but about what’s inside, and gender is also what others do to us.

I am also reading and learning more about areas of people’s lives I am not or not much in touch with. Significant Others is such a topic I have nearly nothing to say about, and still I write about it (LOL).

I am usually thinking about me, me, me, everyday. That’s also due to the fact that, conveniently, I do not have a significant other in my life, the likes of which I encounter on the forums. Only recently has it really occured to me what struggle they could be going through when having to deal with their partner’s transition.

A lot has to be said for someone who stands by their (trans-)(-man) or (trans-)(-woman) when they realise what changes may occur in the transitioning process. While originally identifying as lesbian, for example, one is now, after transitioning has occured, often identified as a straight couple, which messes with one’s identity markers.

Other changes affect the body of one’s partner. The voice, muscle bulk, hair quantity, even facial structure may change due to hormone therapy. All of a sudden, one’s girlfriend is one’s boyfriend. Does that not change the dynamic of the relationship and what if one only ever thought one liked women (as a woman) and now this happened?

(significant other, you’re so significant other)

I cannot say this very well or sensitively, because it doesn’t really affect me personally, I am just not in the situation, and honestly, I have a hard time putting myself in that situation. I don’t know how I would react and if I would stand by my partner. Such drastic changes might not alter a persona, but physical changes of the hormone sort would probably be a huge barrier to me. That said, though, I am not really capable of loving, so what would I know.

But reading the posts of so many people who are talking about their relationship continuing and flourishing even with transiition have uplifted what’s left of my heart and soul. It’s inspiring to read about success (love) stories and know that it is possible for some of us to find the right one and not have to be disappointed because we are not good enough. These SO’s make life so much better for a trans person, I wonder if they know how special they are and how important their actions are to stay with their respective partners, because they really want to and love them. It’s a kind of sacrifice to lose the person (the shell) that one has known, for 10 years, 20 years, or even one year. One has to rearrange a lot in one’s head and the relationship dynamic possibly changes as the relationship moves on.

Trans people may also sacrifice a lot for their partners or children. In order not to embarass them or make life difficult for them, they often deny who they are and do not come out in public. It depends on where their priorities lie, but it’s saddening to see that a lot of people have to hide even from their own families, because who they are eventually affects a lot more than themselves.

It’s not easy and it’s still about what one is willing to gain and what one is willing to lose. Is one’s gender identity important enough to warrant transition, are the peer groups or family more important? When is a good time to tell SO’s about gender stuff, how will they react, what will be the fallout?

I’m lucky in that my family is juuuuust ok with me. That is also due to the fact that I have trained them beforehand (for years) into recognising me as the trouble maker and weirdo….It kind of helps when they have that image of you. Things are not so dramatic anymore. My brother was a bit taken aback after hearing about my operation. After not speaking much for years (because it’s just too difficult) he was worried about me….AT LAST!!…………………..well, too late.

But it’s a process and I shouldn’t be too strict. Like a lot of others, I’m worried that I might lose my family due to being too different, the other day I was even scared about refusing a glass of sparkling wine that everyone in the group liked, because everyone likes that stuff, and if I criticise it I might be seen as criticising their life choices, eventhough it’s just a drink we are talking about. I get phases like that when I’m scared of admitting to anything at all.

But that doesn’t really help the situation either, because then I just want to be in a dark room and sleep. So I’m trying to tell people about myself and trying to find out who my significant others are, so that I can work on keeping them and being able to tell them how special they are.

 

 

An article by the THE OXFORD STUDENT newspaper: ‘Sub fusc gender restrictions thrown out’

Here’s a link to an article by James Restall of The Oxford Student newspaper that was sent to me by my Mum this morning.

Initially I wanted to talk about the film I saw yesterday, but I don’t have the mental energy right now and don’t really want to start my mornings bitching about a third rate movie. Plus, I still have to go shop for a postcard and do other things, while constantly worrying about things I cannot get done and have no control over, so it’s going to be a busy day 🙂

Here’s the link to the article:

http://oxfordstudent.com/2012/07/28/sub-fusc-gender-restrictions-thrown-out/

A bit more about ‘sub fusc clothing’:

http://www.stx.ox.ac.uk/members/official/new_members/sub_fusc_clothing/

Work: A Sort of Conclusion

Tomorrow will presumable be the last day at this workplace I have been at for about a month now.

In the beginning I was frequently pissed off at some of the responses I got from co-workers about my gender identity and their doubts associated with my identity, my beliefs.

But I’ve gotten used to them, their voices and mannerisms and I am more inclined to understand their attitudes.

They still question me when it comes to the gender binary, as they are so entrenched in this system, that they see no other. In addition, I doubt that they are interested in seeing another way of being, because the current social world suits them quite well. They are able to live comfortably in this world and even to profit from social rules and constructs. They are cis and happy with their lot.

I will miss the discussions we had, when emotions flared up and time went much faster than when it was quiet and everyone was serious. I will miss being able to explain myself and having someone listen and confront their own ideas. I will miss being in a group, and yet not belonging there, being able to mix with both men and women and sometimes being alone, being somewhat outside the rules.

We do tend to get along at work, after all, though it’s a strange relationship between all these different people from different age groups, countries, and backgrounds. Partly we work well together, because we have to, and partly because we all (as far as I can tell) are curious to know about other people and to learn about new things.

I am happy that I have been able to meet these people and talk about my ideas and feelings, to have an outlet for my emotions and philosophies. I hope in the new job (if I get it; it’s not 100% certain) I will be lucky and meet people who are, at heart, good people, who have good intentions and don’t only argue for the sake of it, who aren’t just shallow drones of the capitalist economy, who are capable of thinking for themselves.

Eventhough once again I was asked which gender I would ultimately choose, and I politely had to decline the choice of any gender, I am happy that this and other questions were asked. It’s like as if I was the colour orange and came into a world where only red and blue existed: Both red and blue would ask me which colour I am, as they could only see the colours red and blue. They couldn’t see my orange colour, my identity would be hidden to their naked eyes. I would have to keep responding that I am orange, eventhough they might still not understand this, because orange would not exist in their world.

As long as I don’t start to forget who I am, I will still have a certain amount of tranquility and freedom of being, of satisfaction.

The GenderQueer Atheist on YouTube

http://www.youtube.com/user/GenderQueerAtheists?feature=watch

 

A lazy Saturday post

sex: none (asexual)

gender: none (agender)

gender expression: Neutrois

sexual orientation: none (asexual)

romantic orientation: ‘straight’

 

If you saw this without the context of it being written on this blog, what kind of individual would you picture? Or would you just think that someone who wrote this was making a stupid joke and wasn’t really real?

Also, can one who has no sex or sexual orientation and no gender (or close to none, considering Neutrois is rather agendered than gendered) be called ‘straight’ when it comes to romantic orientation?

And why is there not more emphasis placed on romantic orientation or at least a distinction made between sexuality and romance, between sexuality and sensuality?

I bet many people will still doubt my existence and the existence of countless others, who cannot or are unwilling to display themselves and open themselves up to others because gender and sexuality labels are not written on all our foreheads; they have to be created, edited, established, and communicated, and that is part of the problem of gender. It is difficult to establish, difficult to interpret, difficult to handle, to place boundaries on it, because it is inherently complex and made up of so many personal feelings and experiences, wishes and hopes, fears and doubts…and general life (without the thinking and theorising) often comes into play as well and destroys or reshapes theory, it can interfere in our perception of ourselves and others and destroy our dreams of perfection and throw our ideals into unreachable realms.

I want people to know who I am, to know that I am real!

My mom is coming to visit today for the first time since I had surgery. Will she see me as real or stick to the old perception of me, because being real as a Neutrois does not satisfy her? Will she place the invisible cloak of gender on me in order to hide the new contours of my chest and my ‘gender worth’? I’m not ‘in’ anymore, I am on the fringe of society. How will she handle my decline into oblivion and did she realise that I was being erased and manipulated ‘when I was a ‘girl”, too? Will the fact that I will change my body and expression of ‘gender’ be used as an excuse to bully me and make it more justifiable to do so? Will the bullying become more open and aggressive now that I am openly Neutrois rather than pretend-feminine?

All these questions are running through my mind, but i don’t have the answers and don’t really want to think about them at present, because I know where I stand and whatever comes my way I will have to deal with it as a Neutrois and as best I can. There will surely be times when I will be immensely frightened and act less radical, more subdued, than I want to. There will be times when I will try to compromise to survive, because I don’t want to lose what I still have…..

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