dominicdemeyn

:Neutrois Niche:

Tag: gender identity

Gender follows me everywhere!

Yesterday I attended a lecture of the (in)famous artist Jeff Koons. I only went because my cousin gave me the ticket as she herself could not attend, and I thought it was a good idea to spend an evening not watching crap TV for once.

I didn’t dress up or even think about my attire, because it wasn’t an official sort of thing and I really didn’t care whether I loked pretty or not, acceptable yes, but definitely not pretty.

We had to wait for ages, standing in the white-washed hall in front of tiny video screens that were supposed to communicate Koon’s words to the audience (who hadn’t paid as much as the others). Luckily it wasn’t too crowded, and the crowd seemed quite diverse and well-behaved.

I found my little space at a table near one of the screens. Unfortunately I didn’t have my flag with me to tag it as completely mine, so in the end, people ended up sharing the space with me. Normally I would have been extremely annoyed at having to come into less than 1 metre contact with a stranger, but these days my shyness is slowly dissipating more and more.

What really annoyed me, though, and I still don’t know whether I should be angry at myself or the person who said the words, was the fact that, this person who started to talk to me realised that I was ‘female’ (that I had female anatomy)…He just so nonchalantly said those words that made me realise, I’m not stealth in my gender yet. Eventhuogh I recently had my breasts removed, he apparently knew I had other female anatomy, for he used female titles with me…WHY?????

Then, on the way home, there was a couple of people in the tram (a coupl?). The guy let the woman go in first, and I was standing right behind them, waiting for them to get going so I could find a seat. The guy turned and looked at me and said: ladies first and urged me to go ahead. I was startled, because, on the one hand, I found it nice that wanted to let me go first, but on the other, I was annoyed that he assumed that I was a ‘lady’ (and thus female). Once again, I couldn’t fathom how these people could tell, since even my own family and I myself sometimes don’t know for sure what I am…

I actually responded to that guy that I wasn’t a lady and urged him to go in front, instead. He did, and I don’t know what he thought of me. I hope he realises that his behaviour was not necessarily patronising and wrong as such, but with the wrong kind of person, his behaviour did not have the result he probably intended his action to have. I was a bit torn at how to respond because I wasn’t prepared for this and did not want to give the wrong impression, In the end, I decided to try to communicate my feelings by denying this man the right to be ‘a gentleman’, as I believe I have the right to do so. For he explicitly said “ladies first”, thus his niceness and gentlemanly behaviour was only directed towars a female gender (lady), thus conditional. It gave me the option either to accept and thus accept the gender he was adressing, as well, or decline, and thereby not receive special (nice) treatment.

I think this might be a dilamme that I will continue to encounter in future. I hope my responses will help communicate to people that my gender is not normative or at least make them think before they use those gendered words so carelessly and thus put the person who is adressed in a gendered and restricted box full of unspoken gender norms. I am using all my limited social skills and temper control to avoid that box, and if I am put there by mistake, I will find a way to crawl out, again!

The above stories also make me wonder, if gender is really so much about organs and biology, and not other things: body language (how one carries oneself), and energy (what types of ‘vibe’ one sends out). I think there’s a lot more work to be done to live ‘stealth’ (fully and constantly) in my own gender role. Considering that my gender is non- it is especially hard to escape being polarised into the one or the other gender, but I’ll try to continue, because it’s a need of mine. I want to increase my quality of life, and just like others, I want to be validated and accepted as my gender.

I am only afraid that if I try to communicate my gender, I will start acting again according to what I believe a non-gender would act like (according to other people). I would probably do things that I think other people whould associate with being non-gender, instead of just being me (even if that sometimes means I will be mis-gendered).

What are your thoughts on this?

“If an 8-year-old girl has a really hard time in school because of her short hair and boyish clothes, and is bullied for that, that’s not her pathology—it’s the world’s.”

This is an interesting and, to me, uplifting article about transgender (children), because it introduces parents who want the best for their children, no matter how hard it is to achieve that. I often wonder what would’ve happened to my life if I or someone else with influence had realized I was trans. I wonder if I actually would have been considered trans, as I was acting more like a boy when I was young, but would that have made me trans enough?

Eventhough I had surgery (a major operation) I still sometimes wonder if I should be considered trans. I’m just usually a weird, in-between, sort of person, that doesn’t seem to fit well in any group….maybe it’s time to create my own….

Or maybe I should just get over this whole trans (*) thing, since I had my operation and I should just be happy now. I’ve done the almost impossible and have had a gender edit without the need to see a psychologist or take hormones.

But I’m not so happy and I’m still interested in trans stuff. Gender still affects me, and thus I will continue to think about it. I can’t just seem just to accept that it is (so simple) and tied directly to biology. Having parts of my (‘gender I.D.’) removed surgically, I sort of have a different perspective on this. Also, I don’t think I was ever cis-gendered, but can’t really think of strong evidence for transgenderism, either.

Anyway, this post was only meant to introduce the article

‘S/He: Parents of transgender children are faced with a difficult decision, and it’s one they have to make sooner then they ever imagined.’

which can be found here: http://nymag.com/news/features/transgender-children-2012-6/

 

 

Big Brothers used binder Repository

Through the transitioning genderqueers website I stumbled on a post about THIS (see title). The website that endorses the big brother binder repository is http://www.thetransitionalmale.com

The title of the website already suggests its affiliation with trans-males, those people in the trans community who want to transition from FAAB (female-assigned-at-birth) to male. It’s great that a support network for trans men exists and that they are gaining increasing recognition and easier access to what they require.

I have no trans friends and have not even met a trans person, before. At least noone in my circle of acquaintances has come out as trans. So, I have never really talked to a trans person and don’t really know how individual trans people feel. I wonder how they view the conditions set up as part of this big brother binder repository.

The big brother (careful, he’s watching) binder repository program explicity states that “this program is for Transmen/FTM TS/TG and Intersexed Men only! It is not for TG butch, Lesbians, Genderqueer persons, Deliberate Gender Bending/Blending Females or drag kings”.

I decided to look at the explanation eventhough parts of it had already been discussed in the transitioing genderqueers post. I just had to see the full explanation for myself. These are some of the things that are mentioned as justification for offering to exlude genderqueer/non-conforming people from this program. My comments to these points will be highlighted in italics:

(a) Transmen are transsexuals and transgendered (I agree, good for them, HURRAY they can now add themselves to a marginalised group). To be transsexual and transgender, in the case of a transman, means needing to live, die, work, have relationships (women or men), dress, conduct themselves as men 100%, 24/7, year round, day in, day out because they feel and ARE male beyond just the need to dress and look male. (Wow, transgender people are real men, and you needed to use up so much typing space to explain this to me. I am so glad that all transgender men know exactly how to be men and what it all means to live as a man. I am also glad that theya re allowed to have relationships with other men and women (who are real, of course), not like us fake ones. I am glad that they can be sure they know exactly how to identify a real man/woman because they are so gender savvy). Although, I do feel a bit sad for them, as they have to be men 100%, 24/7, all the time. I mean, not even MAABS (males-assigned-at-birth) have this  much pressure to perform as males…).

(b) Transmen need to be who they really are to survive, to be happy, to live productive lives and often for their own sanity. (What about the other millions of humans on this planet, do you not think they also need to be happy and live fulfilling lives and be who they really are? Are you saying only (trans) men need to feel this way? Come on…MAN). It’s an innate feeling (Well, good for you, I guess we other people are lucky, cause apparently we don’t have innate feelings). It’s often indescribale. It is not a choice, that is to say, there is no “I think I will create a new name that fits me or now I say I am (add label here) to fit into this group, because I am not be GD or diagnosed with GID and then I will call myself a man” but not commit to what it really, really means to be a Transman; a man. (I understand where you are coming from, I really do. I understand your anxiety: the anxiety of loosing credibility in the wake of a gender revolution that includes pepole outside the binary. if anyone calls themselves male and doesn’t perform the stereotypes, then what does it actualy mean to be a man? I’m sure you don’t want to associate with such a gender-fucked, marginalised and downtrodden or merely invisible group as transqueer and you are doing everything to avoid that). That is not what being a transman is all about. (Well, I’m glad you don’t suffer from any identity disorders like those gender-other-people, who are really just normal men and women, right).

(c) Being a Transman is not a choice and it is not a lifestyle. It is not a wake up one day and decide to dress like a guy. It is not about trying to act like one just because one feels more butch than feminine-just like being homosexual is not a choice and like how one identifies as a lesbian is not a choice; it’s innate (born that way), how one feels naturally. (Let me tell you this: I just woke up one day and thought, let’s mess with people’s heads and get a binder and all of a sudden look so male…I wore the binder nearly every single day from when I woke up until when I went to bed…I just loved that feeling of tightness that cut off my breath and gave me back pain and made me feel invalid…I loved gender-bending so much that I decided to get surgery…It’s a measly couple of thousand dollars and there’s always the risk associated with any operation and I would never get my breasts back….but hey because IT”S SO MUCH FUN….and are you now going to also tell me how I feel naturally?). There are soft butch, hard butch, dyke, bull dyke, TG butch, genderqueer meaning not quite female and not quite male feeling but this is not what a Transman is (No, this is what TRANS is. Oh, but excuse me, this is only abuot transmen’s rights, not about transgender rights. Oh my, how could I have ignored that). A Transman’s desire and need to be seen as a man, respected as a man and feel whole as a man is more important than most anything else-it is necessary to survive. (Oh, once again we have different agendas; I am more concerned about being respected as a human, seen as a human, to feel whole as a human and to me, that is very necessary to survive).


(d) Transmen are female bodied or intersexed people who struggle with their female gender because they feel male, they think male, they naturally act male and wish to live as men through dress, hormone therapy and surgery; surgery to what extent varies from male to male. Some feel having all identifying female characteristics (female reproductive organs and breasts) removed is enough. Some feel having complete and total genital reconstruction is necessary. (Question: What about crossdressing men, are they not real men? They identify as male, as far as I know, but show some female characteristics sometimes…not 100%, 24/7 male, so I suppose they are not male, then. What about a Neutrois who has no breasts and no other sexual organs due to having had surgery? Compare this Neutrois to a FtM and tell me which one is more valid…I suppose the answer is the FtM, becomes and FtM is always a man, and a Neutrois is always a woman. Man is man, Neutrois, Agender, Genderqueer is always women, yes?).

(e) Genderqueer and TG butch means to Transcend Gender lines, blurring these lines for purposes of mostly self gratification rather than to make mind and body whole. It is rare to find a Genderqueer female who is not a lesbian. That’s not a bad thing-calling oneself Genderqueer is a personal preference, a conscious choice. But do not identify as a man, do not wish to live as a man, do not wish to die as a man, do not wish to work as a man, do not wish to chemically transition to male, have surgery, etc…. (Well, first of all, before it was said a FtM could decide when, how and to what extent that person transitions. I, of course, am not allowed to make those decisions, because I am not serious abuot it, I’m just playing around with terms and definitions, I am just transcending gender lines, God forbid. To transcend gender is a sin, right, cause there are only ever two genders, and everything else is just a huge lie created by Satan to destroy humaity and male priviledge (male being another word for humaity)…You are quite right, I do not wish to be a man, I wish to be myself, and that in fact does mean having surgery and changing my body. Just because I don’t want to take T and live as a dude….dude…I can still transition and experience feelings of bodily discomfort due to my assigned gender. It’s really so simple). There may be some comfort for TG Butch and Genderqueer females to dress as men and using a male name bus this is not what being a Transman is (and thank God for that!). Some TG Butch and Genderqueer are straight who dress male and only date men. Do you see what is meant by ‘blurring the lines’? (Yes, I think I understand what you mean by that….how homo-erotic of them. Homosexuality is right as long as it’s confined to penises, right. In fact, that’s what sexual attraction is all about, genitalia. Also, you’ve forgotten to mention that some trans people are asexual or celibate, are happily single and don’t give a shit about who other people date or don’t date…some trans people are actually NOT voyeuristic and also do not equate gender with sexuality).

(f) Drag kings, are, for the most part, Lesbians-they dress male for the purpose of entertainment and income and do not feel as described above. They are mostly lesbian and live, work and conduct their lives as lesbians/women albeit some very masculine. They enjoy dressing as men while entertaining as men but do not live their lives as men, they do not wish to undergo therapy to transition to male or undergo invasive, dangerous surgeries to correct birth defects (female reproductive organs, female breasts or female genitalia). They are happy to live as female when not in drag. This is also a conscious choice and being a Drag king is a lifestyle. (Sounds to me like being a man is more of a duty than a lifestyle. I can’t speak for Drag kings or anyone, really, but being Neutrois, to me, is a life style: It affects every single aspect of my life and is my way of living. I am glad that once again this is such a totally comprehensive description of Drag kings, I’ll post it into my collection of definitions of people of different orientations, where it will remain unchanged until the world ceases to exist). Transmen do not think of themselves as lesbian, TG butch lesbian, TG Butch, Butch, Genderqueer or drag kings. (Neither do I, but I identify as trans. I also identify as antisexual, antiphysical, antigender, and Neutrois. Oh, no, now I have used some really appalling words again..even theough these define me to a large extent, they shall never be spoken in public…..Bad little Neutrois!)

Transmen need to bind for a number of reasons: Examples:

The depression statistics with Tranmen pre-transition and often during, are high. The actual numbers cannot be compiled accurately. (The actual numbers of pre-transition of Neutrois and other people cannot be compiled accuratley because…..they don’t really exist…get it?)

Suicidal feelings living in a female body are extremely high among Transmen (Isn’t it fantastic that only Transmen experience dysphoria and suicidal thoughts…they are indeed priviledged!).

Many cannot look at themselves in the mirror naked because the image in the mirror does not reflect the image of themselves in their mind; breasts are right out there for all to see, in most cases and even small breasts seem huge to many Transmen. (There are a lot of people who don’t like their breasts for numerous reasons, that doesn’t mean that they are either all lesbians or all wanting to transition to male).

Most all Transmen, pre-T and pre-transition bind because of self esteem issues. (It’s great that they can bind and it increases self-esteem. Genderqueer people shouldn’t bind cause they have too much self-esteem anyway).

Many must bind to work as men. (When i bind, do I automatically become a male, too, and when I then find a job, does that mean that now I am working as a man…cool).

Many cannot find jobs as male because their breasts give them away. (Well, it is a universal truth that anyone who has a breast is automatically a female, unless that individual is a man with soggy manly male breasts).

 

What is basically said here is that this program will only support people who identify as (trans) men and who are THEREFOR deserving of a binder. Their struggles are infinitely greater and more valied than any other person’s, because they are seeking to transition to a male gender.

Of course my comments aren’t very rational or professional, I mean, what do you expect, I am neither man nor woman so I must be a bit queer. I hope I haven’t come across as invalidating Transmen’s struggles. I associate with a lot of problems they are likely to encounter in their lives, both pre- and post-transition. I just wish that LGBTQ…people though not always having the same agendas, would band together and support eachother and not always try so hard to be the least marginalised group. May I also suggest, that, instead of discrediting the validity of  ‘queer’, that trans people take up these issues with the establishment. Most trans* (agender, Neutrois, genderqueer and so many more) do not wish to become men and take T, but their dysphhoria is often so great that they cannot bear it. They go through this whole process od taking T and pretending to be male, not because they want to be silly or tease other FtM’s but because without this they would not be allowed to have breast surgery and what not be supported by Psychologists and Doctors. If there were other options available to these people, there wouldn’t really be an issue and both parties (traditional Trans and Trans*) could focus on their own respective goals instead of fighting eachother.

 

Why my gender might not be like everyone else’s Part II

Gradually something changed. I became more aggressive and determined to stand up for my rights, eventhough I still doubted that they even existed. I started to accept the fact that I had been traumatised and pushed aside so others could benefit. I resolved to give my parents and others that came into my sphere of existence some ‘tough love’ for a change. I tried to be honest with them in regard to how I felt and how I identified, honest and slightly confrontational, even at the risk of loosing everyone that was left in my life. And, lo and behold, the people finally started to wake up.

It was difficult to make them understand how I had felt all those years and why I had distanced myself from their paternalising and overbearing ‘care’ and it still is, because standing up for oneself is never about just one event in one’s life. It’s a struggle that is unlikely to ever really end. When I look back into the past to when I was a young child, I don’t see myself as having made much progress. Whereas before I had looked for ways how I could just be me: the child, now I’m looking for ways to be me: the adult who was a child once (and still is in many ways). I continue to redefine myself constantly, even if I don’t/can’t always show my identity openly to society and it isn’t reflected back at me from other members of my species.

My biology (what is called ‘gender characteristica’ by some) was one of the main reasons my life turned out the way it did. Now it’s time that I started defining my biology the way it suits. I was not ready for when society attacked me with gender stereotypes, I did not even know gender existed when I was confronted with gender roles. Now, I don’t give a damn if society is ready for me!

 

Afterword:

I still have some Type 2 species dysphoria and definitively have Type 1 gender dysphoria. I’m not proud of being part of the human race, but I’m glad to have the capacity to survive and change. I’m Neutrois, because this is finally a definition I feel comfortable with. I’m so glad this word exists, because what it defines is an important part of my life. It gives me a completely different outlook on existence.

In certain circles I might still not exist, but at least I know now that I exist for myself and parts of me just cannot be erased however much they try.

 

Why my gender might not be like everyone else’s Part I

Like a lot of trans-people, I also knew I was different from a very young age.

When I could hardly even speak I was wondering what the deal was, who I was and what it meant. I kept asking the same questions over and over again: <<What is the [insert real name], what is the [insert real name]?>> I don’t think I really expected an answer from anyone, for if I couldn’t figure this out, how could they?

My concern at that time were a bit like every trans person’s: why do I feel different? However, at that time, I was also decidedly more concerned with species rather than with gender. While other girls and boys were having human role models, mine almost exclusively tended to be of the animal, robot, or other kind. I kept referring to myself in the third person, partly because I couldn’t speak properly, and partly because it felt just right.

I have three brothers and am generally pretty observant. Yet when comparing myself to them I never thought I was the girl in the family, I just thought I was a child. My brothers were different from me, of course, but the major difference I could perceive was how they were treated and how they treated me. The way they treated me made me different. The treatment and decisions of others upon my soul was what started the great divide between me and my fellow peers and relatives. I never asked to be treated with disrespect and ignorance.

After endless years of being made a stereotype by the taunting, the dominant behaviour, the ridiculous assumptions of humans, I put my identity aside and hid it from the world. Unfortunately, that also had effect that I lost access to it, myself, while I internalized every single bit of crap that I was told about who I was.

 

I played along for many frustrating, debilitating, physically and mentally damaging, plain fucked up years, until I finally reached that point where I could no longer go forward, nor back. I felt completely empty, …drained. I actually felt like I ceased to exist, like somewhere along the way I had died and somehow not really noticed when it had happened. I found myself in a really dark place. I had lost my sense of self and what I wanted from life (had I ever really known?), and didn’t know how to get it back; I had always relied on other people defining me (thinking it was for my own good) and when they finally were out of my life (because they didn’t really care in the end), I was stunned.

Scared shitless, I did not know where to begin to find myself. I kept thinking maybe someone else knows, and really had to force myself not to run to the next retard who had an easy answer for everything. I thought what’s the point of asking questions I might never find the answers to? So, for a while, I concentrated on just living, instead: I bought food, cleaned the apartment, visited family, ate, slept. I went for walks and that was a great achievement in itself. Every day that I spent living without having some moron meddling in my life was a little victory and brought me closer to myself.

Identify – as – Awesome

reblogged from It’s pronounced Metrosexual