AKA: I don't really know what my deal is, but it's complicated.
A vent page, for gender feelings, uncertainties and questions I ask myself. Many of these no longer apply. Many of them still do.
- Do I just feel vaguely non-female or disconnected from some archetype of femininity because of neurodivergence? To what extent does that really change anything? If I don't mind too much, does it really matter?
- Do I feel weird being called a "woman" because I don't quite feel female, or because I don't quite feel like an adult yet? I've found feminine terms and pronouns still comfortable, so I think it's the latter, but I can't say for certain.
- If I feel comfortable as a "she" does that matter? Is that because I identify with the gender "she" implies, or because "she" is familiar and normal to me?
- Incidentally, "she" has gotten a fair bit less comfortable lately. I can't help but be very... aware, when it's used for me. Can't help but find it feels a bit wrong.
- Do I like being a "they" on the internet because I feel like one, or because I like having a sense of privacy and anonymity?
- If "they" or neopronouns give me some kind of internal crisis, what then?
- "no pronouns // do not speak about me. do not acknowledge my presence." was funny when i first read it on twitter but now it's just a mood
- Fashion and presentation is separate from gender, but is it okay to use that as a metric for guessing when you're out of ideas for how to figure it out, especially if you want to look androgynous?
- I feel some days like just an unfeminine feminine girl. Some days "a girl, presumably". Sometimes just "I Will Be Androgynous Today", or "I Will Be Sort Of Like A Boy(?) Today" or *looks at self* "What is gender, anyway?" or "I'm a brain piloting a human body and that's really weird to actually think about". I still don't know what this implies.
- Am I a tomboy? A girl who wants to be different? A not-quite-girl figuring things out? A definitely-not-a-girl who hasn't even realized it yet?
- Even if I came to identify as nonbinary, if I still don't especially mind being a girl, is it really worth acknowledging or doing anything about it? I mean, my feelings on being a girl grow more mixed as I explore this, but I can still tolerate it if not be pretty cool with it.
- Now that I've started exploring a little and considering the possibility, I've started to think of myself more as nonbinary or not quite a girl, and feel weirder about being one. Does that mean I am and just am finally realizing/not repressing it? Or that I've just convinced myself I'm something I'm not?
- With my new haircut, sometimes I look at my reflection and I just get. Really excited? That I look more androgynous now? I'll just feel weirdly happy about not quite looking like a capital-g Girl. Sometimes the mirror-me looks like a boy. Sometimes a girl. Sometimes I could picture them as neither or both and I end up liking that.
- The other day, this fall, I was changing in the bathroom and saw myself in the mirror and all I could think was 'why do I look so much like a girl'? It just felt... weird. Kinda wrong? I was used to seeing myself in the sports bra (and preferably layers), and looking flatter-chested, and seeing this person with obvious Boobs under their shirt in the mirror was kind of uncomfortable. It looked like a Woman. I didn't quite know how to feel about that.
- Looking back, in the past, I was often uncomfortable and self-conscious about wearing anything that showed off my boobs. Was that because I was uncomfortable with my chest, or because I was uncomfortable with the sexual connotations? (I'm A-Spec so that muddles it a bit more, in addition to the usual objectification.)
Also looking back, is it... normal, to find it weird to hear your own name or see it on stuff? Do most people get a strange sense of not-quite-vertigo seeing their name written on something important? Do they usually have a brief moment of "ah, yes, I suppose that's my name" when they get called it by a stranger?
- Nowadays there's a flash of awkward disappointment when I have to tell someone my given name. It's like. Great. Now they're going to be thinking of me as that name, and as a Girl. My chance at androgyny is fucked. It's a shame I can't come up with a decent nickname I'd like, and don't have the guts to ask to be called anything else.
- A few years back I was in a major "I Will Wear Skirts All The Time" phase, and now I'm a lot less interested. Does that imply anything? Was I interested in skirts for femininity, or comfort, or both?
- Heck, I still wear skirts because they're comfy (and also I have only one (1) pair of shorts and it's summer, but. Y'know.) Does that mean anything?
- Even if I am confident in this, isn't it possible this is just a phase? Why do I feel so disappointed by that idea? Why was I drawn to this idea in the first place?
- What if maybe, deep down I'm really just some girl who wanted to be Special and Not Like The Other Girls and has deluded herself into thinking she's something she isn't? She just wants to be able to keep being Different and Other, just like she's used to being, and now that she's forced to face the adult world she has to find new ways to be a weirdo.
- me @ my own dumb ass, months laster: youre already autistic. youre already a weirdo. if that was all this was you wouldn't need to do anything else, honestly.
- Is this supposed to feel performative? Is it because I'm putting more effort than usual into presenting myself, hyperaware that my body as-is doesn't look like what I want people to see me as, or is it because I'm pretending to be something I'm not?
- Is the twisty feeling I get in my gut when I doubt myself about this because I'm uncomfortable with claiming to be nonbinary, or something just to be expected from Complicated Gender Feelings? Is it fear of the doubt being true?
- Is it fear that I'm wrong about myself, that I don't know myself, that's I'm just a stupid girl who's easily influenced by new ideas and doesn't know any better, and has convinced herself she's something fake and bullshit and made-up?
- Bluh, I know those last few words aren't true, but that doesn't stop my brain from regurgitating them back at me.
- I don't like these thoughts. I don't want them to be the case. I wish I just had answers.
- Seeing myself described in feminine terms feels a little weird now. Weirder than it used to be. Weirder than it would have been yesterday. I don't know how to feel about that. I don't know why.
- These feelings have grown stronger the longer I've explored them for. I feel more and more attached to the idea of not being a boy or a girl, and more self-conscious about acting like my assigned gender.
- Sometimes, now, I wish my voice were a little lower or my hips a little narrower, or that I had a couple extra inches of height to spare (I think that last one's just because I'm short, though.) Worth noting it's less about how I see myself and more about how others see me, though. I look in the mirror, check my reflection more often, and feel a little victorious if I find I look particularly androgynous. I... I think I like this.
- If I am nonbinary, what am I? Demigirl? Genderflux? Agender? Genderqueer? Something vaguely feminine of center (if even that), but otherwise inscrutable?
My gender feels like an invisible puzzle piece. I can't see it, but can sometimes feel when the edges press against something. When a spot is too small or the wrong shape, that's clear.
In the past, it's fit okay into the "female" slot, but I can't help but feel like the edges don't always match right, or wonder if there are gaps left in the space it might not quite fill. I'm not even sure the shape stays the same from day to day.
Some days I can't really feel the piece at all, and I automatically put it into the female slot because that's what it's supposed to be, but I can't actually feel anything that makes it belong there other than persistent force of habit.
Now that I've started poking at the edges, though, I've found that the shape doesn't fit as much as I though it did, and I can start to feel where the edges rub up against it or don't line up. I still can't tell the shape, and I at least have an idea of what it's not, but I'm still unsure what it is.
A lot of the time, I have no strong sense of anything. I'm a human being, I guess? One whose body is kinda curvy, and has boobs? One who is sensitive and shy and an awkward dork, and does like many traditionally feminine things, but may not actually be a woman, and likes being more androgynous? Bluh. I'm writing on this page more to help figure things out than for anyone else's benefit.
Long story short: who knows?
An Addendum, and Miscellanous Comments
- After a year of considering myself nonbinary, a lot of these feelings are different and weirder.
- Pronouns are still weird. I think I'd like they/them, actually? But I can work with she/her, and still automatically refer to myself as such a lot. But at the same time it's lowkey weird to hear other people call me that? Like every time it happens, a little part of my brain is just suddenly sorta hyperaware of "ugh, right, can't come out of the closet yet".
- I'm still very fond of looking androgynous. It's great. Even if I might never really "fool" anyone into being actually unsure of my gender, it's still a neat feeling to see myself like that, definitely.
- Whoo boy, boobs dysphoria is more of a thing now. I feel really uncomfortable going with my chest loose in anything closer-fitting now, and while cleavage already made me uncomfortable, it feels turned up to a 9 or 10 now, on the I-can't-be-seen-like-this dial. I don't mind my boobs themselves much (though I do find myself wishing they were smaller), but it's awkward, definitely. Thank goodness for compression sports bras.
- Sometimes I see myself in old photos when I still had long hair and wore underwire bras, and all I can think is how weird it is, how different. I look like a Girl in those pictures, and I don't know how to feel about it. She's kind of cute, I guess. She looks a lot like my sister. I think she was maybe even happy looking like that, and being a girl, but I don't know, because my self-awareness at that age was weird, and obviously I can't ask her. I don't want to be her, though, not anymore. I like being this new me. I don't want to go back.
- About 18 months since I started all this, and I feel really uncomfortable being called female/a girl/a woman now. Even "she" is weird, especially when I'm using it. I think I'm most comfortable with "they" pronouns at this point, for convenience; dabbling in others for myself hasn't felt worth the effort, really.
- Calling myself a "she" feels like I'm calling myself a liar. A faker. A woman pretending to be something else. Look at her, isn't she cute, she dresses funny and cuts her hair and likes to call herself nonbinary? I fucking hate it right now. Every time I say or write it, or sometimes even think it, it's like I'm saying they're right.
- I know they're not, but it's sickening. Like a worm crawling into my brain. It wants me to stop fighting, until I can pretend this is all a silly idea I had once and go back to being something I'm not, and it scares me to imagine it. That I could just go back, smoothly, and not feel bad about it. That I could just give this all up, and that if I think it enough I could make it true and take this away from myself. That it could be right, and I could be wrong, or more importantly, it wouldn't matter, because I would never know the difference.
- Thinking on it, this might be internalized transphobia? My impulse is to describe it as brainwashing, in the sense of being surrounded by a blatant lie until you repeat it back like you believe it, without hesitation. It disgusts me in ways I can't explain. A sense of violation. Like my self is being turned inside out. Like I am wrong about myself, and this will all have been a strange dream.
- I want to be this so badly. It scares me to think it could be erased from me so easily.
- I guess even now, with more dysphoria, the fear has just changed shape. Now it's less "you're imagining things", and more "you've spent eighteen months invested in this idea and internalized it as part of your identity because you wanted to be Special/all the cool kids are doing it/you misinterpreted your own feelings, and you've genuinely convinced yourself you are something you're not".
- Except, now that I think of it, if I convinced myself I was nonbinary to the extent that I was distressed by not being nonbinary, then would I not qualify as such to an extent that the difference wouldn't really matter? That's a strangely comforting thought, I guess. It doesn't matter how you got here, you're here now, and you're stuck, so you've just gotta deal with it, you know?
- Like, oh no, I turned myself nonbinary, and now I'm indistinguishable from a Real Nonbinary Person right down to the actual gender feelings? Like, how are you going to tell the difference? Who are you, the gender police?
- At the end of the day, transphobes will hate me in the exact same way they do all the other nonbinary people, for exactly the same reasons. (This probably shouldn't be comforting but it's something.)
- Some miscellanous thoughts on the nonhuman nonbinary trope
- Funny enough, some days I don't mind she/her pronouns as much. I just... am only okay with them in a certain way, I guess? And not all the time. It's variable. I still don't have a label, but I guess genderflux or genderfluid might come close to covering that? Although I only seem to go between "enby but okay with being perceived as female-ish" and "enby, period", so. *shrugs*
- Like, I'm not "she" like a woman, or a girl. I am "she", when I am at all, by way of "we don't what what it is, but it answers to 'she' sometimes, so we're going with it."
- "She" in the sense of "oh god, it's her." A "she" interchangeable with "it". "She" where the answer to "what are your pronouns?" is "stop swearing at me".
- Sometimes I worry: am I uncomfortable with being womanhood, perhaps not for the aspect of being female, but for the implication of adulthood? But actually, I wouldn't mind being a nonbinary adult at all. It's just being asked to be a woman that makes my skin crawl.
- Presentation is an endless struggle. I want to be, but I cannot. I want to be seen one way, but so greatly enjoy another, and the two are locked together by their blades. I want to wear this skirt because I look cute, but I look girlish in a way I cannot stand tonight, and worse yet, I will be seen as a girl, with this stupid long hair at my shoulders that looks like a bob. God, I want to cut it.
- This balancing act is so wondrous when I do it right, but I am so often caught between what I would like to seem and what I would find comfortable. I want to look like how I am inside, but with my appearance so currently slanted towards feminine I lose my range of choices.
- I will perhaps, if I am brave enough to risk being mistaken, be a stranger in a ballgown, a maid in a ragged peasant dress, but I will always be a little something else. My skirts will hide secrets, and I will laugh roughly and unladylike, with shorn-short hair, and I will be something more than what I seem, to any onlooker who pays attention past the surface.
- When I have more choice, I will be a madman in a suit some nights, and a lady in "her" gown in others. Both are masks. I will be Eleven, gawky in a dress and oversized boy's jacket with hair too short to tell, and I will be confusing and other and revel in it.
Alternate titles for this page:
- Wanna put my gender, hard in a blender / Watch it spin around into a beautiful oblivion
- Who am I? WHO AM I?!
- Truly the shittiest alignment chart