Today, on the internet, I was shown a video that randomly pointed out how men and women shower, according to their gender. The woman was concerned with her looks, the type of shampoo, and cleaning the stall. The man was mostly concerned with getting clean and being comfortable. As I watched these “joke” videos I wondered where I fit in, isn’t that how these jokes work? Well anyway I couldn’t identify with ANYTHING the woman did except for using natural type shampoo, as I use castile soap with tea tree oil for my dandruff. Then as I watched the guy I could identify with many of the things he did but still not all of them.
What about the other gender… some call it trans, some call it queer… whatever you want to call it. What about us? I don’t feel comfortable in the presence of men, or women, and not even transmen or transwomen. I just feel like I don’t ever fit in, it just feels that way all the time. I have never met another genderqueer before but I notice that online I identify most with people on GenderFork When I read transgender blogs and articles, although I think they have the right to be who they are, I just don’t identify with them.
I have always felt like I didn’t fit in, but not because I am the other gender… simply because I am some other undefined gender. I am something that doesn’t exist. It seems to me that many other trans people feel like they were always a man or a woman… but for me I have always felt I wasn’t either but I was also both… This undefined gender leaves me lonely.
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I think the showering thing is bunk. People have regional, cultural, ethnic influences that far outweigh any gender specific showering tendencies. I remember showing in Kenya and having another person tell me I was so peculiar to wash from the top down, when they all washed what was dirtiest first and washed up from there, so the soapy water would continue to wash lower, grimier areas, etc.,… Rinse from the top down fer sure, they said, but wash from the bottom up. I didn’t listen. Maybe if I only took a monthly shower, their way would work better.
I remember a book called Challenge to Chaos – a not really great sci fi book, but there was a quote about how a lonely man is lonely within himself, lonely in a crowd of people, lonely with a woman… I think that’s basically true – loneliness is more of a state of being than a condition of circumstance. Certainly being trans can leave you feeling naked and alone at times. Anything you hide from others makes you feel like that.
The world always wants us to pick terms, because it makes it easier for others to understand us. In a way, it makes it easier to understand ourselves. I was thrilled when I found the term “genderqueer” and “Andro” because I thought “Finally, I can fit in!” But the truth is that we are living in a world that is VERY binary, and with a lot of pressure to be one or the other. And when you live in that middle area, you don’t really fit in anywhere.
I feel this mostly when I have to use a public restroom (which I only do now when I’m about to pee my pants.) I’ve been chased out of the woman’s room, and cursed at while in the men’s. Where are people who don’t really fit in supposed to go? Sometimes you can get lucky and find a unisex restroom, but these are few and far between.
So I guess what I’m saying boils down to this: The world is one big public restroom.