Closeted?!

So as I explore the gender spectrum and find my place inside it… I have been asking myself why some transitioned or transitioning people make me uncomfortable. Besides the obvious that they often assume I must choose one of the binary but also it just seems to me that they are in the closet. Often they want to pass as whatever gender they have become and they try to hide whatever gender they were in the past. But often, after a few years as their new gender they realize that they are both and neither gender, therefore, they are still not fitting into the rigid binary system. So my issue isn’t with the person, it’s actually with the system itself.

The system has forced these people into one side or the other, even the therapy. They therapy itself tells them to make up stories about being the child of their new sex/gender. I have also explored the transgender groups and conferences in my area and have found again that they talk a lot about transitioning and say nothing or very little about dual or neutral gendered people. Again, they are submitting to the binary system of gender. I just can’t do it and instead I just want to help people understand why sex and gender are seperate and explore finding a name and pronouns for the other genders in our society. If a 3rd and 4th or even 5th gender were introduced in our society I would be interested to find out how many people would still transition.

I have found the book “Gender Outlaw- On Men, Women, and The Rest of Us” by Kate Bornstein ” to be right on mark about gender and the rest of it.

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4 Comments Add yours

  1. Lee says:

    Yeah, I think people often feel pressured to choose male or female because that is what’s presented. I really felt pushed into a transgender category when I was going to therapy, and the therapist was a gender specialist! I remember my first ever session talking to the lady she said “You sound like a typical FTM to me.” Well then, sign me up!

    I also think too many times people see androgyny as a style choice, not as an identity. I’ve gotten that before when I used to tell people that I’m androgynous. Feeling pressured to have a specified identity is difficult as well. It was easier when I identified as trans because I had a plethora of support. There just are not as many genderqueer or androgynous support groups, or if there are I can’t find them. Genderfork and Transqueer Nation are two of the few I’ve come across.

    I’ve also been thinking about how much physical appearance has to do with gender identity. As a martial artist, I’m very much aware of the body + mind connection. Personally, I just never looked like a typical girl. I’m very tall, naturally athletic, and have no curves really. I gravitated to sports because I was good at them. I wore male clothing because it fit me better. Even when I identified as female people mistook me for a boy.

    How big of a role do you think physical appearance has with gender identity?

    1. Actually, I am not sure it has much to do with it. I have a very female body…I developed breasts early and my hips got wider and wider… as I developed I remember feeling like “I SHOULD be excited, what’s wrong with me?” So because I was indifferent to how my body was developing I pretended to be excited because this was the emotion I was told I SHOULD feel and in the inside I assumed that there was something wrong with me – I never considered that ANYTHING could be wrong with the idea of gender (which is a whole other topic) – Today I do all I can to play down my female parts and I know several FTM individuals whom also had very femme bodies (with curves and large breasts) before hormones and surgery. When I was first considering transgender, genderqueer, and the option to transition I had a theory that maybe people with curvy bodies possibly felt intimidated, and therefore chose to hide their bodies by transitioning. But as I have explored this topic internally and have looked around for other facts I have found that actually I there are all sorts of people, regardless of body shape, that feel like their gender doesn’t match who they are.

      Recently I was exploring my own assumptions about gender and anyone in/out of those binaries and I found that I had assumed there was something wrong with my body or with me, and that is why I am genderqueer. I made this assumption with the theory about curvy bodies. Also, I think you also did this in that it must be the shape of your body that makes you stand out or be different. Actually, its the culture with the issue… not us. That’s the part we all need to get…

  2. Lee says:

    Sometimes I wonder how many of my gender issues came from society and how many are simply from me. I’ve been able to pass as both male and female, and I’ve noticed that I am treated very differently depending on what gender people see me as. Have you noticed that as well?

    I do think my body had an influence over my thoughts about gender. Male clothing fits me better and feels more comfortable. I cringe just thinking about fitted female t-shirts and jeans. My size made traditionally male sports easy for me, so I pursued them. Society didn’t really have a place for me. I started to feel like my interests and feelings made me a perfectly normal male, but a strange female. So how much of that is from my physical body and how much is from society not accepting it? No idea.

    You’re right about culture just not getting it. If there were three or four genders that were perfectly acceptable, things would be much easier. There wouldn’t be so much pressure to choose one gender over the other.

    1. I think that all of our “gender” issues are from society. I am planning on blogging regarding why the absence of gender is the better choice for everyone involved. Why is the absence of gender seem so far away and completely impossible? The book I am currently reading “Gender Outlaw” is fantastic and I recommend it for anyone that doesn’t fit into the binary. I am treated very differently when I present myself masculine and I find the “male privilege” to be completely against all of my values. It’s one reason I cannot transition…I don’t think I want that either. It’s very interesting to think about and I have found this book incredibly thought provoking. I will blog more soon about the “gender cult”

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