A few months ago I came across the 30 Day Genderqueer Challenge. While I skimmed over a good deal of the questions, the ones that caught my attention were numbers 5 and 10. Those two questions specifically dealt with something that I related as transsexual topics, not something for the wavering gender fluid. As anyone well read in the basics of transsexualism, of course I expect dysphoria and transitioning as something common mostly to people born in the wrong body, which is why I was dumbfounded when I found that I would be just as justified to transition because to me, I was born into the wrong body. I may not identify as transsexual, and I may never identify as such, but I still have the right to transition.
But transitioning is still a bit of an oddity for me, mostly because I am not much a part of the gender-queer community – I’m just here giving my advice and documenting my progress – and most of the transition related blogs I do read are by FtMs, transsexuals. When I do scroll through the ’30 Day Genderqueer Challenge’ or ‘gender fluid’ tags on Tumblr, they offer even less help to me than those who are literally staying within the binary.
What I have gathered is that I can either transition or not. That’s not much improvement. From what I’ve read by other gender fluids, it always seems as though gender is a choice and not something that is truly a part of us. For me, I can’t believe that gender identity is something that we choose, we get to choose gender expression, not identity. I believe that it’s part of us, an integral trait we have for whatever reason. Like hair color, we don’t get to choose it, and even though we dye our hair, it doesn’t change our natural hair color.
It still remains that I can choose to transition, and for that, I am turning to FtMs more over other gender fluids, because question 10 is always ignored in those surveys and question 5 barely answers my questions. Occasionally I do see posts about how gender fluids end up transitioning because their male/female sides are much stronger than their birth sex, and then there are others who start transitioning to look more neutrois but end up being taken as male. But what it really comes down to is my having to truly accept myself and then act on it instead of waiting for the decision on transitioning to magically come to me.
So to transition or not to transition?
There are other blogs on how to look neutrois and if that’s what you’re looking for, that’s all right and I suggest Neutrois Nonsense. But the one theme I do stress in these posts is that we live in a binary world and look neutrois is going inevitably result in a lot of judgement. Let’s face it, ‘Is that a boy or a girl?’ may seem like a good question to us, but its very negative to everyone else, it is a judgement and something to laugh at if someone cannot automatically categorize you, most of the time it even denotes that you’re not very good looking. And while that’s harsh, its something that is just going to happen. So while it’s up to you, before you transition to neutrois, be aware that you may be getting some insults (read: not for the faint-hearted). While thinking of transitioning, perfecting our body, we don’t always stop and consider how others are going to react so take this as a reminder, not my being rude.
Personally, I have an anxiety problem, calling attention to myself about whether I’m a male or female sounds terrible to me. I don’t want someone seeing me and laughing. And that’s a part of the reason on why, when finding which gender I truly am – or identify as more – I try to pick the binary. And no, this isn’t the time to say I’m giving into the binary or some speech on how society sucks – its just that its not my fight. I’m going for male or female, and for those who haven’t noticed I am very much focused on the male side.
From what I’ve seen, most gender fluids end up not transitioning. Obviously there are many reasons to not transition, from a fear of surgery to health concerns, but I’ll focus more on not transitioning because of gender identity. A lot of gender fluids do bind – and a few even talk about getting breast reduction surgery to make it easier – and dress as the opposite sex from them, or gender neutral, but skip out on surgery because they still have days where they identify as the sex they were born as, probably even more than when they identify as the opposite sex. That’s perfectly acceptable and you can still identify as gender fluid – and chances are there are a lot more people who can relate to your problems in this.
This is the trouble area, because not many gender fluid transition. I’ve seen maybe 3 posts on Tumblr about someone identifying as gender fluid transitioning to the opposite sex, and I’ve talked to one who would like to transition but has decided not to. Not a lot of people choose this path.
The number one fear with transitioning (when it relates to gender identity) is that once transitioned, dysphoria will begin once more. If you’re of a female sex and feel dysphoria one day but not the next, but transition anyway, chances are the same problem will arise. The dysphoria will still be there, its just that now you’ve spent a lot of money and probably lost a couple of friends. And that’s probably why most gender fluids are reluctant to transition.
But there are some gender fluids where they identify more as one sex than the other. A female-sex gender fluid can identify more as female, or they can identify more as male, and that’s a reason to transition.
For me, another problem is that scientifically speaking, transsexuals have a brain matching the sex they identify as, not born as. It always seemed like transsexuals have specific codes to live up to – dysphoria, etc. And I’m just not sure that I fit into that. When I think about transitioning I think of, ‘Well obviously I’d be transitioning to a guy so I might as well drop that female persona and accept the term transsexual’. Accepting whatever you actually are in gender identity is probably the first and most important step to figuring it all out, remember that.
For those who identify more as 75% opposite sex and 25% their born sex, transitioning is probably something to consider. That’s probably the most simple I can get.
Any further advice on figuring it out?
Yep. I got links. Considering I have been stalking some FtM blogs, I have found some useful posts about figuring out how you identify more on the gender identity scale. I would like the warn that this is by a gay transsexual so sexuality does appear but its still helpful in figuring out gender.
Trans 101: How Do I Know? (another warning, this post has some NSFW writing but it did help me a lot)
Also, talking to a therapist isn’t as crazy as it seems. If you’re questioning transitioning, and leaning more towards it, I seriously suggest talking to a therapist. Obviously you’re not insane or wrong, I’m planning on doing the same thing myself when I can, because it is difficult trying to identify what sex you identify more as as a gender fluid. Also, most of the time when you start hormone replacement therapy you need to have 6 months or whatever of therapy beforehand to get the note for the endocrinologist so you might just end up in therapy anyway if you do decided to transition.
And what about me stalking transsexual blogs?
As I said, I’ve been having a hard time relating to other gender fluids because I am leaning more towards transitioning than not, and that just isn’t the majority of the gender fluid community. So I turned to transmen in hope of finding someone who used to identify more as genderqueer or who took a while in finally figuring out they are transsexual. A lot of the time transsexuals say out they figured it out fairly quickly and acted upon it (transition/suppressed) but its harder to find those who took a while and maybe even dabbled in being genderqueer before finally saying no, I am a man/woman. Because at this point I’m still just waiting for the revelation to come to me. If you haven’t figured it out, I’m someone who likes to be either or, not somewhere in between.
Anyhow, these are two trans blogs I’ve been following so far and relate to in a lot of ways:
Not Another Aiden (because if I do transition I’d be gay and its nice to see an FtM who is an effeminate guy considering that would describe me)
Bending Gender (til it breaks) (another gay guy, and he goes really in depth on how he figured it out and how long it took, what transitioning was like, and he even has this really good guide on how to dress like a guy and actually look good)
And wow, it seems like I’ve already chosen!
Nope! I haven’t. At this point, I don’t go off of which gender I identify as more often. It doesn’t work for me because I tend to feel pretty gender neutral most of the time. So instead I follow Not Aiden’s advice and try to imagine myself in a few years. Most of the time, I can conjure up some little scene of me being male, even easier than when I try for female.
But because there’s still that female identity, it feels like I’m trying to kill off that part of myself. At the same time, though, my male self would be given more of a chance and I’d probably make a better guy with my attitude.
So its still quite the quandary, but hopefully I had some good advice for someone here.