Gender Fluidity & Transitioning

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.

Not Transitioning

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.

Transitioning

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.

FtM 101: Sex, Sexuality, Gender, Gender Expression

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.

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A Realization

It all started at the ice skating rink. Well, that was the breaking point anyway. A lot of my determining what gender I want the world to see me as is effected by events such as this one. I have been questioning whether I should just keep my life uncomplicated and stay on as a ‘she’ or if I’ll actually take the plunge and be known as a guy. It has been an issue that has been made me very confused and even doubtful over whether I am masculine enough to call myself gender fluid, but for a while I have been disregarding it and sorting out other issues in my life. In short, I put all of my gender confusion on the back burner for a while.

Since I got my hair cut, I have been waiting for a chance to actually go out as male with my friends – seeing as how they accepted me and its always better to go with others than alone. So when I got the invitation to go ice skating with a few of my friends, I decided I might as well go out and get a better feel for being a male and being called Cameron. I donned my binder, gender neutral Van shoes, and a button down shirt that’s pretty masculine but also fits to my body a bit more than I should have it, considering it shows off my hips. Blue bracelet on my wrist, my friends respected my decisions and called me Cameron.

This in itself is a major event. This was my first time going under Cameron and being a ‘he’. This was the self-test of whether or not I actually do feel comfortable being seen as a guy or if it would make me feel weird, not match up with who I really am. But as the first part of the day unfolded and I passed along as a guy, I almost didn’t think anything of it (except for, obviously, the excited, happy feeling that comes with showing who you are inside nagging at me the whole time) as though I had gone pretending as something else for so long that now I could just be more of myself as Cam and, it was so relaxing. The stress I usually have over socializing was nonexistent in the face of my being accepted as a guy. And everything just fitted together: yes, being seen as a male figure, one of the guys fit for me, yes, being called Cameron was natural, it all flowed so easily, where usually being called ‘she’ and by my full name frays at my nerves.

So, everything was running smoothly, ice skating was fun (if the shoes are a bit painful) and it was nice hanging out with my friends again. The worst thing that happened that day was that my binder started to slip (and if that was the worst thing then you know it had to have been the best day of my life considering I can fix it). I had my transgender friend come with me to the restrooms and before I could head to the girl’s he stopped me and asked which one I wanted to go into. And wow, that shocked me. You mean I actually can go into the boy’s room? No way, there’s no way I could pass that much. Looking back, obviously he wouldn’t have sent me in if I wasn’t at least a little convincing, and the confidence I (probably) exuded that day probably helped a lot. I didn’t accept the offer to use the men’s though.

Again, looking back at the event, I don’t regret refusing to use the men’s. When he offered me the two different restrooms it was reinforcing the gender binary in a very immediate way. As someone who still hadn’t picked out how I wanted the world to see me, I thought the girl’s was the best bet because that was what I was used to. It didn’t even cross my mind that I had a choice, that the boy’s wasn’t necessarily off limits to me. But it reminded me also that yeah, as someone who is trying to pass as a guy, using the corresponding restroom was more or less in my rights. It was just that at that point I was at a crossroads, and I had no idea which gender I was going to eventually decide on in the end for how the world sees me. Now I know that I can use it, that I it is in my rights to be the gender I am on the inside. And being reminded of this so sharply just seemed to jump-start everything else for me.

After this it was just a lot of smaller things that made me realize what gender I truly want to be seen as to the rest of the world. At one point I was daydreaming (as I am want to do) and from the recesses of my befuddled mind came the clearest question, and it just astounded me that I was even asking this because I hadn’t even consciously noticed it. But the thought that I had felt like a son, a guy, the entire day, just a guy and nothing complicated like gender fluid or something, passed through my mind. And it shocked me because wow, I never did stop to think that there are days where I wake up feeling like the entire opposite gender than what I was born into.

Then a few days after that thought I was looking up on how to dress more masculine and not look swallowed up in big clothes when I came across a really information FTM guide. The writer of the guide, Gabriel, as an about me page and he explained how for years he put off choosing on whether to transition or not and finally came to the conclusion that he should.  What helped even more for my understanding was that he is the same sexual orientation as I am – interested in guys. Here was someone who understood that when I look like a guy I am attracted to I am thinking both “wow I wish I could be with him” and “wow I wish I could be him”, though these are both very different thoughts. Hearing how other people reacted to going through some of the same things as you do, always  helps you figure out how to deal with that thing more, which is the exact case here. Reading how Gabriel finally decided to take the plunge and is now living as a really handsome guy eased my mind in actually choosing being a male.

It was seeing how he looked after being on testosterone, how easily he passes with these changes, how he can actually be who he is a lot more as a guy, that made me realize it probably wouldn’t be so far off for me. As the skating rink showed me, I feel comfortable being seen as a guy, as Cameron. And now that I know that transitioning can actually provide me with satisfying results, my fears are a lot more at ease. I’m not so reluctant in picking the male gender now. And with those fears of testosterone and transitioning in general receding, it turns out that that was the largest separation between my choosing being male.

So, in the end, I’ve decided that of the two options, I want the world to see me as a guy – if a gay guy. I want to be seen as Cameron. Someday I do want to look in the mirror and see a more masculine figure – and this goes mostly back to my increasing gender dysphoria that has only been getting worse since I realized transitioning won’t ruin my good looks.

What now? This realization will inevitably help me go about fixing the rest of my life. Now I have a more steady goal to be seen as a guy, which includes having another talk with my mum. Careful questioning has told me that she is curios about how I got to where I am in my gender, though she has always been afraid to ask in case she said something offensive. But how she thought this was all just going to be a phase is a different story.

The important thing now is that I have a goal in mind (and hopefully can look a little like Ben Whishaw someday).

The Jokers & The Dandy

The Jokers

Though I enjoy the good fortune that my mother is generally accepting of my being gender fluid, I do hit the occasional snag. For many trans* and other LGBT people, they face disapproving family and even the threat of abuse and neglect.

The circumstances life has given me as far as family goes ensures my safety and I could not even imagine the horrors others go through. There are many “what ifs” in life, like “what if I still lived with my father?”, in which I know I would never have been able to come out as gender fluid in fear of abuse. But seeing as how I only have my mother left, I face little chance of being in harm’s way.

That aside, I have come into the presence of the inevitable teasing. Though this in no way compares to the fate of others, the things my family has called me since I came out as gender fluid can be a huge set back for me at times. The mocking I have received from my family, and even a stranger, sets me into questioning whether I really am gender fluid or not and if others simply see this as a phase for me. Though we continuously grow throughout life and perhaps this will be just a phase in the end, I have felt this way for years and the important thing is that I am going through this now.

gender fluid

Obviously there are some hurtful names out there, especially when coupled with the tone of voice. “Hermaphrodite” and “broster” don’t sound good when someone is sneering it at you.

If you are teased at school/work for how you dress because you’re gender fluid, tell a teacher/manager. Don’t just sit there and let the words make you feel bad about yourself. Its usually advisable for an authority figure to have knowledge of what’s going on and know to stop such teasing.

When I am teased by a stranger on the off chance, I usually take it as a compliment. One day I dressed as more masculine but with red ballet flats, so someone called me a “faggot”. Females aren’t usually called that so I’m going to assume they thought I was an effeminate guy, which is what I was going for. If the situation isn’t like that, just ignore them, they don’t know you and what a wonderful person you actually are.

Family and friends can be very different. Though I take the teasing by my family, it’d probably hurt just as much as from a friend. When I do get teased, which is happening a lot more since my older brother comes around more often, I don’t comment or show that I’ve heard them. They’ll joke for a few seconds every once in a while about my gender but usually stop once they realize I’m not doing anything. When they actually start making me doubt who I am, that’s when I wait a couple of minutes and then slip away so I can just think and ask myself again, “do you really switch between male and female?” Since past experience says hell yes, I leave it at that and ignore whatever anyone else says, since I am at least I am gender fluid.

The Dandy

For some odd reason my pronouns don’t consume my entire life, even though they’re a big part of one’s identity. It has probably dropped from my mind recently because of my tiring of the subject/other things happening but a couple of things have caught my attention that walk down the same road as pronouns and switching them.

Since I came out on Facebook, I haven’t exactly seen any of my friends I came out to, which is sad, but I’ve been a bit preoccupied and its been difficult scheduling any good times to meet with others. As such, I have not had the fortune to be referred to as a “he” or “Cam” when I’m having a male or neutral day. Though I remain firm in the decision to have “he” as my default pronoun, as of yet I have not been able to tell my mother about this decision, mostly due to her also being a bit preoccupied with my brother.

This means I’ve been just sitting here waiting for a chance to try out “he” while thinking about how odd that might just be. Our world really is binary, and just because you choose to be known as a “he”, you will also have to deal with a string of other masculine slang and addresses, such as “sir”, “young man”, and hopefully to my mother someday, “son”. Though I’m not so excited by some terms, I have been thrilled by the prospect of being called “young man” someday, and the day I do gain that term would be a proud one indeed.

But as it stands, I also realize I have A LOT of feminine features, not just in appearance but also in style and personality. I love fancy clothing (even though usually I’m too lazy to do much of anything) and other effeminate features, but I cannot bring myself to wearing a dress or growing my hair long, it wouldn’t be me. I am still considering getting a wig for my female days, but in the meantime I have kept my hair very short and do not plan on growing it out. I would be a very feminine guy indeed, and though that suits me, society is not exactly accepting of blurred gender lines.

So my decision? Be a dandy.

I’ve always been a dandy at heart, but now I know better how to go about it and that yes, it fits my gender perfectly. I can be very feminine in clothing and yet retain the masculine status, a person skating in between, and that’s perfect.

There are other things I’m still trying to work out, primarily how I’m going to go about my name change and telling my mum I’m more son than daughter. But at least I know how to present myself a bit more correctly now and hopefully live up to who I am on the inside.

Beyond the Knowing

When picking pronouns, a gender fluid can run into the problem of having to make up their mind on what to do with friends and what to do with strangers. Friends are those people close enough to you that you talk to them regularly and probably deserve to know your identity the most once you’re comfortable with it. Being as that an explanation is more worthwhile to give to a friend than some passing stranger, you can choose to do more with pronouns with friends, such as pronoun hopping.

But what of strangers and those who don’t accept pronoun switching? Well, a wide assortment of pronouns are available for those who won’t be switching pronouns as you switch gender.

What is a person to do?

As discussed, we live in a binary world and most people expect us to be male or female. Which means, though your friends may respect and follow your pronoun changes, a stranger won’t sit and listen to what the bracelet on your wrist means or that the next time they see you you may be a different gender. They want a quick answer to the boy or girl question based off of assumptions and what others tell them subtly, in the clues of miss and mister. So, unfortunately, you have to choose a binary pronoun for everyone else in the world to call you by. What’s even more unfortunate is that it is easier to stick to your given pronouns when you have no plans for surgery, as that is how people see you, despite the misgendering. Deciding to switch pronouns means having to look like that gender or no one will take you seriously.

So what am I doing?

With everyone else in the world I am a she, a miss, the little girl.

And how do I feel about this?

Honestly, I hate being related to feminine stuff. I may not look like it, but I’ve always felt masculine, even my zodiac sign tells me I’m masculine. So when people refer to me as the little girl, I get kind of irritated because that’s not really me. Sure, there is a part of me that is very feminine, but that is a strong femininity and not to be taken as me being some helpless creature, especially when I feel masculine. So, no, there is a large part of me that despised being called she because it’s not me. I feel like others are referring to me as someone else entirely, and someone I don’t really like to boot.

But what am I going to do?

I’m undecided. Right now, while I am writing this post, my mind is not made up in a rather important decision. In all honesty, I hate being called a she, it misgenders me almost entirely, but at the same time I’m scared to move on to being called a ‘he’, mostly because I’m afraid people will either think I’m transsexual or not trans* enough to switch my pronouns. Switching to ‘he’ enlists a tale of being seen as a guy and having to fill that side of the gender spectrum when I might not want to.

What it comes down to is what I feel comfortable as most of the time, masculine or feminine. Obviously, you might have noticed I’m pressing for the masculine side. To switch to the masculine side would probably make me feel a lot better over all, even if I do continue to switch genders, simply because I want little to do with femininity. If I could start my life over as any gender I wanted, I would choose to be a boy nine times out of 10, just because that’s how I feel. But I was born a girl and I can either switch my pronouns to masculinity, a switch that will affect how others see me tremendously, or I’ll bear on being known as something I’m usually not in silence, which doesn’t do.

The conclusion? I feel more like a guy and it would help me in the long run to start having others see me as such, even if I don’t mean to have surgery in the future. In other words, switch my pronouns.

The conflict? It’s not that simple when you factor in other people. Switching pronouns makes me concerned that people won’t accept me and that I might not be viewed as trans* enough to do that because I don’t plan on surgery more than a top-surgery, which is still in debate for me. Then there’s the anxiety of having to say, no, stop, I want to be known as a he.

I’m still deciding. My being says that I should just go and switch to ‘he’ and be done with it, but my common sense tells me there’s much more to be done to have others take me seriously in my pronoun switch because it entails so much more.

What’s my advice for others?

Following the binary way of life, I think an important question to ask yourself before deciding on a pronoun is what gender would I want to be if I could be born again? With some thinking, this question helped me answer who I really felt I was inside. I’m a feminine guy and that’s that. The question makes you think of what binary pronoun you’d rather go by even if you don’t fall on the binary.

Once you know who you are and what pronoun you’d rather be known as, wait until you know you are comfortable with yourself enough to tell not only friends, but also introduce yourself as such a pronoun to strangers. It may take some time, but once you get used to the idea and sure of yourself, you will probably have an easier time. After that you may also want to check into FTM or MTF guides to help you if you need it, as going by another pronoun when you look like the other won’t help in the case of strangers, they won’t take your claims seriously.

Pronouns entail a lot so be prepared to spend a lot of time mulling it over.

 

Real quick, what are my plans for future posts?

I just wanted to mention really quick that I’m planning on doing posts on how to switch between male and female easily for gender fluids. If you have any ideas/suggestions/experiences on switching between appearances feel free to comment/message me.

Coming Out the Modern Way

I started this blog in hopes of helping and informing other gender fluids and so I shall. The story I wove of my own life is no longer a novelty, even when I came out to my mother, but recently I took another step forward. So, for those looking for a way to come out to their friends, I may just be able to offer some advice.

Though it isn’t the choice option, I chose to come out to my good friends over social networking. So I might as well tell you how I went about it, shouldn’t I?

The Traditional Way

So it seems all fine and well to come out on social networking, right? You don’t have to come face to face with someone, you don’t have to stumble about looking for the right way to express what you’re trying to say, it just seems that you’re avoiding a disaster when you go on social networking.

But I would like to remark that if you can, you should probably take consideration of actually telling a person face to face. When you talk to a person and can actually put emotion behind your words, you’re letting them know you’re serious. Identifying yourself as a certain gender is not exactly like commenting on how your day was or any of those other 2 dimensional posts, it’s something that can change how others look at you.

Besides that, it’s also not the best of manners to insist on others reading about who you are on a public site and unless you take care, the wrong people might find out. It can seem a bit one-sided so that others may feel discouraged in asking questions that might have.

Though the traditional way is best in my opinion (for etiquette and other similar reasons) there are circumstances that can’t be avoided – such as having moved away from your friends.

Should you decide to come out in the traditional way you can consult my past post on coming out to see what not to do.

The Modern Way

For a reason I haven’t been able to figure out yet, most of our lives now seem to involve the Internet in some way or other. As that world wide web grows, so does the means of spreading word to friends directly through social networking, eliminating the more personal visiting and phone calls. With that, there is also the appearance of coming out over Facebook and other such sites.

Due to this new option for informing others about your identity/sexuality, some may be considering coming out over the Internet. Though everyone has their own way of doing things, I might be able to offer some of my own advice.

Decision

I have given my opinion on traditional way vs the modern, but I daresay I did have more guidelines than just a prejudice to decide upon coming out on Facebook. I realize it is easier to write about who you are instead of telling over and over, and that is why I thought over it a bit more. If I went on and told others in writing who I was, then what would I do should I come face to face with someone who knew? Would I feel comfortable talking about it? That was the one thing I had to be sure of before I came out on Facebook – I could talk about in person just as easily as I could in writing. Though there must be more, I felt that was the most important question to be answered.

Preparation

“A lot of parents will do anything for their kids except let them be themselves.” – Banksy

It certainly isn’t true for everyone, but unfortunately quite a number of people are bogged down by unaccepting family and friends. And to further it all, their Facebook account may be watched by such folk.

So what is to be done? Why, create a new account of course! I know, it seems a lot of trouble, but it’s worth it. I had to create a new account for other reasons and wound up with only very accepting friends, so, being that I had recently come out of a reachable range from my friends, I decided to take advantage of my new account.

Creating a new account on Facebook so that you can wind up with accepting friends is not uncommon and in the end you can tell others the modern way without too much worry.

Research

When I first started thinking about telling my friends over Facebook, I decided that if I did I should at least look into how other people came out on Facebook. Most of the articles I found were about coming out on sexuality and mostly agonized over the lack of etiquette that was involved with coming out on such a site.

But that was on sexuality, you see, and I couldn’t leave it at that. So I went snooping again only with more detail in my Google search. Typing in a search about transgenders coming out on Facebook, I found but one article addressing a transsexual woman coming out on Facebook with the new Life Event feature. Well, that didn’t quite satisfy me either, as I wasn’t transsexual.

A quick dash over Tumblr’s tags proffered me a post on a guy coming out on Facebook as being gender fluid. The post contained a description of gender fluidity and a picture of the guy in a dress to further his point. Though this was certainly a step in the right direction, I decided to tap into Google again.

Finally I just decided to search for any other gender fluids who came out over Facebook. To my fortune, I find a thread on a forum for those who have come out to share their stories. The post was just what I was looking for in how another gender fluid would describe who they were.

Getting It Written Once and For All

Lingering over Facebook’s Life Event app, I tried to compose a post similar to what the gender fluid on that thread did, though not too similar. It was in excellent reference in figuring out what to include and tallied up to be a checklist in what I must include in a post.

In the end I wrote the standards I deemed necessary to include:

  • the definition of gender fluid
  • my chosen pronouns
  • my name for my masculine side
  • how others can tell when I feel masculine
  • a link to my blog so most of their questions can be quenched
  • a quick thank you for reading to satisfy my need for etiquette

Of course, for those who have unaccepting family/friends, you may want to include to not refer to opposite pronouns/names in front of them.

The Results?

As I said, the friends I have on my account are accepting. I got quite a few likes, which I translated over to acceptance. I even got a couple of messages from friends saying they accept who I am and one even said they’ve been reading my blog, which I find to be a success.

Luckily, I never had a doubt they wouldn’t accept, and that is what is wanted when coming out.

What Can You Expect?

Questions. If people have questions, actual questions, it’s not a bad idea to answer. When I posted, I let my friends know I was willing to answer any questions they had to clarify. If they understand then it works out better in the long run.

So, if you do decide on coming out on Facebook, that is my advice, plain and kind of simple with a touch of my prudeness.

Asks: Resources for Queer Youth

Hello! Do you know any forums for people who are figuring their gender out? :-\

Hey, this is a perfectly reasonable question, to be able to talk and share your feelings with someone also questioning. Luckily there are a number of resources for those in the LGBT community online, including forums. For more information you can check out Resources for Questioning Youth: Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual.

Though it may seem a bit discouraging, transgender issues tend to be lumped together with the rest of the LGBT community. However, this means you can find information on gender and sexuality all in one place.

So what resources do I recommend? All of the sites I will list will be more towards gender identity, of course.

Geared Towards Coming Out/Other’s Stories/Information

  • OutProud: offers tips on coming out, stories by other queer youth, recent news articles regarding the LGBTQ community, resources for suicide prevention, and a forum, though this doesn’t seem to be updated frequently and may focus more on sexuality
  • Antijen: this is more towards transsexuals but the site has the stories of transsexuals going through high school when they’re in the wrong body and other such stories and information
  • Youth Guardian Services: online support for LGBTQI and questioning youth

For Suicide Prevention & Support

  • The Trevor Project: the program offers help for LGBT and questioning youth to prevent suicide, along with sharing news in the LGBT community, general education of gender identity and sexuality, even for parents and educators
  • GLBT National Help Center: offers a phone line for LGBT people along with a page on frequently asked questions and a list of resources

Forums

  • LGBT, Sexuality and Gender Identity – Teen Help: forums that are still alive and offer the opportunity for LGBT youth to ask for others experience, knowledge, etc.
  • Transyada: alive forums that let users talk about gender, sexuality, and other subjects such as art
  • Empty Closets – LGBT forum on coming out and other people’s stories, updated really often and I’ve found very good advise on this forum

The Unfortunate Truth

Most forums for questioning youth that used to be active no longer are or the link is no longer good. Many of these forums were started years ago and have since died out.

The Positive Side

A lot of these forums have have closed but we still have a lot of sites offering resources and communities for questioning and queer people. To find more resources you can check out GenderqueerID  or browse through Tumblr. Chances are somewhere on this world wide web you’ll find someone you can talk to about yours and their experiences.

Pronoun Hopping

According to my last post on pronouns, there is the option to switch between pronouns such as he, she, and even they for those who are gender fluid and have friends who are accepting enough to comply. Unfortunately, though, to be able to switch between pronouns, one must first come out as gender fluid. Now, coming out is a very big can of worms and will be dealt with separately, but how do you switch pronouns in daily life?

There are different ways to clue to those you know that you’re gender has changed and so should the pronouns. You have options in how you let them know and what other aspects will help in your daily life.

The Default Pronoun

As can be expected, when you’re changing pronouns others might get tripped up. Though it may cause misgendering at some point, it is a good idea to have a default pronoun that your friends and strangers can use when they don’t know how you identify that day. It’s good to stick to he or she given our society just in case they refer to you to another person who doesn’t know. The idea is to have a pronoun for others and you to fall back on when you’re gender neutral/androgynous/etc. or others don’t know.

When coming out to someone as gender fluid, it is a good idea to also inform them of your pronouns while you have their attention. If they seem uncomfortable or are losing their attention on you because of so much information being put on them, information which is a foreign concept to most of the world, you should wrap this up quickly. As you come out, inform them as well that you’re default pronoun is he or she. If you’re sticking to your original pronoun as default they will be relieved that something remains and if you’re changing it inform them then so that they can get used to the idea. You should also warn them that this may change in the future and you’ll keep them posted, but don’t overload someone all at once. If they understand the definition of gender fluid then they should understand why your pronouns will switch.

Switching Pronouns

At some point you may want to switch your pronouns as you start to lean towards the opposite side of the gender spectrum. When you feel it is time to switch your pronouns and have others follow suit, you should have a way to communicate this which works for you and them so that there’s not too much confusion. You will also want to tell them of which method you’ll use to change your pronouns while coming out or the first time you switch. There are some methods.

#1 Telling Others

Though it will seem like having to come out to the same people several times, telling them that today you feel more like a she/he and to use those pronouns/name is the most straightforward way to inform others of the update. This doesn’t have to be overly long or dramatic, just a quick note that your pronoun has changed will suffice. If you keep it simple, others will pick up on this without too much sensitivity and you won’t have to go on explaining.

#2 Presentation

If you prefer not to tell others you can show that you’ve changed how you’ve felt in gender identity by showing this. If you can switch smoothly to a more feminine/masculine appearance that is noticeable enough for others then they will be able to tell automatically and will know for the rest of the day. Besides from that, it will also cure dysphoria for the most part.

The bad part is that others might question this change, those who don’t know you’re gender fluid. If you feel like passing for the opposite gender then how you previously went by, just know that there will be questions. If you don’t want questions, tip your appearance just enough for those who know to realize the change (if they notice) and others don’t question

Along presentation is a very subtle hint that may seem a bit silly but is actually extremely smart. The idea is to wear a bracelet or some other accessory so as to tip off to those who know your gender identity what your gender is. So, a female assigned at birth gender fluid person may wear a bracelet when they feel more masculine and so on. It won’t be picked up by those who shouldn’t know your identity and can be seen and used by those who do know it so that you are not misgendered by them. As you can see here, it is a idea used before, including by me.

 

There are probably other ways then that. The problem is that pronouns should be a simple but more sensitive subject to change as it deals with who you are. No small sign should be given but I don’t think many will feel comfortable with openly wearing a tag that says today I am so and so.

What do I think is the best way? Telling others simply and straightforward is the best way to avoid mix-ups. However, if you’re more shy than that, changing your appearance slightly may also do that trick. And hey, if you’re more on the creative side maybe you can do something more creative to get the point across and not have too much fuss, changing your hairstyle to match who you are more for the current gender identity is a subtle cue. It just depends on who you are and how comfortable you are with switching pronouns.

If you have any suggestions or ways of telling others your pronouns/name changed feel free to type in a comment or send me one on the ask me page.