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Elliott Ford

What it feels like to be trans, genderqueer or genderless

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KieranTheWerewolf42

Yesterday in my British Lit. lecture someone asked me about my gender for some reason. My response was "I prefer not to label myself, they don't put the right answer on the bubble sheets anyway". They changed seats after that for some reason.

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Yanagi

Yesterday in my British Lit. lecture someone asked me about my gender for some reason. My response was "I prefer not to label myself, they don't put the right answer on the bubble sheets anyway". They changed seats after that for some reason.

Oh dear. That doesn't sound too good.

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KieranTheWerewolf42

Yesterday in my British Lit. lecture someone asked me about my gender for some reason. My response was "I prefer not to label myself, they don't put the right answer on the bubble sheets anyway". They changed seats after that for some reason.

Oh dear. That doesn't sound too good.

It confused me more than anything. A year ago I would have found that really upsetting, but now...It didn't bother me at all.

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Elliott Ford

Throughout my life I have, at various times felt like a boy who just so happens to look like a girl.

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Display

Ask me this question every day, and every day you will get a different answer.

Sometimes it's "where the hell is my penis?"

Other times it's "I'm not a guy, I'm not a girl, I'm just Nika."

Rarely, but nevertheless occasionally (about once or twice a year) it's "I'm Nika and this flowing dress is just part of me." (Note: I do not disclose this to people who have a narrow sense of gender because they would never understand I feel male most of the time but just happen to like being a girl 2 days out of the year.)

In general I don't like to subscribe to norms and just like to be myself. I function better in society as male though, so I pick that for how I present and pronoun usage etc. In the end, my gender is fluid, and hovers mostly in the androgynous-to-male area.

Nika

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Elliott Ford

Ask me this question every day, and every day you will get a different answer.

Sometimes it's "where the hell is my penis?"

Other times it's "I'm not a guy, I'm not a girl, I'm just Nika."

Rarely, but nevertheless occasionally (about once or twice a year) it's "I'm Nika and this flowing dress is just part of me." (Note: I do not disclose this to people who have a narrow sense of gender because they would never understand I feel male most of the time but just happen to like being a girl 2 days out of the year.)

In general I don't like to subscribe to norms and just like to be myself. I function better in society as male though, so I pick that for how I present and pronoun usage etc. In the end, my gender is fluid, and hovers mostly in the androgynous-to-male area.

Nika

Nika, I get where you're coming from. Have some :cake:

I really wish that "I'm Elliott" was enough of a definition for people but it feels like it never really has been. People want to know if I'm a boy or a girl; now I finally tell them the truth they don't want to believe it cos they thought they already knew. I'm a BOY and I always have been, no matter what I used to wear or what pronouns I used to be called by.. I was a boy then and I'm a boy now. I'm femme/androgynous and want to push the boundaries of what men can wear but people tell me that if I push boundaries like that then I can't "really" be male..

I'm just me. I want to function in life as a man but not exactly the same kind of man as other people might want to be. I want to be a drag queen when I grow up and dress up in beautiful dresses in a way that actually expresses how I feel not how I'm told to feel.

I want to just be myself. My Mum wants me to "Just be Elliott and forget about gender" by which she means "Don't change your pronoun! Don't transition! Please just be my daughter again!" but being myself is so incomplatible with living as female that I refuse to try living that way again.

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Percy McKean

Most of the time (since I consider myself an androgene type of person), my friends are okay with my lack of gender (although they do tend to forget and use gender specific pronouns). The problem that I have is with my professors. As a theatre student, I have to take acting course, even though I'm mainly a technician. Teachers either will not let me act against my biological sex (or let me take androgynous roles), or they say "Well, as long as you know you can't audition as *whatever gender specific character*, and since you don't plan on acting, it's okay." If I decide I want to try out for both the roles of Macbeth AND Lady Macbeth, why can't I?

Being genderless feels like constantly trying to escape two boxes that desperately want to enclose you. Everyone wants you to be stuck inside one, and there's no support for staying outside the cubes.

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Floor

This thread is fascinating for a boring ol' cisgender like myself. I salute all of you for breaking down the gender binary and for externalizing who you know you are inside.

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Frey

Cisgendered individuals aren't boring.

I'm relatively convinced that you didn't mean it literally, but I wanted to say it anyway.

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Taokaka

Its so interesting reading all these different views on gender. I hadnt really given gender much thought until I met a transgender. It got me thinking, thats for sure.

So what about me? I am female, I have no doubts about that (and any I may have had my physical image would have shattered). But I find I dont fit in to most "womens" roles. But I dont necessarily fit in to many mens roles either. My brother used to call me "it" in jest, and I used to be bothered by it, but now Im starting to think it might not be so bad to be an "it". Having no gender would have so many advantages. But I am me, and I will thank you to refer to me as female (or "it", if you must).

Ive started catching myself referring to others as "it" if I dont know them well, does anyone else do that? Gender seems to be becoming less important to me.

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Tagur

My biggest beef with being born into a female body is that people try to question my statement that I am a boy. I was socialized to be a woman, not a man, so I don't have every single man trait because I have to (consciously) retain some girl things so I can "pass" around trans ignorant/phobic people. It is scary to step outside of the queer community. I like gender, I fit in the binary. It just really sucks to possess physical traits that assign me to the wrong binary.

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Tagur

Ive started catching myself referring to others as "it" if I dont know them well, does anyone else do that? Gender seems to be becoming less important to me.

Personal pronouns are.. personal. He/She/They/Ze or not using pronouns at all (repeating name each time). It all depends on the community and person. In my community, "it" would be seen as derogatory. Personally, I don't care. "What's your preferred pronoun?" is one of the most irritating questions a person can ask me. For others, they are very particular and want to be asked so people get it right.

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Frey

"What's your preferred pronoun?" is one of the most irritating questions a person can ask me.

Well, I ask out of respect. I mean, calling someone by the wrong pronoun because you didn't bother making sure you had it right isn't nice either. :|

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Skeleton key

It is so informative and interesting to read all of your stories. I'll briefly go over mine.

I've always been genderless, androgynous, or "oblivious to gender" as my cousin would say. Identity wise I float between androgyne and neutrois, as I have things in common with both. It never clicked in my brain that traits or activities should be divided into "girl things" and "boy things". That idea was ridiculous and far too restrictive for my tastes. Since I was a toddler I engaged the whole spectrum of girl & boy activities and behaviors with no regard to the gender segregation or obsession around me. I see this even more when I look back. I must have been oblivious, and just did what I liked regardless, even if I was dissuaded by relatives or friends. It was such a simple and pure existence, though I did feel a bit out of place as time went on, perhaps being born a few centuries too early, or in the wrong culture. I remember being a little kid that loved cars, legos, science and racing, and also enjoyed baking and playing with dolls with my cousins. It was a grand ol' time.

As a child my parents showed some concern to my agenderedness, but it wore off, or they shut up about it. People sometimes were unsure of my sex all the way into high school, as I probably exhibited some low key transgender behavior in addition to what was expected. Even now I get people wondering as I am still somewhat androgynous looking despite my height. If I could, I would adapt a more androgynous appearance to toy with people, but it isn't a big priority save for occasional amusement with friends. I've noticed many people confuse gender identity with sexuality, and I have a very low interest in such things obviously (I'm here at AVEN after all), but occasionally people question me about it since I must not come across as typical. Over time cynicism told me "to hell with typical". :rolleyes: To this day the concept of polarized genders is still alien and a bit oppressive to my psyche, but I do my best to get by as people are becoming more tolerant with time. Many Asian and Native American cultures are worlds ahead of the west on these fronts it seems, and I have been lucky enough to visit a few. Also, knowledge of the fact that sex and gender are different things needs to be more widespread than it is in order for trans and genderqueer people to be more free. Gender is also a social construct relative to what culture you belong to. It varies wildly from place to place and is not a concrete thing. I tend to view people as people and not judge them based on what is in their pants, or what clothes they wear, and wish they could do the same for others.

Most of my close friends and family know I am a neutral genderwise, I couldn't hide it if I tried, nor would I want to, and I sure as hell am not cisgendered or transgendered. I am not transitioning into anything, and always have been "just me". Acting like a "man" or "woman" always feels like I am in drag. Every single time it is drag. Neutral comfortable clothing is my only option to be happy, though playing around with gendered fashion can be fun, especially with friends. If I have to wear a suit and tie to some formal function, it is solely a performance for other people, and definitely not of my own choosing. The same would go for a dress and makeup. :s There needs to be more androgynous and neutral clothing options for those that are tired of either extreme. *sigh*

"I am a free thinking human trapped in a quagmire of backward social drivel." could sum it up in one cynical light. ;) I am glad society is moving forward, but sometimes depressed at how crass and hostile it can be for those of us that do not fit its black and white molds. Just remember all the shades of gray between and we're kosher.

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Percy McKean

I totally agree with you, Skeleton key. It's kind of like when you hear a woman say "I have to put on my face." We have to "put on a gender" and nothing feels right. Let's start a movement for androgynous gladrags, so genderless people can spiff up without gender-ing up.

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Taokaka

Ive started catching myself referring to others as "it" if I dont know them well, does anyone else do that? Gender seems to be becoming less important to me.

Personal pronouns are.. personal. He/She/They/Ze or not using pronouns at all (repeating name each time). It all depends on the community and person. In my community, "it" would be seen as derogatory. Personally, I don't care. "What's your preferred pronoun?" is one of the most irritating questions a person can ask me. For others, they are very particular and want to be asked so people get it right.

I dont mean it out of disrespect, but (especially if its someone I dont know) gender isnt that important to me. As for preferred pronoun, I generally refer to people by their physical gender so as not to confuse myself. Sorry in advance if that bothers anyone, its just easier to remember who is what.

Response to Skeleton Key: I wish I could adopt a more androgynous form. It would make life so much simpler (and more fun :P).

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Elliott Ford

Ive started catching myself referring to others as "it" if I dont know them well, does anyone else do that? Gender seems to be becoming less important to me.

Personal pronouns are.. personal. He/She/They/Ze or not using pronouns at all (repeating name each time). It all depends on the community and person. In my community, "it" would be seen as derogatory. Personally, I don't care. "What's your preferred pronoun?" is one of the most irritating questions a person can ask me. For others, they are very particular and want to be asked so people get it right.

I dont mean it out of disrespect, but (especially if its someone I dont know) gender isnt that important to me. As for preferred pronoun, I generally refer to people by their physical gender so as not to confuse myself. Sorry in advance if that bothers anyone, its just easier to remember who is what.

Response to Skeleton Key: I wish I could adopt a more androgynous form. It would make life so much simpler (and more fun :P).

Perhaps a better way to pronoun people would be by what they seem to be presenting as. You'd offend a tonne less people that way. If you knew that I was female-assigned at birth and started calling me "she" because of it, I'd be very hurt, upset and offended as I'm trying my very best to be seen as my gender (male) rather than anything to do with what organs I may or may not have or what words some doctor said when I was born. Those things don't define me and you using them to pronoun me would be reducing me to them.

If someone seems to be presenting as a gender other than their physical sex would suggest, ask them how they wish to be referred to. Heck, I ask people who look completely cisgendered what pronoun I should use for them. I'm sorry if I seem a bit ranty but telling someone what their pronoun is is just as rude as telling them what their name is. It's like I've wandered up to you and decided that you "Look like a Mike" and refused to call you anything but Mike despite you telling me what your name is.

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Taokaka

The problem with going off of "seems" is that there are some men who seem girly, but identify completely as a straight male, and women who seem manly but identify completely straight female. As Ive said before, I dont mean to offend. Ive had people refer to me as "he" and (more often) "it", but I just ignore them. How someone introduces themselves to me also affects how I think of them. If someone introduces themselves as "a man wanting to be a woman named Jenny", dont be surprised when I refer to you later as "that guy named Jenny". That would change if/when the change is made. Its just how my brain processes things.

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Elliott Ford

The problem with going off of "seems" is that there are some men who seem girly, but identify completely as a straight male, and women who seem manly but identify completely straight female. As Ive said before, I dont mean to offend. Ive had people refer to me as "he" and (more often) "it", but I just ignore them. How someone introduces themselves to me also affects how I think of them. If someone introduces themselves as "a man wanting to be a woman named Jenny", dont be surprised when I refer to you later as "that guy named Jenny". That would change if/when the change is made. Its just how my brain processes things.

I know it's hard to judge but believe me, you'd make a lot of people happy if you didn't go off biology.

Why do think it matters that the people in your first examples are straight? Just curious.

What if I introduced myself to you as William (which is my legal name) and told you "I'm a trans man"? How would you refer to me? What do you mean by "when the change is made"?

I've been called "it" before. I'll admit that insulted me. There are loads of better ways to refer to someone whose gender you don't know. "They" as a singular pronoun is awesome :)

Sorry to be asking you loads of questions but I really just don't understand why you seem to be prioritising someone's biology over their gender.

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mad_scientist

Tao, if you dont mind continually getting people's gender wrong, why does it matter whether you get the femme guy/butch girl's gender wrong in your example? Your method is, after all, the equivalent of getting their gender wrong and then refusing to change.

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Taokaka

As Ive said, its just how my brain processes things. Gender really isnt that big of a deal to me. To me, gender is like...say, skin tone. Everyone has one, but it dont necessarily affect who that person is. Its just a means of identification. Gender is part of the "what" description, not the "who" description. I dont know how to explain it. My brain just processes things differently. I tend to think logically and I like to organize my thoughts by categorizing people, places, things. When I go into describe mode, its easier to think in terms of what I can see and, well, describe. Its much harder to describe someone in terms of what they think or feel, because Im not in their head and dont know those things.

As Ive said before, Im not trying to sound ignorant or rude, and Im not trying to turn a blind eye to peoples feelings, this is just the way I think of the world.

As for your question William, I would probably refer to you as "a guy called William (or Will if you go by that)". If youre biologically male and introduce yourself to me as a man, Im going to call you a "him". :S

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mad_scientist

As for your question William, I would probably refer to you as "a guy called William (or Will if you go by that)". If youre biologically male and introduce yourself to me as a man, Im going to call you a "him". :S

I thought he was biofemale?

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Elliott Ford

As for your question William, I would probably refer to you as "a guy called William (or Will if you go by that)". If youre biologically male and introduce yourself to me as a man, Im going to call you a "him". :S

I thought he was biofemale?

I am. That's why I was asking.

Tao, you wouldn't be able to tell by looking at me but I have xx chromosones, ovaries, a uterus, a vagina and female-sized breasts. I look 110% male (because I am) but if we're classifying by biology then I'm a 46 XX individual with all the matching "female" organs still in place, all functioning. I'm introducing myself to you as a man because I am a man but if I admit all this about my body are you going to call me "she"? In every other possible respect, I am a man. I look like a man, I live and work as a man, everyone who knows me knows me as a man. Go ask my fiance or my girlfriends if I am a man and they will tell you that I am and that I always have been.

No trans woman I know (and I know many) would introduce herself as "a man wanting to be a woman". She would introduce herself as herself and just hope to whatever gods she might believe in that you didn't decide that she was a "he" based on what she looked like.

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Sammie

No trans woman I know (and I know many) would introduce herself as "a man wanting to be a woman". She would introduce herself as herself and just hope to whatever gods she might believe in that you didn't decide that she was a "he" based on what she looked like.

This is why I hate the phrase "I used to be a woman/man." Why don't people just settle for "I used to be female-bodied / male-bodied". That really says all there is to say, doesn't it?

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Display

Ask me this question every day, and every day you will get a different answer.

Sometimes it's "where the hell is my penis?"

Other times it's "I'm not a guy, I'm not a girl, I'm just Nika."

Rarely, but nevertheless occasionally (about once or twice a year) it's "I'm Nika and this flowing dress is just part of me." (Note: I do not disclose this to people who have a narrow sense of gender because they would never understand I feel male most of the time but just happen to like being a girl 2 days out of the year.)

In general I don't like to subscribe to norms and just like to be myself. I function better in society as male though, so I pick that for how I present and pronoun usage etc. In the end, my gender is fluid, and hovers mostly in the androgynous-to-male area.

Nika

Nika, I get where you're coming from. Have some :cake:

I really wish that "I'm Elliott" was enough of a definition for people but it feels like it never really has been. People want to know if I'm a boy or a girl; now I finally tell them the truth they don't want to believe it cos they thought they already knew. I'm a BOY and I always have been, no matter what I used to wear or what pronouns I used to be called by.. I was a boy then and I'm a boy now. I'm femme/androgynous and want to push the boundaries of what men can wear but people tell me that if I push boundaries like that then I can't "really" be male..

I'm just me. I want to function in life as a man but not exactly the same kind of man as other people might want to be. I want to be a drag queen when I grow up and dress up in beautiful dresses in a way that actually expresses how I feel not how I'm told to feel.

I want to just be myself. My Mum wants me to "Just be Elliott and forget about gender" by which she means "Don't change your pronoun! Don't transition! Please just be my daughter again!" but being myself is so incomplatible with living as female that I refuse to try living that way again.

Tell me about it. I live in a part of the country where it is common for people to tag a Miss or Mr. in front of people's names, and as much as I can appreciate the whole quaint feel, the whole gendered aspect drives me nuts. When people ask me if I'm a Miss or a Mr., what the hell do I say? Neither really fits me! I'd rather drop the whole thing (since I'm not really one for formality either) or if I had to choose some sort of title, I'd go for something gender neutral like Nika-san. Even worse is the fact that I am seldom asked, and it's usually decided based on either my appearance or my medical documentation. There are just so many situations where we're forced into the male box or the female box, and neither really fit entirely.

Another situation is on sites like Omegle when they go "ASL?" Um. I don't know! Because I can really relate to and converse comfortably with people of any sex or gender, but there are so many people that the second they find out you're male or female, will automatically disconnect, and the fact that my random checking the F or M box leads to their cutting me off annoys me, mostly because the rigid binary it represents. You haven't even talked to me, and yet just based on this one criterion--one I picked sort of randomly--you base all further communication.

Nika

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Skeleton key

I totally agree with you, Skeleton key. It's kind of like when you hear a woman say "I have to put on my face." We have to "put on a gender" and nothing feels right. Let's start a movement for androgynous gladrags, so genderless people can spiff up without gender-ing up.

I feel that way with anything highly gendered, it naturally repelled me in the past, but recently I have learned to use elements of either extreme to my benefit, or to adapt to a certain crowd or environment. As you say, an entirely unisex or androgynous/genderless store or clothing line would be amazing. I can draw and design them rather easily, I just need to get off my butt and learn how to sew, or pair up with a sewing guru. After musing on it for years, I thought life can be so boring when one ignores an entire half of possible clothing, customs and culture. So If you mix and match articles of clothing from both gender's departments, which many cisgender people already do, you suddenly get SO many more options and possible looks. Though I tend for understated relatively neutral looking things regardless of what section they come from. I envy some of those people who can put on clashing gender clothes and make it work so flawlessly (many models and musicians do this).

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Sammie

Tell me about it. I live in a part of the country where it is common for people to tag a Miss or Mr. in front of people's names, and as much as I can appreciate the whole quaint feel, the whole gendered aspect drives me nuts. When people ask me if I'm a Miss or a Mr., what the hell do I say? Neither really fits me!

There are a couple of conversations about this on Genderfork.com

Some of the best suggestions I've heared is to just say "O, Nika (or some other first name) will do."

or if you're in a position where you're so blatantly senior to the asker that first names just won't do, to introduce yourself as Doctor. It's gender neutral.

In both cases, you did not give the asker an answer about the female/male question.

If that person then blatantly asks "Yes, but are you male or female?", it's up to you whether you want to explain to them that you are not.

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CautiouslyOptimistic

I am neither male nor female, and yet I happen to be both.

On the outside there's no way anyone could ever mistake me for anything but female, but on the inside I would describe myself as a play-doh! I'm molded easily into different shapes and am often something that cannot be named. :D

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Nox

I've been feeling weirder and weirder about gender recently. Like what I'm portraying right now really doesn't fit me...

But I'm not sure what does fit. :huh:

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Godith

Gender is really annoying to me. I'm EXTREMELY masculine, but I'm attracted to guys. Sometimes I really wish I was a lesbian asexual, instead of a heteromantic one.

edit: being a butch would make finding a mate so much easier. you know how few straight girly guys there are?

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