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Laurann

AVEN glitch won't let me post a reply to a thread.

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Laurann

So I've been trying to reply to this thread for a good half an hour now:

And no matter how often I hit the 'submit reply' button, it's not posting anything. Reloading the page isn't helping. I can still post to other threads, just not this one. I'm not amazingly technically gifted, so I'm not sure if there's something I can reset? Like, would clearing a cache help or something? Would that also delete everything I've already written? (Would not appreciate that because it's long.)

 

As a last resort, if anyone could post what's in the the spoiler to that thread on my behalf, I guess that would work too. (I'm sorry, it's a lot, if you'd be so kind, please copy what's in all of those spoilers too ^^")

Edit: actually I guess posting a link to this thread in that thread would work just as well, no need to copy all of that text.

Spoiler

 

 

56 minutes ago, AnnIsAroAce said:

and by help i mean actual truths if possible, and not just a reassurance that its valid, as id prefer advice. thanks! 

XD I love this. I personally dislike it when people go all 'whatever you say is valid' on me too. Like, that gave me zero useful information.

 

56 minutes ago, AnnIsAroAce said:

i feel off and slightly uncomfortable if someone refers to me using my name and she/her pronouns and i do feel uncomfortable with my body sometimes,

This indicates that maybe there is slight dysphoria present, but with this:

 

56 minutes ago, AnnIsAroAce said:

but with that it seems to be practically nonexistent when i dont pay attention to it

if you can ignore it and make it go away, does it really matter? 

 

So we agree that gender identity is a spectrum, right? So there must be people who are juuust on the edge of being classified as nonbinary or not being classified as nonbinary. It's up to them what they want to call themselves.

 

In the end labels are still just words that we use to describe ourselves for a certain goal. Would the word nonbinary help you describe yourself to others? Then you can use it like that. But if your issues surrounding your gender are small enough that using the word nonbinary would give people the wrong impression, then you may choose not to.

 

Regardless of whether you end up using the word to describe yourself as nonbinary, you are allowed to change your name if you want to. You are allowed to bind your chest if that helps you feel better. You don't have to be nonbinary to do that. You could just wear sports bras if that is enough, or maybe layer two of them on top of each other if that's better. You are even allowed to use they/them pronouns regardless of how you identify.

 

And a standard NB/gender identity explanation bit meant to clear things up :) (ignore any snark you find in there, I originally wrote it to someone who believed there were only two genders. *sigh*) :

Spoiler

Transgender:

Denoting or relating to a person whose sense of personal identity and gender does not correspond with their birth sex.

 

There are a lot of different aspects to gender.

  • Gender roles/norms/expectations are unwritten rules society has for how men and women should behave. (Men can't wear make-up. Crying is for girls. Women shouldn't be too assertive.) These are not part of an individual's identity. They are part of a society's culture.
  • Gender expression is what your gender appears to be to other people. (Includes gendered things like clothing, colors, make-up, mannerisms, tone of voice, way of walking, gestures while talking, how intensely emotions are expressed etc)
  • Gender identity is a very complicated concept and it is the core of what we are talking about when we’re discussing trans issues. Before you can know what ‘transgender’ is, you need to know what ‘gender identity’ is. 

So there are two main theories on what 'gender identity' is.

 

First you've got the (in my opinion outdated) theory put forward by Judith Butler, Simone de Beauvoir and the like. They resist the idea that any aspect of gender identity can be innate. As de Beauvoir says "One isn't born a woman, one becomes a woman." This basically means that you feel like a woman because it's what you're used to. You behave like a woman because that's what's socially acceptable. In this view people act how they're supposed to act according to the gender roles in their culture. The constant repetition of doing what they're supposed to do gets etched into their brains and becomes their gender identity. For Butler and de Beauvoir, gender identity is the internalization of culturally imposed gender norms and expectations.

 

Then there's a newer theory about gender identity. This one builds on the first one and accepts it as partially correct, but asserts that gender identity is also partially innate. If it wasn't, then it would logically follow that trans people simply can’t exist, because your gender identity would entirely depend on what you were raised to be.

Joan Roughgarden, a transgender evolutionary biologist who wrote a whole book on the science of lgbt identities, is a proponent of this one. According to her, ‘gender identity’ is a deep-seated sense of self that's been established from the time you were born. In her book 'Evolution's Rainbow', she writes:

 

I envision gender identity as a cognitive lens. When a baby opens his or her eyes after birth and looks around, whom will the baby emulate and whom will he or she merely notice? Perhaps a male baby will emulate his father or other men, perhaps not, and a female baby her mother or other women, perhaps not. I imagine that a lens in the brain controls who to focus on as a “tutor.” Transgender identity is then the acceptance of a tutor from the opposite sex. Degrees of transgender identity, and of gender variance generally, reflect different degrees of single-mindedness in the selection of the tutor’s gender. The development of gender identity thus depends on both brain state and early postnatal experience, because brain state indicates what the lens is, and environmental experience supplies the image to be photographed through that lens and ultimately developed immutably into brain circuitry. Once gender identity is set, like other basic aspects of temperament, life proceeds from there.

 

So a cisgender female baby instinctively emulates women, a transgender baby with a female body instinctively emulates men, and a non-binary baby instinctively emulates both. Simple. 

 

The innate part of gender identity is the part that decides which of the two genders (or both or neither) you will instinctively emulate during your life. The behavior of that group of people then supplies you with the learned aspect of your gender identity. So the innate part tells you which gender(s) to imitate and the learned part is what kind of behavior you're actually imitating and internalizing.  

 

Gender identity as Roughgarden describes it, is a deep-seated, immutable sense of belonging or kinship to a gender (either to the social construct or to the group of people). A sense of "I belong with those people, or the other group, or maybe both or not really with either."

 

You can't change this sense of belonging by raising someone differently. There have been cases where a doctor made a mistake while circumcising a baby boy and then cut off the entire penis. For example, there’s David Reimer. That boy was raised as a girl instead, from birth, but still always felt like a boy. 

 

Gender identity is at least partially innate and biological, not just cultural, so the argument that your gender identity can't be anything but 'man' or 'woman' because that's the only two genders that exist in our culture is not applicable. Gender identity =/= gender as a social construct. Gender identity is to which degree you instinctively identify with those two culturally established genders.

 

Some brains are simply somewhere in between male and female. Some people feel a sense of belonging to both genders, and others to neither.

Spoiler

Wm1KqL3.png

 

My guess is agender people don't feel at home in either group, genderfluid babies could emulate their dad during some activities (like boxing) and their mom in other situations (like socializing), and neutrois people sort of feel stuck in between the two groups, but I don't know. The only way to know is to ask them. Our neurobiology science skills aren't advanced enough to read people's minds yet.

Gender Identity versus Gender Expression

Of course everyone has a feminine and a masculine side, but that's not what we're talking about here. For example, a man can be feminine, he can like wearing make-up and dresses, talk in a stereotypically feminine way, and still identify as a man. Is his feminine side a 'deep-seated sense of identity', 'a cognitive lens that determines which gender(s) a baby will emulate from the minute they're born'? I doubt it. I think it's gender expression, not gender identity. For a nonbinary person, that's different.

 

A nonbinary person is not someone who simply dislikes the gender role they're put into. A guy who likes to break gendered expectations by wearing dresses is a crossdresser, a drag queen or a gender-nonconforming person, not a nonbinary person. Those are terms for people who have non-standard gender expressions. A nonbinary person is a person who has this innate, deep-seated, unchangeable sense of belonging to both genders, or to neither. If their body or the social role people ascribe to them doesn't line up with their inner sense of what they are, this leads to dysphoria. Dysphoria is an integrally important sign of ‘transgenderness’.

 

Gender dysphoria is either a feeling of discomfort/distress with gendered aspects of your body (meaning you'd feel a need to change your body = transition) or a feeling of discomfort/distress because of what gender people perceive you to be (meaning you'd want to take steps in order to be perceived differently = transition).

 

Gender euphoria is the opposite of dysphoria, it's feeling extremely 'right' when you're seen by others as how you perceive yourself. Euphoria can also be the thing to clue people in on their gender identity, sometimes instead of dysphoria.

 

Gender expression includes gendered things like clothing, make-up, mannerisms, tone of voice, way of walking, gestures while talking etc.

The innate part of gender identity doesn't have anything to do with any of those things.

Are NB’s trans?

                                                                Trans people

                                                       ↙                                  ↘

                                    binary trans people                nonbinary trans people

They're all trans.

 

Nonbinary people can transition, so even if you were (in my opinion incorrectly) basing your definition of ‘transgender’ on whether or not transition is possible, you still wouldn’t have a reason to say NB’s aren’t trans. NB’s can transition medically (through hormone treatment and surgery) as well as socially. Social transition isn't easy. It should be taken seriously. http://gender.wikia.com/wiki/Social_Transition

 

An NB transitions for the same reasons a binary trans person transitions, in order to have their body reflect their inner selves more, and in order to be perceived differently. It's true that in this culture NB's won't 'pass' as their true gender, because not enough people know that nonbinary identities exist, so they won't automatically recognize someone as 'Oh, that person doesn't look quite male or female, they're probably nonbinary,' as they would (most of the time) correctly recognize a woman to be a woman and a man to be a man. However, that's a problem with our culture, not with nonbinary people.

 

'Binary trans' and 'nonbinary trans' are two different types of being trans. If individual nonbinary people don’t identify as trans, then there's probably a personal story for why they don't, or maybe they just aren’t aware that nb’s are trans, or maybe they’ve made the common mistake to confuse gender expression with gender identity and they’re actually gender-nonconforming. You won't know until you ask them.

 

NB's not identifying as trans is kind of like black feminists not identifying as feminists. Some black feminists don't identify as feminists because they don't feel represented by white feminism. They feel white feminists aren't committed enough to ending all forms of oppression, instead of just to ending sexism. I believe they call themselves womanists. They're feminists, but refuse to identify as such for personal or political reasons.

 

That's what it's like with nb's too. They're trans, but some refuse to identify as trans for personal or political reasons. These reasons are very diverse. For example, indigenous folks don't conceptualize their genders in the same way western societies do. It's not as medicalized or othered. Personally I could understand why they'd rather identify with the concepts they had before ours came along.

 

I also noticed your status update, and instead of replying to that one, I'll copy paste another bit written a while ago (I'm sorry for copy pasting, it's because I really dislike retyping something I've already typed. I take forever to find the right words for things, so when I find them, I don't want to do it all over again.)

 

Spoiler

To me being agender isn't feeling like you don't, or barely, have a gender identity, as in 'I don't care about gender, and I don't really feel like a man or a woman so I guess I'm agender,'  and it's also not simply a dislike of gender roles (who on earth likes gender roles? I mean, they're restrictive, and nobody likes being restricted.) Rather, it's a 'negative' gender identity, as in 'I have a very strong feeling of not being a man and not being a woman.'

 

This feeling is strong enough to give me heaps of both body and social dysphoria ever since I started growing boobs at the age of ten. I was convinced they were tumors and made my parents take me to the doctor for it, and after they'd become larger I wore sweaters every day for over two years, even when I could barely take the heat in summer, just to cover them up. I also didn't wear bras, because wearing those meant admitting that my boobs existed, which wasn't something I was willing to do. (To this day I can't go shopping for bras without tearing up). These. Things. Should. Not. Be. On. My. Body.) At the time I didn't understand why I felt this way, but I knew something was very wrong. I saw a documentary about people with some sort of dysmorphia disorder which made them want to cut off their own arms or legs because they didn't feel like they should be there and I thought I had that, except with boobs. (I have always felt like my boobs are just like lego-blocks attached to my real chest underneath, so even though I logically knew that was nonsense, I've still tried to just plop them off more times than I can count, including one painful but ultimately unsuccessful episode involving a pair of kitchen scissors). My parents made some negative comments about those people in the documentary so I kept silent.

 

This feeling is strong enough to make me feel like I don't really belong either with women or with men, because I don't intuitively understand girltalk or guytalk like I should if I was a girl or a guy. It's a fundamentally alienating experience. Ever since I was eleven I made a point out of it to dislike all that was girly and all that was boy'y (why is that not a word?). That wasn't a conscious decision I made, I just suddenly started hating all of that gendered stuff with a passion, even if I'd loved it before. I guess it was my way of distancing myself from both womanhood and manhood and telling the world not to categorize me as 'girl' or as 'boy' without actually having the vocabulary to do so. Being called a 'girl' or a 'lady' has upset me for as long as I can remember (for some reason 'sister' is fine ¯\_()_/¯).  It's sad because I lost a lot of the things I used to like this way. I loved pink, but it's been banished out of my life. I used to adore swimming and the underwater world is still my favorite place to be, but wearing bathing suits in front of people is just about the worst thing I can imagine.

 

The feeling is strong enough for me to not recognize myself in the mirror. I would look in the mirror and think "Who even is that? Shit is that what I look like?!" I've gotten better in the last couple of years, but when I was younger I used to think that I mistakenly lived in someone else's body. I knew it didn't make sense, but I caught myself thinking things like "If the girl who's actually supposed to inhabit this body saw how much I neglected it she'd be pissed!" (because obviously make-up and morning routines were not my thing) I don't tend to have that feeling anymore, thank gosh I recognize my face as my own now, but I still feel a huge disconnect with my body. It's uncomfortable. I wish I could take it off like a piece of clothing, and just exist without it. I want to be able to bike to the train station without constantly thinking of how people see me, without making myself as small and inconspicuous as possible in order to pass unnoticed. I want to stop feeling sick to my stomach whenever I feel my body move in ways it shouldn't be able to according to my inner sense of self whenever I hit a bump in the road. Quite literally, every pothole in the road is a source of dysphoria for me.

 

Most examples of dysphoria and 'feeling agender' will probably sound petty to most people, and I guess they are, but the thing is, they happen every day, all day long, and that builds up. In the end every little thing hurts. The metaphor I've used to describe this is that every little everyday gendered interaction is like a tiny rock that hits my body. By now my bruises have bruises and every new little thing hits a sore spot. It makes me want to lock myself in my room, close the blinds and crawl under the blankets. Being agender makes me feel helpless because I don't feel there's anything I can do to make the world see me the right way. People will always see me as male or female, no matter what I do, and I don't feel like have the right to get angry about that, or even to feel hurt by that, because it's not their fault, they mean well, they didn't know and they couldn't possibly know. Telling them will just open me up to more rocks thrown my way as they inevitably fail to understand, which I also cannot blame them for. It's a whole lot of hurt that nobody is to blame for. Anything I could do to improve my situation would be interpreted as 'militant' or 'pushy' or 'Oh her again, talking about trans people, we get it by now!' so now I mostly just shut up and take whatever comes at me. I'm sure that's not the best strategy, but I'm clean out of options.

 

At age 16 I started pulling myself out of what I think was probably a depression I'd had since I was 11 (yes, that's the same time at which my dysphoria began, but I also started going to a different school at that time, so I'm not sure what caused it.) and at that point I started actively copying girls because I wanted to finally fit in. Being myself hadn't worked out, so I started living by the motto 'fake it 'till you make it'. Well I faked the hell out of it and successfully developed feminine mannerisms that I now can't get rid of anymore, and it worked! People bought it!

 

I did this until I was about 20 - 21, at which point I had started to feel like I didn't even know who I was anymore because I hadn't acted like myself for so long. I felt like I'd lost my ability to be myself and I didn't know how to fix it, or if I even should, because being myself had never worked out for me anyway. At that point I had been questioning my gender for about a year and I'd given myself the label 'demigirl' (even though identifying myself with something that ended in 'girl' made me want to puke), because I knew I had feminine mannerisms/ ways of talking so I didn't feel justified in claiming a label that said I wasn't feminine at all. Realizing that acting like a girl had been just that, ácting like a girl, freed me up to finally feel justified in taking up the label I had actually, secretly in the back of my mind, been identifying with most closely, 'agender.' And I added AFAB (assigned female at birth) in to let people know that I've been raised/socialized as a girl, because that's what feels most fair to me. That's me.

 

The moment in which I finally allowed myself to say 'I am agender' (to myself) was such a powerful moment that I can't even describe it. I cried and wanted to scream with joy and I could barely contain myself. I guess that's what gender euphoria (opposite of gender dysphoria) feels like. It just felt extremely right. It was a eureka moment for a problem I hadn't been able to solve for over a decade.

 

I am now 23 and still not out of the woods. I'm not out to anyone but my sister and a handful of close friends. Being called 'she' feels as alien to me as 'he' or 'they', to the point that I don't know which I prefer so I've pretty much just given up on the pronoun issue. Call me anything. Whatever.

I know I want these things that are attached to my chest removed, but I also know that gender therapists will probably interrogate the heck out of me to prove I'm trans enough to get that treatment, and I know I'll get tons of shit from the 'I identify as an attack helicopter'-crowd if I do get it and I'm just not ready for any of that.

One point of light is that my Chinese name (I major in Chinese and am called by my Chinese name more often than my real name) is gender neutral and I am loving it to bits. I wish I could use that name all the time, but since it's Chinese and hard to pronounce that's a bit much to ask (Laurann is an approximation of that name, but that's still too feminine for my liking), and as long as I get to be in Chinese class it's good enough for now. We'll see what happens after I graduate from my master's program. It's scary, but I guess I can't hide from the real world forever.

 

I am now 24, out to my parents, on a waiting list for the gender team, can’t live without binders, have taken a liking to they/them, and am generally less defeatist, but still pretty shit-scared :) 

 

That's just my experience though. I hope it helps, but be aware that it will not map right on to yours. 

 

 

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firewallflower

Huh, that's very odd. What precisely happens when you hit the "Submit Reply" button? (Error message, spinning wheel, simply nothing happens, it appears to post but isn't there when you reload the page, etc.) If you have access to another browser or device, does the same thing happen there? Have you tried posting something different/shorter and then editing your comment to insert your full reply, in case the problem is with the content itself (I hear tell there is an AVEN character limit, but don't know what it is—could that possibly be related, given the amount of text??).

 

I really have no idea what's going on here, but clearing your cache and cookies is usually a good place to start—if nothing else, if it doesn't work you can rule that out as the problem and go from there. Before taking any such action, I would first copy and paste anything you wrote that you don't want to lose so you have it saved (since you already have it inserted in this thread, that should work?), as clearing cookies, etc. is indeed likely to erase anything that's been saved by your computer but not on the server itself.

 

If you'd like, I'd be happy to give a go at posting the reply for you—that way we can also find out if it works for me (in which case it seems safe to assume whatever is going on is something in AVEN, as opposed to a glitch on your end). :)

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Skycaptain

@Laurann, I'll raise this issue with the tech team. I've just tested and a post was accepted. Have you tried logging off and starting again? 

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Laurann
Just now, firewallflower said:

What precisely happens when you hit the "Submit Reply" button?

When I hit the submit reply button, the button turns a lighter color purple, gets a spinning wheel and says 'saving', and then quickly turns back and nothing has happened. It leaves me still in editing mode.

 

1 minute ago, firewallflower said:

If you have access to another browser or device, does the same thing happen there?

Haven't tried yet. I would have to install a billion firefox updates first. I might go do that and be back in half an hour though if it's necessary.

 

2 minutes ago, firewallflower said:

Have you tried posting something different/shorter and then editing your comment to insert your full reply, in case the problem is with the content itself (I hear tell there is an AVEN character limit—possibly that could be related??).

Well, I've included the full post here, so the op in this thread is longer, so it can't really be a character limit issue. Everything seems to be working fine in this thread, and I've posted the exact same content.

I have tried editing the post, but I got the same result.

 

3 minutes ago, firewallflower said:

clearing your cache and cookies is usually a good place to start—if nothing else, if it doesn't work you can rule that out as the problem and go from there. Before taking any such action, I would first copy and paste anything you wrote that you don't want to lose so you have it saved (since you already have it inserted in this thread, that should work?), as clearing cookies, etc. is indeed likely to erase anything that's been saved by your computer but not on the server itself.

The thing is, I'm hesitant to do that, because I think it also deletes passwords that my browser remembers for me, right? Not too thrilled about that, have to admit. If it's just the one thread that's the issue, as it seems to be, then I'd rather try everything else first.

 

5 minutes ago, firewallflower said:

If you'd like, I'd be happy to give a go at posting the reply for you—that way we can also find out if it works for me (in which case it seems safe to assume whatever i going on is something in AVEN, as opposed to a glitch on your end). :)

That would be great! Thank you!

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RosePhoenix

Idk whats up with that, thats weird. I was able to post link to this thread there for ya

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firewallflower
12 minutes ago, Laurann said:

That would be great! Thank you!

I tried to post the response just now and encountered the same problem (exactly as you describe: spinning wheel, brief "saving" indication, then turns back without posting), so whatever the issue, it's not just you. I then copied the whole thing and attempted to post it in response to this thread, just as a test, and the same thing happened—meaning it's not the specific thread either. So it does seem like this must be something or other to do with the post content itself...

 

Regarding the character limit hypothesis (not that I have anything specific to support the hypothesis; it's just the only halfway-plausible explanation I've been able to come up with so far), could there be a different limit for initial topics vs. replies? Because whatever is going on, somehow it didn't get flagged when you created this thread but can't get through when we try to reply to existing threads.

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Laurann
3 minutes ago, firewallflower said:

I tried to post the response just now and encountered the same problem (exactly as you describe: spinning wheel, brief "saving" indication, then turns back without posting), so whatever the issue, it's not just you. I then copied the whole thing and attempted to post it in response to this thread, just as a test, and the same thing happened—meaning it's not the specific thread either. So it does seem like this must be something or other to do with the post content itself...

Thanks! That's massively helpful in figuring out what's causing this. Firefox did let me post to that thread by the way, so yeah, it's not the thread, it's something about the content. Putting the same content in a spoiler somehow made it okay again though, at least for the op in this thread.

 

I've definitely made far longer reply posts than the one that gave me issues (it's something I do, I'm sorry), so I really don't think that's it.

 

I actually edited in the second spoiler after the submit reply button started giving me issues, so the issue with the content has to be within the first half of the post.

 

Maybe the image? Though I've posted that one countless times.. I don't get it. I post that exact same content to different threads often. That's why I called it my 'standard explanation bit.'

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Laurann

Wait, what if AVEN marked it as spam because I've posted that explanation probably dozens of times over the years?

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Janus DarkFox

Worked for me... is there anything strange in the source code of that reply? I don't see anything wrong at a glance to me  This is quite a curious case.

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firewallflower

[TEST BELOW, COPIED FROM ABOVE]

2 hours ago, AnnIsAroAce said:

and by help i mean actual truths if possible, and not just a reassurance that its valid, as id prefer advice. thanks! 

XD I love this. I personally dislike it when people go all 'whatever you say is valid' on me too. Like, that gave me zero useful information.

 

2 hours ago, AnnIsAroAce said:

i feel off and slightly uncomfortable if someone refers to me using my name and she/her pronouns and i do feel uncomfortable with my body sometimes,

This indicates that maybe there is slight dysphoria present, but with this:

 

2 hours ago, AnnIsAroAce said:

but with that it seems to be practically nonexistent when i dont pay attention to it

if you can ignore it and make it go away, does it really matter? 

 

So we agree that gender identity is a spectrum, right? So there must be people who are juuust on the edge of being classified as nonbinary or not being classified as nonbinary. It's up to them what they want to call themselves.

 

In the end labels are still just words that we use to describe ourselves for a certain goal. Would the word nonbinary help you describe yourself to others? Then you can use it like that. But if your issues surrounding your gender are small enough that using the word nonbinary would give people the wrong impression, then you may choose not to.

 

Regardless of whether you end up using the word to describe yourself as nonbinary, you are allowed to change your name if you want to. You are allowed to bind your chest if that helps you feel better. You don't have to be nonbinary to do that. You could just wear sports bras if that is enough, or maybe layer two of them on top of each other if that's better. You are even allowed to use they/them pronouns regardless of how you identify.

 

And a standard NB/gender identity explanation bit meant to clear things up :) (ignore any snark you find in there, I originally wrote it to someone who believed there were only two genders. *sigh*) :

 

Spoiler

Transgender:

Denoting or relating to a person whose sense of personal identity and gender does not correspond with their birth sex.

 

There are a lot of different aspects to gender.

  • Gender roles/norms/expectations are unwritten rules society has for how men and women should behave. (Men can't wear make-up. Crying is for girls. Women shouldn't be too assertive.) These are not part of an individual's identity. They are part of a society's culture.
  • Gender expression is what your gender appears to be to other people. (Includes gendered things like clothing, colors, make-up, mannerisms, tone of voice, way of walking, gestures while talking, how intensely emotions are expressed etc)
  • Gender identity is a very complicated concept and it is the core of what we are talking about when we’re discussing trans issues. Before you can know what ‘transgender’ is, you need to know what ‘gender identity’ is. 

So there are two main theories on what 'gender identity' is.

 

First you've got the (in my opinion outdated) theory put forward by Judith Butler, Simone de Beauvoir and the like. They resist the idea that any aspect of gender identity can be innate. As de Beauvoir says "One isn't born a woman, one becomes a woman." This basically means that you feel like a woman because it's what you're used to. You behave like a woman because that's what's socially acceptable. In this view people act how they're supposed to act according to the gender roles in their culture. The constant repetition of doing what they're supposed to do gets etched into their brains and becomes their gender identity. For Butler and de Beauvoir, gender identity is the internalization of culturally imposed gender norms and expectations.

 

Then there's a newer theory about gender identity. This one builds on the first one and accepts it as partially correct, but asserts that gender identity is also partially innate. If it wasn't, then it would logically follow that trans people simply can’t exist, because your gender identity would entirely depend on what you were raised to be.

Joan Roughgarden, a transgender evolutionary biologist who wrote a whole book on the science of lgbt identities, is a proponent of this one. According to her, ‘gender identity’ is a deep-seated sense of self that's been established from the time you were born. In her book 'Evolution's Rainbow', she writes:

 

I envision gender identity as a cognitive lens. When a baby opens his or her eyes after birth and looks around, whom will the baby emulate and whom will he or she merely notice? Perhaps a male baby will emulate his father or other men, perhaps not, and a female baby her mother or other women, perhaps not. I imagine that a lens in the brain controls who to focus on as a “tutor.” Transgender identity is then the acceptance of a tutor from the opposite sex. Degrees of transgender identity, and of gender variance generally, reflect different degrees of single-mindedness in the selection of the tutor’s gender. The development of gender identity thus depends on both brain state and early postnatal experience, because brain state indicates what the lens is, and environmental experience supplies the image to be photographed through that lens and ultimately developed immutably into brain circuitry. Once gender identity is set, like other basic aspects of temperament, life proceeds from there.

 

So a cisgender female baby instinctively emulates women, a transgender baby with a female body instinctively emulates men, and a non-binary baby instinctively emulates both. Simple. 

 

The innate part of gender identity is the part that decides which of the two genders (or both or neither) you will instinctively emulate during your life. The behavior of that group of people then supplies you with the learned aspect of your gender identity. So the innate part tells you which gender(s) to imitate and the learned part is what kind of behavior you're actually imitating and internalizing.  

 

Gender identity as Roughgarden describes it, is a deep-seated, immutable sense of belonging or kinship to a gender (either to the social construct or to the group of people). A sense of "I belong with those people, or the other group, or maybe both or not really with either."

 

You can't change this sense of belonging by raising someone differently. There have been cases where a doctor made a mistake while circumcising a baby boy and then cut off the entire penis. For example, there’s David Reimer. That boy was raised as a girl instead, from birth, but still always felt like a boy. 

 

Gender identity is at least partially innate and biological, not just cultural, so the argument that your gender identity can't be anything but 'man' or 'woman' because that's the only two genders that exist in our culture is not applicable. Gender identity =/= gender as a social construct. Gender identity is to which degree you instinctively identify with those two culturally established genders.

 

Some brains are simply somewhere in between male and female. Some people feel a sense of belonging to both genders, and others to neither.

Spoiler

Wm1KqL3.png

 

My guess is agender people don't feel at home in either group, genderfluid babies could emulate their dad during some activities (like boxing) and their mom in other situations (like socializing), and neutrois people sort of feel stuck in between the two groups, but I don't know. The only way to know is to ask them. Our neurobiology science skills aren't advanced enough to read people's minds yet.

Gender Identity versus Gender Expression

 

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Janus DarkFox
3 minutes ago, Laurann said:

Wait, what if AVEN marked it as spam because I've posted that explanation probably dozens of times over the years?

Nah if that was true, I've 'spammed' AVEN over 8000 times already 😛

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Veezle

I've just had the same issue when trying to reply to the "songs that make you happy" thread. 😕

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firewallflower

I've spent the past many minutes copy/pasting parts of your response into my post above (my apologies for interfering with the flow of replies there), and right now it seems I can't add anything past (or before) the "Gender Identity versus Gender Expression" heading without the attempt to "save" glitching out on me. I really have no idea what's going on, but in case that piece of information is helpful to anyone troubleshooting, well, there it is. Sorry I can't help!

 

Edit: To add another bewildering discovery, when I tried to click "Edit" and then "Save" on the test post above (without having made any actual changes), that worked. BUT when I tried to do the same thing, but checked the "Show that the message has been edited" box—when I did that, it wouldn't process. Tried again, same thing. I don't know where this falls into the puzzle that is this glitch, but just FYI.

So yeah, officially mystified.

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CBC
1 hour ago, Veezle said:

I've just had the same issue when trying to reply to the "songs that make you happy" thread. 😕

If you were trying to post a YouTube video... SAME. Actually this happens to me in the "What are you listening to?" thread all the time. The button turns a light purple and it does nothing. I've found (since I'm always on my phone) that if I zoom in on the screen and then zoom out again and then hit "Submit Reply" again, it works. Like, always. I don't know what sort of glitch that is haha, but.

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FaerieFate

Try clearing your cache and cookies on your browser. Sounds like a glitch that happens when cache tries to pull up an unfinished post for a thread. 

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Veezle
6 hours ago, CBC said:

If you were trying to post a YouTube video... SAME. Actually this happens to me in the "What are you listening to?" thread all the time. The button turns a light purple and it does nothing. I've found (since I'm always on my phone) that if I zoom in on the screen and then zoom out again and then hit "Submit Reply" again, it works. Like, always. I don't know what sort of glitch that is haha, but.

It was actually just text on desktop, but yep, same purple button doing nothing. I'll keep that in mind next time I go mobile, though!

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AnnIsAroAce
8 hours ago, Laurann said:

So I've been trying to reply to this thread for a good half an hour now:

And no matter how often I hit the 'submit reply' button, it's not posting anything. Reloading the page isn't helping. I can still post to other threads, just not this one. I'm not amazingly technically gifted, so I'm not sure if there's something I can reset? Like, would clearing a cache help or something? Would that also delete everything I've already written? (Would not appreciate that because it's long.)

 

As a last resort, if anyone could post what's in the the spoiler to that thread on my behalf, I guess that would work too. (I'm sorry, it's a lot, if you'd be so kind, please copy what's in all of those spoilers too ^^")

Edit: actually I guess posting a link to this thread in that thread would work just as well, no need to copy all of that text.

  Hide contents

 

 

XD I love this. I personally dislike it when people go all 'whatever you say is valid' on me too. Like, that gave me zero useful information.

 

This indicates that maybe there is slight dysphoria present, but with this:

 

if you can ignore it and make it go away, does it really matter? 

 

So we agree that gender identity is a spectrum, right? So there must be people who are juuust on the edge of being classified as nonbinary or not being classified as nonbinary. It's up to them what they want to call themselves.

 

In the end labels are still just words that we use to describe ourselves for a certain goal. Would the word nonbinary help you describe yourself to others? Then you can use it like that. But if your issues surrounding your gender are small enough that using the word nonbinary would give people the wrong impression, then you may choose not to.

 

Regardless of whether you end up using the word to describe yourself as nonbinary, you are allowed to change your name if you want to. You are allowed to bind your chest if that helps you feel better. You don't have to be nonbinary to do that. You could just wear sports bras if that is enough, or maybe layer two of them on top of each other if that's better. You are even allowed to use they/them pronouns regardless of how you identify.

 

And a standard NB/gender identity explanation bit meant to clear things up :) (ignore any snark you find in there, I originally wrote it to someone who believed there were only two genders. *sigh*) :

  Reveal hidden contents

Transgender:

Denoting or relating to a person whose sense of personal identity and gender does not correspond with their birth sex.

 

There are a lot of different aspects to gender.

  • Gender roles/norms/expectations are unwritten rules society has for how men and women should behave. (Men can't wear make-up. Crying is for girls. Women shouldn't be too assertive.) These are not part of an individual's identity. They are part of a society's culture.
  • Gender expression is what your gender appears to be to other people. (Includes gendered things like clothing, colors, make-up, mannerisms, tone of voice, way of walking, gestures while talking, how intensely emotions are expressed etc)
  • Gender identity is a very complicated concept and it is the core of what we are talking about when we’re discussing trans issues. Before you can know what ‘transgender’ is, you need to know what ‘gender identity’ is. 

So there are two main theories on what 'gender identity' is.

 

First you've got the (in my opinion outdated) theory put forward by Judith Butler, Simone de Beauvoir and the like. They resist the idea that any aspect of gender identity can be innate. As de Beauvoir says "One isn't born a woman, one becomes a woman." This basically means that you feel like a woman because it's what you're used to. You behave like a woman because that's what's socially acceptable. In this view people act how they're supposed to act according to the gender roles in their culture. The constant repetition of doing what they're supposed to do gets etched into their brains and becomes their gender identity. For Butler and de Beauvoir, gender identity is the internalization of culturally imposed gender norms and expectations.

 

Then there's a newer theory about gender identity. This one builds on the first one and accepts it as partially correct, but asserts that gender identity is also partially innate. If it wasn't, then it would logically follow that trans people simply can’t exist, because your gender identity would entirely depend on what you were raised to be.

Joan Roughgarden, a transgender evolutionary biologist who wrote a whole book on the science of lgbt identities, is a proponent of this one. According to her, ‘gender identity’ is a deep-seated sense of self that's been established from the time you were born. In her book 'Evolution's Rainbow', she writes:

 

I envision gender identity as a cognitive lens. When a baby opens his or her eyes after birth and looks around, whom will the baby emulate and whom will he or she merely notice? Perhaps a male baby will emulate his father or other men, perhaps not, and a female baby her mother or other women, perhaps not. I imagine that a lens in the brain controls who to focus on as a “tutor.” Transgender identity is then the acceptance of a tutor from the opposite sex. Degrees of transgender identity, and of gender variance generally, reflect different degrees of single-mindedness in the selection of the tutor’s gender. The development of gender identity thus depends on both brain state and early postnatal experience, because brain state indicates what the lens is, and environmental experience supplies the image to be photographed through that lens and ultimately developed immutably into brain circuitry. Once gender identity is set, like other basic aspects of temperament, life proceeds from there.

 

So a cisgender female baby instinctively emulates women, a transgender baby with a female body instinctively emulates men, and a non-binary baby instinctively emulates both. Simple. 

 

The innate part of gender identity is the part that decides which of the two genders (or both or neither) you will instinctively emulate during your life. The behavior of that group of people then supplies you with the learned aspect of your gender identity. So the innate part tells you which gender(s) to imitate and the learned part is what kind of behavior you're actually imitating and internalizing.  

 

Gender identity as Roughgarden describes it, is a deep-seated, immutable sense of belonging or kinship to a gender (either to the social construct or to the group of people). A sense of "I belong with those people, or the other group, or maybe both or not really with either."

 

You can't change this sense of belonging by raising someone differently. There have been cases where a doctor made a mistake while circumcising a baby boy and then cut off the entire penis. For example, there’s David Reimer. That boy was raised as a girl instead, from birth, but still always felt like a boy. 

 

Gender identity is at least partially innate and biological, not just cultural, so the argument that your gender identity can't be anything but 'man' or 'woman' because that's the only two genders that exist in our culture is not applicable. Gender identity =/= gender as a social construct. Gender identity is to which degree you instinctively identify with those two culturally established genders.

 

Some brains are simply somewhere in between male and female. Some people feel a sense of belonging to both genders, and others to neither.

  Reveal hidden contents

Wm1KqL3.png

 

My guess is agender people don't feel at home in either group, genderfluid babies could emulate their dad during some activities (like boxing) and their mom in other situations (like socializing), and neutrois people sort of feel stuck in between the two groups, but I don't know. The only way to know is to ask them. Our neurobiology science skills aren't advanced enough to read people's minds yet.

Gender Identity versus Gender Expression

Of course everyone has a feminine and a masculine side, but that's not what we're talking about here. For example, a man can be feminine, he can like wearing make-up and dresses, talk in a stereotypically feminine way, and still identify as a man. Is his feminine side a 'deep-seated sense of identity', 'a cognitive lens that determines which gender(s) a baby will emulate from the minute they're born'? I doubt it. I think it's gender expression, not gender identity. For a nonbinary person, that's different.

 

A nonbinary person is not someone who simply dislikes the gender role they're put into. A guy who likes to break gendered expectations by wearing dresses is a crossdresser, a drag queen or a gender-nonconforming person, not a nonbinary person. Those are terms for people who have non-standard gender expressions. A nonbinary person is a person who has this innate, deep-seated, unchangeable sense of belonging to both genders, or to neither. If their body or the social role people ascribe to them doesn't line up with their inner sense of what they are, this leads to dysphoria. Dysphoria is an integrally important sign of ‘transgenderness’.

 

Gender dysphoria is either a feeling of discomfort/distress with gendered aspects of your body (meaning you'd feel a need to change your body = transition) or a feeling of discomfort/distress because of what gender people perceive you to be (meaning you'd want to take steps in order to be perceived differently = transition).

 

Gender euphoria is the opposite of dysphoria, it's feeling extremely 'right' when you're seen by others as how you perceive yourself. Euphoria can also be the thing to clue people in on their gender identity, sometimes instead of dysphoria.

 

Gender expression includes gendered things like clothing, make-up, mannerisms, tone of voice, way of walking, gestures while talking etc.

The innate part of gender identity doesn't have anything to do with any of those things.

Are NB’s trans?

                                                                Trans people

                                                       ↙                                  ↘

                                    binary trans people                nonbinary trans people

They're all trans.

 

Nonbinary people can transition, so even if you were (in my opinion incorrectly) basing your definition of ‘transgender’ on whether or not transition is possible, you still wouldn’t have a reason to say NB’s aren’t trans. NB’s can transition medically (through hormone treatment and surgery) as well as socially. Social transition isn't easy. It should be taken seriously. http://gender.wikia.com/wiki/Social_Transition

 

An NB transitions for the same reasons a binary trans person transitions, in order to have their body reflect their inner selves more, and in order to be perceived differently. It's true that in this culture NB's won't 'pass' as their true gender, because not enough people know that nonbinary identities exist, so they won't automatically recognize someone as 'Oh, that person doesn't look quite male or female, they're probably nonbinary,' as they would (most of the time) correctly recognize a woman to be a woman and a man to be a man. However, that's a problem with our culture, not with nonbinary people.

 

'Binary trans' and 'nonbinary trans' are two different types of being trans. If individual nonbinary people don’t identify as trans, then there's probably a personal story for why they don't, or maybe they just aren’t aware that nb’s are trans, or maybe they’ve made the common mistake to confuse gender expression with gender identity and they’re actually gender-nonconforming. You won't know until you ask them.

 

NB's not identifying as trans is kind of like black feminists not identifying as feminists. Some black feminists don't identify as feminists because they don't feel represented by white feminism. They feel white feminists aren't committed enough to ending all forms of oppression, instead of just to ending sexism. I believe they call themselves womanists. They're feminists, but refuse to identify as such for personal or political reasons.

 

That's what it's like with nb's too. They're trans, but some refuse to identify as trans for personal or political reasons. These reasons are very diverse. For example, indigenous folks don't conceptualize their genders in the same way western societies do. It's not as medicalized or othered. Personally I could understand why they'd rather identify with the concepts they had before ours came along.

 

I also noticed your status update, and instead of replying to that one, I'll copy paste another bit written a while ago (I'm sorry for copy pasting, it's because I really dislike retyping something I've already typed. I take forever to find the right words for things, so when I find them, I don't want to do it all over again.)

 

  Reveal hidden contents

To me being agender isn't feeling like you don't, or barely, have a gender identity, as in 'I don't care about gender, and I don't really feel like a man or a woman so I guess I'm agender,'  and it's also not simply a dislike of gender roles (who on earth likes gender roles? I mean, they're restrictive, and nobody likes being restricted.) Rather, it's a 'negative' gender identity, as in 'I have a very strong feeling of not being a man and not being a woman.'

 

This feeling is strong enough to give me heaps of both body and social dysphoria ever since I started growing boobs at the age of ten. I was convinced they were tumors and made my parents take me to the doctor for it, and after they'd become larger I wore sweaters every day for over two years, even when I could barely take the heat in summer, just to cover them up. I also didn't wear bras, because wearing those meant admitting that my boobs existed, which wasn't something I was willing to do. (To this day I can't go shopping for bras without tearing up). These. Things. Should. Not. Be. On. My. Body.) At the time I didn't understand why I felt this way, but I knew something was very wrong. I saw a documentary about people with some sort of dysmorphia disorder which made them want to cut off their own arms or legs because they didn't feel like they should be there and I thought I had that, except with boobs. (I have always felt like my boobs are just like lego-blocks attached to my real chest underneath, so even though I logically knew that was nonsense, I've still tried to just plop them off more times than I can count, including one painful but ultimately unsuccessful episode involving a pair of kitchen scissors). My parents made some negative comments about those people in the documentary so I kept silent.

 

This feeling is strong enough to make me feel like I don't really belong either with women or with men, because I don't intuitively understand girltalk or guytalk like I should if I was a girl or a guy. It's a fundamentally alienating experience. Ever since I was eleven I made a point out of it to dislike all that was girly and all that was boy'y (why is that not a word?). That wasn't a conscious decision I made, I just suddenly started hating all of that gendered stuff with a passion, even if I'd loved it before. I guess it was my way of distancing myself from both womanhood and manhood and telling the world not to categorize me as 'girl' or as 'boy' without actually having the vocabulary to do so. Being called a 'girl' or a 'lady' has upset me for as long as I can remember (for some reason 'sister' is fine ¯\_()_/¯).  It's sad because I lost a lot of the things I used to like this way. I loved pink, but it's been banished out of my life. I used to adore swimming and the underwater world is still my favorite place to be, but wearing bathing suits in front of people is just about the worst thing I can imagine.

 

The feeling is strong enough for me to not recognize myself in the mirror. I would look in the mirror and think "Who even is that? Shit is that what I look like?!" I've gotten better in the last couple of years, but when I was younger I used to think that I mistakenly lived in someone else's body. I knew it didn't make sense, but I caught myself thinking things like "If the girl who's actually supposed to inhabit this body saw how much I neglected it she'd be pissed!" (because obviously make-up and morning routines were not my thing) I don't tend to have that feeling anymore, thank gosh I recognize my face as my own now, but I still feel a huge disconnect with my body. It's uncomfortable. I wish I could take it off like a piece of clothing, and just exist without it. I want to be able to bike to the train station without constantly thinking of how people see me, without making myself as small and inconspicuous as possible in order to pass unnoticed. I want to stop feeling sick to my stomach whenever I feel my body move in ways it shouldn't be able to according to my inner sense of self whenever I hit a bump in the road. Quite literally, every pothole in the road is a source of dysphoria for me.

 

Most examples of dysphoria and 'feeling agender' will probably sound petty to most people, and I guess they are, but the thing is, they happen every day, all day long, and that builds up. In the end every little thing hurts. The metaphor I've used to describe this is that every little everyday gendered interaction is like a tiny rock that hits my body. By now my bruises have bruises and every new little thing hits a sore spot. It makes me want to lock myself in my room, close the blinds and crawl under the blankets. Being agender makes me feel helpless because I don't feel there's anything I can do to make the world see me the right way. People will always see me as male or female, no matter what I do, and I don't feel like have the right to get angry about that, or even to feel hurt by that, because it's not their fault, they mean well, they didn't know and they couldn't possibly know. Telling them will just open me up to more rocks thrown my way as they inevitably fail to understand, which I also cannot blame them for. It's a whole lot of hurt that nobody is to blame for. Anything I could do to improve my situation would be interpreted as 'militant' or 'pushy' or 'Oh her again, talking about trans people, we get it by now!' so now I mostly just shut up and take whatever comes at me. I'm sure that's not the best strategy, but I'm clean out of options.

 

At age 16 I started pulling myself out of what I think was probably a depression I'd had since I was 11 (yes, that's the same time at which my dysphoria began, but I also started going to a different school at that time, so I'm not sure what caused it.) and at that point I started actively copying girls because I wanted to finally fit in. Being myself hadn't worked out, so I started living by the motto 'fake it 'till you make it'. Well I faked the hell out of it and successfully developed feminine mannerisms that I now can't get rid of anymore, and it worked! People bought it!

 

I did this until I was about 20 - 21, at which point I had started to feel like I didn't even know who I was anymore because I hadn't acted like myself for so long. I felt like I'd lost my ability to be myself and I didn't know how to fix it, or if I even should, because being myself had never worked out for me anyway. At that point I had been questioning my gender for about a year and I'd given myself the label 'demigirl' (even though identifying myself with something that ended in 'girl' made me want to puke), because I knew I had feminine mannerisms/ ways of talking so I didn't feel justified in claiming a label that said I wasn't feminine at all. Realizing that acting like a girl had been just that, ácting like a girl, freed me up to finally feel justified in taking up the label I had actually, secretly in the back of my mind, been identifying with most closely, 'agender.' And I added AFAB (assigned female at birth) in to let people know that I've been raised/socialized as a girl, because that's what feels most fair to me. That's me.

 

The moment in which I finally allowed myself to say 'I am agender' (to myself) was such a powerful moment that I can't even describe it. I cried and wanted to scream with joy and I could barely contain myself. I guess that's what gender euphoria (opposite of gender dysphoria) feels like. It just felt extremely right. It was a eureka moment for a problem I hadn't been able to solve for over a decade.

 

I am now 23 and still not out of the woods. I'm not out to anyone but my sister and a handful of close friends. Being called 'she' feels as alien to me as 'he' or 'they', to the point that I don't know which I prefer so I've pretty much just given up on the pronoun issue. Call me anything. Whatever.

I know I want these things that are attached to my chest removed, but I also know that gender therapists will probably interrogate the heck out of me to prove I'm trans enough to get that treatment, and I know I'll get tons of shit from the 'I identify as an attack helicopter'-crowd if I do get it and I'm just not ready for any of that.

One point of light is that my Chinese name (I major in Chinese and am called by my Chinese name more often than my real name) is gender neutral and I am loving it to bits. I wish I could use that name all the time, but since it's Chinese and hard to pronounce that's a bit much to ask (Laurann is an approximation of that name, but that's still too feminine for my liking), and as long as I get to be in Chinese class it's good enough for now. We'll see what happens after I graduate from my master's program. It's scary, but I guess I can't hide from the real world forever.

 

I am now 24, out to my parents, on a waiting list for the gender team, can’t live without binders, have taken a liking to they/them, and am generally less defeatist, but still pretty shit-scared :) 

 

That's just my experience though. I hope it helps, but be aware that it will not map right on to yours. 

 

 

thanks so much, this was extremely helpful, so thanks for taking the time to sort that whole thing out :))

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FaerieFate

@Laurann have you tried clearing your cache/cookies on your browser?

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Laurann

@FaerieFate I have not, but I also kind of don't want to, because I don't want to lose a bunch of passwords and settings.

And posting in all other threads is working fine, even if I post the same content that caused issues in this one thread. So I think the problem kind of fixed itself actually :) 

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FaerieFate
3 minutes ago, Laurann said:

@FaerieFate I have not, but I also kind of don't want to, because I don't want to lose a bunch of passwords and settings.

And posting in all other threads is working fine, even if I post the same content that caused issues in this one thread. So I think the problem kind of fixed itself actually :) 

You can clear cookies and cache without clearing passwords. However, if you are worried about clearing settings, it's also possible to clear cookies and cache from a specific website.

 

https://appuals.com/how-to-clear-cache-for-one-site/

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Luna04
On 11/17/2019 at 3:14 PM, Skycaptain said:

@Laurann, I'll raise this issue with the tech team. I've just tested and a post was accepted. Have you tried logging off and starting again? 

How do you reply like that? like, to a specific person. I know how to do THIS, the quote thing, but not that reply thing. Please help :)

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Laurann

@Luna04 you just type an @  and then you type the name of the person you want to @ behind it, and select their name from the drop down list.

Try it here :) 

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Luna04

@Laurann OHHHHH ok, thank you so much, I am new and had no clue-- OOO That rhymed! lol 

But yeah, thanks :)

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Laurann

@Luna04 No problem :) 

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