44 (About my gender)

December 5, 2011

I’m a man.

I was assigned male at birth, i was raised as male, i was taught all of the typically “male” things. I don’t really feel like anything other than a man. But i can’t say that i always feel masculine. A lot of times i feel distinctly feminine. In the last few months i’ve had moments of actual gender dysphoria, which really threw me for a loop. I looked at myself in the mirror and, for the first time on a gender based level, i actually disliked what i saw, physically. I wanted to see wider hips, narrower shoulders. At one point, i didn’t want my penis anymore. Interestingly, i didn’t really want breasts. I’m still processing that, i think.

The terms “masculine” and “feminine” bother me to an increasing degree. I feel like these titles are ultimately useless because they are describe activities and clothes and all kind of things that have no actual gender of their own other than what society has attached to them. Somehow it just became “fact” that certain types of shoes or garments, for example, are for men and others are for women. It also continues to irk me that f-apparent people can wear “mens'” clothes mostly without issue, but m-apparent people cannot wear “womens'” clothes without the assumption that something is wrong with them. What if i like wearing a dress, dammit? And of course these standards change ALL THE TIME. In a couple hundred years, men might be wearing dresses on the regular.

Also, many activities that i enjoy can fall on either side of the typical binary. Sports can be played by anyone, for example. Athleticism and physical ability have no gender, so why do they suddenly take on a gender when applied to certain activities?

My wife has used the term “non gender conforming” in reference to me before, but i don’t feel that that’s actually the case at all. I just don’t conform to society’s opinion of what my gender is supposed to be. I actually feel like i’m conforming to the ever-changing and fluctuating notion of my own gender just fine, thankyouverymuch, skirts and all. Even if i were to claim to be anything other than male, i’d only claim gender neutrality, and the only reason i’d even say that is because the things i like to do are considered feminine BY EVERYONE ELSE.

I don’t think i want to apply everyone else’s standards of gender to what I feel.

One Response to “44 (About my gender)”

  1. PatientC said

    I would go with “gender challenging” or something, but that is just because we are taught to be obsessed with labels. =)

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