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Why I'm scared of being androgyne/non-binary (If that's what I trully am)

Cass Kasinski

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Hello everyone!

     About a month ago I made an entry about being unsure about my gender. I was AFaB and I was questioning if I truly felt comfortable the way others looked at me. What I didn't write about, though, was the possibility of being androgyne or non-binary. There's a main reason for that, and it's that I'm terrified of being non-binary or genderqueer. Here's why:


     As you can see in my profile, I live in Argentina (in South America) and literally EVERYTHING carries a femminine/masculine pronoun or article. For instance, we say "Él" instead of he/him and "Ellos" for plural, and "Ella" for she/her and "Ellas" for plural. There aren't such things as gender-neutral pronouns, and we don't have a proper translation for "they/them". Therefore, people are sort of "forced" to call you a girl or a boy when they refer to you. 


     Besides, non-binary genders aren't well seen here. People see that there are only two real genders: Male and female (though they support transgender individuals). And it's fine, you can't really blame them for that. But how can you be something that doesn't really "exist" for others? How can you find a fitting pronoun if a) people find the need to see you as either male or female and b) there are, as sad as it is, no gender-neutral pronouns? I'm terrified of others not accepting how I truly feel.


     So far, I'm not really considering a transition from female to male. Somewhat, I don't believe I'd feel comfortable beeing seen as male either (maybe because I haven't experimented much, but we'll get to that later). Therefore, people will be guided by what they can see: My breasts (unless I get a binder, which I really want), my hips, my height, my lips and my face structure. And obviously, those who have always known me will refer to me as she/her because it's who they are used to see. Anyways, I can't really blame them for that.


     In the end, I believe I'm gender-neutral. I wouldn't mind being seen as a combination of both genders, really. In fact, I feel  that way a little bit, and I only feel comfortable in gender-neutral clothing (which is the only thing my parents have let me experiment with, as they say it already makes me look "masculine"). I believe that, if they let me cut my hair short (just as in the picture below), I would truly find what I feel comfortable with. See if it works or not. Welp, I'm gonna stop, and see what sort of feedback I get. Thx so much for reading!! I'm looking foward to seeing your replies! Bye!

Imagen relacionada

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  • Forum Moderator
2 hours ago, MaryMary said:

I look at your picture and I think you would rock that androgyne/ non binary look seriously

Yes If I didn't know I would have a hard time deciding male or female.  


So you have some language and cultural hurdles living in Argentina but that is not really different than the rest of us.  We all have our own struggles so don't spend a lot of time dwelling on it.  Just be you.  


5 hours ago, Cass Kasinski said:

In the end, I believe I'm gender-neutral. I wouldn't mind being seen as a combination of both genders, really.

You can present as a butch woman or a fem man, swapping between the looks as you feel like.  Inside you know who you are.  If people get "El" or Ella" wrong, try to roll with it because there are no other options in your native language, that is don't worry about things that cannot be changed.  


I know you'll do fine.  Please don't live in fear.  Come out and live as you wish.




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Many of the things that you describe are very familiar to me. Settling down outside the gender binary is tricky, especially if like myself you're rather introvert and not keen on getting any unwanted attention. I just want to be myself, without people staring at me. Only that it's easier said than done.


I agree with Mary that certain things seem to be more "triggering" for some people than others. My theory is that a combination of male and female elements of gender expression (in particular if they are strong) is something people can't (or don't want to) process, whereas if you take away maleness and/or femaleness it's a little easier.


My journey so far has been about finding a balance between handling pressures due to dysphoria and those due to typical expectations about appearance. As I'm AMAB, what I need to do to feel comfortable is inevitably different from what's necessary for you. What has made a massive difference for me is starting to remove body hair and also painting my toe nails. Whereas getting rid of body hair feels almost like a necessity, there are two things that just give me that extra bit of comfort - the painted toe nails and also the fact that I've been shaving my armpits. Both would not be well seen with a lot of people I suppose, but nobody ever sees it, so there it's just my private little thing. The effect is that I'm always reminded that I'm not a guy and don't need to be. It's really more about how I feel than how others see me. And it does feel great!


Like you, I've always preferred fairly gender neutral clothing and now I'm only very gradually pushing it a little bit into the slightly more female range of gender neutral. Most people would probably not even notice. I'm still pondering if I should get rid of my beard permanently or not. I've had a few laser hair removal sessions on the neck and the results are brilliant. So I know it will work, I only need to decide if I'm absolutely sure about what I'm doing.


Sorry if this post is a bit long, messy and incoherent. Just wanted to share what's going through my head, being outside the gender binary myself. Hopefully it helps to some extent.

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  • 3 weeks later...

I tried going by they/them here in the states and, although it is much more excepted, 90% of people refused to use the pronoun seeing it as a.-not real or b.-making this -crap- up as well as all of these other assumptions . It is very frustrating. I was using the pronouns for different reasons as I can't transition yet to look like a he/him so I tried to use it to avoid the she/her pronouns as that literally made me have out of body experiences.  It became too overwhelming and debilitating to deal with but how do you explain that to someone who thinks gender is a construct or -since they are comfortable in their cis body you should be too or something. 


I feel for you. It won't be easy. And if you are an introvert asserting yourself and creating a new language is not going to be a healthy thing to do. And also-it shouldn't be your job or burden to do. You could try going back and forth with the gendered language but I'm not sure if others will be on board with it. 


My best advice - try your very best to just have fun with gender and be an advocate for others who are like yourself but also probably don't feel comfortably creating a language that would allow for their existence. Language shapes, marginalizes, oppresses, and frees people. It is a very real and beautiful thing but when language is stagnant, it is debilitating. 


I wish you the best and hope you keep posting here and keeping us up to date with your world. 

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  • 2 weeks later...

Okay, wow, first of all you're BEAUTIFUL and could totally rock any look you want. I love your androgynous look in the picture you showed us.


A lot of the concerns you have are pretty universal, and are things that I am dealing with as well. English certainly does have they/them pronouns, but the percentage of English-speakers who are willing to accept they/them as singular gender neutral pronouns is still quite small.


I think I remember reading about a genderqueer person in France whose solution to the lack of nongendered pronouns was to use both masc and fem pronouns in equal measure. Sometimes lui, sometimes elle. It's not a perfect solution by any means, but maybe something to consider.


You've found a great place to talk about this stuff. Glad you're here.

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  • 4 weeks later...
  • Forum Moderator

As one who does not like gender neutral pronouns it's not really an issue for me, but I have found that the general population don't really think in those terms anyway. If they did they would use such terminology more. People tend to call me, either male or female naturally, with perhaps many women using more feminine terminology ('love', 'sweetie' and that sort of thing). I can think of only one time (actually recently) when I overheard a woman talking to a man referring to me, saying 'They have got gender issues'. I am not sure how to take that one ? . Seriously though, it cannot really be avoided in a binary defined society. Here there are gender neutral pronouns but they make one stand out. I am not sure that it is really a better solution. I once read somewhere that androgyne people get on best with androgyne people. I have not really come across anything since to change that perception.



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  • 7 months later...

The time I was questioning I was really confused about pronouns. I try to use neutral language but in Brazil even the word "Thank You" is gendered. I end up been transgender (MtF). I don't know much about your language but in Portuguese the world person when referring to yourself helps a little with the lack of neutral pronouns. I always preferred female pronouns because the only thing I was sure at the time that I was not a man.


On 7/12/2018 at 4:50 PM, Cass Kasinski said:

     So far, I'm not really considering a transition from female to male. Somewhat, I don't believe I'd feel comfortable beeing seen as male either (maybe because I haven't experimented much, but we'll get to that later).

Internet for me was the first test if I would feel good as a woman. And I notice live as a woman was much better, especially with the fact I tend to socialize better with woman than man. And feel more confident as a woman. But the most important thing it's discover how do you feel better (male, female, androgyne, or any non-binary gender).


You are really beautiful as you are, but what you see in the mirror matters much more than what I or other people think  ^_^.

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  • 2 years later...

My spanish is (so very) limited and my toe is barely dipped into english vernacular of the gender spectrum


however, I do remember a friend mentioning "elle" as a gender neutral, or ending words with "e" instead of "a" or "o"


that being said, I have yet to assert the "they" pronoun much -it's really only come up with medical professionals, most of whom are pretty good about getting it right.


but yeah, I don't know if it's something my immediate family will be able to break the habit of (shrugable)




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  • 3 weeks later...

I'm a native English speaker, but I'm learning Spanish and I started out the year using "Ella" and slowly transitioned over to "Él." It was the closest I could get to a gender neutral term and I personally don't have a problem with it, but I live in an English speaking area and I don't live with constantly gendered pronouns the same way you do. Spanish not having a gender neutral pronoun does suck, though. Would make things easier, in my opinion.

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