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Question about Non Binary - Are Binary Gender Mis-Identification and Genital Dysphoria an issue?


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Hi,

 

Just trying to understand Non-Binary from folks who identify as such.

 

As I am due to go in for an HRT consult at the clinic shortly, I've been mulling about my identity.

 

So questions :

 

1) Does Non Binary imply one is not too concern if someone genders you either way? ?

 

I was OK being gendered either way bc I felt I was still a half way house.

 

However my friend (My Straight friends seem to be quite invested in making sure I'm happy even if they do not understand any of it), was asking how he should address me bc he felt it was a big deal for me and he did not want me to just shrug things off if it really made me uncomfortable. So he asked me if I was upset if I was misgendered.?

 

I told him I did not think I would ever personally feel I was a woman bc I could not deny my male side or past nor physically entirely become a woman.

 

OTOH it did bring me back to moments when despite what I say, I felt bad when wrongly gendered as male (Mostly I pass but my vocals give away the game and then comes the correction)

So I wonder if Non-Binary folk are less concern with misgendering either way?

 

2) Do Non-Binary feel less concern about genital dysphoria?

 

Again I'm somewhat in the middle with regard genitals. I'm love/hate here. Well maybe not so strong words but much as I like the idea of having female genitalia, it isn't a bed of roses either and comes with its own set of problems. There's no such thing as perfect for me.

 

I suppose if I had to imagine perfect, I don't need a vagina or anything just something I can wee with but does not stick out so rudely (and inconveniently)?

 

Since this isn't life, I've pretty much endured with what I have and learnt to live with it although I get bouts of just wanting to (as I told my late partner) wanting to take it off and hang it by the door on a hook.

 

How do Non-Binary feel about genital dysphoria?

 

Sorry just trying to find out more. I have my Drivers License Sex identity marked down as Non-Binary since this is the third option available to me.

 

I feel deep down very feminine but I've never felt I belonged in the female category since I've grown up liking a lot of male elements to my life as well like example sport.

 

Even here its strange bc I like sport and I am quite competitive since I use to be physically the smallest and had something to prove I suppose. But I was never terribly aggressive.?

 

There are so many elements that make me feel a Non-Binary identity suits me balancing both my worlds but yet the above two has got me thinking I'm not bc it seems to bother me terribly deep down even though I prefer to outwardly as my friend mentioned 'shrug things off'

 

I prefer not to label myself of course as I feel I am on a journey and there is no need to till I get to a point I know where I land.?

 

I'm still at this point in a 'Don't feel like I qualify as a woman' psychosis but t the same time I can't seem to feel comfortable in neutral space either.

 

Struggle.?

 

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  • Admin

The answers to all three are the same.  It is up to you to decide these things for yourself, not others.  I am glad you are easy enough with your friends that they want to honor you, but there are no correct answers here without your deciding what they are.  Sounds like some time to see a Gender Therapist or any Therapist who is familiar with LGBTQ people and who can help you find YOUR answers.  Do not judge yourself by other people.  An Enby group I work with is all over the place for each one of them.  I use names and not pronouns as a middle ground. 

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Hi Vicky,

 

Many thanks.

 

Yah I'm just getting a last minute 'panic' I suppose since I am in the process of booking for an appointment for Nov1st at a clinic for HRT.

 

Its so difficult bc I love the feeling of being as a woman. even just going about doing every day mundane things seems to be more lighten when fully aligned to this persona.

 

There are male aspects that have held me back. But I have not felt I would be non-binary.

 

I'm not so sure what that entails if there were similar dysphorias (as mentioned) or if it was just conforming to a space which is more neutral between the two genders.

 

Perhaps if I felt I was non-binary, I may not need to have the HRT.

 

Or perhaps the HRT will give me further indication where I may feel more comfortable with.

 

Maybe I need to see my therapist again to just be certain.

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  • Admin
2 hours ago, swallow said:

I suppose since I am in the process of booking for an appointment for Nov1st at a clinic for HRT.

 

HRT MAY help you resolve some of your questions!!  If the hormones are "right" for your body you will know in a 30 to 90 day window.  I have a friend for whom the hormones did nothing which was actually helpful to them in picking a simply more androgynous life style and staying out of the high Testosterone areas of competition was enough.

 

2 hours ago, swallow said:

I'm not so sure what that entails if there were similar dysphorias (as mentioned) or if it was just conforming to a space which is more neutral between the two genders.

 

Male and female genders are becoming much more overlapping in many areas, and what would once have never been an option for one gender is slowly but definitely merging to the other.  I know Trans women working down at the San Pedro Harbor up at the controls of the ship-loading cranes, and some male friends being the absolute best early childhood development in central cities and so on.  You will do fine. 

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23 hours ago, swallow said:

1) Does Non Binary imply one is not too concern if someone genders you either way? ?

 

Hi, @swallow!  I wanted to reply to your questions, since I identify as non-binary.  First, I consider non-binary folks to include a wide tent, because it includes a wide spectrum of gender identities.  For me, that implies that it's likely that people who don't know you well (or who are just meeting you) will identify you in a binary manner, as either male or female.  Exception: your attending an event with other queer people who are much more adept at greeting you in a neutral and accepting way.  But out in general society, yeah, people do often tend to "sir" or "ma'm" me based off of a few visual or aural cues.  Now, does that bother me?  I've come to a personal decision that I won't let it bother me too much, because it's non-productive to get all stressed repeatedly.  And, I don't like wearing a "they/them" pronoun button on my lapel at all times.   But this will vary -- other non-binary folks may well have other reactions or ways of handling it.

 

 

23 hours ago, swallow said:

2) Do Non-Binary feel less concern about genital dysphoria?

 

 

Again, I'm only replying for me, but my personal answer is that dysphoria was/is a major concern for me, and was a primary factor in my decision to begin HRT.  Estrogen has dramatically improved my dysphoria, reduced my stress, and pretty much, after 22 months, reduced my anger to near-zero.  Obviously, a great many non-binary folks conclude that HRT is not the appropriate course for them, and that is perfectly fine. 

 

I had reached a point, just prior to coming out to my family and close friends, that I absolutely had no choice but to address what dysphoria was doing to me.  And so I did.   I began meeting with a gender therapist.  I read voraciously on the topic.  I spent six months full time working on a political campaign for trans rights with other, wonderful queer people. And I learned that what I was experiencing...was very common.  I wasn't really all that unique.  And there were many stories of people I could read and follow (including here on TransPulse) that helped me see ways to address my dysphoria.

 

Each person's journey is both common and unique.  Finding your path forward is full of non-trivial decisions and events.

But for me, it's been very, very much worth it.  I'm in a much better place these days.

 

With hugs and best wishes as you move forward,

 

Astrid

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On 10/11/2021 at 4:31 PM, swallow said:

1) Does Non Binary imply one is not too concern if someone genders you either way? ?

 

2) Do Non-Binary feel less concern about genital dysphoria?

 

 

There are no standard answers to these questions as every enby person is different, but I'll share my personal answers as a nonbinary identifying person. 

 

1) No. I'm afab. I don't like she/her. I kinda get a kick out or the rare "mister", but that doesn't feel quite right to me either. I think ultimately I prefer they/them, but as such I do not feel confident asking other people irl for that. I came up with s(t)/he(y) as a pronoun identifier (one of those random inspired thoughts in the shower) which to me means a whole spectrum of gender experience simultaneously, but not one distinct thing. 

 

2) If there's dysphoria at all, then it must be of concern. I experience genital dysphoria, but I speculate its different than the experience of a binary trans person. I don't feel I have the wrong genitalia, for instance (and I'm aware that not all binary trans people feel they do either). I see them on me, and I just think ew because they are so ladylike and that's not how I feel about myself. I'm not compelled to do anything medical about it partly because I don't even know what I'd do. I just endeavor to realize this perishable body is not my true self. 

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Hi All,

 

Many thanks for answers.

 

I suppose as Non-Binary, there is less compulsion to have to be int he other gender?

 

Vicky,

 

Many thanks. Good to know a rough window of time to reference. That might be physically at least the ultimate deciding factor. I'm horrible at keeping up with a regiment (lord knows the current exercise regime I've stuck to every Thursday is as regular as it gets). So I'm not sure how discipline I'd be with Meds. OTOH I do keep up with the brushing of teeth etc so should not be an excuse or would be a poor one.?

 

Astrid,

 

Yah I feel really good when gendered female albeit uncomfortable bc of voice. OTOH I want to make sure its not some sort of ego thing either (albeit everyone likes their ego stroke I'm sure). I feel like in everyday function, I operate as a woman but then most people who know me prob don't see anything different from before and there should be no reason to make much more than that of it.

 

I'm not (never been) effeminate but I'm not Manly man either so I do feel somewhat bridging the two worlds (As mentiond before appropriate since I am a Saggitarius). Which is why it makes me ponder about this Non-Binary identity.

 

But I just feel so drawn towards getting attention as a woman and yet at the same time terrified many times.?

 

Much of it isn't responsive to others but my own feeling of moving about the house normally but feeling feminine ALWAYS.

 

And it makes me feel good.

 

Vidanjali,

 

Totally agree with last part. We need to transcend all this in time but at the same time appreciate it in the now.

 

I suppose as I've been saying "I get there when I get there"?

 

Really nice hearing from all of you. ?

 

 

 

 

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  • 10 months later...
On 10/12/2021 at 4:31 AM, swallow said:

1) Does Non Binary imply one is not too concern if someone genders you either way?

 

2) Do Non-Binary feel less concern about genital dysphoria?

for the first question since the definition of nonbinary is outside of the gender binary i personally think it wouldnt be chill just to assume someones preferred terms and pronouns as though all enbies wont care about their gender presentation. i personally prefer to be seen more masculinely despite being an enby and im sick of people using gendered terms according to my biological sex because i dont want to associate with it at all

 

for the second question im indeed less concerned regarding my genitalia since nobody i know will comment on my genital [my gender dysphoria are mostly social instead of bodily if that explains it]. i dont really care what genital i have because i aint going to showcase it either so as long as i look the way i want to look and present my gender accurate to my desires im probably fine

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Goodness! Time flies!😮

 

I wrote this when I was just about to embark on HRT.

 

Having been through 10 months now, I feel somewhat different.

 

I wasn't sure if I was Non-Binary since I had lived as male for quite some time without much issue. Of course something was nagging at me through out but I still enjoyed aspects of "Maledom" enough to amble by.

 

Now that I am pushed more physically into my female aspect, I have come to embrace my deep self always hiding from everyone and it feels great.🤗

 

I still don't see myself as "woman". Perhaps a subset or a different category of female but I'm under no illusion physically at least, I'm still an eclectic mix.

 

That's not all that bad as my attitude being people should feel privilege for such a unique encounter with me anyway.😁

 

I stare at myself in the mirror sometimes and wonder of course if "Non Binary" is an apt description.🤔

 

OTOH I have had encounters recently when some women tell me "I could never fully feel like a woman". These are more carelessly said than out of malice. But I took great objection to it.🤨

 

I could not understand why they felt so. I know some Cis-men who are fully in tune with women after all and even with periods/mood swings, many women I know are even keeled enough. This would be convenient generalising to say the least.

 

It made me feel I was extremely grateful to be these days gendered female and accepted as so☺️..

 

Some people I came out to recently seem to suggest to me "it was OK for men to dress as women these days"

 

I had to explain to them its not about clothing.

 

Another Gay friend casually mentioned he considered transitioning but could not be bothered by the effort, as if to suggest it was a lifestyle choice and predicated on ease of access to treatment/medication.

 

I had to explain to him of course as well it wasn't a "lifestyle" choice for me and certainly not about Sex or orientation.

 

This is something deeper in the core which is difficult to explain.

 

An inexplicable satisfaction comes with being female or seen as such by others.

 

Something deep inside of me is satiated.

 

Non-binary for me is a good wide label convenient for others who may struggle to understand me otherwise. I have it on my CA license which was a convenient god sent (Thank you DMV)

 

But I would be lying now if I didn't feel deeply attached to being accepted as female.

 

I don't feel I have changed emotionally or in thinking since being on HRT. The female aspect was always there but people just didn't recognise it because they were distracted by my coating.🤭

 

I don't know if I feel anymore calm (bc I have other issues) but I feel a lot more comfortable with myself now.😌

 

 

 

 

 

 

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@swallow-- were we twins, separated at birth?! 😎 (I even grew up in "LA by a Freeway"-- the 405).  I don't think I've read an account by anyone here on TP that was as close to my own journey as yours.  It was very reaffirming for me to read your account.  I'm now 2 3/4 years into HRT, and fully embrace the physical and mental changes it has made. As you said:

 

9 hours ago, swallow said:

I feel a lot more comfortable with myself now.

 

Each non-binary person, to me, is a wonderful eclectic mix.  

 

Best wishes,

 

Astrid

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Astrid 😁...my long lost twin!

 

...of course the 405 is somewhat long

 

🤭

 

Glad to hear anyone get something out of my ramblings

 

As you prob agree, I wasn't sure where I sat and that I would even feel anything different with HRT...

 

Hence Non Binary was a useful (and still is) frame for me.

 

Sometimes I reflect on if I was running away from my pain. I spoke to my therapist about this.

 

I asked her if this could be bc I was reinventing myself from my failures as a spouse to my wife, feeling guilty not being good enough to have provided her a less stressful life maybe.

 

But of course there are memories from way longer in time to before 4yrs and this niggling female personality has always been with me throughout my life.

 

Its funny how people think I may somehow change or be suddenly different bc I am transitioning.

 

Yet apart from superficial in physical expression, body, voice, I am pretty much the same personality.

 

If I succeed in sticking to a female voice, there is nothing fundamentally different with me but they will prob see me female

 

but I've always been this way.😌

 

They just choose to interpret me bc of certain cues.

 

There is a female that has always been there talking to them but they chose not to see it bc of certain outwardly male cues.

 

Which is why I feel some times non binary also fits since in my case anyway, my divide between male and female stripped of the physical is pretty non existent.

 

I don't feel any more male in thinking as I do female.

 

I felt that may be perhaps somehow why my spouse and I clicked as well. We were very different in personality, but there was a shared unspoken deeper core that was hard to explain.

 

Anyway I can go down the rabbit hole into deeper metaphysical stuff but suffice to say female works just fine for me.

 

On another level, I also felt perhaps it was part due to societal expectations perhaps.

 

When viewed male, I felt there were certain expectations and caution from women just as much as from men.🙄

 

Its liberating with my relations now not to have this, particularly with women.

 

Where once they were guarded or assumed certain things, I feel those barriers come down as they don't see me as wanting something from them.

 

With men, I feel the need to now let them know just bc I have crossed to the other side doesn't mean I'm salivating at them. This is a ridiculous notion held by some men who suddenly get all uncomfortable. I have to reassure them I have no interest in the male body...well "little" interest🤭

 

At the same time I feel somewhat more comfortable that they are not as lewd around me as much where before the assumption was that we are amongst guys.

 

These are early days and I have traded certain benefits with other sensitivities.

 

But its a more natural environment for me where previously, I was always uncomfortable under the skin with both sexes.☺️

 

Its a journey still unfolding for me.

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20 hours ago, swallow said:

As you prob agree, I wasn't sure where I sat and that I would even feel anything different with HRT...

 

Hence Non Binary was a useful (and still is) frame for me.

 

Well, I was pretty sure HRT would make a difference.  I had read extensively on how others, including non-binary folks, had found HRT and its effects.  And before you start HRT, doctors make SURE you understand the known effects by having you sign each section of a rather long document. One thing I have learned is not to worry or stress out about the effects (or absence, or on/off effects) of estrogen.  It's a long process, and things happen in an almost semi-random way.  What happens, happens, whenever. I'm much less stressed with this approach 🙂

 

 

As for where I sit on the non-binary spectrum, I take a similar approach. There's no way I can know that I am, say, 69% feminine-leaning.  I simply know, and am content, that I lean in the feminine direction.  How I express that changes from time to time.  But I'm content with that.

 

21 hours ago, swallow said:

On another level, I also felt perhaps it was part due to societal expectations perhaps.

 

When viewed male, I felt there were certain expectations and caution from women just as much as from men.

 

Yes!  A very insightful observation.  Cis women and cis men who view us as male both react to us in much different ways than other queer folk.  Example:  A queer woman immediately picked up in a meeting that we were attending that I'd been mis-gendered as "he" rather than "they" by another participant.  She shortly thereafter checked in with me -- discreetly -- to make sure I was OK.  I really appreciated her concern.  This is the kind of behavior I've never experienced from a cis woman or cis man.

 

21 hours ago, swallow said:

Its a journey still unfolding for me.

 

And it always will keep unfolding as we move forward with our lives.

 

Thanks for your thoughts!  A pleasure to read them.

 

Astrid

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