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Questioning my Identity


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Hello everyone! I am a 32 year old person who was assigned male at birth. Generally fine with the pronouns he/they. Most of my life I have identified as a cis-man but lately have been really questioning how much that truly describes who I am.

Throughout my life I have always had discomfort when I’ve been grouped with guys or asked to do things because I am a “man.” When I was a kid in school and I would be grouped with the boys I would always feel out of place. I used to justify this feeling because I’m gay and most of the boys I knew growing up were straight. Even as an adult now I feel pretty alien generally when I am around a group of typically straight men.

As an adult I find myself pretty comfortable presenting pretty “masculinely.” But I still find myself experiencing a lot of friction when people have certain perceptions or expectations of me because of that presentation.

And recently I have had interactions with a guy where while we were together he complimented how masculine and manly I was which felt incredibly uncomfortable to me. Which, has now lead me to self reflect and I feel I truly don’t relate to the terms masculine or manly other than my very surface level presentation.

I also don’t consider myself really feminine. Though I do feel that with whatever feminine traits or qualities I do have, I really enjoy when those are complimented or affirmed. I definitely don’t identify as a woman, though.

A couple weeks ago I finally was just like “maybe I am non-binary” and once I sat with that for a second and I realized I could just remove myself from having to wear the label of “man”, I felt as though a giant weight was being lifted off of me and it felt pretty amazing.

So this is still very new for me. I’m still exploring this and have so far enjoyed the journey. Though, I do have a kind of imposter syndrome feeling as I still currently really am fine and enjoy presenting more masculinely (however sometimes with a little queer flair.) Really for me it’s mostly dealing with the general discomfort I feel from people’s expectations of me because they look at me and think “man.”

Anybody with similar experiences?

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  • Admin

You are in a pretty common place with a lot of us here.  We are not Gender Counselors, but almost all of us have been through Gender Counseling  and found that it really helped us.  When we tell the rest of the world that we are not their idea of what we should be and are going to be our own self, it can be a bit rough, but it is freeing.

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2 hours ago, Purple8 said:

Hello everyone! I am a 32 year old person who was assigned male at birth. Generally fine with the pronouns he/they. Most of my life I have identified as a cis-man but lately have been really questioning how much that truly describes who I am.

Throughout my life I have always had discomfort when I’ve been grouped with guys or asked to do things because I am a “man.” When I was a kid in school and I would be grouped with the boys I would always feel out of place. I used to justify this feeling because I’m gay and most of the boys I knew growing up were straight. Even as an adult now I feel pretty alien generally when I am around a group of typically straight men.

As an adult I find myself pretty comfortable presenting pretty “masculinely.” But I still find myself experiencing a lot of friction when people have certain perceptions or expectations of me because of that presentation.

And recently I have had interactions with a guy where while we were together he complimented how masculine and manly I was which felt incredibly uncomfortable to me. Which, has now lead me to self reflect and I feel I truly don’t relate to the terms masculine or manly other than my very surface level presentation.

I also don’t consider myself really feminine. Though I do feel that with whatever feminine traits or qualities I do have, I really enjoy when those are complimented or affirmed. I definitely don’t identify as a woman, though.

A couple weeks ago I finally was just like “maybe I am non-binary” and once I sat with that for a second and I realized I could just remove myself from having to wear the label of “man”, I felt as though a giant weight was being lifted off of me and it felt pretty amazing.

So this is still very new for me. I’m still exploring this and have so far enjoyed the journey. Though, I do have a kind of imposter syndrome feeling as I still currently really am fine and enjoy presenting more masculinely (however sometimes with a little queer flair.) Really for me it’s mostly dealing with the general discomfort I feel from people’s expectations of me because they look at me and think “man.”

Anybody with similar experiences?

Hi @Purple8. Welcome.

Yes, I identify with your feelings. I think it is tough to "find" yourself when you identify as somewhere in the middle, such as non-binary. It's a process that for me, took time, and reflection, and writing about it and, yes, talking to a gender therapist, too. You're doing great by finding this TGP site. Keep coming. We're here all night. 💜

-- Davie

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Hi @Purple8 ! Yes, I understand how you feel. I'm afab & nonbinary. I likewise feel satisfaction at having any of my perceived "masculine" qualities affirmed, although I don't identify as fully masculine. I do not like being grouped in as "one of the girls" - the notion has always made me feel conspicuous, alien & sometimes ugly. Nonbinary can be a strange place to be, and it can also be very wonderful and freeing. I hope that for you, exploring this identity, whether or not it is right for you, will reveal many beautiful things about yourself.

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21 hours ago, Purple8 said:

Anybody with similar experiences?

Yes.  We're all unique in some ways, but especially so for non-binary folks. For one, being fully masculine or feminine doesn't seem to fit, so the things that cis people take for granted and that MtF and FtM people often strive for (like passing) don't apply.  That can be a significant difference! 

 

Finding out what makes me happy is important, and probably is for all who are gender non-conforming.  But the look(s) I present in public as a non-binary person are unique, in the sense that while I'm skewed more feminine, that doesn't mean I sport a hyper-feminine style.  So, I may raise (a few) eyebrows at times, but I've long since learned that interacting with strangers need not be (and now, isn't) as stressful as it was early on.  The folks in my immediately circle know and accept me, and that's the important thing to me.

 

I wish you the very best as you explore more about your identity.  Don't be surprised if your "label" changes -- several times.  Many of us adjust them as we grow and learn and experience and evolve.

 

Astrid

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