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Picking a label - or not


Avra

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I didn't really know how to title or start this, but here goes. Basically, I don't really like defining myself with labels because it often feels like just trading one box for another. While I definitely envision myself as a girl in my most ideal fantasy world, in reality I really just want to present myself in a way that I feel most attractive to myself if that makes sense. I hate the  generally arbitrary rules surrounding clothing and gender roles in society and I want to make it my life's mission to challenge them wherever possible. If I think I look good in something, I'll wear it. If I wanna try something new I'll do it, irrespective of the "rules" surrounding it. I think I've come to the conclusion that the best descriptor, for now at least, is gender non-conforming. I'm not even sure if this is a legit gender identity or not. I'm interested to hear your thoughts on this, especially anyone who can relate to these feelings. Also on my profile, the closest sounding option I found was genderqueer and curious if you think that is a fitting choice based on what I've said or if it means something totally different.

 

Thanks, Avra

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I attended a lecture by a prominent marine biologist and he answered a question about taxonomy (the classification of organisms) and his answer always stuck with me. "Taxonomists are always trying to impose rules on organisms which simply do not follow rules".

 

We are such organisms, and through our life, we change our understanding of who we are. So it's pointless subscribing to a box someone else has described, as it probably doesn't fully describe you today, and almost certainly will not describe you in the future. For practical reasons, I publicly describe myself as female, but that is so others have something to grasp, not me. I don't identify as anything but trans, and when and if I finish transition, I will be simply Me.

 

Hugs,

 

Allie

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1 minute ago, AllieJ said:

I attended a lecture by a prominent marine biologist and he answered a question about taxonomy (the classification of organisms) and his answer always stuck with me. "Taxonomists are always trying to impose rules on organisms which simply do not follow rules".

 

We are such organisms, and through our life, we change our understanding of who we are. So it's pointless subscribing to a box someone else has described, as it probably doesn't fully describe you today, and almost certainly will not describe you in the future. For practical reasons, I publicly describe myself as female, but that is so others have something to grasp, not me. I don't identify as anything but trans, and when and if I finish transition, I will be simply Me.

 

Hugs,

 

Allie

"I will be simply Me." I love that! Thanks for sharing your thoughts. 🤗

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@Avra Labels depend on a person. For some people, being something specific and knowing there are others of that group out there can be comforting. For others, they can just feel like a cage. Our world, and even just the LGBT community, can put a lot of pressure into labels, though sometimes in different manners: Society generally wants you to stick with their pre-made boxes, while the LGBT community can sometimes put too much pressure and/or stock into finding how you identify.

 

Generally, genderqueer is used in one of two ways: To describe all people who aren't cisgender, or just those who are enby and don't identify as a binary gender. Either way, it sounds like it could potentially apply, if you wish to use it. It's also a broader term, so it comes with less "expectations" and norms than some other labels.

 

Gender comes in a million shades and we only have so many words for gender, even with the increase in openly genderqueer people. Don't feel pressured if you haven't found an identity that describes you perfectly or if you don't want to label yourself with one. Gender's a pretty personal journey. Labeled or not, you're you, and that's amazing!

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7 hours ago, RaineOnYourParade said:

@Avra Labels depend on a person. For some people, being something specific and knowing there are others of that group out there can be comforting. For others, they can just feel like a cage. Our world, and even just the LGBT community, can put a lot of pressure into labels, though sometimes in different manners: Society generally wants you to stick with their pre-made boxes, while the LGBT community can sometimes put too much pressure and/or stock into finding how you identify.

 

Generally, genderqueer is used in one of two ways: To describe all people who aren't cisgender, or just those who are enby and don't identify as a binary gender. Either way, it sounds like it could potentially apply, if you wish to use it. It's also a broader term, so it comes with less "expectations" and norms than some other labels.

 

Gender comes in a million shades and we only have so many words for gender, even with the increase in openly genderqueer people. Don't feel pressured if you haven't found an identity that describes you perfectly or if you don't want to label yourself with one. Gender's a pretty personal journey. Labeled or not, you're you, and that's amazing!

@RaineOnYourParade Thanks for your viewpoint! Really appreciate it. It does seem to be a common theme that people on this journey just want to be themselves, which is the most authentic anyone can be.

 

On a side note, I really like your hair. I dyed my hair with blue tips in the past and loved it. Still miss it but wanted to change things up and take myself a bit further out of my comfort zone. It's highly likely that blue is my favorite hair color though. My profile pic is actually an AI generated cartoonized version of the ideal me - if I was a cartoon character. 🙃 😅

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What I like about labels such as genderqueer, genderfluid, nonconforming, nonbinary, and trans is that I see them as nonboxes. That is, they all connote creativity of expression and rejection of pigeonholing. "Trans" in particular does not mean "transition", it just means not cis. When I define myself as "not" something (nonbinary, asexual) I assert my liberation from what I'm not and freedom to be whatever I am at any given moment without specifically naming it. 

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42 minutes ago, Vidanjali said:

What I like about labels such as genderqueer, genderfluid, nonconforming, nonbinary, and trans is that I see them as nonboxes. That is, they all connote creativity of expression and rejection of pigeonholing. "Trans" in particular does not mean "transition", it just means not cis. When I define myself as "not" something (nonbinary, asexual) I assert my liberation from what I'm not and freedom to be whatever I am at any given moment without specifically naming it. 

That's a very helpful perspective! I used to self identify as non-binary but now I'm not so sure.

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2 hours ago, Vidanjali said:

What I like about labels such as genderqueer, genderfluid, nonconforming, nonbinary, and trans is that I see them as nonboxes. That is, they all connote creativity of expression and rejection of pigeonholing. "Trans" in particular does not mean "transition", it just means not cis. When I define myself as "not" something (nonbinary, asexual) I assert my liberation from what I'm not and freedom to be whatever I am at any given moment without specifically naming it. 

Well put. Thanks. Freedom from boxes, free to be!

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2 hours ago, Avra said:

@RaineOnYourParade Thanks for your viewpoint! Really appreciate it. It does seem to be a common theme that people on this journey just want to be themselves, which is the most authentic anyone can be.

 

On a side note, I really like your hair. I dyed my hair with blue tips in the past and loved it. Still miss it but wanted to change things up and take myself a bit further out of my comfort zone. It's highly likely that blue is my favorite hair color though. My profile pic is actually an AI generated cartoonized version of the ideal me - if I was a cartoon character. 🙃 😅

That's how a lot of people end up here, yeah :))

 

Thanks, I just did it a few weeks ago, actually. Blue hair is best hair. I like the pfp!

 

I thought I posted this like an hour ago but then I took a look at a new reply and well apparently not 😅

 

Anyone else also type super fast and get caught up by spam detector even when you've written a decent chunk? Doesn't apply rn but I get it a ton on basically any site with limits between messages

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50 minutes ago, RaineOnYourParade said:

Thanks, I just did it a few weeks ago, actually. Blue hair is best hair. I like the pfp!

Nice! I agree! It's so eccentric, but in a good way, ya know. You do it yourself? I don't trust anyone but my hairdresser, not even myself, when it comes to bleach/dye. My hair is too precious to risk killing. 😛 Thanks, I like it too, it makes me feel like I'm a character in a mystical TV show that doesn't actually exist haha. Also protects my privacy while not infringing on any copyrights or stealing someone else's identity, which is perfect!

55 minutes ago, RaineOnYourParade said:

I thought I posted this like an hour ago but then I took a look at a new reply and well apparently not 😅

 

Anyone else also type super fast and get caught up by spam detector even when you've written a decent chunk? Doesn't apply rn but I get it a ton on basically any site with limits between messages

Yeah that can happen lol. I don't typically post a lot but when I do, it can kinda keep going. 😅

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3 minutes ago, Avra said:

Nice! I agree! It's so eccentric, but in a good way, ya know. You do it yourself? I don't trust anyone but my hairdresser, not even myself, when it comes to bleach/dye. My hair is too precious to risk killing. 😛 Thanks, I like it too, it makes me feel like I'm a character in a mystical TV show that doesn't actually exist haha. Also protects my privacy while not infringing on any copyrights or stealing someone else's identity, which is perfect!

I don't, simply because I'm not confident enough to do it myself. I would definitely screw something up somewhere along the way. You'd make a great character it seems like -- very pretty, very magical.

 

5 minutes ago, Avra said:

Yeah that can happen lol. I don't typically post a lot but when I do, it can kinda keep going. 😅

I post a lot when I'm trying to avoid something... which is basically always. My procrastinating has become an art.

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1 hour ago, RaineOnYourParade said:

Anyone else also type super fast and get caught up by spam detector even when you've written a decent chunk

As a hunt and peck typist it's not a problem for me.  That being said i still make plenty of typos.

 

Labels often seem to separate more than is necessary.  Folks with gender issues have much to share regardless of their chosen label.  I've left labels to the medical community as i live my life as whatever i might be called.

 

Hugs,

 

Charlize

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18 minutes ago, RaineOnYourParade said:

I don't, simply because I'm not confident enough to do it myself. I would definitely screw something up somewhere along the way.

Exactly how I feel! Also I watched my ex kill her hair to where she basically had to cut it all off and that would kill me inside if I ever had to do that. Being raised very conservative Christian I was basically forced to have short hair as a kid and I never would want that again.

 

22 minutes ago, RaineOnYourParade said:

You'd make a great character it seems like -- very pretty, very magical.

☺️💙

 

23 minutes ago, RaineOnYourParade said:

I post a lot when I'm trying to avoid something... which is basically always. My procrastinating has become an art.

I procrastinate in other ways, mainly scrolling through Youtube looking for my next dopamine hit. It can get out of hand, especially YT Shorts - scroll, scroll, scroll... 🙄

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20 minutes ago, Charlize said:

As a hunt and peck typist it's not a problem for me.  That being said i still make plenty of typos.

 

Labels often seem to separate more than is necessary.  Folks with gender issues have much to share regardless of their chosen label.  I've left labels to the medical community as i live my life as whatever i might be called.

 

Hugs,

 

Charlize

I like that! I've always felt that things surrounding biological sex like genitals, hormone levels, etc, only really matter in a medical context - so your doctor knows best how to care for you. Outside of that, it's really no one's business but your own, imho.

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8 minutes ago, Avra said:

 

I procrastinate in other ways, mainly scrolling through Youtube looking for my next dopamine hit. It can get out of hand, especially YT Shorts - scroll, scroll, scroll... 🙄

Youtube is a great way to not do things haha

 

4 minutes ago, Avra said:

I like that! I've always felt that things surrounding biological sex like genitals, hormone levels, etc, only really matter in a medical context - so your doctor knows best how to care for you. Outside of that, it's really no one's business but your own, imho.

My favorite response to the "in your pants" question is "Well, certainly not you". Generally, that gets someone to shut up lol

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2 hours ago, RaineOnYourParade said:

Youtube is a great way to not do things haha

 

My favorite response to the "in your pants" question is "Well, certainly not you". Generally, that gets someone to shut up lol

That's blunt but I love it! 😂

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6 minutes ago, Avra said:

That's blunt but I love it! 😂

Sometimes that’s the best method haha

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Being intersex, I've struggled with the label issue.  I'm not really a boy, not really a girl.  Kind of between, and there's not much I can do to really fix it.  So a lot of the time I just go with whatever label people stick on me.  If I'm out in public and I'm guessed as a partner's boyfriend, so be it.  If its "girlfriend" or little brother or whatever, I don't care.  Pronouns...whatever works, even a mixture such as "My boyfriend, she..." 

 

But at home, I've gone with the label that my partners have given me.  To my GF, I'm "Lisichka" (a tiny fox), and to my husband and other partners I'm "Pocket Fox."  It fits my personality and mannerisms pretty accurately, and it has kind of caught on with my friends, my stepkids, and others around me.  It also totally bypasses the gender stuff. 

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2 hours ago, awkward-yet-sweet said:

Being intersex, I've struggled with the label issue.  I'm not really a boy, not really a girl.  Kind of between, and there's not much I can do to really fix it.  So a lot of the time I just go with whatever label people stick on me.  If I'm out in public and I'm guessed as a partner's boyfriend, so be it.  If its "girlfriend" or little brother or whatever, I don't care.  Pronouns...whatever works, even a mixture such as "My boyfriend, she..." 

 

But at home, I've gone with the label that my partners have given me.  To my GF, I'm "Lisichka" (a tiny fox), and to my husband and other partners I'm "Pocket Fox."  It fits my personality and mannerisms pretty accurately, and it has kind of caught on with my friends, my stepkids, and others around me.  It also totally bypasses the gender stuff. 

That's interesting. I'm kinda the same with pronouns, I don't particularly care about them. However some labels like "sir" do sound about as grating to me as nails on a chalkboard, but that might also be partly because it sounds so overly formal.

 

Those nicknames sound very sweet and quite efficiently bypass any gender norms. 😎☺️

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4 hours ago, Avra said:

However some labels like "sir" do sound about as grating to me as nails on a chalkboard, but that might also be partly because it sounds so overly formal.

 

I've always hated "little lady", regardless of dysphoria. "Ma'am" is uncomfortable, sure, but "little lady" makes me want to throw something against a wall

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  • 2 weeks later...

Ahh, the good ol' label issue. 

 

I have also struggled with this. I was hellbent on categorizing myself at one stage, so that I could then own it and run with it...whatever "it" actually was. But I never got there. Labelling myself is less important now, yet I still ask myself occasionally. Effeminate or queer? Crossdresser or transfeminine? Gender fluid or bi gender? It's all too hard.

 

@Vidanjali nailed it by suggesting that the nondescript labels are easier to live with.

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I struggled with this one as well. "What am I?" Kept popping up onto my head as all the different colourful categories existed. 

I came to realisation that I am exactly who I am, nothing more and nothing less. 

 

I wake up every morning to prepare myself like any other woman would go about starting her day, and leave the house presenting as a woman (even if dressed androgynous). 

 

People "perceive" me as a woman when they first meet me as well. 

 

In my case, I have chosen to skip the colourful labels and simply think of myself as a woman. 95% of the time, strangers will see me for that as well.

 

If I am "clocked" by some individuals and called something different, I just answer to whatever popped up into their minds and answer to it as well. 

 

I'm not going to waste my time correcting people, nor caring about it either. 

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1 hour ago, Birdie said:

I'm not going to waste my time correcting people, nor caring about it either. 

That's awesome.

 

A couple weeks ago, I went to a drag show with a straight cis girlfriend. I decided to do a little experiment. I wore a rainbow "they/them" pin, and determined to correct any misgendering figuring a drag club would be a safe place to do so. My friend and I walk in and are greeted by the hostess queen: "Good evening, ladies."  I smile and say, I prefer not to be called "lady". She smiled back and asked, what would you like to be called. I said, "friend". She replied, well nice to see you, friend, and then led us to our table. Then, a bartender came over to change a large bill to singles for tips and take our drink order: "Do you ladies need singles?" Again, I smiled and repeated the aforementioned interaction. With a big smile he replied, "welcome, friends!" Then, our server queen came to our table: "Hello, ladies." I gave up. I didn't feel frustrated, exactly, but just a bit alienated. I also realized that a drag club IS very lady-oriented.

 

So, I am working on the not caring so much about it aspect. It is challenging tho when I'm misgendered about 99.9% of the time, including by those I'm out to. But, I don't expect nonbinary to be on most ppl's radar.

 

On 8/30/2023 at 6:14 AM, RaineOnYourParade said:

I've always hated "little lady", regardless of dysphoria. "Ma'am" is uncomfortable, sure, but "little lady" makes me want to throw something against a wall

 

Indeed, neither little nor lady, thank you very much. "Young lady" irks me too, especially as a middle-aged person. I may be rare in this, but I don't find it flattering to be referred to as young. Maybe I'm being literal minded, but if I'm "young" and look like a middle-aged person, then those were some seriously rough years! Moreover, there's a sense of pride in having survived for as many years as I have and having overcome all the challenges throughout.

 

Someday I'll summon up the courage and grace to tell my husband how much I don't care to be referred to as "wife".

 

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I have always preferred to be called she, her, Ms., I don't really care about being called young lady if I do because when I'm talking to most it's usually women in there 50's and 60's at my church. It makes me feel young again after taking 18 different medications which definitely makes me feel old and I'm only 39. 

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