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DrumbeatAlex

Describing gender?

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DrumbeatAlex

Hey,

So I've been thinking about my gender lately and am still amazingly unsure about everything, but I find my feelings and strength of feelings tends to flow and change.
Anyway, at times I just feel something isn't right or like I should look like a guy or not have boobs etc. but then when the mood passes I don't know how to describe why I felt that way..and whenever I try to think about it logically I can't identify how gender is different from stereotypes. :/ 
That's a really bad explanation of what I mean. But pretty much..how would you describe gender? How is it different from just stereotyping 'this is for boys' 'this is for girls' (ie. what makes up ideas about gender if not stereotypes?)?

I really hope these questions don't offend anyone (sorry if they do :( ). That's certainly not my intention. I'm just trying to put some words and clarity to this concept of gender and my feelings, and thought you all might have some good ways of explaining it. 

Thanks everyone. <3 

PS. I don't know if this is in the right spot but it seemed like a pretty general question so yeah.

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Aanzinaago'Stephanie

First, I'd like to express that everyone will have a different perception on gender. To describe gender, from my own feelings, is impossible. When growing up, I liked reading Ann Rice's books on vampires and witches. One particular book that has always spoken to me is Interview with the Vampire. Why? In particular it was how Armand fell in love with Louis, and how Louis fell in love with Armand (unlike the movie -- where that whole part was cut for movie length). I always had an issue about falling in love with specific genders (such as a boy must be with a girl). Vampirism became romantic and a vampire would fall in love with the person rather than their materialistic showing (guess that could align me with pansexuality...).

So, sorry, I can't really describe it, because what is gender truly? It's not a wrong thing to ask, but in the end, I think only you can find the answer that fits for you. Others might have a more defined answer, tagged with all kinds of aspects. But for me, it's "you" and it's "me". It's seeing beyond the conventional means that label others and simply find out if you like them or not.

I am likely not have been very helpful on this subject. However, I would say it's totally OK to look at things with fluidity (or the way I see it: it just doesn't matter).

 

Love, Stephanie

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Cindy Truheart

Well, I kind of agree with Stephanie a bit on this. I believe that gender is up to us as individuals to describe because it is personal to us. But I think that some general descriptions about it cover the majority of what everyone feels that it is. So, to me it's all about how you feel and see yourself. I've known feminine straight men who were very tired of having their masculinity questioned. They thought that it was ridiculous that the world saw them as a Gay man just because they used moisturizer and lotion every day and liked wearing floral print shirts and fruity smelling cologne. I've known masculine straight women who were automotive mechanics and worked with guys all day long then would go out to the bar, drink beer and watch the game. They got tired of the fact that men would put them in "the friend zone" and treat them like a buddy all the time.

But our expression of our gender is also something that is personal. Unfortunately it is also a visual cue to others for how they expect us to be inside. Sometimes our expression can be altered due to the negative reactions of others based on our physical appearance. We change so that we aren't seen to be something we aren't or we change out of fear.

So describing gender is really an attempt to describe a very complex thing that is different to everyone. It's probably best to try and unravel one aspect of it at a time. That is how I've been going at it for the most part. Try to keep tabs on your own emotions given a situation and see if something may have caused a change in you. For me, how I feel can change based on what is happening around me and how I'm being treated.

For example, today I worked with a woman who is new to the job. I'm still not out at work, so I'm presenting male and trying to watch myself. But we started hitting it off and I relaxed more and more around her as we talked. When it was time to go and we were saying our goodbyes she called me "Sir" twice! I got the dysphoria twang of discord as I like to call it because I had relaxed around her and allowed more and more of me to show. I was feeling comfortable, so I let me guard down. But after I got home, my wife commented that I was acting "male" when I walked in the door. I realized it was because I had fallen back on old habits and had begun shutting off the feminine side of me, I was unconsciously repressing again! This is my struggle nearly every day right now. If I don't pay attention I can go full "man mode" because of how I'm treated. It doesn't seem off to me, it doesn't feel wrong until I realize what I'm doing because I've mastered repression and denial (lying to myself). But living like that for the past 21 years is what has caused my depression, drinking, paranoia, and anger issues. When I realize what I'm doing I can easily stop it and I go back to feeling like me again. All those other feelings melt away the more comfortable I get, the more feminine I'm allowed to be. My bad days are the ones when I can't get away from other people and they only see a man. I don't blame them, it's not their fault. This is simply something I live with right now.

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DrumbeatAlex
On 2/23/2017 at 2:00 AM, Aanzinaago'Stephanie said:

First, I'd like to express that everyone will have a different perception on gender. To describe gender, from my own feelings, is impossible. 

So, sorry, I can't really describe it, because what is gender truly? It's not a wrong thing to ask, but in the end, I think only you can find the answer that fits for you. 

Mm, this is interesting because yeah, people will experience and perceive it differently and describing feelings in general doesn't work very well.
Looking past labels to find if you like someone or not is a good idea. Lol, doesn't help describing labels though >_< :P:)

And yes, I believe fluidity plays a role..even in cases where people don't change their label the exact feelings they feel may change over time. Thanks for the response Stephanie <3 :)

On 2/23/2017 at 10:36 AM, Cindy Truheart said:

I believe that gender is up to us as individuals to describe because it is personal to us. But I think that some general descriptions about it cover the majority of what everyone feels that it is. So, to me it's all about how you feel and see yourself. I've known feminine straight men who were very tired of having their masculinity questioned. They thought that it was ridiculous that the world saw them as a Gay man just because they used moisturizer and lotion every day and liked wearing floral print shirts and fruity smelling cologne. I've known masculine straight women who were automotive mechanics and worked with guys all day long then would go out to the bar, drink beer and watch the game. They got tired of the fact that men would put them in "the friend zone" and treat them like a buddy all the time.

But our expression of our gender is also something that is personal. Unfortunately it is also a visual cue to others for how they expect us to be inside. Sometimes our expression can be altered due to the negative reactions of others based on our physical appearance. We change so that we aren't seen to be something we aren't or we change out of fear.

"how you feel and see yourself" is a nice simple way of putting it.

I guess that's what I was sort of getting at, you can be feminine but still identify as male and vice versa so what makes someone identify as female rather than a feminine man?..that's really what I'm having trouble logic-ing. I guess its many of the little things perhaps; bodies, people's perception etc..at least in some cases..and that to know WHY people feel this way we probably need more science... :/
You present some interesting points and ideas, thanks for the response Cindy :)

 

I can just sort of imagine coming out and people asking "how can you feel a gender? why dont you just be a tough chick?" and I wouldn't have a very clearly put answer.. :/ I think I'm going to start writing some of these feelings down to try to find more clarity. :)

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MarcieMarie12

For me, it was one of those things I think that ultimately came down to how I experienced gender on a mostly subconcious level. Having to repress alot of myself for just being AMAB, I eventually got tired of living that way. What the line is I am not sure, but how one wishes to be seen and how we see oursleves. I highly doubt an effiminate man wants female sex characteristics. Would they feel comfortable in expresing as a woman 100% of the time? I would highly doubt that either.

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