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Nyx

Howdy Folks, I'm new here so if this topic has already come up please excuse my redundancy.

 

I guess a little background might help in order to preface my point for writing this. I came out as non binary at 17, I lived in the bay area at the time, went to an arts high school, and received a decent amount of support from my family.  By support I mostly mean, not rejection. I've been on and off HRT for reasons outside my control, and my treatment is finally doing it's thing again after a year of miserable mental health do to a T driven relapse, if you catch my drift. As I am new here I wont get too into the psychological effects of that experience, because I don't know how, impersonal this forum rides in regards to, the nitty gritty. These days I live in Portland Oregon, going to an Arts college, which is about the only place to go after attending arts middle/High-school, unless daddy has money, which, a fair percentage of my peers were living that affluent clown life, at which point I guess you can just, blue chip your way around the business syndicate.

 

Anywho, I've been locked up in my apartment. My brother started his first year of college in Chicago (SAIC,) but was kicked out of his dorm due to the crisis, so he's living here with me, which thank goodness there's a person I can interact with.

 

So, that brings me to my point of writing. Between 2017 and now, due to my constant engagement with the arts, I've kind of been trapped in a never ending existential nightmare, as the need to make art necessitates the need to come up with meaningful subjects to make work on, and being an individual who doesn't really engage with the social order at large, I've had my niche cut out to me. I don't think I would have gotten the collegial scholarships I did If I was making work on another subject. For instance, I received a the best scholarship SAIC has to offer, which is only given to the top 5 percent of accepted applicants, and knowing as much as i do now about the school due to my brother's attendance, I don't think I would have received the same scholarship if my application did not lean into identity politics as much as it had, which was a tactic I utilized. All my Queer and POC friends who flirt with these elitist institutions have discovered they really have this disgusting fetish for having token  Identities on their rosters.

 

So yeah, I sold my soul a little bit to get where I am, but hey, what else was I supposed to do? I'd grown up in a place with an above average concentration of queer, trans and GNC folks my age, and watched so many of those folks spiral out to drugs, or familial issues, or even be disappeared after being hospitalized, I just didn't want to "be like them." not that that thought was meant to blame other's for how circumstances shaped their paths, but perhaps, I wished to forge a path I felt I controlled.  But, a few years later, the sense that I have any control over my life has been eroded. The more I find out about the experiences of my fellow peers, the more I understand this college mostly serves to make a group of administrator's their lively hoods, and give overpriced certificates of lip service to students upon graduation. While I think some professors do conduct themselves with the most academic integrity they are capable of mustering, other professors seem, incredibly ego driven, with little interest in maintaining academic or artistic integrity in their spaces. With those criticisms made, I still intend on going through with this drudgery until I graduate, since my merit scholarship is mint, and I don't think I will need to make any significant loans to get through.

 

So, Externally I feel stuck and mindless. Controlling my sense of self seems about the only true space of agency I conduct, and I have become increasingly disillusioned to the concept of a self. Going on and off hormones while being pretty damaging to my mental health, has been eye opening as to how the hormonal levels of individuals dictate personality and behavioral traits, and has brought me to the conclusion that most of our gendered social constructs and stereotypes are  the result of an obsession with categorizing behavior, probably due to the frog pond affect. I recognize I just proclaimed a very subjective topic as an absolute, but I'm rolling with that.

 

So where does that all leave me? If gender and Identity as a whole is the product of traditions of social comparison, then doesn't imply that in order to have a sense of self one requires an other to not be? And then the individual become dependent on being different from another. That all just sounds like subjective gawbaldy gook! I want to exist based off my "essential self," A projection of some sort of internal truth.

 

In the search of that external self, I subjected myself to periods of isolation. Over last summer, save working a dishwasher job 5-3 nights a week, I cut off most of my social ties, and spent all my non work times alone. I realize that that is a piss poor form of isolation, but I think the venture adequately addressed my concerns. I discovered such isolation to be dreadfully painful and lonesome. what point is there to exist without an other to exist along side and with relation to? I think this experience killed the notion I might have an essential self. In isolation I was nothing, a body who ate and slept. A humunculus obsessively fantasizing even the most platonic physical interactions.

 

I think, I should mention I'm atheist. I cannot conceive of a higher intelligence being responsible for reality. I think more likely divinity is symptomatic of a collective existential dread that there is nothing meaningful to existence unless a greater governing force is capable of imbuing objective meaning into existence... which seems kinda ridiculous.

 

So all that is to say, Identity seems mostly just a means of differentiating oneself from others, and if the fascade I depict is one of absence, then that means I exist as a product of what gender is not, which is.... not a thing. that is a null statement. Why then do I carry on HRT  If my imperfect vessel is empty. Does a ship adrift with no crew have a heading, or is it merely a leaf in the breeze? say the ship eventually makes landfall, did it matter whether the ship had been steered by intelligent minds or by the currents of sea and wind? Does one then precede to fool themselves as to being captain of the vessel who's destinations are realized by fortune, or does a miserable boat simply drift away into quiet oblivion?

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Susan R

Hi Nyx,

From reading this excellent commentary, I can see we have a few similar world views. It’s very honest and revealing which is refreshing. Your experience in the quote below I found to be especially true. When I was working long late night hours at my small business often I experienced a similar feeling from the lack of this most basic human need.

1 hour ago, Nyx said:

In the search of that external self, I subjected myself to periods of isolation. Over last summer, save working a dishwasher job 5-3 nights a week, I cut off most of my social ties, and spent all my non work times alone. I realize that that is a piss poor form of isolation, but I think the venture adequately addressed my concerns. I discovered such isolation to be dreadfully painful and lonesome. what point is there to exist without an other to exist along side and with relation to? I think this experience killed the notion I might have an essential self. In isolation I was nothing, a body who ate and slept. A humunculus obsessively fantasizing even the most platonic physical interactions.

I believe we’re all social creatures by nature, some more than others.  Many have adapted to require less than others but I’m definitely not part of that group...at least not since starting my transition.

 

Thank you for sharing some perspective on yourself and your world. I love to read more.


Susan R🌷

 

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sleepinflame

Nyx,

 

I think you have to accept that biology exists.  We wish our minds were free of our biology.

 

Culture also exists.  Part of our biology is to be social with other humans.  Not an absolute requirement, but I think it is inherently important for us.

 

Our biology, male or female or in-between, does shape our interactions with other people and our culture.

 

Here's something you might enjoy.  Did you see the movie Ex Machina?  It is a very well done movie which at least touches on so many important questions of self awareness and being.

 

What I came away from that movie thinking was, "Imagine how much harder it is to create an artificial intelligence which is not sociopathic than it is to merely design an artificial intelligence."

 

I have a strong conclusion that there is a strong biological component to how we desire to interact with people.  I have a growing conclusion that our hormones and f/m tendencies push us to interact in certain specific and different ways.

 

I am on this site not to understand my identity so much as to understand how far I am willing to go to have an easy time interacting with women in the way women typically interact.  Hormones aren't a joke and my quest is to figure out if I want to re-forge my brain that way.  I do conclude that it will have a big effect on me and I'm pretty sure it would be in the direction I want.

 

I guess my point is the internal world is only part of the story.  But contrary-wise, so much of life is how you want to be with people.  Your friends, your romantic interests, and the casual interactions.

 

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Astrid
On 4/23/2020 at 9:02 PM, sleepinflame said:

I am on this site not to understand my identity so much as to understand how far I am willing to go to have an easy time interacting with women in the way women typically interact.

 

Well said.  As an AMAB non-binary person, I've known for a long time that I already relate much better with women than men.  And among those women friends I am out to, our (private) conversations and relationship dynamics are different, indeed. 

 

Astrid

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