"The growth of understanding follows an ascending spiral rather than a straight line." ~Joanna Field

Friday, May 25, 2012

Some thoughts on Gender

I don't know what I am.
People seem to expect me to. People seem to want me to.
Because that is one of the first things we learn in life.

We learn who our parents are, we learn what we look like. We learn that we are a girl. Or a boy.
And those are our two options.

We aren't expected to change that fact, but if we do we are expected to flip the switch and go the other way entirely.

And I thought I could deal with that, when this all started.
I was confused. I was scared. So I kept the switch on. I taped it that way.  Heck, tried to glue the damn thing in position. And I did pretty well. Nearly seven years I ignored the damn thing.
I was a girl. For every necessary idea, for every purpose, every extent.

Then this whole thing started up again.
So many things had started to settle down, so I guess my brain decided it was a good time to remind me.
I was settling so many lies within myself that I guess I had to settle this, a major one.

But the options available don't work for me.

I am not a girl. I do not like the social context that girls are given. I do not like being seen as a girl. I don't like girl clothes, girl talk, make up, the ideal "female image". I don't want to have breasts, or to have kids.

And I know I am not a boy.
I don't like boy hobbies. I don't want a penis, I don't want to to hide my feelings or to feel unable to cry.
But I know I don't have to be a macho-man. But I know I don't have to be a girly-girl.

I know I don't have to like dresses, or doing my hair. Nor do I have to want to have DD-cup breasts and an eighteen inch waist. I don't have to have seventeen kids, or marry a man.
I don't have to drive a motorcycle. I don't have to sleep with everything in sight. I don't have to bottle everything up inside.
I can ask for directions, I can keep a level head-- not go all emotional at the slightest provocation.

So I don't know what I am.
I know I am not a boy, I know I am not a girl.
But those are the options given.

So I try to pretend that I am okay with this middle ground. Genderqueer. Genderfluid. GenderFUCKED.
I try to pretend that it is okay.

But it isn't, not really.
It matters to me, no matter how much I want it not to. I need the labels. I don't want the labels, but I need them.

I can't be a female bodied man, even if that works for other people.
I can't be a male bodied woman, even if the surgeon people would allow that.
I can't be a MAN, I can't be a WOMAN.

The only thing that I can think I want is to be seen as a man-- male pronouns, male name, male expectations-- but to be a woman-- female body, female feelings, female hobbies.

All I can do is think of the things I want. Because anything more than that, I am incapable of.

Unfortunately the things I want are twisty inside, so I am still trying to figure them out.

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