My Thoughts On Gender Identity, Part One

To be as accurate as possible at this very moment, my current gender identity is wanting to take a saw and separate the two diametrically-opposed gendered parts of me and let them finally live their separate lives in peace & productivity.

I honestly do not know which is the “real” me and which is merely a layer brought on by compounded trauma. More often than not, it is suggested to me that obviously (obviously) my feminine side is the real deal & once I follow through with (another) comprehensive therapy program, it will all be sorted.

I would say that growing up, I was about 75% interested in hanging out with boys and playing with action figures & cars & whatnot. Easily. I found girls & girl culture to be intensely boring. Now, was this because of the relatively limited roles & interests allotted to females at that time? I have entertained that possibility—though to be honest, I also feel there is a sizable percentage of “traditionally feminine” hobbies/interests that females generally do tend to be drawn towards. Which is to say: I am not sure my personal preferences really would apply to the majority of women out there.

The irony is, as of late I’ve actually gotten interested in a hobby that is very female-centric, scrapbooking/“junk journaling.” (Even though…2 of the most famous scrapbookers were William Burroughs & Peter Beard. But Burroughs, certainly, was mostly doing it for the lulz & to break reality via chaos magick). Scrapbooking has been one of the few interests I’ve ever had that seems to be predominantly made up of female enthusiasts. I might even dip a toe into slow-stitching & pornographic embroidery.

For almost a decade I was considered a “female role-model” because I had publicly spoke up about being sexually harassed in the comic book industry—something that up to that point (2006 or so) was rarely done. Now: being a “female role-model” and also secretly more-or-less transmasculine is really neat because you can be actively & publicly hated by both men & women! It was sheer genius on my part.

Of course, to the male trolls I was a hated “feminazi”—and to the female trolls, “there’s just something wrong about her!” I was already considered a “traitor” by some feminists just based on my “vibes.” Because while I didn’t dress like a dude or even understand what being transmasculine was, clearly most of my interests & personal role-models were male. So this translated (if you would excuse the awkward unintentional pun) to: “she doesn’t deserve to be a female role-model because she’s not…female enough!”

What was it like being secretly more-or-less transmasculine & also being a somewhat public female “role-model?” It was like constantly wanting to kill myself but not really understanding why. Every time I was hired for a gig specifically for my perceived gender—which was about 75-80% of the time—I wanted to die inside. I held out hope that perhaps I could somehow “extend” the definition of being a “female” somehow by starting to introduce my more masculine interests & beliefs to my public persona, but I was already being held under a microscope by the feminists in my industry who rather publicly believed I was most likely a “traitor” receiving the publicity & opportunities that of course they rightfully deserved. So every word I would blog would be scrutinized to reveal perhaps secret “anti-feminist” propaganda.

This is all, by the way, why when “TERFs” became a thing I was not surprised at all. I think some of the roots of TERFiness is such a strong hatred of men & masculinity that anything that was ever in any way related to such—even an accident of birth—is suspect & bad & tainted.

And this leads to the several instances in my later years where I have been straight-up informed that if I was a lesbian—even a masculine lesbian—that would be ok & far preferable to some sort of transmasculine situation. The impression that I get, even in some progressive circles, is that as a transmasculine person with little interest in having sex with other women, I am pretty much fucking useless.

If anything I have written so far offends you…I’m not sure I apologize per se, but you must understand that this is all rather new to me to write so openly. As for the term “transmasculine” and whether I do or do not “qualify” for that description…the definition of such I’ve taken from the “Gender Wiki” and you can parse it out at your leisure. One thing I have noticed from my time dealing in progressive causes is that while there are a lot of great people in them, there are also a number of very loud assholes who constantly want to prove that you do not “qualify.”

I will end this post with two more quick points that probably need their own posts to expand upon.

First: I am also very esoterically-minded, and it is impossible for me to separate out my fluctuating gender identity from my metaphysics. I already perceive how some might find that all very problematic for a wide-ranging number of reasons. But such as I am.

Second: The definition of my gender identity that has seemed to work best with peeps who really find it hard to wrap their minds around all this stuff is to say, I feel like a gay man in a woman’s body. That all being said: I am in no way claiming to understand the experience of growing up as a cisgender gay man. I am just reaching for the most apt comparison.

Was this helpful at all? Are you intrigued? Infuriated? There’s so much more to say. Next post.

One thought on “My Thoughts On Gender Identity, Part One

  1. It was helpful–thank you for posting this ^^. I’m also nonbinary (but not in the way you describe–more like a set of infinite alternating matryoshka dolls that all want to be read as whatever sex they aren’t, as far as I can tell), so I really value your ability to write about gender and metaphysics without coming off as judgy or prescriptive in general (I don’t think I’ve seen it in any other bloggers who write about comics/conspiracy/synchromysticism.)

    Liked by 1 person

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