Gender-regulate myself.

Someone wrote…

I’m afraid that I have to straighten and gender-regulate myself to fit into the definition of “attractive” to anyone around me. I don’t want to be alone but I don’t want to hide.

What’s your experience?

And what are you thinking about gender right now?

Posted by on January 18th, 2010 at 08:00 am

Category: your voice 19 comments »

19 Responses to “Gender-regulate myself.”

  1. anonymous

    I feel this way too and I’m trying to work through it.


  2. Moriquendu

    Seconded. (Or thirded?) Hmmm.


  3. Anonymous

    I feel like I can’t present the gender identity that I want because it doesn’t fit my body type. When I try to look butch/like a boy, I just look like a little kid in pants that don’t fit.

    It’s like I can only be an attractive girl or a not-so-attractive boy.


  4. Anonymous

    my girlfriend complains about that (about the pants that don’t fit her body type). But really whenever she dresses like a boy she looks super hot. i think a female body fitting awkwardly into men’s clothing is hot. And she definitely gets mistaken for a boy when she dresses that way so it’s not like she doesn’t look like a guy.


  5. Corbyn

    I’ve had the opposite experience, where as I see myself as masculine, dress and try to present as masculine and male appearing as possible. THe community I try to be a part of though finds this quite unattractive because I am “gender-regulating” myself as a trans guy trying to be masculine and not gender-queer.


  6. Traduit

    Fourthed(?) It sucks, especially since it might be true. :/


  7. Chase

    I’ve never “gender-regulated” myself like that, but I guess I could see why someone would.
    I don’t live near many trans or genderqueer people, so a lot of people consider my gender nonconformity unattractive in a relationship. I think I’ve pretty much been single most of my “out” life.

    I chose comfort in identity over the hopes of being in a relationship. I wish I could have both, and maybe someday I will.


  8. Sen

    I *so* hear what you’re talking about. I think a lot of us deal with these feelings: true to ourselves and alone, or true to social norms and with partners flocking. I don’t have the answer, but what I’m coming to is just not expecting to find a partner outside the genderqueer community I know of–which is of course way too small a community to be all of us…


  9. Jørgen

    I suppose it’s because cis-gendered straight folk follow certain rules of engagement which genderqueers either don’t get or don’t want to get. Romancing is an art and things tend to go haywire when you mix the rules up, either willingly or unwillingly.
    It can sometimes drive you hopeless because you feel you do everything right, but everything gets lost in translation. I sometimes envy people from the cis-variant oppisite of sex, just because they do exactually the same, but they do get the message deliverd. It’s a complex matter.


  10. Tamar

    I hear what you (and several commenters) are saying, but I wish it weren’t so. I identify as a queer, cis-gender woman and I find genderqueer people to be incredibly hot! (I mean this as a compliment; I’m not trying to lump all genderqueer people into one category and say you all look the same.) In my opinion, there is something really attractive–both physically and mentally/intellectually–about people who do not subscribe to the gender binary and either are transitioning across it, exist somewhere in the middle, move around it, or identify in any other of innumerable ways.

    I know that many cis-gender people do not understand or agree with my views. However, I’m at a loss to understand why so many people are afraid or uncomfortable with these ideas, when I find them so beautiful. In terms of personality, I usually find that people who have an open-minded approach to gender and sexuality are also open-minded about other aspects of life, which I like.

    While I sympathize with your struggles to present yourself in a way that people around you will consider “attractive,” I sincerely wish that you can stay strong and stay true to yourself and that you’ll find someone special who loves this about you.


  11. miko

    move to a place where you trust the ppl around you to accept difference. large, diverse cities usually work.


  12. Mel

    Don’t fit yourself into the definition of “attractive” to society – really now, just be yourself. Once you’re yourself, someone will find you and fall in love with you, for the beauty of you – not the beauty you represent yourself as.


  13. Meike

    Very well put, Mel!

    Julian, you’re never alone! As long as you have friends who support you no matter how you look or identify, you’re not alone. And like Mel said, you don’t have to fit everyone else’s definition of attractive to BE attractive. If you aren’t a straightened and gender-regulated person by nature, then DON’T be–just be yourself, and someone will see you as the beautiful person you are.


  14. Meike

    Oops, and apologies to the poster, I think I may have written the name “Julian” by mistake… *blushes*


  15. julian



  16. Jillian

    I think that in the gay community, especially, is where men have to be masculine, and women have to be feminine. Or at least, that’s common thought that that is what will get you laid. I mean, gay men are attracted to “MEN” right, not fem men? That’s what I’ve been told, but I refuse to compromise my gender identity to feel “accepted” or to attract others because then they aren’t really attracted to me.


  17. Anonymous

    This is exactly my new worry as I come to terms with myself as a genderqueer person.

    Before I realised I was genderqueer I had my housemates/friends that were slowly but surely turning my gender presentation into that of a bland feminine woman. The hair, the makeup, clothes, et al. I’m not exxagerrating to say I made an attractive woman “you look so much better … see how many men you attract like this?” they said. Peer pressure I guess. But it was play-acting, a drag act even and would now make me so uncomfortable.

    Now, I’m trying to figure out how to feel attractive again as myself… without conforming to those ideals.

    Scary thoughts of being alone make it so tempting to slip back into facade of feminine straight heterosexual woman but what would be the sense in that?


    But I figure when I do meet someone, they will be the most awesome open-minded person and that thought gets me excited.


  18. Meike

    Never give up yourself to please others! It makes you feel more alone than anything ever could. Moderation in certain instances is one thing, but losing yourself to please people is never good. A person should be able to love you for ALL of you.


  19. Heather

    Don’t hide! Be who you are! <3


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