Profile: C


You can call me… C, I guess. It stands for Carde, and Carde is just fine too. Carde, for its part, is a nickname for something given to me when I was born. I think my real name is beautiful, but it’s hard for me to say it aloud.

I identify as… Nothing. I’m really amazed by all the people who can actually tell what they are and where they belong to. And who then carry themselves with overwhelming pride and comfort. I wish I was among them, but I’m not. For me (at least for now) there’s only this empty feeling of nothing. And nothing is something very hard for one to defend.

As far as third-person pronouns go, … “He” is fine. I may not be able to identify myself at the moment, but I know very well where I’d like to be, and where I have wanted to be for many years already. But for now, “she” has to be okay as well. In a way I think I’m lucky, since there are no gender-specific pronouns in the Finnish language. So your gender doesn’t have to come up in every sentence here and there. Although we have people yelling something like “What’s up girl?” and “Hey dude!” everywhere, like in any language.

I’m attracted to… Boys mostly, now that I’ve given myself a chance to love them too. Still, it doesn’t mean I wouldn’t love my girlfriend with all my heart. I also often feel a need to clarify that I don’t like boys just because they’re boys, or I didn’t fall in love with girls because they were girls. What I see is just some hands, collarbones, legs, backs, hips, head, hair, fingers, knees, eyes, chin, mouth, clothing. I have actual difficulties to see any gender or sex through all the other features. I’m sorry, but I don’t really give a damn.

When people talk about me, I want them to… speak without fear or hesitation. I want them to be able to talk straight to me, to be themselves, act and speak freely. I always thought I’d be an easy person to talk to, so I wonder why it seems to be so hard. I have a great sense of humor, you know, and even the ability to laugh at myself. Don’t be so afraid about the things you’d like to say. It’s pointless: I may not be a very strong person, but if I could break that easily, it would have happened already.

I want people to understand… that even if I went through the trouble of fixing up this silly, frustrating body of mine, I’m not going to die. I know you’re all scared, but telling me how you’re going to miss me for eternity and how you’re loving me just as I am now and not as anything else, makes me feel like I really am dead to you. It’s true that somewhere in the future I might carry a different name (it’s for my parents to decide), I might look different, sound different, even act very differently. But I think it’s just something similar to growing up. I will still be me. I’m nothing new, I have still been born.
It’s like Coupland wrote in Little Creatures, if you’ll allow a quote: “I realize that my own nature — the core me — essentially hasn’t changed over all these years. When I wake up in the morning, for those first few moments before I remember where I am or when I am, I still feel the same way I did when I woke up at the age of five.”

About C
I’m a 22-year-old fool living in a polyamorous relationship, studying the history of arts in the University of Jyväskylä, Finland. I’m very clumsy and loving, shy and scared. I’m a lousy street dancer but I love to dance. I’m a writer and a failure as a filmmaker. I’m really into parkour. I try to go forward as fast as I can by using my legs, bicycles, motorcycles, snowboards, skates, anything to feel the rush. I’m obsessed with experiencing the thrill of falling.

» Define yourself. «

Posted by on November 22nd, 2010 at 04:00 pm

Category: profiles 32 comments »

32 Responses to “Profile: C”

  1. Adlai

    You should come to Eloy, Arizona and go skydiving!


  2. Anonymous

    Hey, I go by C as well! C for Cameron, though.

    You are a very lovely individual. I wouldn’t say you’re nothing- even if you float around in this dark, genderless void like many of us, there’s so much to you. I find your words really wonderful, and they inspire me deeply.

    And because of that, you have plenty to defend and lots of reason to.


  3. Milo

    Oh, this is very beautiful! And Finnish is a lovely language. I love your philosophic outlook on life! :)


  4. G

    I really liked how you expressed your nothingness <3

    Coming from another nothing who has often felt "gender retarded" but has never wanted to have what the gendered folks have even if it seems it would make life easier, may I ask where is it you'd like to be?


    Anonymous replied:

    hey so just wanted to say “retarded” is not a great word to use on a site that is aiming to make people feel safer and not judged.


    G replied:

    not even in the completely technical sense? as in “I seem to mentally handicapped/slow when it comes to gender”? isn’t that what the word means? was it not the medical term for handicap for ages before somebody decided it was an insult? should every word that someone decides to use as an insult be replaced by yet another word that means exactly the same thing? if “female” becomes an insult (as it nearly is) are we required to come up with a new term for that?

    can I not refer to myself however I choose? is my father, disabled both mentally and physically from a stroke, not allowed to refer to himself as a “crip-tard” (crippled-retard) if that light hearted self deprecation helps him cope his situation? the word expresses exactly how I feel about myself “mentally deficient regarding gender”. I can’t help if someone who hears/reads me talking about myself feels personally judged. and frankly that seems a little silly.

    if there is a reason why I should not use a word to express how I feel about myself, that I would not use towards others, that is exactly the word that describes how I feel, and was acceptable until it was decreed un-PC, please tell me. really, I mean it, tell me. I may have my opinion on this, but I welcome learning from other’s viewpoints in all cases.


    Jessica replied:

    I know “retarded” is a pejorative term not used politely anymore, but it is one I always liked, because it implies to me that the person was held back by others, through no fault or condition of their own – which is unfortunately often the case. In terms of gender, such a retarding is sometimes more because of the influence of others rather than because of any innate quality, drive or desire of the person at issue.

  5. Anonymous

    “I may not be a very strong person, but if I could break that easily, it would have happened already.”

    That’s some strength, right there :)


  6. 29

    I’ve read every profile published on here, and I have to say yours is the only one that actually caught my attention. There’s something about you, that I haven’t felt about any of the others.

    Some people, you know, you just feel there’s more under the surface.
    And, beautiful quote. Love it.


  7. Milo

    As a Response to 29: Yes, I agree. A lot of the other people had some nice, warm, fuzzy things to say, but for some reason your profile speaks to me as though you’ve thought this through well. A lot of other people know what their gender is and how they need to express it, which is great, but you know exactly why, maybe not scientifically, yet you know exactly who you are, how it makes you feel, and what that implies. To top it off, you articulate it beautifully :) Kudos to you.


  8. Cammy

    Your perspective is really interesting and unique. Also: you have cool hair.


    Cammy replied:

    Also also: FUCK YEAH PARKOUR. (I only noticed that on the second reading.) There can never be too many genderqueer traceurs. *high fives*


  9. anta

    I knew I couldn’t be the only Finn here…

    We really do have lovely pronouns.


  10. Meike

    Wait, Finnish has no gender-specific pronouns? My new goal in life is to learn to speak Finnish. Seriously. I am so sick of gender-specific pronouns.


  11. Milo

    @ Meike: You’ll want to stay away from languages like Arabic, where even the verbs are inflected for gender! I believe Russian’s pretty bad too. But yes, Finnish sounds o-so-beautiful.


    Jessica replied:

    Isn’t Finnish one of the most difficult languages of any to try and learn. Finnish has fifteen noun cases: four grammatical cases, six locative cases, two essive cases (three in some Eastern dialects) and three marginal cases. Notice that the word in a given locative case modifies the verb, not a noun. Yikes!


    Meike replied:

    Yes, a friend of mine who’s studying linguistics says it’s the hardest language to learn. And I’m very disappointed that Russians so dependent on gender, I’ve always wanted to learn it. *sigh* But I guess there’s always Finnish, even if it is difficult.


    Jessica replied:

    There’s always German, whose gender is applied universally but entirely at random without any sense or meaning. As Mark Twain said: In German grammar, there are almost always more exceptions to the rule than instances of it.

    Meike replied:

    This is true, and I find it totally frustrating as I’m sitting here in Germany for a year abroad. However my other American roommate once introduced me to a group of people she knew as “das Steph”, while my male friend was “der Matthias”. It totally made my day, even if it was a complete accident on her part (maybe she meant “die”?). And if it was on purpose that makes me love it even more. But I agree, I’ve often asked Germans why they don’t just get rid of the silly genders entirely. If not I will forever refer to myself as das Mädchen instead of die Frau. I’d rather be a neutral das-type person any day.

    tigr replied:

    There’s always German, whose gender is applied universally but entirely at random without any sense or meaning.

    Except when it comes to people. Then it’s very clearly either “der” or “die”. And sentences like, e.g. “[singular]they work as a medic” are just impossible to translate in a gender-neutral way :( If anyone can prove me wrong I’d be very happy…

    And we don’t “just get rid of the silly genders entirely” because it is such a deeply engrained feature of the language. In English you just have to pick one set of gender-neutral pronouns and that’s pretty much it; but you’d have to change the *whole* of German to achieve the same effect, and that’d just end up in creating a new language. Meh :(

    anta replied:

    Here in Finland we are nowadays encouraged to tell people that this is a myth and that Finnish isn’t harder than other languages. People just tend to think it’s hard because it’s very different from its neighbouring languages, and the Germanic and Romance and what-have-you-languages in general. I hear it’s mostly very regular and logical, though of course I’m in no place to say, seeing as I was brought up with the stuff and know virtually nothing about linguistics. (Besides, the Hungarian language has some thirty noun cases for those of you who are afraid of noun cases.)

    Apparently one of the setbacks in trying to learn Finnish as a foreigner in Finland today is that people jump at any opportunity to speak English to a foreigner, and this gives little room for everyday practise. Perhaps, if we weren’t so proud of our English and were a bit less ashamed of our beautiful language…


    Anonymous replied:

    Yes, the way I look at it, no language is any harder or more syntactically complex than any other. It just depends on how different it is from your native language. It happens that English very much relies on word order rather than inflecting verbs or nouns to syntactically make sense. But that doesn’t make it easier or harder, just different. So yes, I do not know all that much about Finnish, but it would probably be harder for an English speaker to learn that other European languages, mostly because it is actually not an Indo-European language. It’s in the Uralic family. But hey–when there’s a will there’s a way! At least it’s not like Basque, which has several thousand ways to conjugate verbs, which have to agree with both the subject of a sentence, the object, and the indirect object if there is one!

    I’m currently learning (as a native English speaker) Spanish and Portuguese because I live in the US and other than English, those are the other two big languages that are spoken over here in the Americas. But I love Finnish; I may have to learn that next.

    Anyway, thanks for letting me geek out linguistically here.

    Milo replied:

    (Oh, and that last reply was from Milo. I’m using another computer)

    Jessica replied:

    And when you speak English so well, better than many American native speakers I can name, you should be proud of your skill and take every opportunity to use it.

    anta replied:

    Thanks for the compliment, but I still think there’s a time and place for everything. If someone is trying to learn Finnish, people should try to help them (whenever it’s reasonable), and not just polish their own language skills.

    And yay for Portuguese! I still remember when I years ago went to a Finnish-Portuguese wedding and spent half the time wondering why there were so many people speaking Russian. Was I ever amazed to realise it was Portuguese. Who would have thought Portuguese is not just a dialect of Spanish.

  12. J.D.

    You are such a beautiful person.


  13. Hodge Podge

    I love Genderfork, but sometimes it gets a little unsatisfying that everyone seems to have a happier outlook then me. SO it’s nice to see a profile that gets a little bit dark. I think ‘nothing’ might be my new gender label.

    Not to make out you’re completely morbid! You seem awesome.


  14. Anonymous

    RETARD = SLOW in french, who knew?


  15. Lovisa

    in French, “(en) retard” is also “late”, y’know. as to all the linguistics talk up there (I love you people, linguistic geek at heart): Chinese has gender-neutral pronouns too! they’re written with different characters, though (“?” for “she” and “?” for “he”; they’re both pronounced “ta”). and I hear it’s “yeye” for both in Swahili. wohooo.

    C, you seem way cool. I love Finnish.


    Meike replied:

    Actually, both “he” and “she” in Chinese used to be just one character, “ta”, written like “he” is. It was only later they differentiated between “ta” for men and “ta” for women. But they’re not exactly gender-neutral in spelling, since the radicals for the two are different. But pronounciation-wise I guess they are kind of ambiguous.


  16. B

    Excellent, excellent post! Very descriptive, very personal! It seems like you did very little self-censoring, which is surprisingly refreshing, even for this community. I’m right alongside you in being surprised/jealous of folks who (think they) know what they are. Anybody who claims to have all of anything figured out has already blinded themselves to the nuances that make up life.

    I like to say that gender’s an illusion anyway…intuitively, the concept makes no sense. What logical connection is there between nurturing behavior and length of hair? Or aggression and clothing style? Nothing, until invoking the almighty g-word!

    I’d love to pick your brain further on this subject. Don’t know if it’s possible to swap emails without it being in public, but if so, let’s do!


  17. Anonymous

    I understand your nothingness. I think that is what you get if you go deep in your consciousness.


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