By a factor of 10

Someone wrote…

“If you’re confused by my gender, I can guarantee you that it confuses me 10x more.

What’s your experience?

And what are you thinking about gender right now?

Posted by on April 29th, 2011 at 08:00 am

Category: your voice 4 comments »

4 Responses to “By a factor of 10”

  1. TomboySissie

    I used to feel the same way. I’ve only really started to understand my gender in the last few months.

    And late at night I still get… lost.

    Honestly, I wouldn’t want to understand everything all at once. The confusion has helped to… focus my mind. As I come to understand myself, I begin to understand everyone – and everything – more than I think would have been possible if I were cisgendered.

    The confusion and questioning have given me an appreciation of the destination of my life. For me, this is about the journey, as much as it is about the destination.

    I once was lost, and all that.


  2. Jessica

    “And many transgender people do have quite a bit of inner confusion and uncertainty. They are trying to find their way, usually alone, through some of the most difficult and complex emotional and intellectual terrain in the realm of human experience. Even without the insane level of prejudice and discrimination, we get hurt… but we heal.” Excerpt from an article I wrote this week for Canyon News in LA.


  3. Adair

    I feel the same way when I worry about gender. I’m like, “How is it even possible for me to feel this pulse of relief when I look in the mirror and see myself as a male, to be frustrated that everyone reads me as female anyway, and to feel cisgendered on the same day? How is it that tomorrow I’ll feel completely different, that I might feel agendered or bigendered or want to look female and femme or want to look male and femme or want to look female and too geeky/nerdy to be gendered and I might object to calling myself female or I might object to saying I’m not female and/or I might object to being called masculine. If gender identity is a real thing, which evidence says yes, how can I have one that not all of me agrees on all of the time (but some of me agrees on some of the time)? Why do I feel this way? What parts are natural, which are social? What parts of my narrative of my own gender identity over my life are confirmation bias or normal for cisgendered people–or abnormal for cis people? What sorts of abnormality are evidence that I should identify as something other than my assigned gender? Should I be true to myself or live the way that will cause me less distress (ie accepting the way other people inevitably read me)? Am I a fool for becoming so identified with the trans community when I don’t really have much dysphoria and maybe could have gotten away with being cis? Am I a fool for thinking that could have been possible for me, that the dysphoria I did/do feel wouldn’t have made me lash out with misogyny and who knows what other types of anger? Am I trying to be trans as a reflection of my political beliefs and friendship with trans people? Am I trying to be cis because that’s what even one (some?) of my trans friends expect of me? Because other people see me as female so I feel like I have to be? I feel broken that I can’t just be seen as whoever I feel like… What does it mean to feel like someone who identifies with women but should be seen as a man (but not masculine; not feminine, but not masculine–unmarked), and who has identified mostly with men but played the role of a female in the past? Nothing I say about my gender, even if true at the time of writing, is true for very long. Words really don’t capture it, really mislead. I don’t know what part of me is not cisgendered, doubt it’s the same part as in “regular” trans people–or maybe it’s bits and pieces of different parts. How can I be seen as a gender that doesn’t exist in our culture, that doesn’t match the strict anatomical/hormonal model of gender/sex determination in my culture? Am I lying when people call me ‘she’ or refer to me as female and I don’t say anything–or rush into the discussion on gender with a nervous, closet energy, needing to express the intensity of my emotions but unwilling/unable to reveal how I see myself–and least of all how unplatonic that image is, less a closed geometric figure and far more like a microecosystem, grass and bugs and predators and prey and competition and invasion and changing population sizes and genetic drift and input from the weather and pollution outside and… Why must my tongue twist up when I try to explain that I am and am not something they are assuming that doesn’t seem like it has many implications other than the grammatical or purely medical to them [the people who assume I’m female, which is most everyone]?”


  4. Jessica

    Visiting a booth at the local Saturday market on the first day of the season:
    “Thank you Sir, err, are you a man or a woman?”
    “Yes, thank you.”
    “Does it matter?”
    “I don’t know.”
    “Then it doesn’t. Have a nice day.”
    Don’t you just love shopping.


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