Gender mood swings.

Someone wrote…

Does anyone else have days where they wake up feeling one gender and switch halfway through? I don’t even know how to begin explaining my gender mood swings to the people around me.

What’s your experience?

And what are you thinking about gender right now?

Posted by on May 2nd, 2011 at 08:00 am

Category: your voice 23 comments »

23 Responses to “Gender mood swings.”

  1. Fiona

    Yes, quite often.


  2. Puck

    Certainly, although, it’s often brought on by social dysphoria.


  3. Anonymous

    Yep, it makes it kind of frustrating getting dressed in the morning,


  4. Nate

    I know what you mean.Very rarely do I finish out a day without at least one switch in gender,which can lead to some unpleasant situations.From what I’ve experienced, wardrobe changes make it more clear to people that you’ve gone through another shift in gender.


  5. Tree


    It makes anything like considering to transition nearly impossible for me, even though I pretty much identify as male the majority of the time- heck, even now, as I write this, I’m feeling a “shift”.

    I don’t know if it’s mood or what- if anything can actually cause gender shifts (because I have always believed gender is imprinted in the mind due to hormones pre-natally)…

    But I’d love to see a study done on genderswitchy people like us- like, scanners attached to our heads for a week, to observe if our brains actually change between “hot spots” depending on whether where in “mode 1” or “mode 2” (or more).

    But basically, at the end of it all- being genderswitchy is fun at times, but there is no way for me to express how I constantly feel like I’m “acting” and not being sincere.


  6. radical/rebel

    read some judith butler on performativity?


  7. Adair

    Hmm, the first year I was self-consciously genderqueer I occasionally experienced gender shifts that well-defined (once I was male as what felt like a PMS symptom, it was… painful yet exciting). Recently (2 years later) I’ve had a few tug-of-wars between female & genderqueer aspects of myself, but they coexisted.

    Reminds me of a softer world #300: “I can switch at will between being a man or a woman./It’s not my problem if you get weirded out/because my body stays the same.”

    I think there’s reasonable evidence (most of us genderqueers, plus all of the people assigned a gender different than their hormonal gender who didn’t respond like David Reimer) that a strong binary or fixed nonbinary gender identity isn’t necessarily present in everyone. It’s more complicated than that (heck, we can see that even in binary trans people, who vary in how early they realized what they were, whether the wrongness is more with the body shape or the social role or both, how well they can live in the wrong gender, and so on). We don’t have to say either everyone’s born with a strong gender identity, which is a unitary thing encompassing everything from wanting to have certain genitals, feeling depressed at a body transformed by the wrong hormones, to wanting to wear dresses or to ride a dirt bike shirtless with the other kids of one’s gender, or that people who do experience gender like that are delusional/sent from the devil/etc.

    It would definitely be cool to know what’s going on with genderswitchers neurologically (that may or may not have anything to do with what’s going on with non-switchers’ gender identities). But I think it’s silly to doubt gender-swithcers’ experience because it’s different than the narrative of gender identity that’s helpful to the fixed binary trans community.


  8. Anonymous

    Most of my HOURS are like that.


  9. Anonymous

    heck yes


  10. Juu

    Oh my god. I thought I was the only one.

    It even happens within minutes. It can be pretty unfortunate.


  11. Oliver Leon

    Yeah, I totally had a moment like this today! I was shifting masculinities. Or. No, yeah, I guess genders. I was feeling relatively OK then I ran into a teacher who told me his play got into a festival. I became super excited for him, which I label Gay Boy Moments because I’m definitely more flamboyant and exuberant when I get excited. And I gesticulate a lot. :)


  12. Chökhor



  13. freiya

    uh-huh, i hear you there…… sometimes i feel way more one way more than another, which can be confusing, i try to just go with it most of the time, but to add to the confusion sometimes i kinda dont want to feel the gender i’m feeling at that given moment……


  14. Anonymous


    Some days I sit and wonder exactly what “mood” (I guess that’s the closest I can label it) I am in, and try to figure it out. Some are very clear. Most are muddled.

    Most recent clear switch for me was when I got angry over a co-worker’s ineptitude, thus making more work for me… I rapidly switched over to a very male mindframe.

    I think I love Tree’s comment… “But basically, at the end of it all- being genderswitchy is fun at times, but there is no way for me to express how I constantly feel like I’m “acting” and not being sincere.”

    That is exactly how I feel. Thank you for putting it to words. <3


  15. Alex

    Absolutely. Today, for example, I was pretty much masculine and dysphoric until just a few hours ago. Now I just feel adrogynous, not much one way or any other, which has been my usual state of gender being until recently. It gets incredibly confusing and makes me doubt myself like crazy. Until i come on sites like this and remind myself that I’m not the only one with an internal gender roulette.

    Stay fabulous everybody. <3


  16. Alexx

    I have always done that, and recently I heard about an ideology called “Two-Spirit” and that is the idea that some people just have BOTH genders inside them and one is more obvious at different moments, and sometimes they may be in perfect balance.


    Oliver Leon replied:

    A Two-Spirit person belongs to the Native American communities of North America. Being a Two-Spirit person is something that belongs to their culture.


    Alexx replied:

    I think that if an identity that exists fits well then it helps to know of it to explain things. Besides, it is a word combo that makes more sense then any other term for the same kind of person.


  17. kp

    I get that!


  18. kp

    Oh yes, I can identify with this. I am a genetic lesbian in a happy relationship with my trans lesbian girlfriend. She told me that one of the things that attracted her to me was that I wore pink nail polish and rode a motorcycle at the same time. She calls me her “pink butch”. I love that! It’s so me to mix it up to suit my mood. I love to dress butch and act demure or dress more femme and take control. This is how I achieve my gender balance.


  19. JB

    YES. Though I find I have gender mood swings less the less I’m around people. I live in a rural area, and all my friends moved out of state after college, so I can go days without seeing anyone except my wife, and months without seeing anyone except my wife and my mother, step-father, and father. It gets lonely, but on the upside, I get to just feel like me most the time, and not be aware of gender.


  20. TJ

    Wow. Vindication! For many years now I have had gender-switchy moods from time to time. Often when I am under the stress pump but not always.
    I’m in my late 60’s with a lovely and tolerant wife and new age 20’s daughter. My daughter understands, my wife does not although is passive tolerant about it. I can wake feeling more fem today or revert to strong male persona. As a result, working with tolerant wife, I’ve created a space where I can dress “comfortable” as androgynous, and do so most days. It puzzles people when out and about, is that a he or a she, until I speak in my male voice. Only when on holding office or at a family funeral do I dress overtly male. But mornings can be a pig to not over do it. It’s not strong enough to go transwoman and lose my dear wife of 43 years.


  21. Ace

    I 100% understand. I myself just identified as a genderfluid, and that confuses people enough, not to mention that I constantly switch throughout a span of a few hours. Sometimes I don’t feel like my genderfluidity is valid because sometimes it just feels like mood swings, and my body not always matching my identity doesn’t help. One second I could be strictly feminine, and then I’d suddenly feel male, yet still be dressed feminine, and that makes me feel like I can’t truly express who I am.

    Then I remember that I don’t have to conform to what people want me to look like, or how they want me to feel. We are who we are, and wether society accepts our quirky mood/gender switches or not, we are valid. You go and you have those switchy moods, they’re who you are. Screw anyone who tells you your switching isn’t right. If they don’t accept you and don’t take the time to work it out that’s their loss.

    Also: If your pronouns switch with your moods/genders then I suggest using color coded bracelets and tell people what color stands for which pronouns, it’s worked well for me.


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