That doesn’t define who I am.

Someone wrote…

I guess I had known it before…but it really hit me today that just because I want to present a certain way, that doesn’t define who I am. And just because I have a certain identity, that doesn’t require me to look a certain way physically. These two things do not have to be congruent.

What’s your experience?

And what are you thinking about gender right now?

Posted by on January 19th, 2011 at 08:00 am

Category: your voice 6 comments »

6 Responses to “That doesn’t define who I am.”

  1. J.D.

    I recently had the same revelation. It’s a wonderful feeling isn’t it?

    What’s that line? Correlation does not equal causation?


    Meike replied:

    Yes indeed. Correlation does not equal causation. The professors pound it into all the psych majors’ heads. Can’t forget that one!


  2. Jessica

    In this reply, dear reader, Jessica disagrees with someone and in explaining her disagreement ends up agreeing …

    Isn’t presenting who you are rather a defining act? I understand that you can present in all sorts of way that are not who you are, but if your intent here and today is to present who you really are, isn’t that a personal affirmation of your identity?

    And the physical form that goes along with that isn’t, I suppose, strictly speaking necessary, but it does help. And all the things you do to get ready to meet the faces that you meet, these physical things are contributory to how you face the event. Whether you shave or put on makeup, do your hair, or select intimate apparel and clothes to suit your mood and intent – all these acts prepare you and confirm the you that you intend to present.

    No, I am not always the same person and my presentation varies with my mood… all the presentations and personas share the same body, but some are more suited to that body than others. Perhaps none of the people I am inside are entirely consistent with the body that I have in which to act those people out. “That’s me at the weddings, that’s me at the graves, dressed like the people who once looked so grownup and brave…”

    We each of us have our own secret garden that is our on personal realm and that is more important to who we are than any external physical reality with which we have to contend.

    …go not to Jessica for advice, for she will say both ‘yes’ and ‘no.’


    tigr replied:

    …but that’s good advice, in a sense! Might not be *helpful* but probably more *honest*/close-to-truth/reality, and in the end you can’t just let other people make all the decisions for you, right? But it’s good to have someone who helps you trying to see all sides of something, so you don’t forget something important. :)


  3. Avory

    For sure! I have found it SO liberating to make this distinction, to realize that genderqueer does not mean I’m required to look any particular way or advertise that I am outside the binary: this is not my responsibility. People will assign gender to everyone they see, because this is how the world works. It doesn’t mean that we can’t respond to that gender assignment by laughing, or shrugging, or ignoring. I look “like a woman.” I enjoy having sex with parts that people define as female. I like the way I look. And to me, the way I look is genderqueer. Because I say so.


  4. GarcianSmith

    While I do agree to an extent, (as they say, “the clothes don’t make the man”) sometimes I really want to look the way I feel.

    I know I don’t have to, but it’s all for myself anyway so why not doll up when I want to? They do not have to be congruent, but they also don’t have to be mutually exclusive. Don’t ever feel like you have to meet other’s expectations in that respect.


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