Question: Swinging between both ends of the spectrum

Anonymous asks…

What does it mean when your gender involuntarily changes?

I’ve had several phases in my life where I’ve felt or wanted to be male, but it seems to wax and wane and I have periods of time where I’m okay with (or at least tolerate) being a woman.

Some days I look in the mirror and think my boobs look pretty rocking. Some days I look and really wish I saw a flat man chest staring back at me. Even when I’m okay with being a girl, I like thinking about dressing up in suits and being called ‘he.’ I’ve always toed the line between tomboy and girly girl.

It’s been this way for as long as I can remember, from angrily casting off all girliness and trying really hard to fit in with boys one week to happily playing with barbies the next, but it’s getting stronger now. My last period of dysphoria, I was really, solidly convinced I was trans, but then that withered away and I felt alright with being a girl.

Is this genderfluid? I can’t seem to get a straight answer about what that word even means. What am I?

Please post your response in the comments below.

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Posted by on June 4th, 2012 at 08:00 am

Category: questions 13 comments »

13 Responses to “Question: Swinging between both ends of the spectrum”

  1. Adryrn

    That sounds like genderfluidity to me. Although I don’t identify as genderfluid myself, so I’m not the best source of information on it.


  2. Tree

    I looked at this post and thought to myself

    “Did I write this?”

    I know what you mean. I call myelf Genderqueer. Sometimes an FtMtF- Female to Male to Female transgender. Because the dysphoria- when it hits, it’s strong enough to make me want to book an expensive consultation to sort it out.

    But I know it disappears or eases off within a few months, sometimes weeks and on occasion, a few days.

    GAH. It sucks to be inbetween. I even wrote a poem about it.


    Alison replied:

    I want to read it =]


  3. Anonymous

    it sucks because you have to meet a “new” person every time you look into a mirror. I can never trust myself, I never know who I am the next day and so I must act vague and can`t fix dates. I am dying to be ME, in a constant way. I want to be a stable and reliable person for my friends, but I always have to fear saying something mean about the girly girls when I am in my macho mode, but two hours later I throw around some pink glitter and love it. That seems selfrighteous to most of my friends, and that is why they turn their back on me. So I am a sick, selfrighteous, instable, female-bodied, gay macho, a lover of cute cats and fast cars, that cannot even rely on himself/herself. That makes me a lonely freak. I wish there was a pill to take to erase this all….


  4. Anonymous

    This sounds a lot like how I used to feel. Eventually, I realised that I identify as a very feminine boy (who was assigned female at birth).

    I used to get really confused as to whether or not what I was feeling truly was dysphoria – I *liked* what I saw in the mirror. Eventually I came to realise that while I had a nice body, it just wasn’t for me. I will be starting testosterone soon so that I can feel as comfortable in my body as I possibly can.

    I never used to think I was trans because I love girly stuff. I love wearing dresses and sparkly nail polish and glittery makeup. Turns out none of that stuff has anything to do with being a girl. I’m just a boy who loves dressing up and looking fabulous.

    I am unable to tell the psychiatrist how fabulous I actually am, and I have to act completely hetero-normative at my appointments in order to be eligible to take testosterone, but I feel like it will be worth it when I get to truly be myself.

    This is just my experience and your own might well be totally different. It might be cliche, but my advice to you is to do what feels right at the time. If you feel like wearing pink sparkles one moment, go for it! If you’re feeling macho the next moment, that’s okay too. It’s even okay to feel both of these things at the same time. If you feel like you might be more comfortable in your body taking hormones, then you should. And if not, that’s okay too. Keep in mind that all of these things can be as related and unrelated to your gender as you want them to be (I.e. taking hormones doesn’t mean you must identify as male, wearing pink glitter doesn’t mean that you are female, but you can use these words to self-identify if they do feel right at the time).

    Maybe you could try experimenting with being called different pronouns as well. If you don’t feel comfortable asking others to do this yet, you could try writing a story about yourself in first person and test out the different pronouns.

    You’re not a freak and you’re not sick. You are wonderful and important. It will get better.


    Lane replied:

    Wow, I was about to write almost this exact same post. I second everything here!


    Thomas replied:

    that’s awesome!! my buddy transitioned and still has more dresses in his closet than most ciswomen. He became a drag queen because he loves to perform and dress up in glitter. even when performing he binds his chest and wears prosethic breasts. He’s fabulous!!


  5. Anonymous

    The above post pretty much covered everything I’d add. Despite this, I just wanted to say, from another perspective: I sometimes feel a bit of a milder form of this, and I identify as agender. To me, this means that while at my core I am gender neutral/without gender/something like that…I feel like my gender is a blank category and sometimes I take on gender roles/behavior/expressions/”masks” if you will…of others. I think this is especially true for me because our society really divides up gender along a binary, so there is no publicly acknowledged middle ground for me to stand on. This may or may not be similar to your experience, but here’s just my two cents.


  6. Anonymous

    You know, I feel very similar to this. It’s frustrating and confusing. It makes relationships hard, both platonic and romantic. As sorry as I am to hear you’re going through this, it helps to know I’m not the only one. Thank you for sharing.


  7. Maximillian711

    I was like that and now I’m sure I’m trans and starting T and very happy with it. I was happy being fluid too, though. Just let life take you where it will and be as happy in yourself as you can be. Good luck.


  8. Medusa Hirself

    This sounds EXACTLY like what I go through, what I’ve gone through in my life for as long as I can remember. And I felt very conflicted about it for a long time. I still feel conflicted sometimes and frustrated. But, here are the conclusions I arrived at, which helped me deal. Your mileage may vary:

    1. It’s more important to be ME than to be female or male.

    2. Deep down I don’t really understand what it is to FEEL female or male. These concepts have always seemed like arbitrary sets of stereotypes to me, and irrelevant to my internal sense of myself.

    3. Labels like ‘female,’ ‘male,’ ‘genderqueer’ or ‘genderfluid’ are really for other people. They are only relevant to my inner self as far as I relate to them, or try to use them to communicate things about myself to others. Labels can be useful (to describe and connect) and harmful (to stereotype or put someone down). Sometimes the same label can do either depending on context.

    I remember feeling this fierce sense of joy the first time I came across the word genderqueer, because someone else had created a word to describe this nebulous traumatic thing that was ‘wrong’ with me. I was trying to figure it out or describe it and I had no idea anyone else felt this way. So, suddenly there’s a word for it already and I wasn’t crazy or alone.

    But I’m not surprised that you can’t get a straight answer on what genderfluid means. I think of genderfluid and genderqueer as umbrella terms that can describe a whole specturm of genders other than cis-male and cis-female. I say, if you like the label and think it fits you, use it. If no, keep looking around or inventing. Or, maybe, put aside labels for a while until you feel like they might be useful.


  9. Anonymous

    It’s nice to know I’m not the only one that feels like this. It’s really kind of frustrating. Man I gotta blog about this.
    Sometimes I just don’t know who I am.


  10. Anonymous

    Be girly when you feel like it! Be boyish when you feel like it! You shouldn’t have to apologize to people for doing what you love and being who you are. Trust yourself and love yourself!

    So, everyone says that like it’s so easy. And it should be! But our society doesn’t make it easy at all – our society makes us fight for our self esteem because people who are unhappy are easier to sell things to. It’s not easy to love yourself when you don’t fit in. It’s not easy to ignore what other people think of you. It’s really, really hard and takes a lot of practice.

    In my experience, having the attitude “This is me and I don’t care what you think” can lose you friends. BUT it can also make you friends, and the quality of the friends it makes for you is much better than the ones you might lose. IMO, so worth it.


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