Someone wrote…

At work yesterday, I decided to comment on a dress that I found cute. Almost immediately my coworker threw out the comment “You’re such a girl.” Even though I tried to fight this, he just looked me up and down, saying “I know what gender you are.” I am a biological female.

I identify as androgynous, prefer male pronouns (though looking to transition to more gender neutral terms), and was even binding at the time. He doesn’t know this, but it still hurt me to hear that anything I do is possibly gendered in some way and could invalidate the way I identify. It makes me miserable, especially when there are days when I want to wear a dress but the fear of being seen as a woman completely stops me.

I really wish my part of the world was more educated on gender expression.

What’s your experience?

And what are you thinking about gender right now?

Posted by on January 8th, 2013 at 08:00 am

Category: your voice 6 comments »

6 Responses to “Dress”

  1. Lore

    I hate that nonsense. That’s why I’m not comfortable dressing as “a girl” any more. I really wish I could offer something to help, but I just want to say: You aren’t alone in feeling like this.


    Aida replied:

    It is funny. I had the same problem, not wanting to dress with “girl”clothes to mantain by androginous appearance. But then, after seeing some skirts and dresses and necklaces I really liked, i just said “fuck everyone. I am going to wear whatever I want”. It was very surprised to find out that, still when I am wearing some “girly” pieces, some people still are confused and call me “young man”.


  2. Aida

    And my mom was really freaked out because a waiter started using male pronouns with me and calling me “young man”. My mom was like “but she is wearing a tank top and earrings. How can you not see she is a girl?”
    What I believe is that, once you really acknowledge your androginous being, it is going to be seen by others as something inherently yours. As something inside you that is constantly projected. Then clothes does not matter that much.


    anta replied:

    I think I get what you’re going at, but it’s a bit riskily worded. All situations and people are different.

    Especially to those who have a hard time getting their identity through to other people, saying that they should just embrace themselves and it’ll go naturally from there might sound like if someone consistently refuse to get it, it’s their own fault and they just need to try harder.

    Or something. For some reason I’m having a hard time wording this.


  3. mirei

    I’ve also had similar feelings. At the moment I think that nothing can ever invalidate anyones identity. Liking dresses is part of my androgenity just as much as liking my flat chest. So I wear whatever I like. I have also experienced that since I made that decision people tend to be more confused as to pronouns, and generally seem to see me more as “me” than before.
    I hate it when people try to “kindly” “sort out” my “confusion”, and I’m sad and very sorry that you also experience condescending comments.
    I don’t know whether it could help you, but usually I very firmly respond “No, I’m just me.”, or I ask them why this matters to them (that can get very embarassing [for them] or also positively enlightening if that conversation continues), tell them “oh oh, we’re playing the identification game? Oh, I know, you’re a xyz (e.g.pink elephant)” and then keep referring to them in that way until they tell me it’s not funny (to which I might tell them, no, it’s actually not), or ask them whether I should lend them a book to look it up. By that I’m trying not to let it get to me, even though it still hurts sometimes.
    The point of this is, regarding your identity, you are the expert, you’re, like, the leading scientist on it, and you have the authority on it, even if other people are trying to be smartasses. :)


  4. Lonny

    Wow. I’m really sorry that happened. It really bothers me when ignorant people try to inform you that they know what your *real* gender is. It’s just ironic because most of them couldn’t even accurately define what gender *really* is.


Leave a Reply

Can I show your picture? If you have a Gravatar associated with this email address, it will be displayed as your photo. If not, I'll just put a picture of a fork next to your comment. Everybody likes forks.

Be nice. Judgmental comments will be quietly deleted and blacklisted. There's plenty of room for those elsewhere on the web.

For legal reasons, you must be age 13 or older to post a comment on Genderfork.

You can use some HTML tags for formatting, e.g. <em>...</em> for emphasis (italics) or <strong>...</strong> for strong emphasis (bold) or <a href="http://(url)">...</a> for links.

Back to top