Someone wrote…

I often get mistaken as cis-gendered because my presentation is feminine, sometimes border-line andro, but mostly feminine.

I’ve tried to convince myself over and over again that having a vagina and presenting as feminine makes me cisgendered, and so I should identify as a woman. But I find when I do that, it’s like trying to fit into an outfit that looks good on a mannequin. The mannequin looks like you…the outfit should fit you…but something’s off. Very off. It’s subtle enough that maybe you could wear it, and people won’t notice. But you notice. And it’s all you can think about.

What’s your experience?

And what are you thinking about gender right now?

Posted by on August 20th, 2013 at 08:00 am

Category: your voice 3 comments »

3 Responses to “Mannequin”

  1. Ryan

    Yes, this. I notice and it’s all I can think about. Superficially I seem very masculine. I’m often sweaty and covered in dirt. I have a long, unruly beard. I wear rugged men’s clothing. Sometimes I worry that other genderqueer people won’t accept me as genderqueer because my appearance is masculine, but that’s basically where the masculinity ends. I’m aware when other people are labeling me as male, and I can’t stop thinking about how much it bothers me.


  2. Adrian

    I agree too. If it’s any comfort, you aren’t alone. It’s something I’ve been struggling with a lot recently. I see myself as male. The way I see myself in my thoughts is far different than the way people see me. I don’t pass. And in a way I am okay with this. I can say, “I am a man in a woman’s body,” and respect my body for what it is. And, I’ve always preferred being androgynous to looking like my father.

    But at the same time, to most I am cis-gender. I feel like I dont have much of a place. If I publicly advertize that, “No, I am a boy”, I get outright laughter and ridicule. I am afraid ftms would be suspicious of me. Even in my own mind, I feel it’s somewhat ridiculous to try and claim maleness, while still presenting feminine characteristics. I would feel so much better. . . so much more confident if I could just be cis-gender. . . but no matter how hard I try, it just feels. . . empty.


  3. Dani Alexander

    I can definitely relate. I am biologically a female, and present as a female (partly due to my religious beliefs)….but quite often I feel more masculine. I feel awkward when I tell people that I’m genderqueer because I worry they will not take me seriously, since I clearly present as female. People that know me really well, I think, it wouldn’t/doesn’t surprise them…considering I was a tomboy growing up; loved building forts and climbing trees and riding bikes and fishing; and that I’ve served in the Army, have boxed, and want to play football and/or rugby….definitely all more “masculine” type leisure activities.

    I still use/accept female pronouns to relate to myself as, mainly because it’s what I’ve used all 30+ years of my life….why change it now and confuse everyone? But, also because, again, I feel like…I don’t present as anything other than female, so I think most would believe it ridiculous for me to insist on anything other than that.


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