Red wrote…

Gender expression has never been an issue for me. However, I went to school the other day wearing conventionally feminine clothing, and the reactions I got were unsettling. “So you’re a girl again?” “I thought you were… what do you call it? Genderqueer?” “Why do you want to tell people you’re not a girl when you dress like that?”
Never has anyone made me so upset about my gender expression.

What’s your experience?

And what are you thinking about gender right now?

Posted by on January 24th, 2013 at 08:00 am

Category: your voice 13 comments »

13 Responses to “Unsettling”

  1. Anonymous

    I hate that you had that experience. I think that is one of my biggest fears… and reasons why I feel I can’t “come out” so to speak. Perhaps it’s my lack of faith in people to understand that I don’t want to be a man or a woman… I want to exist in that queer space between, above, and beyond the binary; nevertheless, I applaud you. At least you had the courage to be you.


  2. Lane

    That massively sucks. Hopefully for many people this was a learning experience that expanded their understanding of gender. For some people it probably was, and some people are probably just going to be stubborn. Regardless, yay you for dressing the way you felt, and I hope you keep doing it. The people who most want to know and understand you will stop putting you in either/or boxes.


  3. Anonymous

    Ugh, these people…there’s a reason you’re genderqueer and not trans, right? I applaud you for being yourself. I’m the kind of person who wants to wear dresses one day and bind the next, and for this reason I’m afraid to come out because I think people either won’t take me seriously, or that I will stop embracing my feminine side to avoid that.


    anonymous replied:

    and there are people who are trans and happily wear clothes associated with their assigned gender, in addition or to the exclusion of clothes typically considered appropriate for their gender, some or all of the time. femme trans guys and butch trans women exist and have completely valid experiences and gender expression. sometimes their gender expression is inconsequential, and sometimes it’s a central part of their experience of gender.
    there are also genderqueer and/or nonbinary people who consider themselves transgender. their choice in clothing can be just as fluid, and just as varied.
    fears of not being taken seriously can be stifling, and i’m sorry you are in a situation in which you can’t express yourself, through dress or public declaration of your gender, in a way you feel comfortable. you deserve to be taken seriously and accepted.


  4. Hodge Podge



    anonymous replied:

    you’re allowed to have anywhere from a femme millsecond to a femme life, don’t let anyone tell you otherwise


  5. Argos

    I’ve had that experience. Lately I’ve been presenting in the feminine more often than I used to, and a friend of mine asked “So can you tell me why you identify as queer? You’re so girly!” Ummm, no, I do not identify as girly, nor do I consider myself a “girl.” I just happen to be having more femme days than masculine days in this era, just as I used to have more masculine than femme days when I was younger. Not to mention that there are days where I mentally feel more like a boy, but just want to look “pretty,” so people are perceiving me as a cis-girl when in my own mind I feel like I’m in drag :/


    Jack replied:

    So true, how many times have I felt like I’m in drag wearing a dress. People don’t get that gender identity and gender expression can be different. And in the wonderful world of genderqueer we get to play with that. Don’t pay attention to those who don’t understand, educate them gently, but don’t let them put you off. Go ahead and grandly play your gender! I applaud you.


  6. Matt

    You know, I read a lot of comments by people with gender issues, and to be honest, they’re full of self-pity. Nothing is going to change if you don’t make it. So the next time they ask if you’re a girl again, say, “Your sense of self and perception of others is limited to what you or others wear?” and then take the opportunity to educate them. If they don’t listen, treat them like they don’t matter, because someone with a mindset that excludes others’ lifestyles doesn’t matter. A new phrase I’ve picked up lately is, “Don’t tolerate the intolerant.”


    anonymous replied:

    hey, matt, please don’t shame this person for feeling bad about their current situation. we should always remember it takes a lot of courage, and often a forgiving set of conditions, to assert oneself as one’s gender. it’s not always possible, or safe, for one to explain oneself further, or to call out disrespect. it’s definitely an emotionally taxing situation, and i don’t blame this person for not speaking up directly- whether they definitely have or will, i don’t know.
    no victim of cissexism and misgendering should be made to brush them aside, and no victim should be made to confront them. i see a lot of dismissal of trans people’s struggles to be known as their genders, and it’s really upsetting to me. the person who submitted this has already come out as genderqueer, and now they’re dealing with new invalidation of their gender. of course it’s not deliberately malicious, but having someone imply that your gender is not real is a really horrible experience.
    they’re getting dismissed left and right for identifying as they do, and for them to come here and experience the same belittling of their experiences is not right.


  7. Red

    Thank you people! I’ve found that the worst part is when you receive ignorant comments like this in your own LGBTQ community. I’ve found that in a lot of areas, the T is often ignored. It just makes me so angry when the people that say this stuff to me are the same people that I see at my local Pride Parade.

    But seriously, thanks guys~.


  8. Matt

    I’m not shaming this person. What I’m trying to get across is that if people who are intolerant see weaknesses, they feed off of it. They see that someone isn’t willing to stand up for themselves and feed off it, exacerbating the problem. The only way to change the minds of some people is to be confrontational. It’s the idea of standing up for yourself, not slinking away.

    I identify as genderfluid. Growing up in an intolerant, hyper-masculine environment probably affected the way I go about things, but my comment still stands. Some people are tolerant, some indifferent, some dismissive, some repulsed, and you have to adjust how you respond to their ignorance accordingly. Some people listen to reason, some people only listen to force, whether it be a physical confrontation or simply a confrontation to their comments. I don’t believe in bowing down to ignorance and letting others’ uninformed opinions control my life.

    And you can always bring up the fact that at the turn of the century, women weren’t allowed to wear pants and that dress is determined by the current trends of the culture. I used that line tonight actually.


  9. Jesse

    Yeah, this sucks. It’s called peer pressure. It is a social mechanism that enforces conformity. Unfortunately, it enforces whatever conformity other people think you should conform to and has nothing to do with who or what you are.

    And it really gets interesting when people get used to the adrenalin rush of bucking the curve – of crossing the lines other people draw, of being the rebel, the non-conformist… because when they transition and arrive at a place where people accept them as B instead of A, they miss the attention of people questioning and paying attention to them: they are allergic to being ordinary. So often – off they go again…


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