Question: What am I

Monkey asks…

This may be a bit of a ramble, and may be a little disconnected. I fear my thoughts are a bit disorganized.

I’ve met a woman that identifies as genderqueer and I’m really in to her. Until I met her I hadn’t really heard the term before, but learning about it has made me confront uncertainties I’ve always had.

I don’t know what I am. I always thought you were a man or a woman and that was the end. I am physically a male, I like it that way, I don’t have a problem with being called he or him. But from the day I was born, I was sensitive.

I like guy things, and I like girl things. I quickly learned that liking girl things earned a man nothing but pain. When I was a child I used to wear my mother’s negliges. I got caught once and my father beat me so bad that I am shaking as I type that last sentence, because after 35 years I’m still scared of someone finding out.

I never wanted to be a woman, I just like pretty things. I love cars and weight lifting, and I spent some time training in muay thai. I like helping my friends shop for dresses, not so I can score, but because I love helping to make something beautiful.

I’m sexually attracted to female bodies, but the women I like tend to act more “manly” I wish I knew more gender neutral terms.

I’m a man, but I act too much like a woman or fag to be a man. I don’t want to be a woman.
I don’t know what I am. Some how queer feels right, but do I even have a right to that word. Am I just confused? If I’m genderqueer but outwardly a straight male, do I “come out”?

All I know is I don’t fit. The way women and men are described, or gay and straight, or any of it, I don’t fit.

Please someone tell me what I am.

Please post your response in the comments below.

» Ask Genderfork «

Posted by on November 9th, 2014 at 08:00 am

Category: questions 6 comments »

6 Responses to “Question: What am I”

  1. Chris.

    Wow, that’s a painful story, thanksyou for Sharing.

    As to “What” you are, only you can decide that.
    Just remember, your early experiences were horrible, but things have changed some.

    And it’s OK to be You.


  2. Anonymous

    Like Chris said, only you can say you or what you are. My advice is not to let your personality or interests necessarily define whether you are a man, woman, or something else. Identity is separate from, although it can be related to, those things. I’m biologically and socially male; I like skirts, I’m attracted to men, I like video games, and I sort of consider myself my own gender and male at the same time. Try to enjoy figuring it out, if there is anything to figure out, and the nice thing is that hopefully, you will be with someone who will support your exploration and any changes you see fit to make.


  3. Monster

    Thank you so much for sharing. It must be horrible to be in the throes of this, especially since you have such bad memories of childhood gender “fluidity.”

    There are two things I want you to know:

    Labels: Just know that you don’t have to identify as queer just because you have an effeminate side, and you don’t have to identify as a man just because you have a masculine side. You have every right to whatever label you want to use, and you have every right to reject any label you don’t want to use. It can be really confusing because a lot of the time, you don’t know what label you want, or if you even want a label at all. Some people find it easier than others to find out “what” they are. I am in between labels right now, and probably will stay that way for most of my life. And yet, I know which gender I am, words or no. So not knowing what to label yourself as, especially when you first find out about this gendery stuff, can be infuriating and painful and scary, but a label won’t always bring comfort, just as comfort won’t always bring a label.

    Binaries: It sounds like you, like most people your age (I’m doing math with your childhood story), were raised to believe that there are “girl things” and there are “boy things.” Dress shopping is a “girl thing” and weight lifting is a “boy thing.” And yet, these things don’t identify your gender. If you like dress shopping (for yourself or not), that doesn’t make you any specific gender. Just like weight lifting doesn’t make someone any specific gender. I don’t want to overwhelm you with terms or anything because it sounds like you’re pretty overwhelmed already (quite understandably) but know that things like “man” and “woman” and “gay” and “straight” aren’t the only options. Just like you’re not limited to “queer.”

    I really hope you can find some hope in all this. You’ve definitely found the right place to talk and think about this. If you’re interested, check out the blog “It’s Pronounced Metrosexual.” That explains a lot of stuff in plain English. It explains stuff that I think would be more applicable than stuff on, like, transgender forums.


  4. jen durbent

    I am very similar. I am mid thirties and I identify as genderqueer. I am married to a cisgender woman, have children, and so on. But I keep my hair long, wear some jewelry, have a growing number of “female” clothes and all that. I also lift, etc etc.

    I live in the Midwest. It is kind of lonely. But we are not alone. I took a chance to go to a major city and spend some time at a genderqueer support group. It was amazing and, also, disappointing. I wasn’t the oldest one there, but I certainly was a minority. That’s ok.

    As others have said, you can identify as what you want or need. It’s up to you. That is scary and liberating all at the same time. It’s ok to be scared. Nobody can tell you how you feel. It’s a new feeling. But calling yourself what you think you are instead of what others think you are is amazing and liberating. When you’re older and figuring this out, it’s a whole other set of internalized issues. It sucks but it’s going to work out.

    Find me on Twitter if you’re so inclined. Or don’t. Either way it will be ok.


  5. Anonymous

    I can’t tell you what you are, but I can give you a piece of advice someone really close to me when I first started question what it meant to be me.

    “There are many ways to eat an elephant, but anyway you do it you can only eat it one bite at a time.”

    Labels are weird and trying to figure out your own is really, really daunting. it sounds like in your immediate future you are going to have some really bad tasting pieces of elephant, but as someone who remembers that terrifyingly overwhelming feeling of realizing that man and woman weren’t my only two options, I can tell you that it gets better. Sites like this are amazing at letting you know you’re not alone.

    My advice for the immediate future is to figure out what makes you feel comfortable. Do, dress, and be what you are without worrying about whether it has gender. If your that into your genderqueer friend don’t be afraid to go for it. Don’t be afraid experiment and to look like an idiot sometimes. (This is really important. I’ve done things that have made my friends stare at me like I’m from another planet, but after at least 3/4’s of them I have felt better about myself. The other 1/4 I’ve just laughed off.)

    For me, coming out to someone was something I had to do. If you feel you need to my advice would be to come out to someone you know you can trust and who will be respectful of you. The type of person willing to listen to your inner dialogue about these kinds of things can be invaluable.

    PS Queer is a really freeing word. It has become one of my favorites.


  6. Maelstrom143 aka Marguerite

    You are…human, with all the complexities that entails. It really should not matter that you like things termed “feminine” or that you are attracted to women or that you are sensitive. You identify with being male and that is great. I know someone who feels they are in the wrong body and it is very hard for them. I would hate to think you suffer such pain.
    Accept who you are, male/female blend of perfection that any person in their right mind would be glad to have as their own and, those who don’t like it you do not need around you. Surround yourself with open-minded people that do not need to define your gender in order to be comfortable with you. I think the biggest problem in our language today is that we do have to say he or she when talking of something, but it appears that we are dealing with a higher level of complexity than we had previously thought.
    Live, love, be happy, take what life has to offer and enjoy it to the utmost. You only live once. Best of luck to you.


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