Anonymous asked genderfluidity:
Hi, I just now came across this page and wanted to ask. I’ve always been confused. I’m not straight, not bi, not gay. I am an 18yr old girl and dress like one, but occasionally I’ll pull my hair back and dress in guy clothes. It’s comfortable for me. Other days I’ll dress as a girl and feel great. I’m attracted to guys and girls, and even have a boyfriend that I have talked to about this and he feels the same way just opposite.I guess I’m just asking what you think I could be..=/
Don’t feel bad about being confused - we get lots of questions like this, and rest be assured you’re not the only one who feels this way. I can’t however tell you what gender(s) I think you are with the information you’ve given me; instead, I’ll try my best to clarify some things which may help you figure things out.
I’m not straight, not bi, not gay…I’m attracted to guys and girls
Sexual orientation doesn’t define your gender! I’m queer, and I’m attracted to all genders, but so is my agender partner, and so are many cis men and women. (However, seeing as you say you are not bisexual: are you attracted to genders other than male and female? If so, and if you’re seeking an identification for your sexuality, you could try pansexual or polysexual on for size. I prefer just “queer” because it’s a catch-all for non-straight people and I identify as non-straight more than anything else.)
occasionally I’ll pull my hair back and dress in guy clothes.
Dressing in a way more typical of the opposite gender also doesn’t define your gender. A friend I used to have was 100% cis and hetero, but the biggest tomboy in presentation and behaviour I’ve ever met. (We stopped being friends because she’s a fundamentalist religious type and kinda disapproves of me not being cis and hetero.) If you feel like “an 18yr old girl” is who you are and not just who society says you are, then don’t feel like you need to justify your desire to dress or behave differently with gender identity, because you don’t need an excuse to be you and live the life you want to!
However, if you feel that these factors are part of an expression of an underlying gender identity but still aren’t sure what that might be, I have a few recommendations:
- Read lots! There are plenty of tumblr blogs about gender identity, but Wikipedia and other more specific resources for trans* and non-binary people are also very useful. I came across genderfluidity on accident and it just clicked. That happens for many of us, but others grow into an identity.
- Bear in mind that gender identity can change over a lifetime. As a child, I identified as male when I was actually thinking about gender, being basically neutral otherwise as many children are; when I became old enough and religious enough to realize that was a problem, I promptly tried to be as cis as humanly possible. Now I’m genderfluid and it fits, but I won’t be upset or feel like I’ve been living a lie if one day in the future I find that this identity doesn’t fit any longer. I’ll just try others on for size!
- Don’t feel that you’re a fraud of a non-binary person if you slip into “girl” roles too easily. It’s difficult to not be someone who you’ve been told you are all your life, or at least pretend to be. Besides, how you behave or how you’re read has nothing to do with your gender identity! Many of the days when I’m read as “super girly” I’m actually most distinctly feeling like a very queer male, and that’s a very different femininity for me but looks the same to everyone else.
Good luck on your gender journey! I’ll leave you with a quote by André Gide: ”One does not discover new lands without consenting to lose sight of the shore for a very long time.” Exploring gender identity means you’ll have to let go of the ideas you already have about gender and gender roles, ideas you’ve probably had for a very long time, and that everyone around you also has. It means a lot of checking yourself when you say or think binary-supporting or cisnormative stuff, especially at first. But you’ll get there, and be happier for it - and the other trans* people around you will be too!
Just reblogging something I posted over at the genderfluidity tumblr because it’s pretty indicative of my general take on gender identity etc.