(in reference to this post)
Glad to have helped!
There can be a lot of pressure from within and outside of trans*, genderqueer, and non-binary communities to “settle down” on a specific identity even if it would be more comfortable to spend some time figuring it out. Sometimes it may be necessary to try out how different identities or modes of presentation feel until you hit what seems right for you. It may even be possible that you move between genders fluidly or may always be questioning your gender. As for me, I openly identify as genderqueer, but I am always questioning the meaning of gender and its relation to myself, and that’s okay.
If you really do feel uncomfortable naming yourself as identifying a particular way, using ‘gender-questioning’ in the meantime or an umbrella term that is in the ballpark of what feels comfortable (simply genderqueer, non-binary, or transgender, for example) can work too.
Based on the amount of stress this has been causing you, I would really recommend seeking out an LGBTQ support group or therapist, if available in your area.
There is not a specific “lifestyle” followed by all genderqueer people. Genderqueer is just an umbrella term typically for people who do not feel 100% like a man or woman, and / or presenting as such. For some people, preferring to wear gender neutral clothing and be addressed neutrally, or looking androgynously and feeling like both a man and a woman at once (just as two examples) feel as comfortable to them as the activities you described may help reinforce your individual identity as a man.
Conversely, there are other men who may find activities not at all traditionally masculine (from your point of view) to be manly for themselves, or for people to view some of the activities you’ve described as not inherently male at all. Different cultures, too, have different standards and expectations around these masculinity and femininity.
The idea of identities beyond a male / female binary is not new, even if the term genderqueer is more recent (it dates from the 1990s or so). Evolution’s Rainbow by Joan Roughgarden and Serena Nanda’s Gender Diversity: Crosscultural Variations are two good places to learn more about gender diversity.
The usefulness of terms like genderqueer and more specific individual identity terms is to help someone accurately describe their identity, just as a specific job title may be more helpful than something like “worker,” and to find others who identify similarly to obtain support and camaraderie. Many of us have felt uneasy for a long time about our identities and words can help us find the information and connections we need to sort it out. Other people might not feel the need to name what they’re experiencing at all.
Most genderqueer people do not believe there is anything wrong with identifying 100% as a man or a woman, it just may not make much sense to them or fit them personally, perhaps making as little sense to them as the notion of identifying as genderqueer may seem right now to you. Others, however, seek to challenge traditional notions of masculinity and femininity to show that there are further options available and to question social structures. Genderqueer expression and identity are very individual to the person, but the above explains some common characteristics you’ll find.
Hope this helped clear up some confusion,
Sometimes, certain ideas like these can gain quite a lot of currency in some circles. Unfortunately, there are some people who consider themselves feminists and allies that think trans* people would not exist if social structures were different (dismantled patriarchy and oppression, for example). I find it terribly hard to believe that absolutely no one would want to modify their primary or sexual characteristics due to gender equality. Many trans*, genderqueer, and non-binary people feel very different levels of dysphoria (or not really any at all) and have different needs.
Essentializing gender and sex, putting it on a sacred pedestal while other body modifications are taken for granted as acceptable (tattooing, piercing, plastic surgery), or only criticized in certain “extreme” circumstances, does not seem like a balanced view to me.
Yes, we should be critical of uninformed modification and, in particular, mutilation and coercion in this realm. Yes, we should inquire after our own motives to be sure we are living out our truths rather than merely conforming to the desires of others. Non-op, pre-op, post-op - all okay, with educated inquiry. This does not mean, however, that any and all desire to express gender divergently or alter the body would disappear in a utopia of total equality. Rather, freedom to choose and be fully informed about what we do and don’t do with our bodies could thrive in such an atmosphere.
While some family members might accept a trans*, genderqueer, or non-binary person coming out for the first time, for many, there is a period of adjustment and even confusion. This is a brand-new idea for many parents and they might not understand how important it is for you or what to do with the information. You may want to check the Coming Out Masterpost for ideas on explaining your identity if you have not yet done so. You may need to find a local LGBTQ support group or a friend and ally that could assist you with obtaining and wearing feminine clothing when you desire if parental support is not forthcoming.
I also recommend checking out my post on the problem with “it’s just a phase” for potential rebuttals to this remark.
You’re not alone in looking for a definitive way to decide, but there really isn’t a simple way to determine how to describe a complex facet of yourself like gender identity.
None of the traits you listed seem like they should be seen as exclusive to one another. Trans guys have birthed or adopted children, whether non-op / pre-op / post-op. Women who are tomboys (or other permutations) may want to pack or flatten their chests. There are really an infinite array of possibilities.
The main idea is to find out what makes you feel the most comfortable and happy. It is a process, and can take some time to sort out. You may even potentially find that you move between feeling like a tomboyish woman and a trans guy, or think of yourself as genderqueer or gender fluid. Reading Kate Bornstein’s My Gender Workbook is one great way to explore such possibilities and find out what feels good to you. Getting involved in online or physical communities based around gender can also be helpful.
I actually had the same exact experience with an Underworks binder myself. I ended up going with one from T Kingdom that I found much more effective, but which one works for you depends on chest size and body type. You can check out my comparison of these two in a review here. For many people, finding the right binder is a matter of trial and error and checking out for reviews of people with a similar size and frame. Some binder companies are listed in this post.
I’m very sorry to hear that. Even if you didn’t identify as trans*, cisgender women also should absolutely have the freedom to express themselves outside of traditional feminine models if they wish, and the same goes for cisgender men and traditional models of masculinity. Talking to him about these kinds of limiting expectations within this framework (that anyone should have the freedom to express themselves) and how they can be harmful, if he’s not comprehending trans* concepts, might be helpful.
Many trans* people struggle with how to balance being out as themselves with family pressures. If you have only talked to him about your identity more recently, it may take some time for the information to sink in. Check the Coming Out Masterpost for some more ideas. Unfortunately, some family members may only accept certain aspects or not want to deal with the information. How you decide to go from there is really up to you. If your brother does not end up being accepting, I recommend that you still attempt to find places and support networks where you can accept your identity and experiment with gender expression. Many areas have youth LGBTQ groups or counseling options that may provide fertile ground for ideas on how to cope with such situations.
Continued: My question is: does anybody see what I’m trying to say? My intentions with this are by no means intended to be bad (that’s why I’m not anonymous). But I’m really concerned about the complexity of psychobiological and social-cultural explanations of identity (and what is of my identity from the result of such conflicts, as I’m struggling to feel valid as a GQ person rather than only as a gender theorist).
That’s a great question. There are many people who also approach gender from a queer theory and/or social constructionist perspective and, indeed, who have struggles with this framework even as it explains other aspects helpfully.
What I would encourage you to challenge is the idea that other identities are inherently stable and naturalized - cisgender identities should be similarly explored as trans*, genderqueer, and non-binary identities are and not taken for granted as inevitably natural. Though not about gender, Jonathan Ned Katz’s The Invention of Heterosexuality is a good book showing historical changes and how a queer studies lens can reveal interesting details about what is assumed to be natural.
Another point that is important to not get caught up in is that socially constructed = bad / not real, because that’s not true. We live out gender every day. Research seems to suggest that there are biological, psychological, and social aspects of gender.
Getting caught up in theory that does not apply itself well to the real lives of genderqueer people can also be frustrating. In the realm of gender theory, I would recommend seeking out more works with case studies or academic works by trans*, genderqueer, and non-binary people themselves, as well as networking, if you can, in online and physical-space communities around genderqueerness to not lose touch of the lived experience aspect.
(in reference to this question)
Yes, that’s a great comparison - thank you!
Whether you are a cisgender woman comfortable with mixing up gender expression beyond traditional expectations or have a gender identity like genderqueer or bigender depends a lot on how the process of presentation makes you feel. Do they just feel like different kinds of fashion that you enjoy, or do you also feel like you’re expressing something else about yourself? How would you like people to see you, ideally, gender-wise?
This can be a tricky question to answer sometimes and can take some time to sort out, and that’s okay. If you are having fun with your presentation right now, there’s nothing the matter with continuing to do so, regardless of how you identify. You might want to check out the resources page for some more links and books to explore that can help you think about gender.
You phrase sentences in the same way you would with the plural they:
1. They (are) going to the store.
2. They (want) to have pizza.
3. They (jog) on the weekends.
Hope this helps,
The CSC Library and Archives Essential Duties, Function and Job Description for Archives
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Archives Interns who come from an archival background or have needed skills in digitizing, organizing, coding (knowledge of EAD or other online schema used for creating online finding aids), working with the public in a reference setting are preferred. Their title is slightly different from that of non-archival interns and will get the designation as Archivist Intern. The will have slightly different learning outcomes which may need specific attention in order for these individuals to meet the requirements of their program.
The parallel positions in the Library are Librarian Intern (those with LIS—Library and Information Science backgrounds) and, Library Intern (those without LIS backgrounds). It is only fair to recognize and distinguish these interns so that users, patrons and the public are prepared to make decisions on which staff to engage with or utilize.
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In terms of lack of experience, by nature of this being an internship position, the Lead Archivist (parallel position in the Library is Head Librarian) will nurture, train, mentor and develop the intern in such a way that is beneficial to them as individual and, at the same is beneficial to the work at the Archives. A win-win, mutually beneficial and relationship founded in reciprocity is the overall work relationship sought.
Beyond basic traits and qualities is that the intern must be comfortable around a judgment-free, sex positive, graphically pornographic, wholly diverse background. We actively seek, mentor and develop interns who have a clear understanding of the Queer community and the individual needs of each group in the LGBTIQ spectrum. An open and non-judgmental attitude is necessary in understanding our straight, kinkster and ethnic communities as well. We also welcome individuals who understand or come from a non-binary, asexual, transsexual or gender fluid perspective and encourage those who are allies or champions of all our groups to work in creating and advocating for these communities. Other communities we serve are the BDSM, Leather and other kink communities that may or may not have overlap in the sexuality/gender spectrum.
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This poem was written and performed by Erin Upchurch in 2011 as a part of the Columbus, OH Transgender Day of Remembrance. This year, we wanted to bring it back. With the recent murder of Cemia “Cece” Dove from Cleveland, OH and many other members of the trans community, this poem really hits home for us.
Thank you to all of the Trans*, Gender Non-Conforming and Allied people who took part in this video and thank you to Erin Upchurch for creating this amazing piece and allowing us to adapt it into video.