Sep. 4th, 2016 04:24 am
catharsis_logs: (reminder to dance like hell)
[personal profile] catharsis_logs

So, after un-ironically making a new account on Twitch with the user name "Nonbinary_Rogue" I've come out to myself as nonbinary/bigender/demiboy/genderfluid/etc/I can't decide on a box. And I've felt the pressure to come out to my dad too. So I did... via letter and collage. UGH. I just needed to share my feelings with someone I really care about and who cares about me. He might be confused, but he'll be supportive. He might have trouble with pronouns but for someone who was born in the late forties he's handling all of this fairly well. I also included an article for him to read to *maybe* understand things better. Any way, here's the gist of the letter, and also some extra:

[written on Sept 1, 2016]
Today I have some complicated gender feels. Lying in bed and articulating to myself that I am someone who has a ‘woman’s mind’ who prefers a ‘male body’.

I’m primarily identifying as nonbinary, and am beginning to understand that *I* cannot be understood, even to myself. I am not something easily quantified and shoved into a box. This realization hurts a little, but the hurt is mostly about other people’s discomfort about my being unable to be labeled ‘properly’. The remainder of the hurt is that I feel like an alien alone on this planet, and that’s a lonely feeling. I worry that nobody else feels like I do.

To go into potentially offensive territory, I feel almost like a trans woman, except I have no desire to change my body *back* to feminine. Though I *do* have the desire to wear women’s clothes, primarily cute things, like dresses. A part of me *aches* to be able to wear dresses. A part of me hates that I’m “denied” dresses and cute accessories.

I don’t regret transitioning, like, at all. I love that I don’t have breasts, I love that I don’t have the ability to bear children anymore. What I don’t love is my society’s expectations. That to be transgender on the masculine-bodied side means that I should exemplify being *masculine* or that I should excise all things that are not masculine from my being and my soul. But I *can’t* because my mind is feminine, and my feminine mind prefers a male body, male hormones, male genitals.

To go into even more potentially offensive territory, I wish that I were intersex, because at least that would give me an excuse to give to people. “So sorry, I exemplify both/all genders, I cannot be shoved into one box or the other, it’s biology’s fault(1), not mine.” And of course that’s overlooking the pain and uncertainty that intersex people go through, my view of being intersex is a privileged view *because* I’m not intersex.

(1)Not that it’s anyone’s *fault*, besides binary thinking being so harmful. My ultimate reality would be to have breasts *and* a penis *and* a vagina, but I’ll live with only having a flat chest and a vagina and maybe eventually a penis.

I suppose I’m lucky. I can have prosthetics of both of what I want. When I want to have breasts I can put on a prosthetic pair, and when I want a penis I can put on a prosthetic penis. I can wear a dress with or without breasts or a penis. I can even go out in public, but going out in public I put myself in potential danger. Two dangers. One danger as a “man in a dress” and the other danger as just simply the danger of being a woman in the world.

[Not included in the coming out letter] There are lots of resources for trans women that I feel I cannot access because it’s not *my* place. There *are* no resources for people like me. I *could* use online sites to buy women’s clothes, and I *could* use trans women’s resources to find out what my measurements are but I feel selfish and appropriative thinking about using those resources. Even though I shouldn’t, not really.

Then there’s thinking about coming out to my family. I know my dad will be supportive, but I also am pretty sure he’ll be confused. I’ve discussed some of this with him, so maybe he’ll be expecting this, but still. He still has some problems with my pronouns as a boy, so I can’t really expect him to be very good at they/them/their or ‘child/kid’. And then my sister, oh my god my *sister*. I think she’s transphobic, a little bit, in a harmless way, but she very obviously doesn’t understand, and doesn’t really care to understand, and I’m worried that she’ll think my being nonbinary, or coming out as nonbinary is just an attention-seeking then, when that could not be farther from the truth. If I could be invisible, I would. If I could move off-planet to another one more supportive of third genders and nonbinary genders, I would but I can’t. I’m as non-seeking of attention as anyone could be, I don’t like being noticed or being the center of attention. On the other hand, maybe it’ll be easier for them both to understand my being nonbinary instead of a trans man because maybe, just maybe, *that* fits their understanding of me *better* than me being a man. *sigh*

Date: 2016-09-04 04:47 pm (UTC)
alatefeline: Painting of a cat asleep on a book. (Default)
From: [personal profile] alatefeline
*offers virtual hugs*

Date: 2016-09-07 01:51 am (UTC)
alatefeline: Painting of a cat asleep on a book. (Default)
From: [personal profile] alatefeline
*hugs, also offers fuzzy blanket*

Date: 2016-09-04 10:49 pm (UTC)
enemyofperfect: a spray of orange leaves against a muted background (Default)
From: [personal profile] enemyofperfect
So I really, really don't want to take away from the thing where coming out to your dad is a huge thing for you and I really hope it went well, but at the same time, I kind of read a lot of this post thinking, wait, you too???

Because some of this is stuff I've been thinking about a lot myself lately -- the fact that even though I very much want top surgery and have bottom dysphoria and so on, I feel a lot more comfortable in female-majority spaces like fandom, and seem to prefer interaction styles that are coded as feminine, and wonder if I would find the expectations placed on men even more uncomfortable (at least in some ways) than those placed on people perceived as women.

Anyway though, so much sympathy and support. When you talk about resources you feel selfish about using, I'm not sure if you mean things like websites and how-tos or what? Because if it is something like a website, where you using it doesn't take anything away from other people who need it, I think you have every right to use anything that's helpful for you, for what it's worth.

Also I especially want to sympathize with:

On the other hand, maybe it’ll be easier for them both to understand my being nonbinary instead of a trans man because maybe, just maybe, *that* fits their understanding of me *better* than me being a man.

And just all your uncertainties about how much your family will understand or misunderstand. *hugs if wanted* It's really brave of you to try to seek the understanding you need, and I hope you can find it. ♥

Date: 2016-09-08 06:16 am (UTC)
enemyofperfect: a spray of orange leaves against a muted background (Default)
From: [personal profile] enemyofperfect
First of all, I completely sympathize with your frustration at having random non-family people staying at your house indefinitely and making it hard for you to just relax and be yourself. To be honest, as much as I love my family, life is often easier without them around, too! I'm sorry you've got that stress wearing at you, especially since you don't know when it's likely to end.

About point three, though, oh, you have my complete sympathy. :/ I mean, yes, absolutely it's a good thing that your family loves you, but -- not being understood hurts. Being misgendered hurts, and I think your sister not even trying to use the right name for you must especially hurt!

And for me at least, I don't know if it's like this for you too, but knowing that someone doesn't fully get some of the important things about who I am sometimes puts a barrier between me and being able to really feel how much they might care about me underneath that. Like, it's better than if they didn't care, definitely, but it's still like there's this... gap. And it hurts, because they don't want there to be a gap, and I definitely don't either, but there is, and it's not really something I can fix.

I don't know if I'm making sense about that. But yeah, I'm so glad things didn't go badly for you here, but I sympathize so much, still.

About resources: See, you are totally fine. <3 You aren't going to misrepresent yourself or try to take something that's intended for somebody else, and beyond that, I think the only issue is really what helps you. If you can find support groups or other resources for people in the same situation as you, that would be so completely great, because you deserve help and support for what you're actually dealing with from people who understand that! But in the meantime, anything you can find that might give you a little help I think can only be a good thing. And I love that you're thinking of ways to take care of yourself on this, you know?

And finally working my way back around to the beginning of your comment: That's so amazing that you're thinking about following the precedent and applying for a nonbinary driver's license! (As well as just being wonderful that that precedent has even been set.) I so hear you about things being complicated and still being in the process of figuring them out, but that feeling of rightness seems like exactly the thing you need to follow.

Also, wanting to be seen as yourself seems like the opposite of narcissism to me, almost -- I mean, this isn't some abstract exercise, right? This is just wanting to exist as yourself in the world, and maybe make things a little bit safer for other people like you. I feel like I'm channeling my therapist right now a little bit, heh -- but seriously, just to exist and be seen is so basic and essential. It's everyone's right, and sometimes we might decide for our own reasons not to push for it, but we always have a right to.

And yeah, it's good to not be alone. <3 I'm sure our experiences aren't identical, because we're different people if nothing else, but there's such a strange relief just to see someone else saying this is really complicated and I'm still working on it.

Part of my issue is that I don't even know how to say what I'm feeling. It's like... I want to be a guy, but with the volume turned down? I want to be an honorary one of the girls, but not actually one of the girls? I want to live in a world without gender where the national health care system covers... gender confirmation surgery. Seriously, do any of those sentences even make sense?

But I don't know, probably the only thing that doesn't make sense is that I'm acting if it's confusing if I don't fit into a coercive and arbitrary binary system that's supposed to somehow apply to all of humanity.

And actually, the way you put it about wanting to be read as mostly-male might pretty much sum my situation up, too. It's just that both halves of that -- the "mostly" and the "male" -- are important to me, and I'm still trying to figure out how to reconcile that in my head, let alone in my outward presentation.

Anyway, I just still really love that you're working on this and you're talking about this, and that you're embracing all the multitudes that you contain!

Date: 2016-09-13 04:29 am (UTC)
enemyofperfect: a spray of orange leaves against a muted background (Default)
From: [personal profile] enemyofperfect
Aww, I'm really glad telling them helped at least a little bit with those feelings of distance.

And oh my gosh, how much do your feelings about losing a sisterhood resonate with me! Obviously toxic masculinity should never be a bar anyone has to clear to identify as male (I'm so glad you have so many awesome role models, btw!), and sometimes I think about all the ways I'm not and could never be a stereotypical man and honestly feel good about it, but what you say about having been one of the unprivileged, oh my gosh, yes.

And I guess that thing you talk about in your earlier comment about wanting to queer your presentation a little -- I guess that might end up being one of the things that helps me the most, ultimately? Because I'm not, and I don't know how or want to pretend to be someone for whom the system works. There are things I don't know about life as a woman, but I feel like life as a cis man mostly comfortable with our gender environment is so much more alien in some ways. So maybe one of the things I need to remember is that I will always have the choice (at least as much as anyone has the choice, given constraints of safety and so on) not to pretend to be normal, for lack of a better word.


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