Been a while since I did an identity post, eh?
I really should be working on homework, but for the majority of the day, I’ve been working…so…more work is not high on my list, right now. Something did come to mind, last night, though — as I was attempting to fall asleep. This is the fact that California has recently legally recognized a gender status other than F or M. This information came to me through the following blog:
California recognizes legal non-binary status
This, in addition to the fact that I have been invited to a gender non-binary group (I have yet to explore this), and was thinking about alternative body modifications last night…plus the fact that I’m back in Library School (we’ll see for how long) and have recently found pay scales for library work…it’s just something that opens up a lot of possibilities. Particularly so, as the Library community is really, really liberal where it comes to minorities.
My attention has been drawn to my embodiment, recently, as I am back in Library School, and thus have to watch out for eating too much out of stress. If I weren’t on medications, it likely wouldn’t be an issue; but small changes in my diet — like one sugared beverage a day — can cause me to gain weight, now. Last night I was also paying attention to this because of my birth control: my cycle has become so light on this, as to almost be nonexistent. (Sorry, half the planet goes through something like this; so far as I’m concerned, talking about it should be considered normal.)
Last night was particularly tough, too, because it was hot, and I had ingested so much water (in addition to the problem of water retention, from my cycle) that it was causing a bit of pain. I mentioned Spiro to M and D, who are relatively liberal on other medications, to the response that I don’t have to take a pill for everything (trust me, they take pills much more freely than I do). Spiro is spironolactone; it reduces the levels of androgens in the body, but is also called a “water pill” because it causes one to have to use the restroom a lot.
Right now I’m still fighting with my acne and shaving my face at least once every two days. I’m sure I wrote about this before: I have a condition which causes my androgen (tested blood testosterone) levels to be high, which (along with feelings of security that I can’t be impregnated) is the main reason I’m on birth control. The acne and the facial hair follow the high androgen levels; it doesn’t help that I seem particularly responsive to androgens.
I am not certain what is going on with my hormones, at the moment; I do know that no one besides me wants to test my testosterone again, even though my levels came up abnormally high when I had it done before I started birth control. The facial hair hasn’t spread, but it’s still there, and will be there until I start doing something like threading or waxing or electrolysis (I think my skin is too dark for laser).
Given how many women I’ve seen go through permanent hair loss (lack of eyebrows) through plucking, though, waxing is a viable option. The problem is becoming secure enough with having substantial hair on my face to give the wax something to stick to. Before now, I haven’t touched it, because I have never really been certain I’d never go on testosterone, and if I went on testosterone, I’d want a full beard, not one which is thin in patches.
I know that if I do rev it up a bit and start exercising, this will increase my androgen levels…though that, in this case, with a higher metabolism and reasons to bathe more frequently, would likely be healthier than where I’m at right now.
The ideal case would have me working out to the extent that everything tightens up (in a good way) and I get a bit of muscular hypertrophy. That is: big muscles. This, in addition to mens’ clothing (which I’d be able to wear better with less fat), and…maybe clearer skin and eyeliner…that would be ideal. And at that point, facial hair wouldn’t even really look out of place. It would be nice to be able to braid my hair back and be seen as a beautiful young man. (It lasts until I talk.)
I know how to do this; the problem is getting it from the point of being an idea, to one of being a reality. Right now I’m a little over 150 lbs — which is a weight that, at least, I feel secure at — though I’m told I don’t look it. I’ve been told by members of the local Female-to-Male transgender community that working out for big muscles is stereotypical and doesn’t come close to actually living as a man. The thing is, I’m not a man, and I don’t really want to live as a man.
I don’t really see myself as a woman, either, but it’s gotten to the point that I don’t correct people when they see what they see and it doesn’t match what I see. I don’t need everyone else to agree with me. What I need is some way to find my own way in the world and skirt the homophobes (some of whom are trans) and transphobes (some of whom are lesbian and gay) so that they don’t overly impact my life.
But wouldn’t it be interesting…to appear as a muscular and strong female in mens’ clothing, long hair, eyeliner, with multiple piercings and a non-binary license? If I didn’t have to worry about negative repercussions, I could also do low-dose testosterone and go off of it after the voice drop: but I have enough issues with body hair (and acne), already. That stuff doesn’t go away, and it’s tough enough to empathize with other people who have it more profusely, without realizing I’d have to manscape if I did go on T. Right now, at least, it’s manageable. But I wasn’t blessed with the almost-no-body-hair gene. Not to mention the party that’s going on, on my face.
And, my voice is already fairly low.
Then there’s what to do if I traveled out of state, or out of the country. I’d think that being obviously genderqueer would kind of restrict travel options.
Changing tracks, a bit:
It was just recently that I realized that a significant number of abnormal reactions I’ve gotten from others on admitting I was attracted to them, may have been based on homophobia. I don’t see myself as a woman, but it’s likely others see me as such. In that case, I’ve got to be prepared to be a target of homophobia if I’m interested in someone of my sex, for more than friendship.
It’s apparent that, at least if I’m operating in a heterosexual mode, I have close to no sexual attraction to anyone. But have I ever truly operated in a mode where I was both unafraid of and considering possibilities of being together with someone of my own sex? It’s gotten to the point where I’m not even sure if I’m bisexual or pansexual anymore. My interest in males is minor, and I used to get mad at them for assuming they could flirt with me, while I felt barred from flirting with everyone to whom I was actually attracted.
On top of this, I’ve found that I am really only marginally attracted to genderqueer people who were assigned male at birth. I don’t know what is behind this; I know it’s politically incorrect to have one’s set of attractions include female people (binary [cis and trans] women, female-assigned genderqueer, and female-assigned transgender people, excluding binary transsexual men), but not male people (most binary cis and trans men, most genderqueer people who were male-assigned). My feelings toward transsexual women [included above in “women”] are more complicated, because in many ways I feel a commonality with them. I don’t know why.
I don’t know why any of this, really. I know it isn’t quite politically correct, but for me it’s a biological tendency that I don’t understand, and which can’t comprimise for the sake of politics.
Outside of being attracted to the above group…I’m pretty much asexual. In the pursuit of discovering or recovering the above sexuality…I’m (tonight, at least) seriously considering again identifying as gay, so I can focus on healing this rift in emotional connectivity that began to tear loose when I was 14.
I wouldn’t be a binary gay person (I identify with the term “gay” over “lesbian”, even though I’m primarily attracted to women, because to me “lesbian” implies womanhood) — most of the time, I have seen the mainstream L and G communities represent themselves as comprised of binary (cis and trans) men and women…I’m not a King either…I’m just…genderqueer. I’m who I am.
And if people are going to outright assume that I’m lesbian instead of what I actually am, maybe then I do have something in common with lesbian people — and can gain from that community, even though I am not binary.
As a last bit: a post came up on my Reader recently about otherkin; particularly, the wolf subtype. One commenter directed a different commenter to the following TEDx Talk (which I had little luck sifting through the TED website to find). I did find it easily on Google, however.
I figured I should watch it, before writing this post.
As regards the otherkin thread, I’ll leave that where it lies, for now. Granted that the otherkin and transgender communities do overlap a bit; I know some people who fall within this range (though not many in person).
The above Talk was somewhat…interesting, though the speaker only really went into “trans”-anything as feelings of being at home (or not) in one’s body. In this way, he could have been using the term “transgender” as a synonym for “transsexual” (as I’ve seen to be common practice).
There is another level to this, which is one’s sense of self: gender identity. He really didn’t go into this level at all. So for me — I don’t really know what it’s like to be, probably, most of the women I’ve met. I know I don’t identify primarily as a woman. My roles as creator and thinker and writer come first.
My body isn’t my biggest problem. Though I do feel like I would have been better off as a (cis) man, I’m not even a trans man at this point — and I’m sure most people would think themselves better off as cis men! Especially if one could wish for and be guaranteed comfort in performing a gender congruent with their changed body. I am leery of the thought of transitioning to male and hoping everything will fall into place after that, really. I don’t think who I will be will change, and I’m to the Yin side of things as they stand, anyway.
And anyway, who says that being a man is better than being me? 🙂