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So it’s been quite awhile since I’ve posted in this blog and truthfully I didn’t think that I would be posting here again. Though I had no plans to bring up my gender identity in my new relationship the topic kind of came up on its own. My new partner has been amazingly accepting, even going so far as to say that he would still care for me if I was a guy and he rather likes my androgynous look. His knowledge about trans and gender issues isn’t the best however I think the fact that a lot of his friends are a touch queer in one way or another helps. Not to mention he is always willing to be educated about what he doesn’t understand. Interestingly enough he actually prefers me without the wig and here I was freaking out about my first non-wig encounter with him. Since then I have been going out without my wig but still wearing more feminine clothing. I ended up buying some 50’s style skirts online and when I’m out and about I don’t feel shy about looking in the “women’s” section anymore. Now I’m still as picky as ever, probably more so than I was with more masculine clothes and I dislike about 70% of clothing that caters to the feminine side of things so progress is slow so to speak. For some reason my biggest problem is shirts but less about clothing and more about where this puts me.

As far as gender is concerned I still consider myself genderless, even if my perceived presentation is cis female. When the term “woman” is used to describe me it never really registers just as “boy” or “man” never really did. In the end how I present myself has to do with me and how I feel comfortable and if society is keen on making assumptions about my gender based on that well that’s their problem. I know who I am and that is what matters.

Even though I brought up my gender identity a bit, I haven’t brought up the subject of my asexuality in my relationship. Now this is mostly because I myself am trying to figure out the specifics and honestly the anti-depressant I’m on is probably not helping with that. I was trying to figure out labels after reading this blog entry that I stumbled upon thanks to Steph. Now what I came up with is that I’m a genderless, demiromantic asexual who is monogamous and celibate(in the no marriage for me kind of way). Though however close to being accurate those labels are I still feel suffocated by them. Once I find a box that fits I’m ready to squirm out of it the very next moment. Now I have brought up being asexual before with my therapist and she suggested getting my hormones tested which frustrated me a bit. I don’t experience sexual attraction, I never look at someone and go “oh yeah I want to have sex with that person” even if I’m dating them, however I do have a sex drive, though rather low, and I do experience arousal. Which in the end makes explaining things even more complicated and I’m really not sure how to bring up the subject with my current partner who is sexual. I mean I don’t want to wait until there’s a problem to bring it up because that seems like a shitty thing to do however I also don’t see the need to bring it up in this point in time.

Well considering classes start soon and I’ll be dressing feminine I’m sure it will give me some fodder to blog about. Until then.

I’m a fake

Is there such a thing as reverse dysphoria? This past weekend all my “guy” clothes felt wrong so I decided to go out wearing my wig, a skirt and feminine blouse. I even wore this while visiting family, though I wasn’t expecting anyone but my grandparents to be there even though my uncle happened to be there as well. Of course a bunch of comments ensued and at the end of that day I felt like crap. One of the reasons I don’t like to dress up is because usually when I do I’m in a good mood and then other people tend to ruin it. Anyway, the next day visiting again I didn’t wear my wig and I wore more masculine clothes. I felt naked without my wig and looking at myself in the mirror was quite off-putting and truthfully I’m not looking forward to the next two weeks left of classes because I can’t drastically change my appearance yet. I had planned on waiting until Spring semester to start wearing a wig everyday but I think I’m going to move that up to Fall semester.

I know that all of this could be put on me now being in a relationship with a cis male however I think it’s too easy to put the blame on that when I haven’t seen him in a couple of weeks considering it’s a short long distance relationship. And not to mention when I felt my appearance was off I was with family and they didn’t even comment that day. Also the want to change my wardrobe came before I even met him. The only problem is that my whole plan with changing my wardrobe has kind of run into a snag. I’m having troubles with my sewing machine, most likely due to my inexperience and I had plan on finishing at least one if not three skirts by mid-July. I could schedule a private lesson and then go from there however I admit I’m easily discouraged, have little patience and don’t have the time right now. The major reason I wanted to make my own clothes was because I wanted to save money since I tend to go through periodic changes thus I don’t like making too much of an investment. However it is possible that this will be a permanent change and will be worth it. Besides I did invest in Lolita skirts which I don’t wear everyday so why not spring for this as well. I’m still getting use to seeing myself as a “girl”, if anything I just see myself as feminine now. Well my therapist wanted to talk about gender this week so we’ll see how that goes.

Disclosure

On the heels of the last post I’ve been coming up with definite plans and narrowing down what patterns I want to use as far as skirts go. I won’t go into details because it’s not really all that important. The end result will be the definite test.

Once again thinking about gender has become more confusing for me, this time due to a new romantic interest. I don’t really like to go into my relationships on here but a little catch-up is due I suppose. The girlfriend I mentioned a few entries back is no longer with me and I’ve been single for nearly a month now. Before I go any further I feel as though I should preface this by saying that I’ve been going out dancing to this little goth club and when I do I tend to dress lolita, including wearing a wig. Anyway I mingled and talked with a few people one of who showed some interest in me, a cis straight male. Now I don’t have a problem with cis straight males and if anything consider myself to be panromantic however I do tend to shy away from that part of the population. Anyway all of this is putting an interesting stresser on my gender identity because I tend to waif and shift depending on other’s perceptions. For me feeling genderless at the core makes it possible for me to take on any gender if I so chose. Which probably sounds wrong and non-pc in some way or another.

Now having a first encounter with someone in person is a lot different from getting to know someone online and then taking that interaction offline. For instance a lot of things are put out there right away versus the gradual getting to know a person that occurs in public. The point I’m getting it is that I’ve considered my options and I don’t really see the need to bring up my gender issues if things progress. That I could generally be okay with being seen as a cis female. Now I understand how this can be seen by others. And I’m sure there’s plenty of people who will think that I’m either traitor or a fake (my words are so not elegant tonight) and believe me I understand that. However I know that my personality and all that goes along with it is so fluid that I never try to consider myself a part of any community. And I won’t deny that in the end perhaps this has all been a product of something else, it’s certainly something I’m considering on bringing up in therapy. But all in all, wherever my path leads I know that I took the road I needed to.

Cha-cha-changes

Every so often I I go through a complete wardrobe makeover, this is mostly because eventually no matter what I wear I never actually feel comfortable in. Most clothes I feel don’t reflect who I am which all in all is a mystery in itself. As of now I have plans to change my wardrobe to a more Victorian/lolita inspired direction. Basically, I’m packing in my skinny jeans for skirts. I’ve tried this before, sort of, though in a more hippie way and let’s just say it didn’t really work for me. Even though I did end up buying some lolita skirts I plan to hand make the ones I want to wear everyday, mainly because I don’t want to wear an expensive skirt on the bus. The shirt thing I’m still working on. So far my solution is to hopefully figure out how to make some jabots to Victorian-ize regular blouses because my sewing talents aren’t there yet to make my own shirts. And also to give my outfits a more androgynous style I hope to get a vest or two, if not actually make one. Oh and to make all this more comfortable I’ll certainly be wearing a pair of combat boots. Personally I think they will make all of this possible for me and not so vulnerable.

Certainly I know the implications of such a drastic wardrobe change, especially since I know so many people have hinted at expecting me to transition to male. And truthfully I don’t even know if I’ll be able to pull it off. If I fail at making my own skirts then I’ll probably just give up completely. But truthfully wearing pants is starting to become stifling for me. It just feels wrong. But no matter how much someone may say that wearing a skirt means I’m a girl they will always be wrong. My gender has never been defined by my clothes and more I acknowledge that the more I can dress the way I want to. And I’m not ruling out the fact that I may change my wardrobe again or that this all be a product of wanting to be someone else. Maybe I’m just losing touch with reality, and it’s possible but really this isn’t the blog for that, that’s my livejournal. Anyway even though I plan on wearing skirts it’s get more tempting for me to want to pack as well. I mean why not? Who’s to say that that’s against the rules. I feel like I’m in drag no matter what I wear and I might as well acknowledge that for my own sake.

Truthfully this whole gender thing is getting more confusing by the day. Alas my new therapist is not a gender specialist so I don’t bring it up. Bringing up my asexuality briefly was enough and even that felt a bit odd after getting the sexual assault follow-up question.

I’ll try to keep this updated, though I don’t really plan on doing anything until my summer classes end which won’t be til mid-July.

Stocking and Curls

Lately I’ve been dreaming of long flowing dresses of the Victorian style and wanting to trade in the tightness of my binder for that of a corset. What does this all mean? Well besides the fact that I’m easily persuaded by the things I encounter it has brought me back to wondering if my gender “issues” just in fact are product of my station and even deeper a product of my mental/emotional instabilities. Keep in mind that this is my experience and I’m not trying to discredit the validity of anyone else’s experiences.

Now I consider myself a humanist, and I suppose by some degree a feminist as well, so I’m all for women identified people wearing whatever they want from frills to suits and I don’t think that one’s style of dress allows for disrespect in any form. However I do realize that certain clothing gains certain unwanted attention and I absolutely loathe being the object of attention in any sexual manner, especially from strangers. From this sentiment I think it’s possible that I dress in a masculine way in order to hide the characteristics of my sex that would garner such attention. Of course I’m proved time and time again that no matter how boyish I may look creeps will still put forth their advances. On the opposite side of the coin there is the possibility that because I cannot afford the kind of feminine clothes I would truly want to wear, not to mention the inconvenience of wearing such dress everyday for everyday things like class forces me to give up completely. (I think that if I could I would probably go for egl lolita style if I ever convinced myself I could pull it off.) And certainly there is my preoccupation of what people think of me. I hate to be seen as weak and go out of my way to present myself as anything but because I am indeed a fragile creature beyond the surface. Considering I am rather a loner and don’t have the protection of safety in numbers, I dress with the intention of comfort and invisibility.

As far as this connecting to my mental/emotion instabilities, that has more to do with my wafting from identity to identity. Often I wonder if I’m not truly a cis woman who just cannot realize it because more oft than not I barely feel as though I exist. Thus how can I see myself as a woman (or even a man for that matter) if I can barely register myself as human in my mind. The irony is that even though I question if my gender issues relate to my mental ones I don’t question my asexuality.  These are certainly ideas I should probably present to a professional however even though I plan to see one soon I think I’ll keep my gender struggles under my hat for now. Perhaps by working on my mental instabilities, other issues will work themselves out as well. Truly though I wish I had access to a closest other than my own so I could test out the comfort of what I see in my head.

New Binder

I finally received my new binder, no thanks to the post office, and today was my first day of wearing it out in public. I have to say that this binder is so much better than my first binder. It’s more comfortable, as far as getting it on and off and wearing it, and I can breathe fairly easily with it. Yes, it’s always apparent that it’s there to me however it really just becomes another piece of clothing. Truthfully I see myself binding pretty much everyday now since I can do some comfortably. Today was a rather awkward day and it wasn’t until I loosened up after running across the street (the traffic lights were down) that I wasn’t so preoccupied with how I looked. Funnily enough I noticed on my second time walking home that I was swishing my hips, heh. I feel as though binding allows me to be well me. Instead of constricting me it allows me to be more open. Sometimes I tend to act a bit more femme because I feel comfortable enough to do so since my chest isn’t part of the equation.

Where does this leave me? Well I’ve come to the conclusion that someday I will probably try to pursue getting top surgery. Right now it’s just not feasible, not unless I miraculously end up having insurance that will cover the cost, so I will wait until I’m more established job wise. The binder allows me to feel comfortable enough in my own skin that my chest is not so much of a problem. Unfortunately, over the weekend I ended up recording my voice to see what I sound like and hated that it sounded so feminine. Now I’ve always been told that I have a relatively deep voice but to hear it took me back to my adolescence and the sound was absolutely grating. I think I’ve kind of moved past it for now but I have been a little more quiet lately. Maybe someday I’ll opt for hormones but I really don’t see that happening until after surgery.

My plan for the moment is to go through my wardrobe and separate out the clothes I don’t feel comfortable wearing from the ones I do. Now I use to think that if I had a decent binder that I could still wear some of my old t-shirts, even though they’re “female” shirts, and be okay however I tested out that theory and was proven wrong. I think slowly I am finding my own style though and have even ordered some shirts that were on clearance. Gotta stay thrifty, especially since my sense of style changes easily. At the moment I don’t plan on getting rid of any clothes, especially since things can always be re-purposed but I think being more organized will help me to not agonize so much over what to wear.

Relationships

And my place in them. Now when it comes to romantic relationships I’ve always considered myself a late bloomer. I didn’t have a steady local-ish partner until my first year of college. That nearly made it six months but I like to think that was only due to the fact that I loathed living in the dorms and having my boyfriend at the time visit once a month made me hate it a little less. That relationship failed in my mind because his feelings for me were a lot stronger than my feelings for him. Also I can’t deny the fact that I was expected to play the role of “the girlfriend” and wear skirts at least occasionally didn’t have something to do with it also. At the time I hadn’t really started to explore my gender identity and for the most part liked girls but I was never really good at making my intentions known to other women and my gaydar was pretty pathetic, so dating a guy was the so-called easy route.

Eventually I started to wrestle with my gender identity. I never really liked being labeled a lesbian. Not that I considered myself straight but lesbian didn’t quite fit either. Yes I liked women but I didn’t necessarily see myself as one. This of course added even more complication to my little experiences with dating. And to add on top of that I eventually came to the conclusion I was asexual. It wasn’t all that surprising considering whenever I had a crush on someone all I really wanted to do was cuddle and hold hands. A friend in high school use to sometimes send me lesbian anime porn and I just didn’t get the appeal. In my mind I didn’t want to do that. I just wanted the courting and fairytale stuff. Of course all this just added to my distress.

My next most recent relationship I thought would work out because the person knew up front about my gender identity(I identified as genderqueer) and my asexuality, though I was a bit fuzzy on that part as far as where along the spectrum I fitted exactly. Anyway that relationship ended eventually due to incompatibility but also because I felt as though my partner expected me to be more masculine than I actually was and that in their mind I would one day transition fully to male. Of course a year or so later I realize this might have been them projecting their own gender identity onto me without knowing it as I found out they now identify as male.

Anyway after this relationship I struggled with what role I felt comfortable taking in a relationship and whether I wanted a relationship at all. Maybe I was aromantic after all and really just wanted a friend of sorts. After another relationship of trial and error, I bring you to the romantic relationship I am in today.

Even though I kind of still am in the beginning stages with my girlfriend, I’m realizing things about myself quite quickly. I’m lucky enough to be with someone who accepts and acknowledges my gender identity without trying to fit me into a mold of any sorts. Sure my presentation and actions tend to lean on the masculine side however she doesn’t force me to stay in that role if I don’t want to, neither do I have to fit some stereotype of what masculinity entails. As far as roles go I’d say we’re about equal, neither one of us is particularly dominant or submissive to the other which I consider to be my ideal. I’m still not exactly sure where I am on the asexual scale, perhaps I’m grey-a or demisexual, however my girlfriend is asexual which works because in the end sex isn’t all that important to me especially within a relationship. Which I know sounds odd to some but that’s just my opinion on the subject. To outsiders we may look like a lesbian or even a straight couple however in my mind our relationship is just a queer one and feeling that way allows me to focus on the important things instead of a bunch of schematics.

Finding my way back

It took me awhile but once things died down, all the questioning and therapy talk, I found my way back to where I needed to be. I’m genderqueer, genderless to be exact and I will always be that way. What that means beyond that well that’s a different story but I really need to stop trying to conform to society’s expectations. Even as a trans* person, someone outside of the “norm” I’m required to pick a side, male or female. The more I think about it the more I get fed up with the whole binary. Truthfully if it wasn’t for worrying about freak outs from strangers or their nonchalant/accusing invasion into the personal information that is my gender then it probably wouldn’t get to me so much.Yes, I have days where my dsyphoria is bad enough that I need to bind or that none of my clothing quite feels right. Yes, I hate the hurdles that keep coming up with my girlfriend as far as what she is to call me to outsiders. To her I’m her prince and I love that but that doesn’t quite work for the questioning people that wouldn’t get what that title truly implicates.

I was reading the comments on my favorite gender website and someone mentioned that they use a STP in the women’s restroom. This made me smile because when I was thinking of getting an STP, and still am thinking about it, that’s how I would use it. Why not? I mean why should I be forced to use the men’s restroom when truth is they’re both wrong so why can’t I just go with what’s comfortable for me? I keep coming back to two people in the spotlight that I admire so much for who they are and what they contribute to the world, Andrea Gibson and Ivan Coyote. As far as I know both go by female pronouns but in the end it’s just an empty word that tells nothing about them, nothing about who they really are. I feel the same way. Do I cringe when people use “she” when referring to me? For the most part no, and usually when I do it’s because of the venom or anti-feminist sentiment behind the word. Sometimes I wish I could just take a vacation from this world that seems so keen on forcing people into the black and white when there’s so much color to experience.

Yesterday pretty much started off on the wrong foot for me. With a night of very little sleep, I’m lucky if I got an hour, and disturbance after disturbance the rest of my day was pretty much set up for failure. Luckily it was at least warm today though unfortunately humid.

I went to bed thinking I had figured things out. Before getting ready for bed I ended up reading a post on one of my favorite gender websites and a few comments ended up striking a cord with me. Basically they were just giving the advice to stop questioning and just face the truth. Which prompted me to wonder if perhaps I have just been straddling the gender binary line because I don’t want to face that I actually identify as male. Admitting so would mean all sorts of changes, not to mention a lot of finding resources that I really don’t have access to at the moment. The very thought sent me into a panic but also brought a bit of relief. I started thinking that perhaps I was just worried because my experience of hanging out/around with cis-straight guys is pretty limited, as least in the context of being “one of the guys”. Most of my close guy friends have been gay, barring my first year of high school and even then I was the “lesbian” of the group and kind of one of the guys I still wasn’t a guy. Basically I feel as though I don’t have a really good background with having “really masculine” guys in my life.

Though right now my biggest concerns are my bathroom phobia and well the cost of everything. I already lack health insurance, so finding a therapist is rather on the backburner, not to mention a lot of things related to transition are not covered even if I did have insurance. And social transitioning, well that scares me even more considering I know I don’t pass very well. Sure I get gendered as male semi-often however once I speak that usually goes away and even then it’s usually only by cis women. Not to mention even if I can picture myself as male now, well I can’t really see that in the future. Mostly because the thought of aging scares me, because yes I’m that vain. Assuming I transition I won’t be a young boy forever and the only reference for that is my grandfather and I’m not really on good terms with him right now. And another one of my worries is my relationship with women. Even though I don’t really see myself as belonging on either side of spectrum I tend to find myself more comfortable around women however I don’t want to become “that creepy guy”. I already have that problem and I don’t even identify as male. And yes it might not be a big problem with my girlfriend and her friends/roommates being so accepting about everything however I don’t want them to be my only support system because if things don’t work out then I’ll have nothing.

All of this is leading me to be really impatient for my new binder to get here. Mostly because I feel as though it will help me decide whether or not binding will be enough. I gave myself a buzzcut the other day, because I just don’t feel right if my hair is past a half of an inch long, and looking in the mirror I’m okay with the way I look. However it’s not the greatest test of things considering I don’t have a full length mirror and the I didn’t get to look at myself with a binder on today since my asthma was acting up. Though I must say even with the layers I still didn’t feel right.

Sometimes I wonder if I’d be having this problem if the world was full of genderless or single person bathrooms. I mean maybe then I really wouldn’t care as much if I didn’t have to worry about which side of the line I’d be segregated to in such situations. I wish I could just stop going around in circles with everything.

References and Support

Lately my dsyphoria has been reigned in a bit. I still believe that other than flat my chest just doesn’t look right however for now I’m just trying not to divert my eyes that way. A few days ago I did look into surgery, photos, surgeons, criteria and the like. The more I found the more I felt like if I ever had the means then I could go through with it. Where that leaves me I have no idea because I had the same thought last year but I got discouraged when looking at the figures and convinced myself it wouldn’t be worth the money. I have no problem with those that do opt for top surgery, it’s just that it’s hard to convince myself that it would be worth it for me. I don’t plan on taking any other steps to transition and even though I consider myself to be part of the trans* community, I still have that voice that tells me what I go through is  nothing compared to what others are going through. That no matter what I’ll never be trans* enough.

The other day my girlfriend talked to her roommate about me since he’s a trans man. She ended up giving me his number and asking me to use him as someone to talk to about what I’m going through. Now while I appreciated the gesture I’m always wary about going down this road. First of all I’m not close enough to her roommate to feel comfortable talking about my trans* issues. Don’t get me wrong, he’s a nice guy and we had an interesting conversation about binders last time I was visiting but still. Second of all, I really don’t feel as though I should be talking to anyone who’s actually involved in my personal life. I mean I just feel as though the possibility of being pushed towards deciding that I’m male and going through a full transition would happen too easily. Not that I believe he would ever do such a thing but still. I suppose a part of me is worried since my ex who turned out to be trans* was kind of pushing me in that direction before he realized he was trans* himself. Not to mention I’m stubborn and would kind of like to figure things out a bit on my own before really talking to people about it. Or at least have an unbiased opinion.

Which leads me back to the topic of therapy. I’ve been looking up therapists as well however now that I’m over that little episode I’m back in the mind frame of wondering why I exactly need therapy. I know that I do because my mood swings may possibly be a sign of something serious however I feel like I can’t really document anything and thus wouldn’t know how to bring it up. I suppose my best option right now would be to just focus on school and worry about the rest later.

In other news I ordered a new binder. This one is suppose to be breathable which I’m hoping will be good for summer and I’ve heard good reviews of the binders from this company so I figured I’d give them a shot. More on that when it actually gets here.

-E