Monday, June 16, 2008

But What Does it Mean?

I have a few posts in the works, no idea how long they'll take though--I'm rather unfocused right now.
One on monsters and the monstrous, another on Sylvia Rivera, on my childhood, as well as a few links/posts I might discuss.

For now, in a transgender forum someone asked what we mean when we say "we feel like [our gender]", how do we know we're that gender. (And sie asked for book recommendations)

Me: I've always felt like I should have male-assigned equipment instead of female, so I started out just wanting to change that. I didn't know if I was a man or a boi or genderqueer.
As I began changing my wardrobe to more male-assigned clothes, getting shorter haircuts, etc. I was gendered male more and more often and it felt right. Eventually, after a while I just felt male no matter that I still haven't started to medically transition. Eventually I just started to identify as a man; and it felt right.
Being gendered and seen as male just feels good and comfortable; being gendered female never did.

And along with Whipping Girl, I recommend The Riddle of Gender and The History of How Sex Changed.

Here's my answer, what's yours?


Nick Kiddle said...

I spent (wasted?) many years waiting for a clear sign that I was really a man, and never getting one because nothing counted. Meanwhile, I was calling myself Nick and feeling good when people called me Mr, shaving my peach fuzz once a month, trying to pee standing up and generally behaving in ways that made any trans men I met say, "Yep, you're one of us, come on in." And I never did get the clear sign, but I think I eventually figured it was OK to call myself a man without it.

Ryan said...

Strangely enough I haven't really thought about how I know, beyond being kinda like 'Uh, I just am.'

I have felt like my brain is 'boy shaped' for as long as I can remember. This was probably influenced by sexism quite a lot. I am a very typical guy, and atypical girl. I actually thought that all women that are into comics, and sci fi, and math and science, and computers felt like I did. It wasn't until I met cisgendered geek women that I realised that I was different to them.

And for books, I'd recommend 'Finding the Real Me: Tales of Sex and Gender Diversity', and Whipping Girl.
Also, reading blogs. Blogs have some advantages, for example some gender expressions are absent from most popular books (example that springs to mind is monster gender).

Oh, and Nick... glad to see you feel good about calling yourself a man now. :D

Andy said...

I'm so glad I found your site. I feel like I have a million questions and no one to talk to or, more importantly, listen to.

It seems there are a lot of Trans101 sites for people who aren't, but what about for people who, well, can't deny certain things any longer?

Sorry to hijack the comments, I just got all excited when I saw the post. :)

Kristopher, aka: Drakyn said...

No prob' Andy. ^.^
Check out the trans 101 links on my sidebar if you haven't already. And a fair number of the folks on my blogroll are trans* too; there are also a lot of trans*-related LJ communities.
Good luck!

DysPerDis said...

I've known something was a bit off about me for years, but growing up in a Jehovah's Witness household made it difficult to accept the truth. I spent years trying to make myself more feminine- I figured that if I just tried a little bit harder, I'd learn to like being a girl. At the same time, I was incredibly freaked out by my body- when I was 9 (I think), I thought I was deformed, and when I started to grow breasts, I saw it as a sign that I was fat and tried to stop eating in the hopes that it would keep them from getting any bigger.

It took until I was 17 or so for me to even accept that there was the possibility that I was trans. I stopped trying to be a girl, and started doing what felt right. As time went on, I finally realized that I'd definitely a guy, instead of a non-binary variant.

Again, it's just a feeling of rightness, for the most part. I haven't transitioned medically yet, but I'm planning on taking the first steps once I find my own place.

And because it's sort of related, has anyone else here had that "phantom genital" sensation? I thought I was going crazy for a while, but apparently, it's pretty common for FtMs to have phantom penises, similar to how amputees will have phantom limbs.