Gender Fluid Dilema
So this is like a combined intro post and question. I hope my question will lead into some positive responses and start a discussion about being Gender Fluid.
I was very challenged to think up a new alias I have not used previously. I choose the nickname Internalized, because one of my biggest problems is internalized transphobia of all different kinds.
I am late diagnosed with Gender Dysphoria, have a host of mental illneses, and unpredictably switch between genders. I am also being treated by several physicians, am prescribed several medications, and was assigned male at birth.
When I switch to a masculine way of thinking it is no big deal, I actually feel pretty neutral, and still quite effiminate. If I am wearing a dress in public when this happens, I feel a little silly, but I don't feel reverse dysphoria is a problem.
If I switch to a feminine way of thinking while dressed in mens clothing, bad feelings happen. If I cannot change into womens clothes, I will shift my male clothes, so I am wearing them in an effeminate way. I cannot explain what happens if my dysphoria gets out of control.
Hence my dilema, most of the time I am adverse to sex, but because I can't talk about it specifically in most support structures, I feel ostracized. My doctors ask a lot of very personal questions, but honestly answering them frankly doesn't make me feel safer, rather it heightens my awareness of uniqueness.
The continued onslaught of the toxic political debate means I feel I can no longer go out in public safely dressed part way in womens and mens clothes. This would relieve a lot of my anxiety, but in practice, it attracts a lot more abuse from other people. I feel that identifying as Gender Fluid is not negotiable, it isn't a choice, it is a physical part of me, but even people in the LGBT- (minus sign intentional) community treat me like a freak.
So my question is, would there be a simplier way of describing myself, than using MtF Transgender, Transfeminine, Gender Fluid, Bisexual, Skilosexual, and Gray Asexual? Simply saying I am Gender Fluid, raises far too many questions about my veracity.
Non-binary is the common umbrella term for any gender that's not quite man or woman. It includes gender fluid and so much more, so identify however you prefer. People are more familiar with nonbinary though.
I'm trans too (AFAB), transitioned, but I don't feel much sense of gender. I guess I'm nonbinary but I never really mention it because I "look binary" (i know it's silly) and I'm fine with he/him pronouns. I either feel genderless or vaguely a man or masculine person. I hate having any gender norms or expectations directed at me, anyone just making a deal of me being a man; being stuck in a gaggle of cis people discussing gender differences is my worst nightmare... I don't want to participate in gender. lol
What do you think is the reason for the differences in your dysphoria when you switch to masc/fem in certain clothing? Would very androgynous clothing make you feel good, so you're not clearly masc or fem if you happen to switch?
Wondering if there is a word you can come up with yourself. Instead of accepting an existing definition, create one. There is so much more power in something we create our self. 'Co-gender' (aka combination gender) or bi-gender are just a couple of suggestions, if you're seeking a definition. And if someone ends up saying to you 'You can't do that! You can't just make up a word that doesn't exist!', I suggest the retort 'Why not?!' We accept new definitions every day. To actually be the creator of a new word is pretty empowering. I say GO FOR IT!
The clothing aspect - is there a neutral way of dressing you haven't yet considered? Is there a style that expresses who you are that doesn't define you by gender? Perhaps this is something worth exploring. Perhaps, for example, you could dress neutrally but add accessories; this way, if you decided part of the way through the day that you weren't comfortable with what you're wearing, you could just remove the accessories. This can define you as 'highly adaptable' and comfortable at the same time.
Internalized, you're a pioneer to some degree; you are exploring and questioning territory not a lot of people have experienced. Like many pioneers, it can be a somewhat lonely and unsure place to be. Fellow travelers can be few and far between but sometimes it's worth seeking them out so you have someone to relate to. Have you ever asked any of the professionals you've seen whether there are any support groups for people who experience gender dysphoria? It may be worth exploring this angle. When we're unique sort of folk, finding others to relate to can be seriously uplifting. I'm a pretty spiritual sort of gal, into all that 'weird freaky Universe stuff' and I find I celebrate myself far more when I'm engaged with like minded people who don't insist on labeling me or telling me how 'stupid' or 'wrong' my way of thinking is.
Always keep in mind that when we are looking to others to reflect the truth as to who we are, we must make sure that reflection is clear and without prejudice (preconceived ideas). I must say there are plenty of 'fun house mirror' people in my life who insist on showing me a distorted image of myself. It's best to see others as a little warped rather than accept our self as 'distorted' in any way.
Take care Internalized
Thank you for the validation by bumping my new thread.
I have researched a lot of different labels groups of people have recently invented to describe themselves. Bi-gender is one of those lesser known terms that does actually apply to me. I try to avoid labels, or only use those that I think my audience will understand. I will think more about labels, inventing a new cliche for describing myself could be quite helpful.
I think most of my mental channels of internalised transphobia have been shaped by those 'fun house mirrors,' although I rationally acknowledge their warped opinion is born of their own painful transition experiences.
I accept that I am non-binary, as far as an umbrella term for Gender Fluid, and because my male switch is so close to neutral, that it itself is also a non-binary gender. I also prefer she/her pronouns, despite being non-binary and while often presenting in public in a masculine way for my personal safety.
I own a lot clothing that is Gender-neutral to some extent. Unfortunately jeans, T-shirts and runners, even if designed to fit women's bodies, still feel masculine to me.
Clothes that feel feminine to me include blouses, skirts, dresses, and most jewelry. So when I present as a woman deliberately in a subdued natural way, it is still more extremely feminine than what the average woman of my age would wear.
When I am at home, I mostly dress in what I feel is a fairly neutral way, that actually screams non-conformity to most people. This could be wearing a skirt with a mens business shirt, or a blouse with jeans. I also don't shave regularly, so my at home look often also includes a short beard and pony tails. Conversely when I go out, my hair is either in a male topknot, or a more mature feminine style.
I would like to wear the Non-binary label, and my unique take on neutral clothing, proudly in public, but past experience doing so has been traumatising. There remains a huge gap of ignorance about Transgender, Non-binary and Intersex people.
The other Amab Non-Binary, or Gender Non-conforming people that I have met, are probably more unique than myself, and are usually protected by very muscular gender diverse allies. I am feeling more vulnerable now that I have lost some of my allies that protected me.