So, I’m having a confident day today… for whatever reason, I feel like I understand where I’m going. It doesn’t matter to me (today) what other people think or how they perceive me or my transition. Today… it’s all about me.
I don’t feel the need to explain myself or define my gender. It’s amazing how, even within this sub-genre of gender identity… this place where there ARE no clear-cut definitions, there’s still some sort of underlying pressure to “be a man” if you’re taking (or want to take) testosterone or be “a woman” if you’re taking estrogen. Even people within the queer community itself view transitioning as the process of going from one muddied gender identity to another, more clearly defined, gender. And the (so called) Standards of Care which are used by mental health professionals in assisting transgender people on this journey are certainly ALSO focused on the binary. Prior to giving you the okay for hormone replacement therapy, they expect you to live your life as this new (clearly defined) gender in order to PROVE something… to prove you’re strong enough? To prove you’re serious?
I’m not sure.
I can’t get passed this… pressure. That’s the only way I know how to describe it… people – everyone. From cisgender, straight-type folks to therapists and friends in the GLBTQ community want you to be clearly defined. They want you to be gay and male or straight and female or whatever the case may be – but society (even QUEER society) has a really hard time accepting you if you happen to encompass a spectrum, rather than a single point on that continuum. People don’t like talking about it – even the “open-minded gays” …so, they don’t.
It’s funny how we expect it and encourage it, even, when we get an inclination that a straight friend or acquaintance might be bisexual or “bicurious” (whatever that means)… we think, “Aha! See! Everyone really *is* kinda gay.” without bothering to consider that maybe everyone is also a little bit straight. Maybe we should consider the possibility that *everyone* encompasses a spectrum, not just those of us willing to talk about it and explore those options, but EVERYONE. Maybe it’s just that most people choose to just pick a place (and an identity) and stay put.
We’re all pressured to be: Jeans OR dresses. Dolls OR trucks. Blue OR pink. Men OR women. Straight OR gay.
What about MTF transexuals who are butch lesbians? FTM gay men? Feminine, heterosexual men?? Or hell, even people that are attracted to ANY embodiment of masculinity and/or femininity? What about Bi-gender + Bisexual people? Ugh… or not even “bi” since Bi=two, and surely we all realize by now that there are more than two genders and more than two sexual orientations… so, what is that? pangender+pansexual?
See? Even I *still* have this innate desire to define it. To create some sort of word(s) that will encompasses the full spectrum or various bits of the spectrum, and THAT is exactly the ideology that I’m battling.
I’m wanting to exist in some sort of union of the two ends of the gender spectrum – without the pressure to pick one team or another. If we, as a society, could just somehow move beyond that need to create definitions and boxes and work to make sure that everyone fits into one or the other…
These are concepts that absolutely blow the minds of individuals who’ve picked their comfortable points along that gender/sexuality continuum, and have found peace in that space. Hell, it blows my mind too, but unfortunately I’m still trying to figure all of this out, and find a way to REALISTICALLY exist on this “color wheel of gender” without picking a single point.
It’s funny – I spent many years being afraid of transition because of how it might affect my orientation. Somehow, I always thought the two might be connected – of course, I have no way of confirming that… I just know that it SEEMS to be a common phenomenon for sexuality to shift once some people start their physical transition (or even as they start MENTALLY transitioning). Maybe it’s because you’re opening yourself up to a new level of self-awareness? Maybe it’s because once you start challenging the idea of binary gender roles, you also feel… confidence (?) in challenging your perception of sexuality as well??
I’m not sure about any of that either… I’m just rambling. It’s been on my mind a lot lately, and I definitely find myself curious about my own sexuality in ways I’ve never been willing to confront before. I can see how sexuality becomes an issue when you transition – for me, personally, I think it definitely has to do with the fact that I’m examining myself in a much more critical way lately… in a VERY different way than I’ve analyzed myself in the past. Of course, I think I’m generally looking at my life. My situation. My gender. My sexuality… from a very different perspective, and I’ve opened myself up to these other (scary) possibilities.
It’s not like I expect that I’ll end up being a gay man… I don’t actually think that at all. I just think that maybe I’ll find I’m more willing (and able?) to express desires/fantasies/attractions that are coming from a different place than I’ve experienced in my VERY limited sexual past. I don’t necessarily think that I’ll be acting on them, but I DO expect to be more AWARE of them – and myself… and that can’t be all bad, right?