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Am I overthinking?

Discussion in 'Gender Identity and Expression' started by Lee15, Mar 30, 2016.

  1. Lee15

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    So I started questioning my gender the August before last, and identifying as agender/gender neutral around May last year. But since I started making changes and trying to look more androgynous I've begun to feel more and more masculine, to the point where a couple of months ago I decided to identify as a non-binary trans guy.

    I'm fairly comfortable identifying this way and probably 80% sure that those are the right labels for me, but I doubt myself A LOT. I'm just worried that the whole trans guy thing might be in my head. Maybe I'm subconsciously trying too hard to fit into a binary gender role? Maybe I am a binary trans guy and it's just taken me over a year (and nonbinary as a stepping stone) to break away from the gender I was socialised in? I sometimes even wonder whether I'm cis and it's just a phase, even though most evidence says otherwise.

    I've seen people make posts like this before listing all of the evidence for and against them being trans, so I figured I'd try it, because I really don't know what else to do.

    Evidence that I might be a trans guy:
    • I hate being referred to with feminine language or pronouns and it makes me really uncomfortable. I started to notice a lot more since I started questioning my gender but I don't think I ever really liked it before that.
    • I get really bad dysphoria around my chest, and I have been certain that I wanted top surgery ever since I found out it was an option.
    • I'm really short and curvy, and have recently been getting more and more dysphoric about my hips and height and general body shape.
    • I feel much more comfortable in men's clothes. I can't find a single pair of men's trousers that will fit properly with the size of my hips and I find this very upsetting.
    • I never really saw the point in shaving my legs and only ever did it before PE lessons because I felt like I was expected to.
    • I've chosen to shave my legs a couple of times since I stopped doing PE, and while it feels good at first, I usually regret it after a couple of days and want the hair to grow back faster.
    • I never really liked wearing makeup or presenting in a girly way, and although I did on and off for a couple of years I think I only did it because I felt it was expected of me.
    • When I was a kid my friends were a mix of boys and girls. Nowadays pretty much everyone I spend time with at school is female, and I always feel like the odd one out.
    • As a kid I played with a mixture of 'girl toys' and 'boy toys' but most of the girly toys were bought for me, not chosen, and I always preferred cars or lego or playing outside.
    • After I cut my hair short last summer and stopped trying to present in a feminine way my whole outlook changed, like I still feel like I might be depressed but I haven't yet gotten as low as I was before.
    • When I first came out I said my pronouns were they/them, but I was never uncomfortable with he/him pronouns and I'm starting to think I might like them.
    • I like my birthname, but in the way that I like my sister's name, if that makes sense? Like it's a lovely name, but it doesn't feel like me, I don't feel any more connected to my name than I do to hers.

    Evidence that I might not be trans:
    • I have piercings in both ears, which I know guys don't typically do, and I want more of them.
    • I also want lots of tattoos and most of the designs I have planned are more typically feminine than masculine, like I prefer delicate floral tattoos to the sorts of tattoos you typically see on men.
    • I have interests that are typically seen as feminine, like I love reading and art, and when I've been to university open days half of the tutors and all of the students in my subject area have been female.
    • Although I don't like being in social groups that are just girls, I don't think I'd be comfortable in groups of just boys either. (This might just be because of my own insecurity about my gender or because I'd be read as female?)
    • I've never experienced bottom dysphoria, and I'm worried that if I take testosterone and that changes it will bother me.
    • I don't think I'd mind having facial hair but I don't particularly want it. I don't often get dysphoric about my face, and while I'm seriously considering hormones to change my body shape I'm not really fussed about my face shape either way.
    • I like words like boyfriend, husband, brother, son, but I still feel weird referring to myself as a boy or a man.
    • Although it only happens rarely, I occasionally miss my long hair or feel distinctly feminine for a particular moment. (I always feel kind of weird afterward, almost like I've betrayed myself?)
    • I don't relate to the typical stereotype of men being confident or aggressive. I know a lot of cis men don't either, but I have quite a gentle and introverted personality and I don't know if I fit into that gender role well enough?

    I don't know, I feel like I'm wasting people's time by posting this but I can't stop thinking about it and the more I think the more confused I feel. I'm not in a position where I can come out to anyone else, but I will be when I start uni this September and I want to be as sure of myself as possible by then so that I can start living openly with confidence.

    If you took the time to read this thank you, you are wonderful :kiss: I know only I can decide whether I'm trans or not, but does this make it sound like I might be? Do you think I might be a binary trans guy, or am I trying too hard to fit into binary gender roles? Can I be nonbinary and FTM at the same time? :help:

    If you could let me know what you think, or if you've had any similar experiences I would really appreciate it :slight_smile:
     
  2. InfinityonHigh

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    A good part of the "Evidence that I might not be trans" are based on gender stereotypes, (and some part of the "Evidence that I might be a trans guy" too) for example the thing with the piercings have absolutely nothing to do with your gender identity.

    A thing to keep in mind though, is that non-binary still fits under the trans umbrella, so even if you are non-binary, you can still ID as trans. (transgender is your gender identity not matching 100% with that of your assigned one)

    I have seen people that describe their gender as both non-binary and FTM, and that's a perfectly valid identity.

    Figuring out whether I was a binary trans guy or non-binary was the thing that took up the most time when I tried to figure my gender out personally. I knew I wasn't a cis girl, but it took a while to find a label that fits best. I really hope this doesn't come off as trying to invalidate the identities of non-binary people (which I worry it will), but I IDed as genderqueer before I settled on the label of a binary trans guy. The thing was though, when I tried out the label genderqueer, I always felt there was something that didn't fit. I tried making a little pride bracelet with the genderqueer pride flag with it, but it just didn't feel right. I feel that if I were truly genderqueer, that feeling wouldn't have existed.

    Calling myself male felt a little weird at first, but it's actually the label I'm most comfortable with. To add to that, getting used to a new set of pronouns (and even name) can give you the same feeling as well. Being called something for your entire life and then being called something else is a change that takes time getting used to. I had to get used to a new name quite a number of years ago (for reasons unrelated to gender) and I know that it does take time.

    Taking into account the "evidence" you described, I don't really have much of an idea on what your gender is; I hope that bit with my personal journey on figuring out my gender helped. (please excuse the messy order of these paragraphs)
     
  3. Daydreamer1

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    A lot of what you mentioned are stereotypes; like being comfortable in traditionally male clothing, not liking femininity, and so on. Those have nothing to do with your identity. Also, hobbies and interests don't have a gender. Enjoying art and reading isn't strictly feminine, nor is body modification styles. I feel what it comes down to is how you identify or feel with the gender you are assigned at birth.

    In my eyes, if you don't identify with the gender you were assigned at birth, then you're trans. You can be trans and enjoy masculinity, femininity, or both. There's nothing wrong with that. Also, many trans guys can relate to what you say causes you to have doubts. Not many are wild about body hair, have bottom dysphoria, or relate to stereotypes that revolve around men -- I know for sure I'm that way as well when it comes to being hypermasculine or stereotypically aggressive and macho. I'm also very introverted, shy, and sensitive; but I have close friends who are cis men who are the same way and detest toxic masculinity.

    There's no right way to be a man, and just because you don't relate to stereotypes, it doesn't mean you can't or don't "fit in" to the "role". Like I said; I'm basically a sensitive little teddy bear who loves cat videos, cutesy cartoons, stuffed animals, and bright colors--but I'm still a man regardless. You can be masculine, feminine, somewhere in between, or something all your own and still be a man if that's how you identify.

    As for if you're binary or non-binary, I think that's something only you can really decide. For me, I identify as non-binary or non-binary leaning. I don't see gender the way society does; in that I think gender roles are absurd, I don't see myself as a "dudebro" and I think toxic masculinity is fucked up. I thought that I was thinking meant gender-nonconforming; but that relates to presentation and not identity. And yes, you can be FTM/MTF and non-binary. The gender spectrum is huge, and it comes in all shades and colors.

    Give yourself plenty of time to think. Figuring yourself out isn't a race. And no, you aren't wasting anyone's time. We're here for you :slight_smile:
     
  4. Lee15

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    I see what you mean about a lot of it not being relevant to my identity. One of the things I've been worrying about is that I might be internalising stereotypes and over-analysing, and I'm beginning to realise that that's definitely the case.

    My Dad has always been very strict about his sons being manly and his daughters being feminine, so I think I'm starting to scrutinise everything I do to try and fit in those boxes in the same way he does. He gave me a lot of crap for cutting my hair short without asking his permission, and made jokes and assumptions because of my new presentation that sometimes got to me quite a bit. Little things like the piercings make me feel like I'm not stereotypically manly enough to identify as a man, and that's probably something I've picked up from him that I need to undo.

    Since I IDed as agender to begin with and am now leaning towards FTM, invalidating nonbinary identities is something I've worried about too. When I came out my mum originally thought that nonbinary identities weren't real and told me I was just confused (even though at the time I felt certain), and I feel like if I end up deciding that I'm actually FTM and not nonbinary she'll think she was right about that.

    Thanks for replying and sharing your experiences, it really has helped :slight_smile:
     
  5. darkcomesoon

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    You definitely don't have to fit the male gender role in order to be a binary trans man. I think it's entirely possible that you're a trans guy. I often worry I'm not "binary enough" to be a trans guy, but I've pretty much decided it doesn't matter. I want to be a guy, so why should not feeling "male enough" change that? How could I even know what other trans guys feel like and somehow know that they were all "more male" than me? I don't fit all the gender roles and I don't know if I always "feel like a guy" but I'm a trans guy anyway because cis men don't always fit gender roles and cis men don't always "feel like a guy" and that doesn't make them not men.