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Is This Normal for Cisgendered People?

Discussion in 'Gender Identity and Expression' started by Maximus92, May 15, 2016.

  1. Maximus92

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    Hello! If something ends up offending anyone, it wasn't intentional and I'm very, very sorry.
    So, I've identified as a cis guy for my entire life and, sadly, was never given a reason to give it much thought other than that.
    However, recently, two of my closest friends came out to me as trans and, I gotta be honest, I didn't even know such a thing even existed. Now, I actually started investigating the subject very zealously because I wanted to support them as best I could, so educating myself seemed like a pretty good idea.
    Now, over the course of my research, I saw that many trans people say "I feel like this gender," so I started to wonder "how does feeling like a specific gender, well, feel like?" and I reached several surprising conclussions.
    First of all, I noticed that, while I don't experience any sort of dysphoria whatsoever, nor am I made uncomfortable by the "male" label, I don't particularly feel like a guy either.
    My presentation, to outsiders, might look heavily masculine (not macho, though) but I have never associated any of the things I do or don't do with gender. However, some parts of my presentation do defy male standars/stereotypes. I also reject gender roles, big time.
    Another thing I did was imagine myself as being of the female sex and, honestly, it didn't make me any happier nor did it make me uncomfortable. I guess I was just "meh" towards the thought.
    I noticed that I always identified as a guy, not because it necessarily fit, but because it was told to me and I didn't have any conflicting thoughts, so I just went with the flow.
    However, I don't particularly feel like a woman either. Whenever I try to think about my gender, all I can say is that I guess I'm a guy, because saying so is biologically correct, but I'm not particularly attached to such a label. I'm sorry if I offended anyone by stating this, but I thought it was necessary so that I could get help.
    I guess what I'm trying to say is that I'm completely indifferent towards my own gender. Is this a normal way for cis people to think? If so, then I'm sorry I ever brought it up, but if it's not, can anyone give me any leads to figure out a new, more fitting label than "cis male"?
    Again, I'm deeply sorry if I ended up offending anyone with the statements I made here. I swear it wasn't intentional.
    Thanks for taking your time to answer! I really appreciate it!
     
  2. Mihael

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    It's normal to question gender at some point. Now you opened a door for yourself and you can get to know your gender. You'll see if you're still comfortable with masculinity, or maybe you truly want to go in another direction, if it seems forced.

    It's normal to feel indifferent, no matter your gender.
     
  3. Rickystarr

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    Idk but it makes sense to me that indifference towards your gender is the most natural way to feel. It should be so comfortable you don't notice it or think about it.
     
  4. SillyGoose

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    I don't really understand what being a gender feels like.. If that makes sense..
    I don't understand how being female could feel different from being male..
    I completely support people who are trans but I'm just naïve on the topic.l
     
  5. intherye

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    Your question kind of deserves a longer answer than this but whatever: most of my cis friends seem to feel neutral and not attached to their gender most of the time. I think a lot of cis people feel like that. However, you say you feel neutral on being a guy and on being a girl, which kind of suggests to me you might be agender or something of that sort. I'd do some research into that if I were you. There's a cool webcomic about agender stuff and my phone isn't letting me paste the link but it's called Chaos Life and it'll be easy to find on google. And good luck!
     
  6. darkcomesoon

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    Yep, that's normal for cis people. Most cis people don't really feel like their gender. They assume they are that gender because that's what they've been told, it isn't uncomfortable for them, and being a different gender doesn't seem particularly preferable to them. That's basically what being cis is. I'm sure some cis people genuinely feel like the gender they were assigned, but most don't really care because they don't have any reason to.
     
  7. Aberrance

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    Thing is you have to think of it in a cost-benefit kind of way. If you've never even had an inkling of the fact that something is wrong. You've never experienced any kind of discomfort with your body (regarding the sex you were born) or you being born male as a whole and its only when you started researching it that the box has been opened up and you've realised there are other genders that youve started feeling differently. Then honestly I'd assume that just a questioning phase and that you're still cis. Teenagers go through phases, its normal to experiment and wonder about other things.

    If you'd never realised that trans existed then would you do anything about it? Would you feel comfortable living as a male for the rest of your life? Would you think differently if the option of other genders wasn't apparent? That's the difference between trans and cis people. Cis people never really think about their gender or believe anything may be different until the option is put in front of them. Trans people feel that something is wrong, whether or not they're aware of what 'trans' is, there is a discomfort and disconnect there.

    Its up to the person to decide on their own gender but just take a while to think through those questions and wonder if this is just a questioning phase and how another label might affect your life.
     
  8. Irisviel

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    I don't really feel like any gender. I sometimes feel very feminine, but not directly - like, I do something and I get thoughts about how feminine something I did was, but... it's not really what you're asking about.

    I just feel uncomfortable as male. That's how I know I'm trans, and I feel uncomfortable/do not understand non binary, that's how I know I need to be/am a woman to be happy.


    edit: I guess the closest thing to "feeling female" for me is how good it feels when I think of myself/present myself as a woman. Still... it's not a feeling of being a woman. Just, how good it is to be one? I guess.
     
    #8 Irisviel, May 15, 2016
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  9. YuriBunny

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    Probably, yeah. It doesn't sound like you're experiencing any dysphoria, so you're probably cisgender.
     
  10. Invidia

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    Based off of this, you sound cis, like YuriCore^ said.
     
  11. Maximus92

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    Hey all! Thanks for your replies! They are really helpful!
    So, it seems like the general conscensus (did I write that right? :lol:slight_smile: is that this is, indeed, a normal way for cis people to feel like.
    There is, however, this one response:

    (this is only part of the message)

    I have actually researched that specific identity a little bit, mainly because I thought it could be a good fit once I found out it existed. However, I don't know if taking it up just because I'm completely indifferent towards my gender, without feeling any sort of discomfort, might trivialize other people's experiences, and that's the last thing I wanna do while trying to discover myself.
    I have been thinking about experimenting about this a little bit. Maybe I'll tell one of the two friends I mentioned in the OP to refer to me using female pronouns for a while and see how that goes.
    Also, as a note, whether I end up taking up another label or not, it's worth noting that I will still continue to support the trans community fully.
    Thanks for replying! It really means a lot!
     
  12. Eveline

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    Think about it, what does it mean when you describe yourself as heavily masculine but not mach, you are describing your reflection, the person that you feel like and that is what gender feels like, seeing your body as masculine and feeling that innate connection to it, knowing who you are. Many 17 year olds choose not conform as they begin the process of building a more adult identity. However, gender identity is much more innate and non conforming behavior is not a good indicator.

    It can be hard to explain how gender feels because it is so natural to who we are. It is our soul and our sense of being. When you are cisgender, it is supposed to be invisible to you, because familiarity leads to automatic behavior. You instinctively know what to do around other men and women and when you look in the mirror you see yourself, the masculine yet not macho person that you described. People who are trans, don't have that familiarity, we see a stranger staring back at us and feel lost and confused when trying to connect to our reflection.
     
    #12 Eveline, May 15, 2016
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  13. Maximus92

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    Well, that might be a really good argument. I guess I was referring to the biological and physical characteristics normally associated with the male sex, as well as the way they are expected to act by society, but you might be right.
    I guess I just found it weird that some people have very strong feelings about their own gender and I just don't seem to care either way, but your argument does make a lot of sense.
    Thank you for replying, though!
     
    #13 Maximus92, May 15, 2016
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  14. InfinityonHigh

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    Dysphoria isn't a requirement for being trans, being trans literally just means identifying as a gender that is not the one assigned to you. While it is perfectly fine for an individual to heavily base their identity off their dysphoria, it's not something that everyone has to do. You're not trivializing anyone's identity by using a label that fits you or exploring your own. Think about this instead, how would you feel if everyone saw you as gender neutral instead of male? Would it feel like a better fit to call yourself agender, even if you don't feel dysphoria over calling yourself a guy? Also, I know that a good number of non-binary people use they/them pronouns (since they're neutral), you might be interested in trying those. Gender euphoria is basically the opposite of gender dysphoria, and it happens when someone gets gendered correctly. (Although it can wear off over time, it's most intense the first few times) If you get this feeling with a certain label/set of pronouns, it's a almost certain indicator that you're not cis and that label/pronouns are the ones that fit you best. Just some tips for exploring your own identity.
     
    #14 InfinityonHigh, May 15, 2016
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  15. Eveline

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    To go a bit deeper into the use of the words heavily masculine, it is a sentence that cisgender men can use to reinforce their identities, to feel safe enough in their masculinity to explore non conforming behavior. To you it might have felt like something obvious to say, something that reflects the person that you know that you are. I assume that your friends don't tell you randomly that you are heavily masculine, it is how you see yourself through the eyes of your friends.
    When thinking about your words, another thought that came to me is that thinking of asking others to refer to you as she, shows a connection to the gender binary. There are men and women and that's the world that we instinctively understand. I explored the idea that I was agender before realizing that I was trans. However, I couldn't really see the world as non gendered, I automatically turned to feminine behavior when trying to express myself as agender. It seems like you did the same when trying to figure out how to test if you are agender.

    Let me take this a step further, when asking your friends to refer to you using female pronouns would you be playing a role, are you excited at the thought of playing the part? Of being someone else for a short time, do you want to prove to yourself that you can be unfazed when others refer to you as she. That's not how it feels to us, we don't need to ask others to use pronouns to know how we will feel, it is who we are and it feels like a huge weight on us to be misgendered, one that we want to get rid of. We just want to be ourselves instead of feeling as if we are always wearing a mask, playing a role that feels so foreign to us.

    I don't know if you can connect to everything that I wrote because we obviously do experience the world differently. However, hopefully what I wrote does help you understand yourself a bit better.
     
  16. Maximus92

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    You're proving to be quite helpful! Thanks a lot!
    Well, I said female bacause I'm a native Spanish speaker, and Spanish doesn't really have gender-neutral pronouns, so I just went with the next best thing in my context. If it was possible, I would have added a set of neutral pronouns as well.
    There's also the fact that I tried to mentally put myself in a situation in which people used a lot of different pronouns to refer to me (male, female and neutral), and I didn't feel uncomfortable, so I just wanted to take that a step further. Maybe it won't work, though, because of the reasons you just gave me.
    Also, I might have said "heavily masculine," but it really isn't all that heavy. I probably should have said "masculine" without the heavy part, now that I think about it. But as I said, I don't really associate anything I do with gender, I just asked myself "well, how masculine am I in the eyes of society?" to put that there. It's not really difficult to know how society sees you if you know what to look for, regardless of how you feel. However, You might still be right. I'm just keeping my options open, I guess.
    Again, thanks for answering! I really like the fact that people have been replying to this thread so much.
     
  17. Eveline

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    No matter what answer you find at the end of your journey, you will learn a lot about yourself along the way. I'm glad you took my words in the right way, I mainly wanted to give you some thoughts to reflect on. Only you can figure out who you really are inside and only you can know how you truly feel. This is your journey and I do hope you find the answers you are searching for. (*hug*)
     
  18. MsEmma

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    I ❤️ you, Eveline! Just throwing that out there... Great responses and dialogue on this thread. Great job, Maximus92, on being free to explore a question without judgment and to be supportive to your trans* friends. Awesome job!

    I love EC... What a great community! *❤️*❤️*❤️*❤️
     
    #18 MsEmma, May 15, 2016
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  19. Irisviel

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    My theory is that people only relate to their gender heavily if it's in some way threatened, its validity to be precise.
    For example, if you are cis but do not conform to stereotypes and people think you less of a man/woman. Such threat to your identity makes you feel stronger about your own gender, because you know you are "man/woman enough". So thinking like that, feeling like a gender for cis people would mostly be caused by their femininity/masculinity being questioned.

    Now, for trans people, our identity is obviously threatened no matter what expression we choose. We always need to defy the perception of being less of a gender we identify as.

    This might not be true for all, but I think it's a sound explanation for many.
     
  20. thinkreal93

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    OMG!! That's how I feel too ! Thanks a million for questioning. I was beginning to have gender identity problems too. I didn't have any problem with being identified as a boy so I accepted it, although I am a bit feminine. The gender identity doubts would have led me to anxiety and tricked me into dysphoria.
    It makes me wonder how many people unnecessarily question themselves and get anxious and feel they are dysphoric. I think some people even transition from this. That's sad because the whole ordeal was so unnecessary, unlike genuine transgender people.
     
    #20 thinkreal93, May 16, 2016
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