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Trans or Gender Non-Conforming?

Discussion in 'Gender Identity and Expression' started by greyhead, Feb 12, 2018.

  1. greyhead

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    Hey.

    So, this is the main reason why I joined this forum. You can answer if you want, or if you have any helpful advice, but this is also just a bit of an outlet to vent for myself.

    I really can't discern whether or not I am transgender. I currently identify as a woman and have little issue with that inherently, though I always have this feeling of exhilaration and excitement when I imagine myself as a man. For one, when I was younger, I absolutely loathed feminine dress; for example, like how most parents threaten kids with grounding or taking away toys to get them to behave, my parents threatened to put me in dresses and frilly things - and it worked. Being put in a dress was my biggest fear. I always identified more with the male characters in shows and books I read. I used to be obsessed with those "Which Character are You?" quizzes for the shows, movies, and books I was into, and whenever I got a male character as my answer, I felt thrilled. I've also been told several times I'd make an attractive man, and I took it as a high complement.

    Other things that have me questioning my gender are my dress and mannerisms; I tend to "sit like a man", at least from what I've been told and what I've observed, but that has never been an issue for me. Even though in today's world, hair is seen as a less defining thing for one's gender expression, I had always felt extremely uncomfortable with longer hair, and after I cut it short (pixie cut short), I've never felt more myself.

    The one thing that confuses me is that I have no dysphoria when it comes to my body. I wasn't displeased with puberty in the slightest; granted, I wasn't excited either, it was more of just this thing I observed happening to my body. I don't get anxiety seeing my breasts, and I don't get uncomfortable seeing my genitalia. However, that being said, I *do* have a very tiny chest (I barely fill an A cup), and I have never once wanted or considered augmentation surgery, or envied women with bigger chests.

    Am I transgender? Or am I just a tomboy/gender non-conforming? Being called 'he' and 'man' does make me a bit uncomfortable, but I can't tell if that's because I don't identify as male, or if I feel uncomfortable looking at my body pre-transition and calling it male. I've been questioning this for six years now, and I have to say, I've only gotten more confused.
     
  2. Secrets5

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    If you have no gender dysphoria towards your body then you are not transgender.

    You have also said you would be uncomfortable being called a man/he so it seems you would have social dysphoria if you transitioned.

    From what I've read here it seems like you are gender non-conforming.
     
    #2 Secrets5, Feb 13, 2018
    Last edited: Feb 13, 2018
  3. KayNB

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    I dissagree with part of what @Secrets5 says. There are multiple kinds of dysphoria and the body is only the most commonly assumed type. What @greyhead is describing doesn't quite sound like social dysphoria though so I get the point of view :slight_smile:

    I am personally of the opinion that cross dressers and non-binary folks without dysphoria fit in the category of transgender. Those who lack gender dysphoria simply don't qualify for a medical diagnosis of... well... gender dysphoria...

    What I don't see in @greyhead's post though... is that they personally associate with any of those identities: cross dressing, non-binary, a person with gender dysphoria, or transgender.

    My opinion... The point where you're trans is when you adopt the label as transgender in order to describe your experience to yourself and those around you. Our labels are no longer classification systems meant to put people in boxes and segregate us. They're now descriptions of attributes that help us to understand ourselves and each other. As a result, only you can be the one to say if you're trans or GNC. It's not about trying to get admittance into the club. It's about sharing who you are to everyone inside and out of "the club".
     
    greyhead and emerry like this.
  4. Nike007

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    Hi,

    I did want to say that there is not only body dysphoria. There is also social dysphoria and mind dysphoria. You can have one or all or a combination of these to be trans*. Here's a link to different types of dysphoria:
    http://whenevebecomessteve.blogspot.ca/2015/04/different-types-of-gender-dysphoria.html

    I can tell you my experience with the name and pronounces piece. I knew that I wanted a different name, and when I decided to ask people to call me Niko, it felt weird at first. I was called something else 17 years of my life and to suddenly go by Niko was uncomfortable. I thought this may have made me not non-binary. But after a while, it was just natural, and then I hated being called my birth name by anyone. This was at least my experience.

    For me, I didn't really feel anything about puberty too. It wasn't bad or great. I do feel like this now though, to note; the body dysphoria.

    Are you able to try using he/him pronouns, or they/them? Maybe a more gender neutral/male name too? This may help you determine your gender. You could always be non-binary too. I try so hard to fall in the binary but it makes me so uncomfortable that I start to not like myself and just gave up on trying, and realized that I was non-binary.

    Also, you already seem to be doing this though, and you said it has helped. I would like to note also that there is a difference between gender expression and identity. There are many people who dress in a non-conforming way but still identify with their gender.

    I hope some of this helps.
     
  5. greyhead

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    I suppose, I just feel that my differences from being female go deeper than just the physical expression.

    I do understand that my identity has to come from myself, and what labels I see fit, but it's just the stage of discerning that is difficult for me. I'm concerned that my own fears and insecurities are what keeps me from properly discerning my identity; I don't feel safe in any situations in my personal life to, in a sense, test out identifiers (trying a different name, different pronouns), but I have changed small things about myself to see if they help my identity, and they do, it seems (my dress, my hair). I just need opinions on my story, I guess; I know strangers can't tell me my identity, but the one thing I'm lacking in finding my own identity is an outside perspective and outside judgement.

    Safe spaces for me to try out different things are, unfortunately, the one thing I am lacking. I do have people in my life who I know would not have issue with it, but I also have people in my life who are, quite frankly, not accepting of transgender identities - and that really makes it hard for me to express myself in ways I may want to. I'm also in a relationship, and while my boyfriend is bisexual himself, there's still an irrational fear that he'll lose interest in me if I express these feelings to him that's quite hard to get over. It's funny, because part of the reason why he said he's attracted to me, at least physically, is because of how androgynous I look, but I'm just afraid that changing pronouns or names will push it for him.

    I don't know. At the very least, I'm a senior in high school, and all the schools I am looking to for college are in very liberal climates; once I leave my home town, I don't think I'll have as much of a problem experimenting with my identity, but for right now, I feel so caged up and unable to explore myself.
     
  6. KayNB

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    Ah, if you looking for someone else to share what they would label it as, then I have to agree with Niko.

    I think it sounds very NB personally. I was trying not to say it though because I try not to just label everyone as NB. I tend to do that a lot in my head, sometimes inappropriately. Someone acts non-conforming and I go "they must be non-binary in their heart"... I don't want to be like the bisexual who says that "everyone is a little bi" but inside of my head I kinda am like that but with gender instead of sexuality. It's a bias that I have and I know that it's not accurate so I stay quiet about it rather than insult someone lol.

    I personally tend to go through the sort of gender-dysphoria-swinging that Niko and other NBs talk about. Feeling dysphoria in assigned gender, but then feeling dysphoria when correcting to the other gender... Your story sounds like maybe transition would be problematic for you because you don't want to let go of femaleness. It sounds sort of like a multigenderish version of some of the ways that I feel (although I think my middle is agender rather than bigender)

    Anyway, I know I am tying in a lot of myself into my reply but I think part of it is because I can relate to your experience. Hopefully that shared experience helps.

    I hope you find your true self along this journey you're on. :spy: I'm rooting for you!
     
  7. Nike007

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    It's okay. I totally understand. I couldn't really do much about it until I moved away to post-secondary, where now I have my real name, proper pronouns kind of (I have been using they/them, but don't like them too much, as I prefer no pronouns), and now wear a chest binder. I am feeling really great about myself.

    But sorry, what I did was use this forum to help me test my name and pronouns when I did not feel comfortable in coming out. I also used a pronoun and name tester linked below:

    http://www.pronouns.failedslacker.com/

    This changes the name and pronouns in different stories to what you choose them to be. I found this quite useful. Also, saying it to myself, and looking at myself in the mirror and telling myself "I am Niko" was helpful. I did tell one friend in high school, and they helped me discover my pronouns and name and stuff. I am unsure if it's possible to tell one person or not. They never told anyone about my identity.

    One thing I would like to say is: is waiting for some time going to be okay? Are you going to struggle with the dysphoria too much while waiting? You have to way the pros and cons of this. I have been told something along these lines in terms of HRT, but I think the same can apply here.

    One thing I also did was shave my face, and no one noticed (or commented at least) anything different about me, but when I look in the mirror myself, I notice a big difference. Maybe you can try this?

    I hope some of this is helpful.