ahunter3 (ahunter3) wrote,
ahunter3
ahunter3

Chips, Snowflakes, Bags and the Geometry of Identity

To refer to myself as "transgender" or "genderqueer" is a bit like referring to a tortilla chip as a "corn chip".

It isn't WRONG; a tortilla chip really is a corn chip, that's what it's made out of. The problem is that when you say "corn chip", people's minds immediately jump to Fritos, not Tostitos.



On the transgender and genderqueer groups and message boards, I so often feel like serious Special Snowflake Syndrome, constantly posting and reposting my identity, reminding people that "hey over here, don't forget about me & hypothetical others like me, I was a girl in a boy body, no dysphoria, not transitioning, don't need anything fixed except society's expectations that male bodied people are always boys".

When I identify as transgender, it isn't incorrect—I have a gender that is not the one I was assigned at birth—but the connotation for most people is that I therefore feel *trapped in a male body* or that I would wish to present as female and pass as female, and for more people than not, it will be assumed that I have transitioned, intend to transition, or wish that I could transition surgically to correct my body so that it matches my gender.

"Genderqueer" is a more variable term; it should make it easier to be one of a half-dozen specific flavors of genderqueer and I could feel less like a tortilla chip in a bag labeled "corn chips". But in practice I'm finding from my participation on the genderqueer groups that I've still got a corn chip problem. I'm very unusual in that community for considering myself to have a sex (or "physical identity" or "morphology" or "phenotype") and also a gender, the two not being one and the same.

Other genderqueer folks tend to be genderfluid (boy days and girl days) or bigender (does anyone else read that as "big ender" as if GenderLilliput 's other island would have "little enders" or something?) or agender, or are somewhere along a continuum-spectrum such as demiboy or demigirl. They are mostly nonbinary: they reject the oversimplified "two possible categories" system of male (or men) and female (or women). Well, I do, too, but in my understanding of myself I am using binary categories, I'm just applying them to two, not merely one, axis. I have a physical axis in which I am a malebodied person and I have a psychological-behavioral and personality axis in which I am a girl or woman or feminine persona. Heck, I don't even know if that makes me nonbinary or binary. Quaternary or Tetragonal, maybe?

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Tags: dysphoria and misgendering, language, sex v gender, sissyhood, support group
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