Gender Stories Share Zone


#1

CW: gender confusion (?)

I won’t get into it too much, but I’ve pretty much always thought I was cis-male until recently, when I started realizing how much I wanted to express more feminine. I really like having long hair and want to get my ears pierced. I’ve also always felt vague discomfort with my own body. In a browser game (Fallen London btw.), where the three options were man, Woman, or mysterious and an in-distinct gender, I chose the third. So, I began wondering if I identified as something other than male.

It’s totally possible that I’ll come out the other end of this still a cis-man, but I’m still in a weird limbo place right now. So, I just wanted people to share their stories about finding themselves or experiencing gender confusion or whatever you consider relevant! Whatever you ended up identifying as, your relationship to gender is valid and worth hearing and might help people like me who are in a confusing situation.

Just to clear, I’m not asking to explain everything to me. I can do, and have done, my own research. But if you have stories, experiences, or anything else that you want to share, please do! Just be considerate of others, follow the rules of the forums, and place content warnings where relevant etc.

Good luck navigating this stuff, whether you comment or not! :rainbow: :heartfull:


#2

Hey as a trans woman who started transitioning in her early 20s I might be able to give you some perspective. The one thing I wish I could have done earlier was let myself experiment with clothes, makeup, and other stuff related to gender presentation.

I know that I felt uncomfortable even trying because I was terrified about coming out. Maybe try experimenting in private to get a feel for your gender?


#3

It has been interesting kinda… not considering myself… at all for a long time, and hearing descriptions/experiences with gender dysphoria, and generally having assumed that… everyone experienced that? Eventually coming to terms with the idea that, perhaps that wasn’t just a part of being a person?

So - I started exploring gender more openly, if even just to myself. It helped a lot. I came to terms with the fact that “yeah, I’d go through HRT and beyond if I had any opportunity to do so” wasn’t really a cis male thing, nor was the uhh… well… I have no desire to repeat toxic internal dialogues, or frankly repeat them, but hey, yay for this thread. Uhh…

The TLDR version being that - I found a place I was comfortable enough with, and… it’s not a place I could suggest to someone else and feel good about, I don’t think. In a confined space, a private space, I can be a woman. I’ve come out to friends, who have so far been extremely supportive, and try their best. They make mistakes, and I beat myself up, for not being female enough. For not transitioning. I’ve come out to family, and, with a couple of uhh… well, my sister at least, has been extremely supportive.

(As an aside, as I sit here ruining my makeup crying writing, re-writing, re-writing, deleting, writing, and re-writing this, I realize I don’t really know how I’d like to get to my point, then retreating back to I don’t know what, if any point I’d like to make.)

I guess what I’d say is - ignore the bullshit. If you want to experiment with clothing, or makeup, or nail polish, or how you envision yourself, do it. Fuck everything you think about genders, conformity, presentation. What makes you happy? What makes you feel good?

Wearing women’s clothes, nail polish, lipstick, even if just in private, has, in the past year or two, given me the ability to look in a mirror, or a selfie mode camera, and… not… hate what I saw? Not have a weird… -
What is my point?

Apologies, I’m trying to not delete anything, as it feels like this thread is, if not demanding, best, if responded to as honestly as possible, so despite normally probably deleting this post four or five times over so far, I’m continuing. Unfortunately, I’m almost exactly two weeks fresh from having come out to my mother, and she uhh… scored highly on “reacting badly to a child coming out” bingo, and invented a few squares, and for whatever reason, writing this is circling around that emotional drain. - even that though…

In probably the worst, least healthy bad ways, even that became - validating? I begin to fear I’ll say something exceedingly unhealthy, but even in moments of rejection, something about the honesty, or, perhaps the shared experience, felt honest, or real in a way that… doing or saying nothing never would?

I guess that’s how I’d characterize my coming to terms with, and eventually coming out to people. Higher highs, in ways I didn’t imagine. Lower lows, in ways that… suck, but… make me more confident? I’m replacing emotional support based on incorrect assumptions if not lies with emotional support of people who accept reality, and that’s so much better.

Nobody should tell you who you are. Go inward, with an open mind. Experiment. Present as femme as you want. Figure out what gender means to you, and where you feel comfortable for you. Doing so in private at first, or for however long as you wish, is probably a good first step on that path.

The only wrong answer is one given to you by someone else for their comfort. :+1:


#4

i’ve always had a fairly tumultuous relationship with gender (being afab i think it comes with the territory most of the time! being treated as a woman [as most afab folks are treated as] in the world sucks and makes u examine yrself and yr relationship to yr gender constantly) but it was only like, 6 months or so ago that i realised i wasn’t cis or a girl and like, i still don’t know what the hell is going on but realising that i can take my time, figure it out, read some stuff, try some stuff out etc etc is really nice. i am really really lucky in having a partner who is easy to talk to about this stuff and also not living anywhere near my family so i can keep this stuff fairly under wraps until it matters to me to let them know but just like, giving yourself room to roll the ideas around in your brain or experiment or whatever i think is the best thing you can do for yourself. don’t marry yourself to anything if you’re not ready but at the same time, just bc you decide something doesn’t mean you can’t change it later! i’m rolling with they/them pronouns right now (which i like) but the “non-binary” label doesn’t feel right for me still, i’m sure i’ll get to a point where i find something comfortable eventually! we’re all just figuring shit out!


#5

I actually started questioning after setting my pronouns on this very forum a couple of months ago, because rather than just click he/him and be done with it, it gave me pause. Right now I’m slowly figuring things out, connecting dots, and reflecting (and growing my hair out).

I haven’t actually talked about any of this stuff with people IRL, as most people I know don’t really seem to have any awareness of this sort of thing. Even if they’re understanding, I don’t feel ready to explain all of this to them. Luckily the internet provides plenty of spaces to help work through things.


#6

I realized I wasn’t a cis man a year ago and I’m still super early in the process of easing into all of this. Right now everything is in private except for places online such as here. I’m still easing myself into the whole thing. It’s still not easy to talk about this stuff… but seeing other people talk about this stuff was how I was able to finally stop letting my anxiety lead me down the road of repressing my feelings and trying to rationalize them away by finding all the ways I didn’t fit the stereotypical idea of what a trans woman should be. Which is bullshit, but our brains sometimes are awful things that want to destroy us.

I didn’t start having any feelings of dysphoria until I was a teenager, and even then I’m only realizing that I did after the fact, realizing that my general sense of not being comfortable in my own body was because of this. It wasn’t until I was an adult that I really began to question my gender identity, but again, since I didn’t fit the narrow definition of society’s stereotype of what transgender was at the time, I came up with a bunch of bullshit reasons why I wasn’t and just crammed all those feelings down as far as they could go.

Eventually last year when those feelings flared up in a serious way again, thankfully I was following trans writers and artists on Twitter who were frank and open in talking about this sort of stuff, and I’m able to fight back against that impulse to ignore it and hope it goes away, even though that impulse still comes up. I’ve always been a very private person whose natural reaction to problems is to not want to bother other people with them and fix it myself, so even now I’ve only told my mom and my best friend, who thankfully are both wonderful and accepting people even if they’re totally clueless about this stuff. I have started keeping a journal though, and I highly recommend it since it gives me a place to get all these thoughts out of my head and sort them out in a private way.

In the meantime I’m just taking it day by day and trying to ease myself into it to try to prevent my anxiety from sabotaging me. I’ve been changing the way I present myself in public bit by bit, changing my hair, I’ve started wearing chokers, small things so far. Part of this is also because it is incredibly hard to find women’s clothes that fit me since I am a giant at 6 foot 5 inches, but I’m pushing myself step-by-step to get to the point where I’ll be comfortable being out to everyone. I’ve also been cutting toxic people out of my life in general in the last couple of years, so hopefully that will make things a bit easier.

TL;DR: Try to be open with yourself, go at your own pace, keep a journal if you aren’t comfortable with talking with other people about it. This goes for anyone reading this, not just the OP! I would not have come this far without lurking and seeing other people talk about this myself.


#7

Personally, I’ve been bouncing around on my gender for a couple of years and haven’t really come to any solid conclusions. My default setting is generally fairly neutral when it comes to presentation, but I’ve been finding a lot of empowerment in performing high femme. In the other direction, when I’m feeling more masc, my body kind of fucks me because my figure is very stereotypical of “woman” so it feels hard to present the way I want when I do want to be more masc. So yeah, I basically still don’t know, but that’s probably okay.


#8

So, I’ve been on HRT for about 8 months now, and really for me, it was the only option (the other succumbing to my dysphoria) to fully feel comfortable in my own skin. I always experimented with my gender and always felt much more comfortable being addressed by female pronouns, even when I was much younger, so it didn’t really come as a shock to me when I fully came to the realization that I’m a woman.

Coming out over these past couple of years has been hard, and It’s led to alot of heartache, but it’s been worth it. The best advice I can give to you, is just do what feels natural to you, experimentation and these feelings your having are perfectly normal, so why not explore them? :blush:

I hope you find what you’re looking for, and I wish you all the love and luck in the world!

Also, if you do decide to do something like HRT just know that sport bras, are a god send! Really helpful with the ache and tenderness that comes with it :sweat_smile:


#9

I’m a cis guy, but I wear nail polish, so I will share this tip in case you decide to do the same. It is hilarious how long it takes people to notice you’re wearing it. My favorite thing to do:

“You’re wearing nail polish!?”
“I’ve been wearing it all week, you didn’t notice?”

If you wear just a glittery topcoat, it’s actually far less noticeable than a solid color. And if you wear a dark/black, you’ll just get asked if you’re in a band or play guitar. Good luck!


#10

I recently had my own kind of realization about my gender. While I’ve always been fine with my pronouns (he/him), I have felt growing discomfort about being considered male. I decided a few months ago to see how I felt living as non-binary, and it has felt pretty great so far. I’m not out to many people, just a few close friends, mostly because I know that saying I’m non-binary but I prefer he/him would confuse some folks.


#11

Sometimes family can boomerang from accepting to rejecting, and it will never not hurt.


#12

giphy (7)


#13

Thank you! Lost my father about a week ago, and with it hope of him accepting me, but hey! I’m surviving, I have a loving partner and found family that are there for me. It gets better.


#14

I’m living with my super fundamentalist Christian mom (Jehovah’s Witnesses really suck ya’ll) so I’m still firmly in the closet, but I realized I’m a trans woman a couple years ago. It’s been a really long time to know and not be able to start transitioning, but I have to be more financially independent before I can.

As far as figuring out my gender, it was largely thanks to fictional characters and stories. I spent a lot of time reading lesbian romance manga and eventually a friend asked me if liking those types of manga so much said something about my gender. Thinking about that led to me realizing that the reason I wasn’t interested in romance stories told from the perspective of a man was simply because I didn’t enjoy putting myself in the point of view of a man. And at that point it was kinda hard to not realize the whole thinking to myself “I wish I’d been born a girl” all throughout high school meant something about myself.

Typing that out reminds me how ridiculous it was that I spent so long agonizing about how much I hated my body and wishing I hadn’t been assigned male at birth without realizing that I’m trans, but it can be kind of hard to realize your gender isn’t what people have been telling you it is since the day you were born. And on top of that, my mom kept me as sheltered as possible (Jehovah’s Witnesses try and keep their members from interacting with people outside of the religion as little as possible) so I barely knew anything about what it meant to be trans until I started questioning my gender and doing research online. Like, I actually thought I couldn’t be a trans woman because I’m not attracted to men. Despite knowing that lesbians existed the idea that women are supposed to be attracted to men and anything else was unnatural had been so ingrained into my head due to my parent’s religion that even once I learned that trans people existed, I just assumed to be a trans woman I had to be attracted to men.

Despite not transitioning yet, figuring out my gender has made feel somewhat better. I’ve at least been able to do small things to help with my gender dysphoria as well just knowing what my goals for the future are. It’s all pretty scary, but at the very least I know what needs to be done to be happier with myself.

Anyway, writing all that felt pretty good – even if it was kind of a rambling mess.


#15

Gender? I barely know 'er! ba dum tsshhh

Okay okay, terrible joke.

Gosh it’s so hard to type out the actual words in my head about this subject.

I realized I was possibly, maybe, potentially, could be trans, a while ago. Somehow over time, though I barely remember it, I’ve concluded that I am. I started HRT 2 months ago but I’m still not presenting in public. I need laser hair removal and better wigs before I can even think about going full-time, and I’m afraid to come out at work and to tell my family.

This stuff’s hard, y’all.


#16

i can’t get that much into specifics with my gender confusion experiences rn, but i can say that it can also come in steps that are messy and unclear, and you don’t have to rush or commit to one thing forever! ignoring early childhood stuff, it started as questioning sexuality as a preteen/teen, then coming out as a gay trans man at 15-16. after that, i slowly leaned into being nonbinary and not that much attracted to men anymore

i’ve gone through more names and pronouns than i can count on both hands, but after years of being all over the place, i finally found a spot to be comfortable in! i don’t know if anything will change in the future, but this is the most happy i’ve been gender-wise and presentation-wise. it took a long time and lots of experimenting with all kinds of “masculine” and “feminine” clothes, binders, hairstyles, and makeup. the most important thing is to give yourself room to breathe, make mistakes, and understand your feelings and your body

also, coming out isn’t a one time deal. you have to come out to basically every person you meet, over and over again. and when you’re trans and it’s visible to people, you will inevitably be forced into uncomfortable conversations with rude strangers and acquaintances. it’s good to make sure you’re emotionally prepared for that, 'cause it sucks when you’re not


#17

i started realizing i maybe wasn’t the gender i was assigned as at around 14-15 years old, but in hindsight there were a lot of moments throughout my life that foreshadowed that revelation. as for what i really am? i’m not sure. currently, i’ve decided that it doesn’t really matter. i call myself ‘nonbinary’ for convenience but i’m not really big on labels anymore.

i’ve been out to my trusted friends (and on the internet) for years, but only recently have i tried coming out to my family and other people i know locally. it’s been difficult. my parents are well-meaning but they often forget my real pronouns & refer to me with gendered terms, and i find it difficult to correct them. it hurts more than it did before i told them. i know i should probably just be more forceful and keep reminding them until they try harder, but it’s so exhausting to do it. things have been going a little better at college, though. my art teacher is understanding and we’ve had good conversations on the subject, plus some of my classmates are nonbinary as well.

i’ve been wanting to change certain aspects of my body, but i’ve been too scared to bring it up. at least my dysphoria isn’t too bad so it’s not like it’s killing me to stay as i am. i just really wish people wouldn’t see me as something i’m not.

one of the most frustrating things about not identifying as a binary gender is that there’s no “passing” as the gender you want to be. the guidelines for “androgyny” in appearance are so narrow and limiting. i know that i’ll get misgendered probably my whole life no matter what i do, and that sucks! i guess i just have to learn to care less, and present how i want to?

or install my consciousness into a cool robot body and never worry about “human genders” ever again


#18

God, its been almost 8 years for me. I was 19 when I found out and at the time swore to never be out. I grew up in a bunch of small towns where the education was so bad I didn’t find out what gay meant until I was 16. I was looking stuff up on a wiki because I met a transwoman on a forum and I wanted to be respectful.

I’m agender, they/them or ze/hir, I didn’t change my name because it’s perfect for me, I didn’t change much about how I look or present, but as I grew more comfortable and able to be Out (after meeting other trans/non-binary people) over 5 years I cut and died my hair.

When I finally came out to my mother at 22 she thought I was going to tell her I was pregnant (despite me be asexual and sex-repulsed, they just assumed I was immature) and she cared more about me cutting my hair and not shaving my armpits.

I came out to my father by accident (my mother had already told him), my first time seeing him in 4 years he saw my undercut and took off my hat while we were walking and just very bluntly was like, “You know you’re a girl don’t you?” and without thinking I just “Nope” and kept walking. (that was something he said multiple times as i grew up and cried and got upset without understanding why)

None of my family understands, especially not my twin who says she tries but you can tell shes not. But, I have made so many friends and loved ones that are so much better, who mean so much more, who respect me and my pronouns and my health and it gets so so much better.


#19

So, since I created this thread I thought I should share a wholesome thing that happened to me today.

I’ve been growing my hair out so it’s down past my ears, and curly. And my girlfriend was giving away clothes to the thrift shop. I had talked to her about ~gender feelings~, as well as this thread, and so she asked if I wanted to look through them. I did and got a cool jacket and a ladies button-up shirt and was feeling good.

I wore those today and was checking out a book for the class I TA. The secretary helping me out and this lady comes up next to me. It seems like she wants to check out the same book and so she asks what the secretary what she’s doing with that copy. The secretary points at me.
The girl says, “you’re giving it to her?”

And Holy FUCK, golly gee willikers, it felt good.

I don’t really know what this means, but I’m scared and excited and I just want to give that girl a hug?

EMOTIONS.


#20

Sorry for reviving an old thread. I’m new an having trouble figuring out how to start a topic.

I’m trans and have been having a hard time accepting myself as being a “real” girl. I live and have grown up in a very conservative area and grew up in a transphobic household so I imagine that doesn’t help.

Anyone have any advice or good reading materials to help me out?