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My Gender Identity

Over the years I've been here, I've gotten the odd PM asking me whether I'm actually male or female. I have answered these questions truthfully. When I returned after my hiatus, I was really happy to find that there's now a non-binary option under gender, as there wasn't one before. I identify as genderqueer, gender fluid, or non-binary. When I first got here, I didn't. Or, that is, I lacked the language to.

 

I was assigned female at birth, and I always thought I was comfortable that way. But now, I don't. At some point in late 2012 or early 2013, I chose a gender neutral pen name, as I started to write again. I was posting to Archive of Our Own then, and I wanted for my gender not to matter. I didn't know why that was so important to me at the time, though I do now. In April 2013, I discovered GA through a reader on AO3, and I came here. I never disclosed my gender, but people assumed. People assumed that I was a guy, and I loved it. I felt very comfortable, and free. Kind of like this was what I was supposed to be, most of the time. 

 

I say most of the time, because sometimes I'm perfectly happy being a girl. I put on a dress, I wear make-up and heels, and I'm cool with being called she. I'm fine with being called she most of the time, for the moment. In real life, pronouns aren't the most important thing to me, especially since I, well, shift. Most people IRL read me as female, so I'm not gonna force that conversation. But when I'm in here, I love being he, and I wish people would read me as he more often out there as well. For the longest time, I thought my feelings weren't legitimate, because I didn't suffer from body dysphoria. But a lot of my trans friends don't, either. At some point, trans people became 'we' and not 'they', to me. 

 

I recently switched meds, and the hormonal balance in my body's a little bit out of whack right now. When I discovered that I was growing actual facial hair, I felt overjoyed. The things that cis women pluck off the moment they see them, I looked at and felt like, finally! I have an honest to god moustache now, though it's super light so you can barely see it. I can feel it, though. There's a lot of it. 

 

A couple of weeks ago, I got a binder. Today, I wore it, put on a shirt I like, and I went out into the world and felt awesome. I felt like this is me. For the past few weeks, I've seriously been considering medically transitioning. The one thing holding me back is my singing voice. I'm a musician. I'm a singer. If I transition, my voice will change. It's a big risk. I mean, it's not like I could do it right now, anyway. It would probably take years before I could even start treatment. I dunno, I haven't really voiced these thoughts properly before, they're a bit of a mess at the moment.

 

I don't want to click publish on this. I feel like if I do, you'll all treat me differently. Like I won't get to be me anymore. I kind of feel like an impostor, no matter which way I go. When I wear dresses and make-up, I often feel like I'm in drag. When I come here, and I'm me, Thorn Wilde, I feel like if people knew they'd stop seeing me as who I am. A couple of years ago, I found out that some people I thought were my friends had been talking behind my back, saying that I called myself genderqueer cause I just wanted attention. And constantly there's this fucked up voice in my head telling me that they're right, and I'm just pretending. I'm not. I know I'm not. I know that when I'm here, I'm Thorn Wilde and I belong. I don't want that feeling to go away. 

 

But today is Transgender Day of Remembrance. In the past year, 369 trans people have been murdered. Those are the reported ones, the ones where the victims weren't misgendered. My family is dying. The least I can do is be open about who I am. 

 

This is me, in my binder and my favourite shirt, being me today. Pronouns: He/him.

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Well here are my two bits.

 

I have wondered, only because you did not clearly fit with either binary choice.  Genderqueer or gender fluid just seemed to fit. 

 

You want Male pronouns? You got em mister!  I know we dont interact much, but it's nice to know how to address you correctly.  I have been avoiding pronouns for fear of guessing wrongly.

 

Welcome to being you!

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I typically thought of you as "he" though there were times I wasn't so certain. Didn't really matter to me. You are who you are.

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I guess I'm the odd ball here, and though we've never had any conversations, because I've always thought of you as he. There was never a doubt in my tiny brain. I guess Its about how you are naturally I guess. It always seemed to fit.

 

J

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Thorn Wilde is a great guy in my mind, and I'll probably always think of you as he. But I'm happy to know you have the possibility to embrace your genderfluid personality in your life. :hug:

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I'm glad you feel comfortable enough to share your story with us. Personally, I have (perhaps a bit naively) just assumed you're a guy, going by your alias here. Though I must confess I haven't given it a lot of thought. Don't get me wrong, I can be as curious as the next person, but it's not actually important to me. As long as you feel you can be yourself, that's all I care about. 

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2 hours ago, Headstall said:

What everyone else said, Thorn. I was so pleased to see you return to GA, and I'm even more pleased you felt comfortable enough to tell your story. You're a talented individual, bro. :hug: 

 

Thank you! That means a lot. ❤️ 

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" At some point, trans people became 'we' and not 'they', to me. "

 

From one 'tran' to another, hello and well-met. One of the fun and challenging things about being trans is that we "get" to negotiate how we will engage our trans identity in each and every social interaction, whether that be in person, on the phone, in images, videos or print.

 

One of the things I find disappointing is that (often for reasons of safety or convenience over preference) we frequently adopt a gender presentation that functions for us one way or the other -- but that excludes the transgender aspect of our experience. If one is trans and binary, and one elects to transition, I can see the appeal of just doing the thing and leaving the whole experience behind -- but for the non-binary group, this queer element of gender is a permanent part of our experience, regardless of what choices one makes about transition. It deserves no less acknowledgement than any other aspect of sexual identity.

 

The nonsensical idea that anyone's genderqueer identity originates with a desire for attention is . . . interesting, and probably deserves some academic exploration regarding what it says about the people who profess it -- but it has exactly no bearing on the validity of that identity, or the experience of genderqueer people. If some shithead(s) want to profess that you're somehow fake, I invite them all to take that crap back to elementary school and the 1980s (or '50s) and you can just come hang out with us cool kids. We see you, and we like you fine. :)  

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