Quick Update On Discovering My Gender Identity


Oh hai blog!

As you’ve probably noticed, I haven’t blogged since late October, and there’s a good reason for that: Stringing words together in a way that they form something coherent really takes a lot out of me. You would think as a writer, the words just naturally flow out of me. Nope! I’ve got so many thoughts going on in my head that if I tried to write them all down, I would make the biggest and messiest word salad of all time. Hence the reason why I’ve been focusing on the Bi Any Means and Biskeptical podcasts; I put so much creative energy into those shows that I hardly have enough leftover energy for blogging.

But I do want to give you all some good news.

I started seeing a gender therapist via Skype in October. After our first session, I wondered if maybe I was more gender-nonconforming than transgender since I didn’t have the textbook discomfort with my genitals during puberty (I still don’t). But the reason why I started seeing her was to figure out my gender identity, so I went with the flow. During our second session, though, I told her I was in my 20s when I first thought, “If I had a different anatomy, I’d probably feel a lot better about my body.” I also told her that while I don’t feel the need to take hormones or have surgery, I really want to get electrolysis for my body hair (which is quite a lot since part of my ethnic heritage is Italian).

My gender therapist said, “You’re definitely not cis. Cis men aren’t uncomfortable with their body hair. Cis men don’t look at beautiful women and want to look like them.”

So I’m not just a cis person appropriating trans language to make myself hip and cool! Oh thank you God That I Don’t Believe In!

Having said that, though, she said right now I’m over-analyzing things, and that right now I need to just live the questions like Rilke. She said eventually the answers will come from inside. I totally respect that, so we’re on a break from seeing each other for now.

Although my gender therapist believes I’m a trans woman, right now I still identify as genderqueer/a non-binary trans person. Yes, being born with a different anatomy would’ve probably made me feel better about my body, but I’m still not sure. Right now, though, I’m taking my gender therapist’s advice and just living the questions.

In the meantime, you can still call me Trav, and my pronouns are still they/them/their. Yes, that even includes you, Slymepitters!

Comments

  1. Siobhan says

    So I’m not just a cis person appropriating trans language to make myself hip and cool

    I’m sorry that’s a hurdle you have to overcome. It’s one of the pernicious consequences of an inherently transphobic gatekeeping healthcare legacy. Even if you came out of this process identifying as cisgender, I wouldn’t give you a hard time for using “our” vocabulary. That’s what it’s there for. I think it is absurd to suggest it could be appropriated at all.

    Anyway, living the questions is a good idea. Give some stuff a shot when it’s safe to do so is usually good advice on these issues. I hope your process continues to go well.

  2. cartomancer says

    Hmm…

    I’m not a gender therapist, but I would disagree with the notion that cis men don’t feel uncomfortable with their body hair. I’m a cis man, and ever since I started growing the horrid stuff I’ve done my damnedest to shave, wax, epilate and remove it. I would be much happier if I didn’t have to put up with it at all – especially on the face as with the rest I can just cover it up with clothing. I got really depressed as a teenager about facial hair, and I’m still not great with it – more worn down to accepting the inevitable than becoming comfortable with it.

    Though the juxtaposition your therapist made is probably important. I’ve never looked at women and wanted to look like them at all – though I have often looked longingly at less hairy men and wanted to look like that. I’ve never really seen body and facial hair as a distinctive marker of maleness, that separates male from female – I’ve always seen it as a marker of ugliness that separates beautiful men from hideous ones. Also, perhaps, a marker of age, and I’ve fetishised youth like nothing else my whole life.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *