Gender Confusion

Posted: July 11, 2015 in gender identity, gender roles, lgbtq
Tags: , ,


About a month ago now, I came to terms with something about myself that I previously never even would have considered a possibility. I am a bisexual, transgender individual. While the initial realization on both points was immensely liberating, it has honestly become very confusing. I cannot help but wonder at how much simpler things would be if we could do away with the ideas of straight, gay, man, woman, trans, etc altogether. Learning about the variability in sexual orientation and gender identity has truly been a wonderful experience, and I can understand our desires as a society to affix labels on all the variations. However, I feel that there is a need to take things even further from our norms before the struggles of many who identify as “abnormal” in whatever way can be overcome.

Being an abnormal girl, even if I did not identify as trans until recently, I’ve long fought stereotypes concerning sexual and gender differences. I believed (and still believe) in considering every person as an individual rather than rely on the societal expectations associated with one’s anatomy. But I grew up in a home that insisted gender was a divine god-given characteristic and that it came with certain… expectations. Being born with female body parts meant I was not privy to ordination to the Priesthood in my church, that I was supposedly naturally better suited to a role of nurturer, teacher, supporter, and homemaker than my male counterparts, that I was automatically physically weaker and thus in need of a male protector, that pursuit of a career was unimportant for me personally because men were naturally better suited to the role of provider and it was to be my goal to find a good provider to marry, etc. Though I did not fit the stereotypical norms assigned to me at birth, I still believed that this dividing line between men and women was accurate and that I was meant to adhere to the mold.

I stood up for gender equality in every way I could while still believing my “eternal destiny” was to play second-fiddle to a man and focus on preparing my future children for their own lives once they were old enough to leave the shelter provided by my future husband’s working hands. Because I was so different from what everyone expected me to be, it was easy for me to accept differences and variation in others… as long as those differences and variations fit *my* expectations. I could support people who felt attracted to members of their own sex or who identified as a gender other than their birth… as long as that “support” just meant believing they were telling the truth about how they felt. I still believed that the RIGHT way to do things was to force oneself into the predetermined mold of marriage between a man and a woman, with the man presiding and providing, and the woman supporting and nurturing.

Needless to say, I was living a very unsatisfying life, and I was going through an emotional internal struggle. I was suppressing my own feelings and while I was comfortable calling myself a “tom-boy”, I couldn’t even begin to allow myself to consider that I might be attracted to other women or that I might not even feel like a woman myself. It took letting go of my religious beliefs and convictions of birth to even begin to open my *internal* eyes and come to know my true self, to accept the thoughts and feelings I’d kept hidden for so many years, even from myself. And when I was finally able to stop hiding, I couldn’t understand why just being ME had to be so complicated.

Now, I don’t have to hide how I feel or what I think from myself or my friends (still working on family). I can live authentically. I can feel and process without shoving unwanted emotions into the dark recesses and corners of my mind. But finding my “label” was just the first step, because even with that label… I still don’t really fit any mold. I have to carve my *own* path, and that is where the confusion comes in.

Physically, I have mammary glands and a vagina. I have ovaries and experience the monthly fluxes that come with the menstrual cycle. I have high estrogen and low testosterone levels as determined by my xx chromosomes. All these things mark me a “woman”..All these things I share with my fellow (physical) women… but in every other aspect of my life I am entirely unique. My thoughts, emotions and feelings. My interests and passions. My aptitudes and skills. My weaknesses and flaws. I do not fit the mold of any other woman or any other man. And it is this way for all of us. We each have our own entirely unique identity. Our own consciousness. Our own “self”.

I am she… but I am also he. And I am everything in between. I am… ME.

And it is confusing to face a world which draws such a stark dividing line. I am finding myself mentally hopping back and forth, trying to determine which side of the line to stand on with any given issue or topic of discussion. I am not so much confused about who *I* am any more, but I am confused as to where my place is in this world. At times, I consider myself a man. At others, I consider myself a woman. I am both, and yet I am none. And I realize the problem is not me any more. I know who I am. The problem is society.

I’ve known ALL my life that the dividing lines we draw between men and women were faulty. I’ve known ALL my life that the stereotypes are wrong. I’ve known ALL my life that we need to stop judging based on appearances, physical traits, or the genetic characteristics assigned to us at birth. You cannot fit people into any mold. In our endless desires to classify and understand, it is impossible to accurately classify humanity. We don’t fit in boxes. We don’t fit.. and we need to stop trying to MAKE people fit.

  1. I want to applaud you for having the courage to come out, both to yourself and to the people in your life. I hope society starts to be less rigid in its expectations for everyone’s sake.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. mohawkyo8 says:

    This is so liberating for you to own your true self and to also be aware of the possible repercussions. Don’t ever question if it’s not as important to be who you are, than it has become in your life. This is an opportunity to show others how to own their sexuality and gender issues. I’m sure the journey of your life may be more complicated than you’d like, but I promise you it will be worth the hard times to be your true self.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. smartiedress says:

    It sounds like you have a great grasp on who you are but you know that with anyone, life and thoughts and defining moments evolve. What’s important is that you’re doing that as your true self 😌

    Liked by 1 person

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