I’m going to get straight up real with you: this is probably the post that I have avoided the most, not for lack of wanting, but I’ve been conflicted because for me this is a non-issue. It’s a thing that’s already established and what is the point? But then the point is that I guess this doesn’t really get told much, so I’m here to share.
I’ve thought about making this witty, light hearted and easy-breezy-covergirl. I’ve considered posting it as a video, even writing it in stick figures. If I am honest, I don’t know where to start, so right now I’m just telling you about the times I haven’t started. Pro-at-crastinating my friends.
I don’t even think I can say it’s timely anymore, because trans issues have started entering mainstream discourse thanks to the rising success of Janet Mock, Laverne Cox and even Chaz Bono to name a few.
Before anyone jumps a gun or two: I’m not going to start revealing myself as a man in a female body. That’s not the case at all. I’m quite content in the body I’m in. Although technically (if we want to pretend words have strict meanings), yes you could say that I am transgendered.
Except I’m not moving between one or the other, I’m just in the middle. I’ve been saying that my gender is Androgyne. Because the world is too gendered and I’m all too aware of it for me to identify as genderless.
Quite a few of my friends know this about me already, and majority have been somewhat unsurprised and some have even gone so far as to note that as gender is a construct, no one is really man or woman. And while I agree with this in almost every way possible, it’s a different feeling to be reminded of that constantly through alienation, then it is to be aware of it as a concept.
Now’s the part that I don’t really know what to say, because I’ve kind of always been this way without really knowing it. So I don’t know exactly what people don’t know, or would want to. I feel as if I did this part of my ‘coming out’ years ago and only in the past few years I’ve found the words that explain how I feel about my gender. Thank you University – I had no idea it would be the lightbulb moment I needed to articulate myself.
This also explains a little (a lot) why I have very little tolerance for people blaming behaviour on what type of genitals a person has.
I’m going to throw up a list of what I think people may ask/want to know. If there’s something else just comment or email me. No biggie.
What is androgyne?
I’m going to assume that you know what the “androgynous” look is… so I’ll use that as a visual reference, and highlight that this clothing style has both female and male signifiers/identifiers. So take that notion and apply to every part of the person. I’m talking language and interests. So in a nutshell: Some one who identifies as androgyne is someone who identifies as androgynous, gender-wise.
How do you know?
Let’s point out an obvious something: I was a major tomboy. There’s a lot of literature about what happens to tomboys when they hit puberty, so I won’t try to paraphrase at all. Let’s just say, generally there’s some social and cultural conditioning that emphasise femininity in order to ‘fit in’ and be accepted by peer groups. However, my peer group was probably one of the most supportive I’ve heard about and we encouraged each other to be ourselves. So this social conditioning, while yes it was there, I never felt like I needed to up my feminine game in order to fit in.
Also I feel as uncomfortable in all male clothes as I do in all feminine clothes. I realised this when I started crying as I tried on a corset because I hated what it did to feminise my body.
But Kirsty you have a really feminine face!
I know! That’s ok!
Do you want to transition?
Nope, happy with the bits I got.
Would you like us to use any preferred pronouns?
Honestly, I’m lazy. It takes a lot of work to consistently remind people that by saying “but you are a girl” makes me feel like I’ve been punched in the face. And if you’re close to me, it makes me question if you know me at all.
No, but seriously, we are your friends, surely you can count on us to get it right, what pronouns do you prefer?
I don’t mind feminine, I don’t mind masculine, I don’t mind “they”. I told you. I’m lazy. BUT one thing I would encourage is using mirrored pronouns. So which ever gendered pronoun you use for yourself, you can use for me. If you identify as a man, you refer to me as “he” or “him”. Likewise for the ladies.
Ok so pronouns you’re hellz lazy, but have you considered changing your name to a more gender neutral one?
Yes. So many times yes.
None of them stick and I can’t decide. For me, I’ve always been this way. Kirsty refers to me, someone who identifies as androgyne. I’ve always been androgyne and I’ve always been Kirsty… so it’s difficult to envisage a whole new identity altogether (Because it isn’t new).
It’s very isolating. I can’t really explain that feeling. I’m sorry.
Any advice for someone who might be going through the same thing?
Treat yo self. And by that I mean be kind, accepting and loving. Because while at times you may feel very isolated, there are other people out there who know what it feels like. Yet while it’s very exhausting being out there, it’s worth it. You’ve got to care for yourself because sometimes the rest of the world looks like a brick wall, and what you need to do is make a window. Whether you know it or not, you have the strength to do it.