Underneath my yellow skin

Free to be me?

I’ve been talking about gender a lot lately. Why? Because I don’t get it. I say this with zero snark. Every time I hear people talk about gender, I feel like I’m listening to a foreign language. Follow the way my brain works. I’m going to be as honest as I can be here. Which means that it might be uncomfortable to read.

Other people say that they feel their gender deep in their soul. That being a man or woman (in this case, the binary) is a core part of their identity. People who are nonbinary also feel this deep in their souls. I have heard so many people talk about their gender and how important it is to them.

Whenever I think about my gender, I try to concentrate on what it is, and I get–nothing. I know I’m NOT a man, but as for woman or nonbinary, I mostly just shrug and say, eh, maybe? I’ve used this analogy several times. Being called a woman is like wearing an ill-fitting raincoat. It’s going to keep the rain out, mostly, and it fits, mostly. But it’s uncomfortable, and I’m going to take it off as soon as I can with a sigh of relief.

I don’t mind if other people call me a woman or want to connect on that level (we women, we’re sisters, etc.), but it’s becasue I’ve had similar expenciees. I am coded as a woman and I look very much like a woman is expected to look. I have hair down to my hips and I’m very curvy. VERY booby. And I love my body (now). I’ve never hated my curves, even when I hated my body in general.

I’m very comfortable in my body now. In a large part because it saved me from dying. Twice. Literally. But even at my most “I loathe my body” time of my life, I never hated the boobs, pussy, hips, or ass. Well, mourned the lack of ass, but that’s different than hating my body in general. Also, I can thank Taiji for giving me an ass! Ian has confirmed (very diffidently) that I do have one now.

Other people calling me she doesn’t bother me. Being called sir on the phone (which ALWAYS happens because I have a double alto voice. About as low as possible for someone who is AFAB) does not bother me. I used to be called sir when viewed from behind because I wore a black trench coat and had very short hair (this was on campus for college), and that did not bother me, either.

To be clear, I am not a guy. But I don’t care if someone calls me sir. It doesn’t bother me, even though I don’t identify with it. I am fine (sort of) being called she/her, but I would rather not be. And I will not call myself that. Though I have by mistake.

If I had my druthers, I would just ignore gender. It doesn’t matter at all to me except as to how others treat me. That’s the biggest thing about gender for me–it causes people to view me through a certain lens. Because I’m AFAB and LOOK like a woman, that’s how I get treated.

Here’s where my brain gets caught up. I have been told my whole life that I don’t act like a girl/woman. I laugh too loudly; I liked to climb trees; I hated dresses/skirts; I never played with dolls, but preferred stuffed animals; I don’t like makeup, fashion, cooking, sewing, or any other kinds of crafts. Instead, I liked sports; I like video games; I like martial arts.

But I am not a man. I don’t feel like a man. I don’t want to be a man. There are several reasons for that, but the main one is jsut that I do’nt identify as a man.

Side note:¬† I have been told twice by lesbians that I was hard to place on the femme/butch spectrum (back when this was a thing).One of them said she just could not put me on the continuum. The other said she was utterly confused by me becasue I liked sports and did not wear makeup, yet I had long hair and wore lipstick. I took this as a great compliment both times (though I don’t think it was meant to be in either case) because I liked being a puzzle.

To be clear, I wasn’t trying to be difficult or fucking with people. It was just me existing as I was, wihch apparently was confusing. And still is. I’m fine with this, by the way .I like being a weirdo, and it’s hard-earned by this time. I am never going to be a normie. I have accepted that and made my peace with it.

Back to gender.

I honestly don’t see why gender matters¬† if it’s not something I feel deeply. I am NOT trying to downplay how/why other people find their gender significant/meaningful. I’m just saying for me, whenever I think about my own gender, I come up empty.

I will say that it’s similar to how I feel about other labels of mine. Like bi. It’s something I use because it’s the least-objectionable to me of the bunch, but I don’t really feel attached to it. It’s just easier than saying ‘I don’t date based on gender, but of course, I see someone’s gender as a part of who they are’. And I use bi to mean people like me and people not like me now that we are past the binary when it comes to gender.

I have tried on and discarded nonbinary, genderfluid, and genderqueer. Nonbinary is still a gender, and genderfluid is not what I am. My gender isn’t fluid–it is what it is. It’s just not any of the currently known categories. Genderqueer is the closest, and I like it because I like ‘queer’ in general, but it’s still too much focus on gender itself.

Truth to be told, if sexism did not exist, I would be perfectly fine with the label of woman. If I was allowed to be a woman and the person I am without being told endlessly that ‘real women don’t_________’, then I would be fine with it. It’s the closest label to what I am of the any existing gendered labels. Just because I have the anatomy that is usually associated with the label ‘woman’.

I am not exaggerating when I say that I have been told I’m not a real woman (explicitly or implicitly) because of the following: I don’t want to get married; I don’t want/have children; I am not apologetic in the least about the last point; I don’t wear makeup/a bra/care about fashion; I don’t enjoy cooking/sewing; I heartily (and noisily) enjoy sex; I imagine having sex with strangers I see on the streets; I love martial arts, especially the weapons; I liked sports (back before it became more popular with women; I didn’t like dolls; I didn’t like dresses/skirts; I have a deep voice; I like dark colors rather than pastels.

To be told that everything I like, say, and do is not womanly–and this is over the many decades of my life–has led me to think that I don’t want to be awoman, then. Which is funny because my Taiji teacher has had a similar experience and her response is to defiantly declare that she IS a woman, damn it. Which is a valid response! It’s just not mine. I don’t want to try so hard to be part of a club that doesn’t want me.

Also, what difference does my gender really make? None. Not to me, anyway. I’ve read accounts of people who call themselves agender about how they never felt their gender or related to people who felt their genders deeply, and it resonated with me. I would like not to have to think about my gender, but that’s not possible in our deeply sexist world. Which is truly unfortunate.


Leave a reply