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Gender Fluidity/Identity as a Whole
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26 / M / Atlantic Beach, NC
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Posted 5/26/14
For those unfamiliar with the concept, gender fluidity is the idea that someone is both masculine and feminine. Regardless of their sex, they feel a very strong mix between male and female identities, so much so to the point where they can't safely say they identify with either over the other.

Gender identity over the last several decades has shifted vastly. But there is still at least a vague image everyone holds of what men are and are expected to be, and what women are and are expected to be, even though sometimes those ideas can differ greatly depending on who you ask.

It's very strange how something like gender fluidity can affect your life. The more I learn about it the more I start to think I may fit under the gender fluid category more than male because while I do fit a good bit of the bill for a male model, to most others I am largely very effeminate. It's to the point where a lot of people who don't know any better believe me to be gay, despite how I'm actually straight. It's affected my romantic relationships a large deal too, some girls like my effeminate nature while most girls that I'm interested in think I'm not the kind of man they see themselves with. For most people I come off as really, really eccentric, oftentimes off-putting. Not just because I'm an introverted nerd who always has his nose in a book either. It's probably more because I have an athletic figure and serve the military, but a more effeminate speech pattern (not the super inflection thing but just regular talking) and all around more readily identified female thought process and interests. I've done a good bit of looking into this and how we identify people as male or female beyond the obvious physical form is rather subtle and sometimes surprising.

So what's your take on it? Do you think gender identity could be something more pushed on us by how people see us, or do you think it might be a more internal epiphany towards an identity we forge on our own. If we are responsible for our own recognition of our gender identity, is it something that can be helped or is it something that we are naturally born with? I was raised entirely by women with no father/big brother figure to speak of, so I feel like that has a lot to do with my own habits and tendencies.

But the whole thing is very interesting and I wonder if anyone else has either experienced something similar to my own situation, identify themselves as the opposite gender, or what people's thoughts are on it in general.
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M / California
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Posted 5/26/14
Gender is a socially constructed concept. Society categorizes people into two separate categories (male or female) and deems that you should act masculine, or feminine. This is very different from the scientific term of male and female, which is determined by your reproductive organs rather than society. In effect, it is society that molds people into the roles of man or woman. This is simply history at work. Men would often provide for the family and women would stay at home. Over time this became the ideal image of a man or woman. In other words, society imposes that if we're born male then we must act like a man.
I personally believe that we are who we are. Our identities shouldn't be dictated by how others feel, but by us. The old customs of feminine and masculine are being swept away in current day society. I personally have a soft side for cute things and I stand by it. I don't look like a introverted man either; I have facial hair and I visit the gym every other day. You normally wouldn't picture me as someone who has a soft side for rabbits or cats. I would rather be scorned by society than forsake my love for animals.
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F / ar away
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Posted 5/26/14 , edited 9/2/14
I don't want to say I have it all figured out but I've been pondering and studying this subject for quite a long time, since it is relevant to my life and experiences as an androgynous, non-gender conforming and pansexual identifying person. What I do know is that society in general is still a long way off from accepting this idea of fluidity of brain gender vs biological sex. The question should not be "is it correct?" because how could we impose upon ourselves, as strange and complex as we are, the idea that our sex is set in stone at birth and that is all that matters?

When one says gender is a socially constructed concept, what the word "gender" refers to is the gender of behavioral expectations. One's self identified gender is completely independent of this because behavioral expectations by others are influenced directly by what is visually apparent.

For example, many masculine women typically avoid what most consider to be girly, pretty or feminine looking attire. The society-constructed aspect of gender (how we assign appearance to sexual norms) remains strong and unbreakable, as shown by the woman who must dress like a man because she just doesn't fit into the "pretty girl" box society has created. But who is to say her self-identified gender isn't any less female than that of Hayden Panettiere for example (someone who in my opinion is the epitome of femininity).
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25 / F / Connecticut
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Posted 6/13/14 , edited 6/13/14
To put it frankly, I think we have a LONG LONG way to go. Although yeah, nowadays in the west it is still possible to get by when you're a person who openly breaks the traditional gender norms in your everyday life, it is still obscenely difficult. For example, read this recent article by a Queer activist from HuffPo from a few days ago.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/jacob-tobia/genderqueer-professional-_b_5476239.html

Someone like him (that's the pronoun used in his bio, so I'll stick to that), is likely to run into a ridiculous amount of open discrimination and possible violence on the street outside of an extremely liberal place like Manhattan (and even then, I wonder how he could possibly get work outside of activism). If you take a genderqueer female, she'll likely run into similar problems, albeit they'll probably occur more discretely (name-calling, more discrimination in hiring, etc) as females are simply given more leeway nowadays in following gender norms than males, probably due to the accomplishments of the feminist movement.

In the end though imo what we should be targeting is a total breakdown of gender norms--we need to make gender obsolete as it's just a bunch of silly rules, and biological sex should only be relevant when you're naked (and thus probably not even be on your official ID to get rid of legal discrimination of men and women in the public sphere, outside of such contexts--albeit call me a hypocrit in a way with that visible on my CR profile, perhaps I care to put that up because I fought for that as a transsexual and am still fighting and am thus in a way proud of it, meh). However due to actual physical differences between men and women, this isn't exactly fully plausible, in regards to biological sex, males will still usually be seen as males, and females as females unless they were born intersex/androgynous looking or are transsexual. It's really unfortunate in a way but it's an essentially immutable part of humanity's nature as a sexually reproducing species.
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Posted 6/20/14
gender identity is a weird thing, like aside from societal pressures there's no wrong way to be a guy or girl, but there's SOMETHING that will make people go "what if i'm both or neither or something else entirely" I'm not entirely educated on the "something else entirely" because i'm not sure i understand what a gender IS outside of male, female, both, or neither.

but hopefully i'll figure it out soon, i definitely respect it. i mean heck i'm agender, and it seemed obvious to me, so to those who see themselves as something completely different, it's probably obvious to them.
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Posted 6/20/14
LBGTQA (Florida) pushes in this idea, starting from neutral signs on restrooms.

Nope. It won't work like that. Someone will take advantage of that not always in a decent way.
You have to respect one's privacy, and restroom should be one of them.
Not everyone is open or open to change, and seeing another gender coming in your comfort zone, even though times are changing, is still a no go.

One student life director already got fired by doing this even if he was supporting LBGTQA's wishes.
Well, there were already rumors circulating around him but the recent bathroom entry was the catalyst for him getting ejected.
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33 / M / Sydney, Australia
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Posted 6/29/14

onibrotonel wrote:

LBGTQA (Florida) pushes in this idea, starting from neutral signs on restrooms.

Nope. It won't work like that. Someone will take advantage of that not always in a decent way.
You have to respect one's privacy, and restroom should be one of them.
Not everyone is open or open to change, and seeing another gender coming in your comfort zone, even though times are changing, is still a no go.
.


Nope. It won't work like that. Someone will take advantage of that not always in a decent way.
You have to respect one's privacy, and restroom should be one of them.
Not everyone is open or open to change, and seeing another coloured person coming in your comfort zone, even though times are changing, is still a no go.

^^^
See how this logic doesn't work? The problem is that people have prejudices, not that gender is some sort of unbreakable natural barrier that people cannot change their feelings about.
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21 / M
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Posted 6/29/14
I believe that it's important that people don't let their gender/sexual identities become their identities.
It's just a fraction of who you are. To people like me, your status as a person who enjoys reading [for example] is more important than your status as a male or a gender fluid person.

I think it's cool when people focus on who people are rather than what people are.

So if a male is really passionate about doing something that society has designated to be 'feminine' like...having tea parties or something, then he shouldn't worry about what society thinks or feel like he has to change his gender identification.
Instead he should put his energy into throwing some awesome tea parties.
Posted 7/10/14
I think it's fine to be both "masculine" and "feminine," but I never understood why people were not okay with their sexual organs. Sexual organs are just that: sexual organs. They do not define you; they do not tell you who you are. Society is the reason to blame for the gap between men and women. Many people who are gender fluid or feel like they're a different gender are against society... so why do they want to fit what society has molded "man" and "woman?" You should be comfortable with yourself and act however you want. Having breasts, a vagina, or a penis does not change who you are mentally.
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30 / F
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Posted 7/11/14 , edited 7/11/14

Shiroppu wrote:

I think it's fine to be both "masculine" and "feminine," but I never understood why people were not okay with their sexual organs. Sexual organs are just that: sexual organs. They do not define you; they do not tell you who you are. Society is the reason to blame for the gap between men and women. Many people who are gender fluid or feel like they're a different gender are against society... so why do they want to fit what society has molded "man" and "woman?" You should be comfortable with yourself and act however you want. Having breasts, a vagina, or a penis does not change who you are mentally.


For GID: My physical development was a gigantic train-wreck to my psyche straight through puberty, so if I had to explain it as anything: it would be like a Samsung, Android, or Windows smartphone having an I-phone OS with Siri and everything.

Oh, and check out Body Integrity Identity Disorder. It's a really interesting condition.
Posted 7/11/14

MopZ wrote:


Shiroppu wrote:

I think it's fine to be both "masculine" and "feminine," but I never understood why people were not okay with their sexual organs. Sexual organs are just that: sexual organs. They do not define you; they do not tell you who you are. Society is the reason to blame for the gap between men and women. Many people who are gender fluid or feel like they're a different gender are against society... so why do they want to fit what society has molded "man" and "woman?" You should be comfortable with yourself and act however you want. Having breasts, a vagina, or a penis does not change who you are mentally.


For GID: My physical development was a gigantic train-wreck to my psyche straight through puberty, so if I had to explain it as anything: it would be like a Samsung, Android, or Windows smartphone having an I-phone OS with Siri and everything.

Oh, and check out Body Integrity Identity Disorder. It's a really interesting condition.


I know what you mean, but I don't understand as to why. I guess it's just due to the fact that I believe gender and body is nothing compared to personality and intellect. At times I have not been comfortable with my gender, but I have never let myself focus much on it. It's something that cannot be changed naturally, so why should it bother me? You know?

I have heard of BIID. I can see where they're coming from.
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Posted 7/11/14
Is this the new term for metrosexuals?
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30 / F
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Posted 7/11/14


Oh, I know they did find a similarity in the size of the neurons of a certain area of the human brain in a study that did autopsies on Transgender individual's brains.
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38 / M / Kansas
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Posted 7/11/14
I don't know much about this subject, but I just want to say Hourou Musuko Wandering Son is one of the best animes I've seen. I think it deals with the subject fantastically, and the way it portrays the challenge and courage required moved me to tears. So if anyone interested in this topic hasn't seen it yet, watch it immediately! 10/10.
Posted 7/11/14

MopZ wrote:



Oh, I know they did find a similarity in the size of the neurons of a certain area of the human brain in a study that did autopsies on Transgender individual's brains.

So transexual brains are similar to that of the brains of people with BIID? That makes sense now. Thank you for that. I understand now!
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