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Sexual Orientation, Gender Identity, and the rest
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stripeypants



Joined: 24 Feb 2013
Posts: 2786
Location: Land of the Grumpuses

PostPosted: Sat Jan 25, 2014 1:07 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

If you can deal with the censure, you don't have to act. Censure is really strong, though.
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mouse



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PostPosted: Sat Jan 25, 2014 1:39 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

that's something that is hard for me to judge. i am female, i identify as female, but i'm not particularly feminine-looking - and so i have, on occasion, been addressed as 'sir'. i tend to view this not as censure but as a bit of an insult - can't this fool tell who i am? but then i've never faced anything more serious than someone who persists in calling me 'sir', despite correction. and a lot of the time i don't even bother to correct people - i lump it with all the other stupid things random people say that i simply don't have time to correct.

i was thinking about this in reading your post about using the restrooom at the night vale show. i can visual people who might point out to me that i was entering the women's room (with the unspoken assumption that i didn't belong there). i guess my reaction would be something along the lines of "yes, i'm aware of that", and to go right on in, without a second thought. but can i do that because i know that i am biologically in the "right", or because no one has ever mounted a more serious objection? and how much of my decisiveness comes from the privileges accorded my race, age and socio-economic status?

i guess i'm wondering how much of what happens is determined by how well you perform vs. how strongly you believe in your performance - i perform poorly, but believe solidly. but that's dismissive - it suggests that a trans person still has some lingering doubt which a cis person lacks, and that's clearly not the case. but then, what makes one person hesitate in a situation where another does not?

and what it really really comes down to is i really hate having to play games, and act the way people expect me to act...but i have yet to come up with a way to make the world agree with me. and now i wonder how much of what i see of other people is their performance of the part they think i want to see...and that's depressing.

still not coherent. and now i need to go.
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stripeypants



Joined: 24 Feb 2013
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 25, 2014 2:29 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

It's good stuff to wonder. I think the conviction you are talking about is less, "I am not good at this" and more "Other people think I am not good at this." I think when the frequency and severity is increased, that's when people are less likely to be confident - so low confidence isn't to blame when the harassment started first.

This does happen to andogynous people, and I'm told it happens to lesbians even if they read as female to the people doing the policing. When someone harasses a lesbian and can tell she's a lesbian, they aren't doing it because they think she's a man.

This is like a lot of other behavior learned over time. The less resistance you encounter, the less you have to think about it or notice it at all. Not your fault, and it's difficult to see. Also difficult to explain, even for those experiencing it daily. That's why Iwrote it, because I thought it would offer some missing information in an accessible way.
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Dogen



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PostPosted: Sat Jan 25, 2014 4:17 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Have you ever read about stereotype threat? It's a phenomenon where people feel heightened anxiety in situations where they're aware that they may reinforce stereotypes. You can demonstrably affect the test scores of women and blacks, for instance, by reminding them of cultural stereotypes (women are bad at math, blacks aren't intelligent) before giving them the test. I don't know how it feels to be trans, so I don't know if this applies, but the effect has been shown in a huge variety of people, and it relates closely to the ideas that gender is a stereotyped performance. It got me think about how we're all "tested" everyday, every time we go into a public restroom with people around, when we walk up to a counter and a customer service representative greets us, when two people approach a door and one of them has to decide who opens it for who... and probably a gillion other times I don't even notice.

Of course, like mouse, I'm not sure you can unpack anxiety and say, "this portion is because of stereotype, and this portion is because I'm of low SES..." I was just thinking about the way we characterize transgender people in the media (from the article, but entertainment instead), and how that affects you guys.
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stripeypants



Joined: 24 Feb 2013
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 25, 2014 6:20 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I had heard of tests like that, but I didn't know the name of it.

For trans guys, I don't know how that would work, because we have tended to be invisible for so long that I don't think there is a widely known transman stereotype. The invisibility is lifting a bit, but there's still loads of people who aren't even aware of us. The only widely known film with an FtM I can think of at the moment is Boys Don't Cry. There has been some television, and there have been a number of specials with trans kids. I don't know how many people those are reaching. It's mainstream stuff, so I'm assuming that at least some people are.

I'm guessing it would be a mix of other stereotypes - lesbians in particular, since a lot of us are mistaken for lesbians.
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stripeypants



Joined: 24 Feb 2013
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Location: Land of the Grumpuses

PostPosted: Sat Jan 25, 2014 6:35 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Actually, I thought about it, and I think one of the bigger worries would be people looking and seeing behaviors that confirm for them the trans person is not actually trans. Like what Ennis said about his dad pointing things out as feminine behavior, and taking that to mean that Ennis is just confused.

I recall a lot of stupid things like that happening for me. For instance, when I started taking hormones, I complained about having to shave. Having the hormones is great, but there are a lot of trans guys who don't want to actually have to deal with it. (I think a lot of cis guys also don't want to.) So it wasn't out of place for me to whine about it, and I was actually enjoying having the opportunity to whine. But a roommate got all serious and basically said, "Well, you should have thought about that, and if you're going to be a man you'll just have to put up with it." Basically, if I said anything was unpleasant about transition, then I would lose my man card.

There have also been a number of people who were confused and thought I was doing this so I could have sex with women. Which was always silly, but especially so when I figured out I was gay. So a lot of stuff has to be done to try and be different from lesbians, as well as being different from heterosexual women.

Ah, but then there's everything I know about being a creepy man, so that has to be avoided too. Also, I do believe everyone should be able to wear whatever they want and shouldn't be deterred from wearing dresses if they feel like - which is a problem when I couldn't even think of doing that myself.

I used to be able to do that stuff, but it's just been too many people's opinions over the years. One too many well meaning person has said the wrong thing, so I just can't even do that anymore. I am experimenting with make-up and jewelry, though, because I like sparkly things and I miss having that in my life.

My feeling is that I don't mind if people are upset by it so long as they know I'm male while I'm doing whatever I'm doing. That's why I'm really hoping surgery gets covered by medicare, because that'll make things so much easier for me.

/end ramble
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Ennis



Joined: 09 Jun 2013
Posts: 486
Location: Australia

PostPosted: Sat Jan 25, 2014 11:15 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

stripeypants wrote:
Ennis, that really sucks. I've found that the less time I spend around people like that, the better I feel.


I don't see him that often so it's usually not an issue. He's still my dad though...

The article was interesting, I wish it had acknowledged non-binary people more though. Sometimes I wonder how long it's going to take for actual equality to happen, and what it would even look like. I wouldn't be surprised if acceptance of trans* people was tied to transhumanism, when people finally get it into their head that natural doesn't equal better, and why would what someone was "born as" matter if most of the population modified themselves in some way anyway? That is, if we don't destroy ourselves before this comes to pass.

Oh yeah, toilets over here give me so much anxiety. I try to go before we leave so I don't have to use the public ones, but one time I really needed to go so I dithered outside wondering which one to go in, glanced in the men's and got a weird look so I decided to go in the women's. This turned out to be an eminently bad decision. There was a long line, people were looking at me the whole time, and after I'd finished there were several ladies applying makeup in front of the sinks with no gaps in between, so I had to kind of shove between them just to wash my hands, all the while feeling extremely awkward and out of place, like someone was going to yell at me to get out at any moment.

Today I got three "sir"s, so that was nice. One of the times they changed their "sir" to "marm" after I spoke though, I really wish I could do something better with my voice. I can kind of make it lower but it's not that much lower. I also worry that I sound like a tool doing it.
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Ennis



Joined: 09 Jun 2013
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 25, 2014 11:56 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

stripeypants wrote:
Actually, I thought about it, and I think one of the bigger worries would be people looking and seeing behaviors that confirm for them the trans person is not actually trans. Like what Ennis said about his dad pointing things out as feminine behavior, and taking that to mean that Ennis is just confused.

It's also a double edged sword, because if you seem too concerned then people say things like "but guys can do __ thing too!". And then you think about it and realise that they most likely wouldn't say the same thing to a cis guy (or someone who was perceived as such). For example, I was looking at a pair of jeans and then suddenly realised they were for women, so I put them back. Someone (I think it was my mother?) said something like "but if you liked them why don't you get them anyway?". And I mean, maybe in very liberal places people would indeed say that, but in my situation it reads more like "you look like a girl anyway, no one's going to care if you wear girl jeans". Eh, that was kind of a bad example, but stuff like that. If I was MAAB, I probably would do stuff like that and damn whatever gender they're coded as, but as I am currently I don't want to give people the slightest in to read me as female or think I'm a girl. If literally everything I'm wearing is from the mens or boys section, at least then I feel like I've done everything I could.

Honestly that's part of the reason I want to go on T, so I can be more flexible with my wardrobe and actually lessen the pressure to conform. That seems like quite a common thing with trans* people too.

stripeypants wrote:
I recall a lot of stupid things like that happening for me. For instance, when I started taking hormones, I complained about having to shave. Having the hormones is great, but there are a lot of trans guys who don't want to actually have to deal with it. (I think a lot of cis guys also don't want to.) So it wasn't out of place for me to whine about it, and I was actually enjoying having the opportunity to whine. But a roommate got all serious and basically said, "Well, you should have thought about that, and if you're going to be a man you'll just have to put up with it." Basically, if I said anything was unpleasant about transition, then I would lose my man card.

Urgh, I feel you. When I was first having trans* realisations I was like "I AM NEVER GOING ON T BECAUSE EW HAIR" and while my attitude is still basically "ew hair" at least hair is removable, whereas things that I currently hate about my body that (I hope) would be fixed/improved by T, couldn't really be done without it. If I have the money I'll probably get laser later on to get rid of it. But yeah, stuff like that, not just cis people but other trans* people gender police you so hard for it, even when there are shittons of cis men complaining about facial hair too.

stripeypants wrote:
There have also been a number of people who were confused and thought I was doing this so I could have sex with women. Which was always silly, but especially so when I figured out I was gay. So a lot of stuff has to be done to try and be different from lesbians, as well as being different from heterosexual women.

I just don't know how I fit into anything as an asexual. On the one hand, at least I don't have to worry about genitals re sex. And asexuals seem to be better than average with gender things. But asexuals are still such a minority, and I worry that even though we're not going to be doing anything with each other's bits that potential... companions? won't like me and will want a "real man". Even though I don't even identify as a man. The best way to explain it is, I'm not a man, but I resent the idea that I couldn't be one.

stripeypants wrote:
Ah, but then there's everything I know about being a creepy man, so that has to be avoided too. Also, I do believe everyone should be able to wear whatever they want and shouldn't be deterred from wearing dresses if they feel like - which is a problem when I couldn't even think of doing that myself.

I worry about being creepy too ;_; At least I'm probably not threatening to anyone, being really small.
I actually really love steampunk and lolita fashion, but I don't want to wear the female versions anytime soon lest people use it to invalidate me. And they will. Still, it's not like there's any shortage of cool men's stuff (more like there's a shortage in my size though >_>) so I don't exactly feel deprived.

stripeypants wrote:
I used to be able to do that stuff, but it's just been too many people's opinions over the years. One too many well meaning person has said the wrong thing, so I just can't even do that anymore. I am experimenting with make-up and jewelry, though, because I like sparkly things and I miss having that in my life.

I want dandy fashion to come back so baaad. I want every gender to be dressed in lace and high heels and makeup and that just be totally fine and cool.

stripeypants wrote:
My feeling is that I don't mind if people are upset by it so long as they know I'm male while I'm doing whatever I'm doing. That's why I'm really hoping surgery gets covered by medicare, because that'll make things so much easier for me.

/end ramble

I'm hoping to get top surgery this year too. I feel kinda bad because right now I've only been binding for about a year, and it seems like most people get it after yearS but I have the money and I hate having floppy chest things so here's to hoping I can do it. I'm sick of not being able to breathe properly. Also my posture is atrocious.

Honestly I just feel really weird about gendered words in general. I guess what I would like to be is "male", which even though is technically about sex is just too tied to the gender of "man" for my liking. It's kinda like I think about the things that I want, and then there are these labels that people attach but the labels come with extra baggage that I don't want.
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eureka00



Joined: 09 Jul 2006
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 29, 2014 6:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

mouse wrote:
that's something that is hard for me to judge. i am female, i identify as female, but i'm not particularly feminine-looking - and so i have, on occasion, been addressed as 'sir'. i tend to view this not as censure but as a bit of an insult - can't this fool tell who i am? but then i've never faced anything more serious than someone who persists in calling me 'sir', despite correction. and a lot of the time i don't even bother to correct people - i lump it with all the other stupid things random people say that i simply don't have time to correct.

i was thinking about this in reading your post about using the restrooom at the night vale show. i can visual people who might point out to me that i was entering the women's room (with the unspoken assumption that i didn't belong there). i guess my reaction would be something along the lines of "yes, i'm aware of that", and to go right on in, without a second thought. but can i do that because i know that i am biologically in the "right", or because no one has ever mounted a more serious objection? and how much of my decisiveness comes from the privileges accorded my race, age and socio-economic status?

i guess i'm wondering how much of what happens is determined by how well you perform vs. how strongly you believe in your performance - i perform poorly, but believe solidly. but that's dismissive - it suggests that a trans person still has some lingering doubt which a cis person lacks, and that's clearly not the case. but then, what makes one person hesitate in a situation where another does not?

and what it really really comes down to is i really hate having to play games, and act the way people expect me to act...but i have yet to come up with a way to make the world agree with me. and now i wonder how much of what i see of other people is their performance of the part they think i want to see...and that's depressing.

still not coherent. and now i need to go.


Yeah, I get this sometimes too, mouse. I am female and identify as female, but I'm geeky and like sports and my hair is pretty short. So sometimes I will get people who address me as "sir" first, but they usually immediately correct themselves after I talk or after I remove my black coat lol. New students in my class will sometimes ask me, but I always answer politely because it's a very innocent question.
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Samsally



Joined: 10 Jul 2006
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 29, 2014 6:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I used to make a pretty express point in blurring gender lines.

With regards to myself... sometimes I just -want- people to not know and to have to question it, and I want them to feel uncomfortable when they do. I haven't purposely pushed the lines in a while, but a not-small part of me wants to start doing it again.

I could probably ramble forever about why, but it's probably not very important.

Sometimes I'm conflicted about it because I hear about the absolute hell it can be when you aren't making people question your gender on purpose, particularly for people who are trans. I don't want to make it worse for other people and I definitely don't want to minimize other people's experiences.

I guess maybe part of why I want to make people question my own gender is because it -doesn't- bother me. It's not like random strangers can hurt about this, anyway. Gendered assumptions about people are usually pretty terrible anyway. If that's a battle I can take point on; I'm down.
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mouse



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PostPosted: Wed Jan 29, 2014 11:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

i kinda like that attitude, samsally.
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Istancow



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PostPosted: Thu Jan 30, 2014 12:00 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Being a cat allows me to shrug off a lot of gender nonsense.

Exempli gratia: If someone calls me "pussy", it is a statement of fact, rather than a statement of derision.
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mouse



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PostPosted: Thu Jan 30, 2014 12:11 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

yet another reason i want to be reincarnated as a cat!
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stripeypants



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PostPosted: Thu Jan 30, 2014 4:57 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I got to talk to Siri with some friends the other day. When asked what pronouns to use, Siri said something like, "Gender is for nouns and animals. Not me." I like that. I'll try to find an exact quote.
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Dogen



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PostPosted: Thu Jan 30, 2014 5:36 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

There used to be a user named siri... who lived in WA... and with whom I used to be friends (when I first moved to WA)...

for some reason I read your first post as referring to her, and I was confused. I have no idea why she came to mind instead of the iphone assistant. Brains!
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