Community Conversation > Non-binary talk

Non-binary but doing all the binary trans-femme stuff

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Next week I'm getting vaginoplasty, and I think that's making me try to make sense of "my gender."  I live as a woman, my ID's (including birth certificate) all say female, and I've been trying for 6 years to get this surgery.  Every step I've taken transitioning has made me fell better and more comfortable with myself.  And while I can't know for sure before I actually do it, I think the surgery will make me feel a lot more comfortable with my body.

Yet I consider myself non-binary.  I cannot bring myself to say "I am a woman" (well, maybe to the TSA), but only "I live as a woman."  I kind of don't believe in gender.  I believe that there are these social constructs we call "gender", and society is built around them, and if I don't want to go (back?) to Mars, I have to go along with them to a certain extent, but an awful lot of the things I have to do (or am at least expected to do) when living as a man or living as a woman seem like arbitrary nonsense.  Inside myself I have no sense of my essence having any gender, I'm just me.

I've also noticed that in real life I mostly get along better with non-binary people than with binary trans women.  I don't participate much in the other trans fora here because they seem to be mostly preoccupied with things I just don't care about, or which I care about in a different way from everyone else.  I've occasionally attended presentations or classes in how to be more "feminine," and generally end up rejecting most of what they teach.  (Like being told I have to learn to sneeze in a feminine fashion.  Huh??)  It feels like they have an idea of what you have to do and be to be a woman which is very narrow and doesn't fit most of the cis women I know.  I don't want to fit someone else's idea of what you have to be to be a trans woman, I just want to more or less fit in among the women I interact with.

On the other hand (I think I'm running out of hands), I grew up in a culture (USA South) which had pretty rigid gender roles, and it's not like I can escape their influence.  It has left me feeling unsafe around men, especially masculine ones, and I find my heart longing for a kind of femininity that my head says is mostly unattainable fantasy, especially given that I didn't start transitioning until I was 62.  (I avoid fantasizing too much because of the way it tears you apart when you realise how impossible they are.)  What's more, I'm pretty well convinced that I would not have had an easier time if I'd been born a girl, especially when I look at how my sister turned out.

So I'm kind of a muddle, a contradiction.  Or, as we used to say where I grew up, "neither fish nor fowl nor good red herring."

Live in the way that makes you happy. And comfortable within yourself. Whoever that may be. That's all any of us can do.


It's okay to not fit any mould. It's okay to be you. Whoever that is. Individuality is something more and more lost in today's world. Hold onto it. :) You don't have to be "either" "or". You can be "and".

If I can be honest though, from what you've said. It sounds to me like one issue you have is with how society portrays women... and how a lot of trans women want to go along with that in order to be seen in the same way. I have kind of noticed that myself. Uber femininity is massively saccharin and fake, but something a lot of people aspire to as an escape from masculinity that they feel has imprisoned them their whole lives.

You don't have to be "A woman" to be a woman. You just have to be you, if that's who you are. Do things your own way. Be masculine, feminine, anywhere in between. I get the feeling that you get on better with non binary folks because they get this. Just be who you are, not some role you have to try and fill.

In the end, the only person who gets to define you, is you. Feminine and masculine aren't the same thing as male and female. As far as I'm concerned. But I know that there's a lot of pressure for people to act "girly" to be seen as female, and vice versa. I kind of think this is super outdated, honestly. And that most people have moved on from that, but it is what it is. I know it's still a thing that enthralls a lot of people. Trans people more than most.

But like I say, sweetie. You do you. Live in a way that makes you feel whole. Identify thus. No one else can choose your life. Only you. :)

I "get" most of what you say Asche. I remember being told by a transwoman that the best thing I could do was to 'Go and sit in a cafe and watch women, how they walk, dress and move'...
I mean... FFS... that sounds like stalking! and I really do not need to observe how 'women' move.. I do not need to ape some sort of social norm. For that would be play acting.. trying to be someone else, trying to pretend to be a woman.
I do not need to pretend to be a woman, I am one...

A lot of people early on in transition focus on this 'passing' nonsense.. I got caught up in it for a bit, I thought my body had to look a certain way, my chest had to be a certain size, my hips.. I really do not even think about it now.
Inside my head I am me.. that is now Sarah and not that other guy.. and that self-reference took a long time to come because it is still me in here.. no-one else. I did not transition internally for I was always this person.

So I revel in the fact that I am a nerd, I love tech and I build electronics and program for a living.. all very male'ish things. I wear what makes me happy and not what I think a 'woman' would wear. I am me.. and I think that is the best advice for anyone. Transition is not really change it is more alignment with your internal person.

There is one thing to do with my body that was VERY important to me and that was my GRS. The distain I had for that little guy was huge. The feeling of hate and repulsion and the feeling of shame... made GRS for me a life saving treatment. Since that day (nearly 12 months ago) I have never been happier or more content.

So, I would not say I am non-binary. I am a woman. I am just not your stereotypical woman because, oh my, that would be so boring!

Good luck with your upcoming op.. do as you are told and speedy recovery to you..

Allie Jayne:
Asche, I have long abandoned notions of 'boxes'. I don't feel the need to fit into any of them, including the box 'women'. I don't see myself as a woman, though I have fully transitioned, and my birth certificate now reads 'female'. I know I was AMAB, but I was born with a female brain. This set me up for a life of discomfort, but post puberty, I made a considered choice to live my life as a male. At a number of times in my life, I was presented with opportunities to ease my dysphoria by transitioning, but each time I decided transition wasn't for me. It was only when my dysphoria made me seriously ill that my doctors gave me the ultimatum to transition or face my demise.

Hormones reduced my dysphoria, then living full time as a woman reduced it even more, but GRS made the biggest difference. I didn't want to change my life. My interests remained the same as before transition, though transition changed my circumstances somewhat. I have not enjoyed transition, nor the loss of my marriage and job as a result. But these things happened, and I am working towards getting back most of the life I used to have. People misgender me regularly, but it doesn't worry me, because in the end, I am just me!



Maid Marion:
I hear these stories of Transwoman and they don't sound like women like to me!
It sounds more like a totally unfeminine mansplaining to me!

Good luck with the GCS!


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