Author Topic: Shedding some light  (Read 34980 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline Sevan

  • Transitioning FtA
  • Family
  • *****
  • Posts: 557
  • Reputation: +40/-0
  • Androgyn/Genderqueer. Ze/per-pronouns :)
Shedding some light
« on: June 05, 2011, 09:04:44 pm »
After thinking about some of the new folks that have passed through our fine Unicorn forest...I thought it might be really nice to have a very *BASIC* and readable....so that we've got a nice starting point. (hopefully we might find this suitable for a sticky!)

So in your own words, perhaps even describing yourself...Just what is/who is an androgyn?

I'll start by saying that for the purposes of this discussion (and the purposes of this forum) *Androgyne* is an umbrella term for anyone who *identifies* as a gender expression/identity apart from Male or Female.

I'll start!  ;D
I identify as androgyn, or third gender, or 2 spirit...or my favorite: FtA, because I feel it fits me and my journey best. :) FtA=Female to Androgyn.

For me personally...I (felt) that did fit fully and completely within the female identity. That was shattered and I realized how much of myself I was hiding and holding back.

I sought gender therapy to help me sort out how I was feeling...not fitting fully within female but definitly not feeling male...or WAS I FtM but just too scared/ashamed/what have you; to admit it!? That's why I took up therapy.

I was (am) VERY lucky to have found a therapist who doesn't subscribe to the binary (male/female) system. I thought perhaps just dressing male/androgynously/female (please note: Dressing androgynously is NOT the same as identifying as an androgyn.) however...the relief was very short lived because after all...my clothes weren't having gender issues...my inner sense of self was having issues.

I sought out testosterone therapy in hopes that it would bring me to a more centered place within myself and it has.

Many many people in my life assumed that once I started T I'd "realize" just how FtM I was and I'd admit it. Nope. Still an androgyn.

I would even say that I feel a little more fem than masculine. (If I must put it on a scale/spectrum...though I'd rather not.)

Let's see...well...that's about it for me! I look forward to hearing from others :)
I'm also the spouse to the fabulous Mrs. Cynthialee.



Offline Sephirah

  • Family
  • *****
  • *
  • Posts: 4,644
  • Reputation: +281/-0
  • Gender: Female
Re: Shedding some light
« Reply #1 on: June 05, 2011, 10:54:15 pm »
Actually, Sevan, I agree with you. I think this would be a good thread to make sticky.

I did have some questions but I think I'll refrain from asking them in the hopes that future posts will shed further light, not to mention I struggle to put my thoughts down sometimes in such a way that they make sense to me, let alone others.

Nevertheless, I look forward to reading more from people in this thread. :)

Offline Sevan

  • Transitioning FtA
  • Family
  • *****
  • Posts: 557
  • Reputation: +40/-0
  • Androgyn/Genderqueer. Ze/per-pronouns :)
Re: Shedding some light
« Reply #2 on: June 05, 2011, 11:07:34 pm »
Thank you Sephira! Hooray!!
I hope we answer your questions with this thread but if not, feel free to start a new thread and ask away.
Though I do hope some of the basics get covered in this thread and uh...shed some light ;)
I'm also the spouse to the fabulous Mrs. Cynthialee.



Offline Anatta

  • Shoshin
  • Family
  • *****
  • Posts: 2,996
  • Reputation: +53/-0
  • Gender: Female
  • "Sabbe Dhamma Nalam Abhinivesaya ! "
Re: Shedding some light
« Reply #3 on: June 05, 2011, 11:36:25 pm »
Kia Ora and thank you both Sevan & Ativan,

 ::) I look forward to finding out more "about" how androgynes  see them/yourselves and want others to see you...

No hard feelings I hope... :icon_bunch:

Metta Zenda :)
« Last Edit: June 06, 2011, 03:39:42 pm by Zenda »
"The most essential method which includes all other methods is beholding the mind. The mind is the root from which all things grow. If you can understand the mind, everything else is included !"   :icon_yes:

Offline Padma

  • Polysensual
  • Family
  • *****
  • *
  • Posts: 5,203
  • Reputation: +75/-0
  • Gender: Androgyne
  • Sex: F - Gender: None
Re: Shedding some light
« Reply #4 on: June 06, 2011, 02:37:39 am »
I can see why people who are not happy with the male/female gender dichotomy might be uneasy with the term "androgyne", given its etymological roots in that dichotomy, but I like it because to me it speaks of ambiguity, and there's nothing wrong with being ambiguous.

So although I experience myself as basically female somatically (though still stuck with male anatomically) and want a more female-appearing body, I consider myself fairly androgynous in my sense of self, and how I want to present to others. I have to admit (behold my hilarious reluctance!) that I'm warming to "genderqueer" as a term - but then I'm also finally warming to "queer" as a term :). To me it's just another way of pointing out to people that "things don't just have to be the menu-driven way we're accustomed to think they are." Alongside the part of me that wants to fit in and be accepted is another brighter self, who wants people not to be sure what I "am" because that frees us all up, potentially.

Why would anyone expect to be instantly understood by strangers anyway? ;D
Womandrogyne™

Offline Luna!

  • Hyper Bishounen
  • Friend
  • ****
  • Posts: 147
  • Reputation: +30/-0
  • 'Pretty boy' is never an insult.
Re: Shedding some light
« Reply #5 on: June 06, 2011, 08:29:25 pm »
I've had some trouble applying labels to myself, as I've drifted quite a bit since I started out here (labels are not required, I know; still, I think people like to classify things).

I started out with the MtFs. I had always been aware of some masculine element to my personality, but I assumed it was some kind of thing I put together to fit in socially (not that it really helped, haha). But it kept popping up whenever I tried to shut it off, just like the feminine part had done previously. I decided at some point that instead of forcing the two to fight until the other disappeared, I should try to let go and see where they decided to take me.

A little while after that, it occurred to me that perhaps neither side was some artificial construction; maybe they were both there from the beginning, and there was no need to kill one off so the other one could live. Boy, girl, both, neither... didn't really matter. I'm just myself. Gender conflicts pretty much stopped for me after that.

I never really stay in the same place genderwise anymore for very long (for example, I was kinda feminine this morning, very masculine a few hours ago, and basically genderless right now). Because of this drift, I tend to see masculinity and femininity not as opposites on a spectrum, but as two more or less unrelated attributes. If you were so inclined, you could plot them on a graph, with M and F each on their own axis. Someone could have a lot of one and none of the other; they could have equal amounts of both; not a lot of either; or both in large quantities (and of course, all other possible combinations). It's multi-dimensional, instead of being a straight line.

...Wow, that was a lot more science-y than normal. My apologies... ^_^
Anyway, 'androgyne', being some sort of umbrella term, works for me; the general public probably doesn't see me that way, though. Whichever.

Offline Sevan

  • Transitioning FtA
  • Family
  • *****
  • Posts: 557
  • Reputation: +40/-0
  • Androgyn/Genderqueer. Ze/per-pronouns :)
Re: Shedding some light
« Reply #6 on: June 07, 2011, 08:07:06 pm »
What do you mean by "humor" Ativan? Such as our discussion (frequent....) of fruitcake? "Unicorn forest" and the like? Or something all together different that I've missed entirely...
I'm also the spouse to the fabulous Mrs. Cynthialee.



Offline Nero

  • Getting there
  • Family
  • *****
  • Posts: 13,748
  • Reputation: +237/-0
  • Gender: Male
  • Not anatomically correct
Re: Shedding some light
« Reply #7 on: June 07, 2011, 09:36:11 pm »
Quote
I worry some that it puts off some new people here. That's why I bring it up here. To shed some light.

There was one newbie awhile back who got freaked out when I posted the Charlie the unicorn video for them.  :laugh:
Nero was the Forum Admin here at Susan's Place for several years up to the time of his death.

Offline Pica Pica

  • 1 for sorrow, 2 for joy, 3 for a girl, 4 for a boy.
  • Family
  • *****
  • Posts: 5,747
  • Reputation: +82/-0
  • One of the world's beautiful people (obviously).
    • Grub Street Lodger
Re: Shedding some light
« Reply #8 on: June 08, 2011, 12:20:19 am »
Am I wrong in not caring if anyone is put of by a bit of a joke around?
A world of exciting writing from the eighteenth century and ours.
www.grubstlodger.com

'For the circle may be squared with rising and swelling.' Kit Smart

LightlyLuke

Re: Shedding some light
« Reply #9 on: June 08, 2011, 05:44:10 am »
[cue music]
If that's wrong then I don't wanna be right

Offline chrishoney

  • Renegade
  • Neighbor
  • ***
  • Posts: 85
  • Reputation: +3/-0
  • Gender: Questioning
Re: Shedding some light
« Reply #10 on: June 08, 2011, 08:40:48 am »
First, a few general observations, then a bit about how I feel and why androgyne seems to fit my true self.

Some personal observations:

Ambiguity/uncertainty for most people is a very uncomfortable place to be for even a short time. Those of us who go there regularly or who (god(dess) forbid! lol) like to be there are nearly unfathomable to the vast majority who need the comfort and apparent safety of certainty.

In the binary oriented transgender world, for various socio-politico reasons, there is a HUGE investment in the belief that transgenderism/GID is NOT a choice, that the discontinuity between the internal self and the somatic self is thrust upon some individuals. A corollary belief is that GID can only be cured/relieved by full transition. (It is not my intent to question these beliefs or any of the myriad reasons and rationales supporting them. For the purposes of my discussion here, I accept them at face value as basic truisms.) Any idea or person or thing that seems to contradict those two central dogmas seems to impede the cause of getting society at large to accept transgendered individuals as their identified gender and making transition resources more easily available and affordable. This must seem tantamount to heresy to the true believers.

One way we make sense of and interact with the world around us is through pattern recognition which involves organizing objects, beings and events into various classes, which are typically binary in nature: good/bad, dangerous/not dangerous, beneficial/detrimental. Of course there are infinite shadings and colors of meaning along any spectrum of characteristics, but it becomes heuristically unmanageable to deal with multiple complex systems without some mental simplification.

This is all really, really serious sh_t and cracking jokes and poking fun doesn't help anyone to be taken seriously (another belief, of course.) Geez, what the h_ll's the matter with you people?! (tongue planted firmly in cheek on that one!)

How I arrived in the forest (the quick and dirty version):

GID from earliest age/memories (didn't know that's what it was until recently, however): wanting to wear feminine clothes, makeup, have female parts. At the same time, I enjoyed being a boy and happily embraced that role. I have never felt my male parts were wrong; I just wanted female parts too. I have never felt my masculine traits were bad; I have just wanted to be able to express my femininity too. I knew from an early age (10 or 11) about transexuals (the term used as I was growing up in the late 50's early 60's) yet NEVER felt the need/drive to take that route. Fast forward to adulthood, middle age (sigh): Looking back (and after much therapy, experimentation and introspection) at the several disparate fields I have enjoyed working in and how I audaciously conned/finagled/talked my way into them, it is not solely from fear or not wanting to put myself in uncertain or uncomfortable positions that I did not seek transition. I have never shied from taking the road less traveled, and in fact, have repeatedly and intentionally derived a large measure of personal satisfaction and pride from doing/being the unexpected. My point is that transition just ISN'T the right option for me, and not just because I am afraid of the consequences or difficulties (HUGE! I have the utmost respect and admiration for the women on that path) involved.

One favorite diversion for me has always been reading, and especially science fiction. Growing up I read what came to be for me the seminal version of my GID: Time Enough for Love by Robert Heinlein. In this future novel, Lazarus Long, who through a mistake in biology lived many times a normal life span, tired of living longer and was going to allow himself to expire. He agreed to postpone his demise if the ultimate challenge (for him) could be devised to give him renewed purpose for living. The ultimate challenge turned out to be continuing life as a nubile, young woman. Trust me, this is hardcore, spaceships and aliens, laser blasters and time travel, science fiction by an arch-conservative, libertarian author. It was NOT porn. His female characters are 2-dimensional and overly endowed and sexed, but what did I know, I was an increasingly horny teenager reading my idea of the perfect scenario: being able to change gender by a very short, painless medical procedure! Yeeha! Obviously, going back was equally an option.

So, in my mythical, ideal world, I would be able to be male, and female. I could have my cake and eat it too; I could keep my boy parts, and have female ones as well. I guess you could say that I am the gender equivalent of a switch in sexual preference terms. Since I can't do what Lazarus Long did, and since I seem to thrive on ambiguity and uncertainty (and to be totally honest, I like messing with peoples heads--my INTJ side raising its hoary head--lol) I find myself blending the two in physical form and function.

In my mind, I am most emphatically not sitting on the fence, or resting in the transit lounge on my way to transition. I am in fact (I think we all are, it's just some are more willing to admit it than others) a study of contradictions. While the dysphoria has been extremely discomfiting at various periods of my life, it has also been the impetus for some of the greatest personal and spiritual growth and development I have experienced. At this point, I would not willingly give it up. All in all, I have been able to live pretty well on the tension between ideals and reality--whether resolved or not. In the final analysis, for me "Life’s journey is not to arrive at the grave safely, in a well preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways, totally worn out, shouting “Holy sh_t, what a ride!”

Just my 50 cents (inflation, dont'cha know! LOL)
I believe in nothing; everything is sacred.
I believe in everything; nothing is sacred. (The Chink, in "Even Cowgirls Get the Blues")
Embrace the chaos.

Offline Shana A

  • Former News Administrator
  • Family
  • *****
  • Posts: 22,997
  • Reputation: +126/-0
  • Gender: Female
Re: Shedding some light
« Reply #11 on: June 08, 2011, 10:20:23 am »
Here's the short version of how I ended up here.

I never fit in with being a boy when I was a child. I was often "mistaken" to be a girl, and then people would apologize when they realized their "mistake". I always wanted to say, "no, it wasn't a mistake, I'm not a boy."

As a young adult I identified for a while as gay and then later bi. In 1993, I realized I was trans and transitioned M2F. Did full time RLT for over a year and came to the conclusion that I was neither of the binary genders. I did not continue with any medical transition, although I occasionally contemplate HRT and transition again.

For many years I thought I was the only one who feels the way I do, then I found this forum. I identified as Androgyne for a while, but mostly I don't consider myself anything except Zythyra. I'm just not a fan of labels or identities, invariably I end up feeling boxed in by them. I think of Androgyne Forum as a safe space for somewhat like minded individuals, and I greatly enjoy the friendships I've made here.

Z
“Be yourself; everyone else is already taken.” Oscar Wilde



espo

Re: Shedding some light
« Reply #12 on: June 08, 2011, 12:27:33 pm »
We are very serious about not having to take ourselves very seriously. It's a coping mechanism to keep us from being a bitchy bunch of whining complainers, which we could do very easily. [ Ativan ]

You are my mentor and I bow to you ole wise one ( in a very nonBinary nonGendered nonSexual inCongurent sort of way )

Offline Jaimey

  • Don't invite him to a party! Someone will die!
  • Family
  • *****
  • Posts: 2,228
  • Reputation: +45/-0
  • You can totally see inside this fish's head!
Re: Shedding some light
« Reply #13 on: June 08, 2011, 05:32:08 pm »
Am I wrong in not caring if anyone is put of by a bit of a joke around?

I certainly hope not...because I'd be wrong too.  >:-)


Anyhoo, I find the Unicorn Forest to be a delightful, open, accepting place.  It makes me love being Androgyne even more.
If curiosity really killed the cat, I'd already be dead. :laugh:

“How far you go in life depends on you being tender with the young, compassionate with the aged, sympathetic with the striving and tolerant of the weak and the strong. Because someday in life you will have been all of these.” GWC

Offline Pica Pica

  • 1 for sorrow, 2 for joy, 3 for a girl, 4 for a boy.
  • Family
  • *****
  • Posts: 5,747
  • Reputation: +82/-0
  • One of the world's beautiful people (obviously).
    • Grub Street Lodger
Re: Shedding some light
« Reply #14 on: June 08, 2011, 05:49:52 pm »
I feel that nowadays I am an androgyne and so don't have to worry about being one.
A world of exciting writing from the eighteenth century and ours.
www.grubstlodger.com

'For the circle may be squared with rising and swelling.' Kit Smart

caseyy

Re: Shedding some light
« Reply #15 on: June 08, 2011, 05:52:24 pm »
Hm, well, I do plan to push forward with transition despite being not entirely male-identified. I started out as FTM identified.

Internally, I don't really identify with either gender. That's mainly because I don't really know what gender is. Someone from the binary could attempt to explain it to me but I wouldn't get it. I don't understand how social concepts are labelled masculine or feminine either. Clothes, behaviours, temperaments, interests. I just got sick of sorting through it, trying to define parts of myself in terms of a binary understanding. I ended up feeling way too fragmented and taking myself way too seriously.

There is a certain amount of dysphoria present in my condition - which I will now fragment despite what I just said! I have Katy Perry worthy tits ( :o ), but I am profoundly disturbed by their existence. I feel so much better when binding and looking flat. I enjoy my clitoris but I would like it to grow larger and have more visible arousal, I never use my vaginal hole. I would like a deeper voice, a less curvy frame...all of which testosterone will do for me. I'm a little concerned about being hairy but that is treatable!

I have also wanted a hysterectomy since I was 12, and will be getting one. Externally I'll appear male, FTM. I don't have an issue with that. I don't have a particular issue with being perceived as female either, it's just the physical discomfort that goes along with the female body that fuels my need to move on with transition. I was hesitant to accept myself as androgyne because I previously believed that to deserve transition, I had to be a binary male and want desperately to be seen as a man. my dysphoria is certainly different from a binary transsexual, without a doubt, but it doesn't mean that it does not exist or that I am any less legitimate. I believe I am transitioning for the same reason as a transsexual: physical discomfort and dysphoria. I just don't share the connection between my body/physical presentation and my identity, I don't share the extreme need to be perceived as one sex or the other.

Quote
I feel that nowadays I am an androgyne and so don't have to worry about being one.

Just saw this as I was about to post. This is perfect, Pica. As FTM I found I was thinking I was going to "become" a man and that my identity was in progress. I always felt stressed and fragmented; trying to "exert" my manhood so people would take me seriously. But it isn't in progress! I already am who I am; the physical is just a complimentary thing really. I'm not going to attach anything further to it.

Offline Pica Pica

  • 1 for sorrow, 2 for joy, 3 for a girl, 4 for a boy.
  • Family
  • *****
  • Posts: 5,747
  • Reputation: +82/-0
  • One of the world's beautiful people (obviously).
    • Grub Street Lodger
Re: Shedding some light
« Reply #16 on: June 08, 2011, 06:04:32 pm »
I ended up feeling way too fragmented and taking myself way too seriously.

I found this. The liberation and unification has been slow but definite.
A world of exciting writing from the eighteenth century and ours.
www.grubstlodger.com

'For the circle may be squared with rising and swelling.' Kit Smart

caseyy

Re: Shedding some light
« Reply #17 on: June 08, 2011, 06:15:18 pm »
It's nice though, isn't it?

I was snapped out of it when I was watching The L Word and I heard Jenny say this to her FTM boyfriend, Max:

Quote
Max: “I’m not okay, I can’t wait for years and years. I’m totally freaking out, I can’t be inside this body!”
Jenny: “And when you get the body you need, who’s gonna live inside of it? Is it gonna be that sweet, kind compassionate person that I met or is it gonna be this motherfucking MONSTER?”

It made me see I placed way too much weight on other people's perceptions of gender. That I was so much more than that. I had lost touch with my original reasons for transitioning, and become really unhealthy, both to myself and others. Easier said than done, my dysphoria was life-threatening at times so I understand the feeling of need very well, but I just got to a point where I couldn't let it consume me any more. I was losing my sweetness, my complexity, my kindness and compassion for others. 

I don't have anything against people who are binary-identified. I do believe that many people legitimately need to transition to live life to the fullest, and sometimes, to live it at all. I don't question that, but it doesn't change the fact that were are so much more than our gender. I think everyone, from all walks of life tend to put too much weight into identity politics, trying to form an identity, when one is already there. Moving towards the future with little emphasis on the beauty of the present.

Offline Sephirah

  • Family
  • *****
  • *
  • Posts: 4,644
  • Reputation: +281/-0
  • Gender: Female
Re: Shedding some light
« Reply #18 on: June 08, 2011, 09:57:59 pm »
Something I've been thinking about and would like to put out there, if I may, is that perhaps part of the difference between binary and non-binary identified people seems to be a difference in emphasis on the way they see themselves.

I don't really know how to explain this very well, so I apologise in advance for the clumsiness in what I'm about to say.

If asked about my gender, I may say "I am female." But the emphasis in that statement would be "I am female". I've noticed that a lot of folks here, if they were to say "I am androgyne." The emphasis in that statement seems to be more "I am androgyne."

For binary folks, the individual is an expression of the gender identity, but for non-binary people the gender identity is an expression of the individual.

Please feel free to correct any of that if it's way off base.

Offline Sephirah

  • Family
  • *****
  • *
  • Posts: 4,644
  • Reputation: +281/-0
  • Gender: Female
Re: Shedding some light
« Reply #19 on: June 08, 2011, 10:16:01 pm »
Slowly but surely getting better, hon. Thank you. :) *hug*

I have to say, a lot of what I've read here has made me re-think, explore and question many of my prior views about a lot of things, and for that I wholeheartedly thank all of you for sharing your thoughts and experiences. :)

Tags: