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Coelophysis

Gender and Gender Identity

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For me, coming to the realisation that I may be gender neutral isn't a snap decision. I've been at odds for years over whether or not I'm female or not female. I'm not at odds with the body I have—some things it does are just more inconvenient than others and I do get the passing thought of life being easier had I been born with male genitalia, and I'm not talking about sexuality. Mentally? I'm not feminine, I'm not girly. I've never felt like I belonged in the stereotypical description of a woman. Heck, what does it even mean to be a woman? To be feminine? I don't get it and I don't think I ever will.

 

Then there's the stereotypes associated with women. The idea of wearing make up or putting on distinctly feminine clothes makes me cringe, you couldn't pay me to wear them now. Maybe that makes me counter-stereotypical, or maybe I'm just confused and went with the label that best explained how I feel. I'm not out to take away from other peoples experiences or to criticise their own values on gender identity. For me, it's a relief knowing there's a label for how I experience the world, for how I act, for how I identify. My self esteem and dignity have been shot to bits for years, for an unrelated reason, but it's impacted on how I view myself as a person. I've felt as if I was strange, that nobody would like me because of my quirks. Any time I've built a friendship with someone, I let it drift because I feel if they knew me knew me, they'd hate me.

 

I've got heaps of insecurities and this has been one of them that has consistently surfaced over the years. Never in a dramatic way, nothing in such a fashion that I felt extreme mental stress over. It's just been there, niggling, questioning, like a scab that needs to be picked. It's apparent to me that I don't fit the box labeled with feminine/womanly and maybe it's wrong of me to even try to apply a label to myself. However, just being able to feel like I belong in a category—even if I never tell anyone I personally know—is like a breath of fresh air.

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No offense to anybody who replied to my comment, but I'm out. This topic just leaves a bad taste in my mouth, and pisses me off more than I realized.

 

I just don't want anybody waiting around for a reply from me.

 

EDIT:

I'm not trying to be rude and not reply. I knew this topic gave me a bit of a headache and pushed all the wrong buttons, but considering I haven't discussed "gender identity" with anybody in quite some time, I kinda forgot how infuriated it made me feel.

 

I don't really want to snap at anybody on the forums, or make somebody believe I'm a spiteful person who hates a certain group of people, because I don't. Usually people seem to take what I say the wrong way, maybe I'm just not that great at interpreting what I think into words.

 

Or maybe people are just sensitive and I'm more insensitive than them, idk.

 

Either way, that's why I'm not returning to this thread.

Personally I just really don't understand what your opinion on the matter is. At all. You kinda brushed over something that irritated you without stating *what* did and instead went on about how much it irritates you.

 

What's wrong with people identifying themselves? O.o Or is that not what you were saying? Is it when it becomes a fad? Is that what you meant?

 

What are you saying? Someone misunderstood you and you didn't clear up anything for them.

 

I suppose it's a moot point now, since it doesn't seem you want to come back here and I guess the topic *in general* ticks you off...? (still not sure WHAT about it ticks you off, though)

 

As for me, I'm cisgender. I have a typical female body and feel like, well, a female. Maybe not super strongly (not "girly", although I actually hate that there's such a segregation of the genders anyway that calls for some things to be "girly" and others "masculine"), but I'm very comfortable with calling myself a female.

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So is calling them preferred pronouns/etc. really going to hurt things, though? Does that demean the identity? No, they shouldn't be jerks, but honestly, I know a lot more people afraid to come out, a lot more people who don't even know the terms, than I do people who wear them like a fashion statement.

No--but letting them spread the idea that any time you want to get rid of the issues you have with your gender you can just change your mind and decide on a new gender does hurt things.

 

I have seen the stories of trans people who have parents flat-out tell them "No, no, you don't need to transition! Just chose to stop being trans, look, these kids online did!" because of the "special snowflake" people. Parents who were honestly just trying to learn more so they could understand their kid, stumbling across trolls and "special snowflakes" who then thought their own kid just needed to stop pretending because they didn't understand that it's not just as simple as waking up one day and going "Okay, I'm bored of this gender now, I'll pick a different one this week!"

 

Anybody who's using something important that shouldn't be treated lightly--like sexuality, or gender, or culture, or mental illness--as a fashion statement is a problem.

 

Like I said, some of them are obviously trolls, and they should be treated as such. But, to me, to be legit trolling you have to be trying to get negative attention--and I've seen the ones who aren't trying to stir up trouble, they just want to be popular. Either way, though, it's problematic. Because it can influence the minds of those who don't know much about gender in a way that pushes them further into transphobia.

 

It's hard to put into words, but there is a distinct feeling when somebody's just being a "special snowflake" (somewhat different than a troll) and somebody who's trying to figure out their identity.

 

But both trolls and people who want to use things they should't as fashion accessories for quick popularity points are both hurtful to the dispelling of transphobia and wider understanding and acceptance, which in turn is a problem if we ever want to de-default being cisgender so people are more comfortable coming out (or, hell, not needing to if gender gets to the point of not being assumed).

 

 

TBH, it's going to depend on where you frequent, and the people you tend to associate with/keep tabs on/etc. Some people will barely see it, others will see it more often.

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Personally I don't really care, even if they are "special snowflake" people. I don't care if they want to constantly change gender. But then, I really don't care what gender someone is in general, so long as I know how they want to be called. I'm all for people discovering themselves and changing their labels until they find what fits right, even if it's only a "fad". They'll just move on when the next trend starts and maybe then when they aren't focused on their gender identity being a fad, they'll actually think on it more seriously and find out what they think they are.

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I have seen the stories of trans people who have parents flat-out tell them "No, no, you don't need to transition!  Just chose to stop being trans, look, these kids online did!" because of the "special snowflake" people.

That is transphobia and fault of that crappery is on the parents, not on other kids. That is the parents being jerks because they are transphobic, that is not on the other kids.

 

Because it can influence the minds of those who don't know much about gender in a way that pushes them further into transphobia.

 

That is their fault for being ignorant and transphobic, that is not on other kids. I can't say this enough. I will not force people to act one way so they will be "accepted" by transphobic jerks. Transphobia is the fault of people who are transphobic.

 

Is it hard to shake because of societal teachings? Yes, but not impossible, certainly not impossible to put in a little effort to be accepting.

 

Why should we force people to stick to one label? Sexuality and gender can be fluid. It can most definitely be confusing. My senior year of HS I came out as panromantic and for the past two and a half years I've wondered if I'm aromantic or gray-romantic or something. I don't want to come out to anyone now because I don't want to get told that I just don't know what I am (I don't! that doesn't mean I can't play around with identities that may fit!), that I'm just lying, that I'm being 'disrespectful' to "actual queer people", that 'then why did you come out as pan???' etc. It is possible for sexuality and gender to be fluid and it is definitely possible for it to confuse people and for people to learn more about themselves and more about different labels as time goes on.

 

I am much more worried about kids not being comfortable enough to come out, to question their identity and themselves, to experiment than I am about kids who "too easily" go through labels loudly and proudly, even if some of those are trolling. I am much more worried about nonbinary kids being shoved back into the closet and ignored and have transphobia blamed on them because "they aren't the right kind of trans" than I am about some jerks trying to make fun of nonbinary people by coming out as nonbinary. Let people take them seriously. Let the joke wear off when they realize nobody is laughing with them. Let them fall on their face when we make it easier for nonbinary kids to come out and they realize that they aren't so powerful a majority after all. Trying to punish 'trolls' by forcing nonbinary kids who don't fit your standard of nonbinary back into the closet is not good enough for me. I'd rather deal with a few trolls than do that to those kids.

Edited by SockPuppet Strangler

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That is transphobia and fault of that crappery is on the parents, not on other kids. That is the parents being jerks because they are transphobic, that is not on the other kids.

It is transphobia, but it's, in this case, born of ignorance rather than malice. Both suck, but malicious transphobia is worse since it's intentional and ignorant transphobia may be able to be educated away.

 

There was one case in particular posted by a trans person themselves in which their parent did try to take the initiative to try to find more people like their child, because they wanted to learn. They sadly did stumble across people on forums and such trolling and those who were being "special snowflakes" and, instead of coming across the information they needed to better understand what their child was telling them came across the idea that their kid just needed to change their mind and stop being trans.

 

That is their fault for being ignorant and transphobic, that is not on other kids. I can't say this enough. I will not force people to act one way so they will be "accepted" by transphobic jerks. Transphobia is the fault of people who are transphobic.

You can say it's not the fault of the kids who are using gender as a fashion accessory all you like, but that doesn't undo the hurt and tears of the person who was told "No, no, you don't need to transition. Just stop being trans, this other person did it!"

 

Why should we force people to stick to one label? Sexuality and gender can be fluid. It can most definitely be confusing.

 

I never said you should. At all. They can and are fluid for many people. The problem is not people who have shifting identities or who are finding new labels that better explain them.

 

The problem is people who are hijacking a label NOT because it in any way could describe them but because they want to be "cool".

 

My senior year of HS I came out as panromantic and for the past two and a half years I've wondered if I'm aromantic or gray-romantic or something. I don't want to come out to anyone now because I don't want to get told that I just don't know what I am (I don't! that doesn't mean I can't play around with identities that may fit!), that I'm just lying, that I'm being 'disrespectful' to "actual queer people", that 'then why did you come out as pan???' etc. It is possible for sexuality and gender to be fluid and it is definitely possible for it to confuse people and for people to learn more about themselves and more about different labels as time goes on.

 

Again, I understand that. But allowing the spread of the idea that an identity can be changed on a whim will not help that. What it will do is promote the idea that "you can stop having problems when you want to, just shut up and choose to be normal already". I have seen this happen.

 

I am much more worried about kids not being comfortable enough to come out, to question their identity and themselves, to experiment than I am about kids who "too easily" go through labels loudly and proudly, even if some of those are trolling.

 

There is a difference between a naturally shifting identity, experimenting to find the right label, and just deciding you want to change gender for kicks. The last one is a problem that, in fact, negatively impacts the acceptance of the first two. Gender, generally, is not a choice from what I can tell from people I've talked to. Gender that can naturally shift because flux is natural is NOT the same as waking up one day and going "lolk I think I'll be a different gender now". Reinforcing the idea that this shift is a conscious choice on the part of all people reinforces the idea that trans people are just choosing to be different, and that anytime they want they can chose to be cis instead. Again, I have seen people who develop this attitude as a result of the trolls and the "special snowflakes".

 

I am much more worried about nonbinary kids being shoved back into the closet and ignored and have transphobia blamed on them because "they aren't the right kind of trans" than I am about some jerks trying to make fun of nonbinary people by coming out as nonbinary.

 

See, to me, the idea that there is a right and wrong kind of trans is made worse by the idea that you can chose what kind of trans you are. I did not chose my gender. Nor has anybody I've actually spoken to. It's not about people trying to make fun of nonbinary people. It's about people not understanding the problems of transphobia and deciding that gender is a fun cute toy to play with. These are people who aren't trying to make fun of people--they honestly don't realize that transphobia is a serious problem and that you don't just get to pick your gender from day to day.

 

Let people take them seriously. Let the joke wear off when they realize nobody is laughing with them.  Let them fall on their face when we make it easier for nonbinary kids to come out and they realize that they aren't so powerful a majority after all.

 

Except, as I said, it's not a joke. They don't fall on their face. They just adopt a new identity and offend a new group of people. They don't care, they'll just take whatever identiy they think will make them special, be it race, religion, sexuality, gender, or culture.

 

Trying to punish 'trolls' by forcing nonbinary kids who don't fit your standard of nonbinary back into the closet is not good enough for me. I'd rather deal with a few trolls than do that to those kids.

 

Except it's usually pretty obvious when somebody is experimenting and somebody is just trying to be "cool". If it's not obvious, don't say anything, since it could be a confused kid. But if it is call them out.

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There will *always* be some jerk like that, though. Thankfully, like with most fads, things will die down and I think most will vanish, having moved to the next shiny thing.

 

Yes they make it a problem but that's why you *ignore* them. If someone stumbles across those kinds of people trying to do *research* clearly they're looking in the wrong areas, unfortunately. I'm not sure why they'd choose a forum (even if it IS one specifically for that sort of thing) over better sources with all the answers they need.

 

So, if you happen to see these people doing it "just for kicks"...just ignore them. Let them peter out. If you meet others who need more information from more reputable sources, send them those links. Post those links in all your profiles, even, as a little list of references or things you find interesting (I sometimes do this. I like putting a lot of useful/interesting sources in profiles or signatures or whatnot for people to click at their leisure or at least have for quick reference for me if I don't feel like cluttering up bookmarks).

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Does it really matter? So someone identifies as something one week, hears some alternatives, and thinks they may actually identify as something else. THE HORRORS

 

But no, really, I'd really appreciate it if we didn't demonize people, especially younger folk, who are just figuring out who they are just because they don't act like you want them to. You demonize every questioning and confused people, intent on showing that some people out there are "faking", and all you manage to do is hurt people who are "genuinely" confused or questioning and make it harder for them to come out.

This is what I was getting at, or would have gotten at had the discussion lasted longer. Deciding to give people the benefit of the doubt when it comes to this sort of thing is something I've only been able to do after years of experience, wasted time and energy, and a great deal of mellowing out. I used to agree with KageSora's stance, but after a while I realized there just doesn't seem to be any good that comes from attempting to weed out the perceived bandwagoners from the 'legitimately' queer/trans/etc. More on that in my response to the quote after next though...

 

 

I've never felt like I belonged in the stereotypical description of a woman. Heck, what does it even mean to be a woman? To be feminine? I don't get it and I don't think I ever will.

These are the questions that have haunted me for life, so I feel you! I finally decided to call myself nongendered because what "female/male" apparently means not only doesn't fit me, but I don't even really understand those terms in the way most people seem to, and if I can't wrap my head around it then it probably isn't a part of my identity. /nonbinary highfive wink.gif It's never felt right to me for my body to have female sex characteristics either, but I suppose that's a subject for another post.

 

 

No--but letting them spread the idea that any time you want to get rid of the issues you have with your gender you can just change your mind and decide on a new gender does hurt things.

 

I have seen the stories of trans people who have parents flat-out tell them "No, no, you don't need to transition! Just chose to stop being trans, look, these kids online did!" because of the "special snowflake" people. Parents who were honestly just trying to learn more so they could understand their kid, stumbling across trolls and "special snowflakes" who then thought their own kid just needed to stop pretending because they didn't understand that it's not just as simple as waking up one day and going "Okay, I'm bored of this gender now, I'll pick a different one this week!"

 

Anybody who's using something important that shouldn't be treated lightly--like sexuality, or gender, or culture, or mental illness--as a fashion statement is a problem.

 

Like I said, some of them are obviously trolls, and they should be treated as such. But, to me, to be legit trolling you have to be trying to get negative attention--and I've seen the ones who aren't trying to stir up trouble, they just want to be popular. Either way, though, it's problematic. Because it can influence the minds of those who don't know much about gender in a way that pushes them further into transphobia.

 

It's hard to put into words, but there is a distinct feeling when somebody's just being a "special snowflake" (somewhat different than a troll) and somebody who's trying to figure out their identity.

 

But both trolls and people who want to use things they should't as fashion accessories for quick popularity points are both hurtful to the dispelling of transphobia and wider understanding and acceptance, which in turn is a problem if we ever want to de-default being cisgender so people are more comfortable coming out (or, hell, not needing to if gender gets to the point of not being assumed).

Like Socky said, transphobia, cissexism and the like are not the fault of the people you're talking about. It's our culture and those who constantly attempt to halt progress in this area that are to blame. It's also not nearly as cut and dry a distinction between these two types of people as you are saying. Some of the people who change identities like they change their clothes may very well be doing so because they can't figure out which identity suits them, they may actually be disguising their legitimate search for a suitable identity by excusing it as just trying to fit in or being trendy.

 

Yes, most of us probably have run across the rare person who adopts real issues and causes insincerely, but I fear that the kneejerk anger and scorn directed at anyone who's perceived as being that kind of person, whether they truly act/think that way or not, will unnecessarily silence people who need their voices heard. There is no way to tell for sure what's going on inside another person's head or in their life. And as we get older it's so easy to forget what it was like to be young and in school, faced with the constant peer pressure and clique mentality that is rampant there, and how much more safe it can feel to give into that. When you're that age, especially if you ARE a queer/trans kid, it can be safer and less stressful to merely pretend you're experimenting with these labels for popularity's sake, than to admit that you're genuinely questioning your identity.

 

I never said you should. At all. They can and are fluid for many people. The problem is not people who have shifting identities or who are finding new labels that better explain them.

 

The problem is people who are hijacking a label NOT because it in any way could describe them but because they want to be "cool".

Again though, making the determination of who is trans/queer and who is only "hijacking" those lables is extremely difficult, if not impossible, and you are never going to be able to stop trolls from doing what they do. It makes much more sense for people to take responsibility for educating themselves, and for the trans/queer people that are willing and able to help spread education and awareness to do so.

 

There is a difference between a naturally shifting identity, experimenting to find the right label, and just deciding you want to change gender for kicks. The last one is a problem that, in fact, negatively impacts the acceptance of the first two. Gender, generally, is not a choice from what I can tell from people I've talked to. Gender that can naturally shift because flux is natural is NOT the same as waking up one day and going "lolk I think I'll be a different gender now". Reinforcing the idea that this shift is a conscious choice on the part of all people reinforces the idea that trans people are just choosing to be different, and that anytime they want they can chose to be cis instead. Again, I have seen people who develop this attitude as a result of the trolls and the "special snowflakes".

 

See, to me, the idea that there is a right and wrong kind of trans is made worse by the idea that you can chose what kind of trans you are. I did not chose my gender. Nor has anybody I've actually spoken to. It's not about people trying to make fun of nonbinary people. It's about people not understanding the problems of transphobia and deciding that gender is a fun cute toy to play with. These are people who aren't trying to make fun of people--they honestly don't realize that transphobia is a serious problem and that you don't just get to pick your gender from day to day.

I think this is getting to be a semantics issue more than anything else. No, no one wakes up and decides what gender they want to be that day, but they can decide what gender identity to apply to themself from day to day, or even hour to hour. Because gender is such an abstract concept and is tied in so heavily with what our cultures dictate to be masculine or feminine behaviors, dress, manner of speaking, etc. it's impossible to pin down one set definition of any gender identity. One person's idea of what it means to identify as female may differ greatly from another person's. With so little agreed-upon, universal meaning or definitions, I don't think it's of much use to call people out if they choose to change the label they apply to themself so often. I'm also not sure there are as many benefits for 'falsely' identifying as trans/queer as you say there are. Adopting a label that makes you a target for ridicule, hatred, potential harassment and assault seems counterproductive to the desire to be perceived as cool, no?

 

General disclaimer: I'm feeling sick and very tired at the moment, so if I haven't expressed myself well on any of the above topics, let me know or ask me to clarify something and I will.

 

One last thing - there was mention of people who claim to have mental illnesses when in reality they do not have those conditions. I think this is a totally separate issue for several reasons, but that's a topic for another thread. I'd love to discuss that too but am not sure what thread it would fit under, if there even is one...

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Mentally? I'm not feminine, I'm not girly. I've never felt like I belonged in the stereotypical description of a woman.

 

I feel I should reiterate: what you like and what you behave like does *not* make a person one gender or another.

 

Me? Dedicated to tech and hard sciences, mostly wearing jeans and T-shirts, playing FPS/RTS games on computer, makeup does not belong in my arsenal to the point that I don't own a single set of it, played with cars and legos and built houses when child, can name all parts of a gun or a car, but will only use one setting on the washing machine, enjoying chopping logs more than cooking or, forbid it, cleaning the house... Also strictly a cis-female. rolleyes.gif

 

(I have long hair, granted ... but then again, I like the look of long hair in general. On men *especially*.)

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While I've never met or even really seen someone who was faking a gender identity for popularity (and I'm cis), to me, it doesn't seem like the worst thing in the world. Absolutely, if they're spreading misinformation or excluding trans people from the spaces and resources they need, they need to be called out and stopped. But it seems like you can call out the problematic behaviors without needing to interrogate their identities. If you could absolutely spot who's faking and who isn't, then it might be worth trying to encourage them not to, but if you try... you're very likely to hurt someone who really is trans.

 

I also feel like encouraging people (especially teens) to question their gender identity isn't such a bad thing. Normalizing the questioning and exploring phase, even if you realize that you identify as cis, can make questioning and exploring easier for people who aren't cis, too. Although I do see the danger of "it's just a phase"... I still feel like the people who say that generally aren't swayed much by reality anyways.

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I get that it's normal for a woman or female to act masculine sometimes, just as it's normal for a man or male to act feminine. Right, I'm going to throw those terms out of the window for now, they're bugging me. It's normal for a woman or female to tend towards the more physical and practical tasks, just as it's normal for a man or male to tend towards sensitivity and gentleness. That's great and today's society is finally getting out of the stone ages to be accepting of that.

 

But I, personally, do not feel like a woman. I'm inconvenienced by my body, in that my chest gets in the way when I want to look under things and having to sit down to urinate is sometimes annoying, but I don't hate it. Not any more. That hate derived from physical illness, and I've become more accepting of how my body functions now. It's not perfect, but it's my body. There is no it feels wrong or it feels right, only it's broken, yet again that ties in with physical illness.

 

I don't know what else to say about the matter. 90% of my wardrobe is male clothing. My room is a storage for books, computer parts, power tools and unused game consoles. The only items distinctly feminine are well... feminine toiletries for that time of the month, underwear and bras. Like I said before, I'm not trying to take away from how anyone else identifies. I'm trying to discover myself. My teen years were spent learning how to not let depression and PTSD swallow my self esteem and dignity whole. I had a lot of things going on back then, gender identity wasn't a major concern. Maybe 22 is a bit late to start openly questioning, if there's even a time limit on this sort of thing. Maybe it isn't.

 

Thanks Koroshiya-Ichi and Shienvien, I appreciate both of you sharing your viewpoints.

 

Koroshiya-Ichi: While I might never know what it feels like to not feel right in a body with female sex characteristics, I do know what it feels like to be in a broken body. It sucks and I wouldn't wish it on anyone.

 

Shienvien: You're an awesome person for enjoying those things, and I'll admit long hair does look good on both men and women. Not on me though, anything longer than my fingers is half a finger too long.

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There will *always* be some jerk like that, though. Thankfully, like with most fads, things will die down and I think most will vanish, having moved to the next shiny thing.

"There will always be somebody who's crappy like that" is not an excuse to overlook problematic behavior when you see it, though.

 

Yes they make it a problem but that's why you *ignore* them. If someone stumbles across those kinds of people trying to do *research* clearly they're looking in the wrong areas, unfortunately. I'm not sure why they'd choose a forum (even if it IS one specifically for that sort of thing) over better sources with all the answers they need.

Ignoring a problem doesn't make it go away.

 

It's simple--google results don't magically filter out unsound sources, and sometimes you end up looking at a bunch of ones that may not be totally reliable simply because they're the first ones that came up. Not everybody can easily determine "Oh, no, this isn't terribly reliable".

 

So, if you happen to see these people doing it "just for kicks"...just ignore them. Let them peter out. If you meet others who need more information from more reputable sources, send them those links. Post those links in all your profiles, even, as a little list of references or things you find interesting (I sometimes do this. I like putting a lot of useful/interesting sources in profiles or signatures or whatnot for people to click at their leisure or at least have for quick reference for me if I don't feel like cluttering up bookmarks).

 

Again, ignoring problematic and harmful behavior instead of calling it out and warning people about the problem doesn't make the problem go away. The only way it does is if they are doing something that only really generates attention by being offensive. The problem is a lot of attention and popularity these people get? It's not derived from being problematic. It's because, sadly, it does have a tendency to be seen as "cool" by certain crowds. So taking away the negative attention still leaves them with the positive that they were looking for, so they don't just stop.

 

This is what I was getting at, or would have gotten at had the discussion lasted longer. Deciding to give people the benefit of the doubt when it comes to this sort of thing is something I've only been able to do after years of experience, wasted time and energy, and a great deal of mellowing out. I used to agree with KageSora's stance, but after a while I realized there just doesn't seem to be any good that comes from attempting to weed out the perceived bandwagoners from the 'legitimately' queer/trans/etc. More on that in my response to the quote after next though...

I'm the opposite--I used to be all about just accepting everybody. But I've seen enough personal stories shared of people who have been directly hurt because of these people to just say that everybody should be allowed to do their own thing at this time. Maybe down the line when transphobia isn't much of a problem anymore (if we can ever get to that point) it'll be just fine. But when we have people all too ready to point to literally anything they can as a reason to say "No no, just stop being trans, other people did it!"? No, it's a problem.

 

Like Socky said, transphobia, cissexism and the like are not the fault of the people you're talking about. It's our culture and those who constantly attempt to halt progress in this area that are to blame. It's also not nearly as cut and dry a distinction between these two types of people as you are saying. Some of the people who change identities like they change their clothes may very well be doing so because they can't figure out which identity suits them, they may actually be disguising their legitimate search for a suitable identity by excusing it as just trying to fit in or being trendy.

 

They aren't helping things, either, though. And, I'll be honest--a person can be a part of a group and still engage in problematic behaviors. Maybe I'm an ass, but I'm of the idea that being part of a group doesn't erase the problems surrounding certain behaviors.

 

Yes, most of us probably have run across the rare person who adopts real issues and causes insincerely, but I fear that the kneejerk anger and scorn directed at anyone who's perceived as being that kind of person, whether they truly act/think that way or not, will unnecessarily silence people who need their voices heard.

 

Who say's it's a kneejerk reaction, though? Not something born of watching them and talking to them to get a better understanding of what's up with their situation? The kinds of people who are a problem, from what I've seen when I've encountered them myself or seen the fallout from others, is that they 100% refuse to do any actual research, often work off stereotypes and misconceptions, and reject any offers of advice or sources of more information given to them. They don't want information, they don't want anything that might possibly suggest they aren't whatever identity they've decided on at that time. They don't want to help a cause for real they just want to share their opinions but pass them off as indisputable fact.

 

There is no way to tell for sure what's going on inside another person's head or in their life. And as we get older it's so easy to forget what it was like to be young and in school, faced with the constant peer pressure and clique mentality that is rampant there, and how much more safe it can feel to give into that. When you're that age, especially if you ARE a queer/trans kid, it can be safer and less stressful to merely pretend you're experimenting with these labels for popularity's sake, than to admit that you're genuinely questioning your identity.

 

Again, maybe I'm an ass but I'm not going to just give people a pass on behavior that I have seen cause problems simply because it's safer and easier.

 

Honestly, people who decide to just change labels every week with no research at all to try to find their identity are one of the reasons that you end up with "gatekeeprs" deciding what "trans enough" means. I've talked to people like that, and multiple of them cite the people who just randomly pick a label out of a hat and apply it and change it when they're bored of it as a reason they think there needs to be a more narrow standard definition and that if you fall outside it you're excluded.

 

I think this is getting to be a semantics issue more than anything else. No, no one wakes up and decides what gender they want to be that day, but they can decide what gender identity to apply to themself from day to day, or even hour to hour. Because gender is such an abstract concept and is tied in so heavily with what our cultures dictate to be masculine or feminine behaviors, dress, manner of speaking, etc. it's impossible to pin down one set definition of any gender identity. One person's idea of what it means to identify as female may differ greatly from another person's. With so little agreed-upon, universal meaning or definitions, I don't think it's of much use to call people out if they choose to change the label they apply to themself so often.

 

Possibly, but I've seen the people who insist that gender--not the label but gender itself--is something they can choose.

 

There may also be an issue since people don't grasp the concept of gender expression not being one and the same as gender identity. People don't always express themselves--via clothing, mannerisms, etc.--in a way that matches their assigned sex, or even their actual gender identity.

 

I'm also not sure there are as many benefits for 'falsely' identifying as trans/queer as you say there are. Adopting a label that makes you a target for ridicule, hatred, potential harassment and assault seems counterproductive to the desire to be perceived as cool, no?

That's one of the reasons it's a problem. If they're not trans and pretending, then when they start getting bothered all they have to do is stop pretending and they stop being bothered. They're not suffering from being put back in the closet. They can just go on about their lives.

 

Somebody who is actually trans can't just magically go "back" to being cis and stopping the problems. They may be able to stop the harassment but they can't make themselves feel comfortable pretending to be cisgender.

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I'm genderfluid personally, sometimes I feel like a girl and sometimes I feel like I don't have a gender at all, but more often than not it's somewhere in-between there. Never feel male, though.

Sometimes I kinda vaguely feel like my body isn't right (especially in the top area) when I'm feelin more agender but normally it's not particularly intense besides a few times when it's gotten p bad

 

Personally I'm not a huge fan of people demonizing what are largely young kids tryin to figure themselves out, if somebody wants to try a label for awhile to see if it fits them better than what they've been goin with and makes them feel better about how they identify just leave em alone, if it doesn't fit em and they try somethin else instead later that's their business tbh, cis people not taking kids like that seriously (or arbitrarily deciding to take trans people in general less seriously because of them) is the fault of the cis people not the nb kids trying out neopronouns who everybody's throwin under the bus to try to make themselves look better, and said nb kids shouldn't be gettin blamed for cis people being censorkip.gif and using them as an "excuse" to be disgustingly transphobic (especially since not taking those nb kids seriously in the first place is transphobic towards them already) :N

Edited by Pika_Oi

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It's simple--google results don't magically filter out unsound sources, and sometimes you end up looking at a bunch of ones that may not be totally reliable simply because they're the first ones that came up.  Not everybody can easily determine "Oh, no, this isn't terribly reliable".

 

I completely believe you when you say that you've heard of parents reading about people who "stopped being trans" and tell their trans child that they need to stop being trans as well. However, parents who decide that their child needs to "stop being trans" just because of a few stories they read on the internet were already transphobic to begin with. They, either consciously or subconsciously, were looking for an excuse to tell their child to "stop being trans". A truly accepting or non-biased parent would have read those stories and then continued to look up information about being trans from all kinds of internet sites until they felt that they had a good understanding of what being trans meant for their child. A transphobic parent is looking for information to persuade their child to "stop being trans" and will stop searching once they've found the sort of information they're looking for; a non-transphobic parent is doing research about being trans and will look at information from a variety of sources. To draw a comparison, let's say a queer child has just come out to their parent. The parent then goes on the internet, finds a website on ex-gay therapy, shows it to their child, and then tells them that they need to just choose to not be queer. I think it'd be safe to conclude that the parent is homophobic. That doesn't mean that we should blame the people who went through ex-gay therapy and left positive testimonials and endorsements on the website. They weren't trying to be queer because it's cool; they are victims of a homophobic society. Most of the stories on the internet about trans people who chose to not be trans are the same way. Trans people who were forced back into the closet and now claim that they're cis are still trans people, even if they've allowed others to convince them that they aren't really trans. And honestly, there aren't many people out there who are claiming to be trans because they think it makes them look cool. The incredibly high rates of violence against trans people (I think the latest statistic is that 1 out of 8 trans WoC is murdered) are going to scare off most people who are looking for the newest social trend.

 

 

Again, maybe I'm an ass but I'm not going to just give people a pass on behavior that I have seen cause problems simply because it's safer and easier.

 

Honestly, people who decide to just change labels every week with no research at all to try to find their identity are one of the reasons that you end up with "gatekeeprs" deciding what "trans enough" means.  I've talked to people like that, and multiple of them cite the people who just randomly pick a label out of a hat and apply it and change it when they're bored of it as a reason they think there needs to be a more narrow standard definition and that if you fall outside it you're excluded.

 

Honestly? Accusing trans people who change their labels and/or pronouns often without doing research of not being trans makes you a gatekeeper as well. You are attempting to tell people that they aren't really trans without knowing a single censorkip.gif thing about them. If you encounter people using a problematic term (i.e. white trans people identifying as two-spirit) then you should explain to them why they should choose a different label (two-spirit is a term from Native American culture and it's considered cultural appropriation for a white person to use it, why not think about identifying as bi-gender or gender fluid instead?) but you should NEVER be telling people that they are only trying to be trans to be part of the newest social trend. Everyone has different ways of coping with difficult realizations about themselves and constantly changing their identities may be a coping method for a trans person who doesn't want to admit that they are trans and therefore doesn't want to do any research. Remember, you do not get to dictate a person's life choices and you do not get to tell a person how to self identify.

Edited by F.ury

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Just reading through all this... It's very confusing.

 

 

I just hope that people that flip flop from week to week have thick skins and aren't easily offended. If someone doesn't know who or what they are from week to week, nobody else does either and if they're confused, imagine how confused the rest of the world is.

 

Honestly, I hope I never run into someone like that in RL. I have nothing against anyone. Be who and what you want. Live and let live. But I don't want to be placed in a position where I don't know how to address someone then get slapped down for being rude. That is a quagmire of confusion and embarrassment that I really don't ever want to have to deal with.

 

And I thought the term 'queer' was derogatory?

 

ignoring problematic and harmful behavior instead of calling it out

 

Kaga, didn't you know? Calling out bad behavior..any bad behavior... when you see it isn't allowed in this world today. You're not allowed to tell anyone that they're wrong either. It's considered rude and smacks of insensitivity.

Edited by MedievalMystic

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I have a question for the thread:

 

That being... I have come to an interesting conclusion. I have always identified myself as female because that is what my body is and that was easiest. Truth is, though, I have nevr felt terribly STRONGLY about my femininity and I can just as easily do 'ungirly' things as traditionally 'girly'. In fact, if someone adressed me as male, I would probably be more likely to LAUGH about it than get offended or 'triggered' or whatever.

 

Is this even a thing?

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Being more or less 'girly' has no real bearing on your gender imo

 

And I see no reason why you'd be upset by someone referring to you as male, under most circumstances I'd find that amusing

 

I can't tell you anything for certain, because I'm not you, but everything you say sounds perfectly 'normal' for a cis female

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Being more or less 'girly' has no real bearing on your gender imo

 

And I see no reason why you'd be upset by someone referring to you as male, under most circumstances I'd find that amusing

 

I can't tell you anything for certain, because I'm not you, but everything you say sounds perfectly 'normal' for a cis female

I guess some people just naturally feel mor eor less strnagly abotu their gender than others.

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Silverswift: so-called "femininity" has nothing to do with gender. There are plenty of women, cis or not, who do stereotypically masculine things, and vice versa. And plenty of trans people don't experience dysphoria when referred to with the wrong pronoun. Gender is a label you decide for yourself. My situation is pretty similar to yours actually (I'm dfab and back when I thought I was cis I'd not disclose my gender to people and snicker when they guessed wrong), and I decided calling myself nonbinary/agender made me feel better about things, so that's what I'm going with now. If you're curious maybe search up some resources or experiment with pronouns to see what makes you feel good about yourself? Gender is a super important thing to some people but that doesn't mean people who don't care as much are automatically cis.

 

(Also hello gender thread I am super intimidated by the whole truscum discussion going on but yes triple A math nerd reporting in)

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And I thought the term 'queer' was derogatory?

As someone who is queer (and is involved with multiple queer and trans organizations on campus), I can tell you that it's not considered a derogatory term anymore (at least not by the most recent generation). Queer is used by many people in place of LGBT because the term LGBT leaves out a lot of orientations and lumps trans (gender identity) in with different sexual orientations. This often leads to trans people and trans issues being overlooked (hence sayings like "the T is not silent") in favor of queer issues, especially the issues of cis white gay men. There are still some LGBT people, generally middle aged or older, who remember queer being used as a slur and are uncomfortable using that term to refer to themselves. Basically, queer is a term that's being reclaimed by non heterosexual people and it's not a slur anymore. Nowadays, when LGBT people are teased/bullied/insulted, "gay" is used as an insult a lot more often than "queer" is and there's still a massive group of people who identify as gay.

Edited by F.ury

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As someone who is queer (and is involved with multiple queer and trans organizations on campus), I can tell you that it's not considered a derogatory term anymore (at least not by the most recent generation). Queer is used by many people in place of LGBT because the term LGBT leaves out a lot of orientations and lumps trans (gender identity) in with different sexual orientations. This often leads to trans people and trans issues being overlooked (hence sayings like "the T is not silent") in favor of queer issues, especially the issues of cis white gay men. There are still some LGBT people, generally middle aged or older, who remember queer being used as a slur and are uncomfortable using that term to refer to themselves. Basically, queer is a term that's being reclaimed by non heterosexual people and it's not a slur anymore. Nowadays, when LGBT people are teased/bullied/insulted, "gay" is used as an insult a lot more often than "queer" is and there's still a massive group of people who identify as gay.

Excellent point by F.ury, here.

 

Words can and DO change meanings and connotations.

 

If I recall the word 'gay' didn't used to refer to homosexuals, either.

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I guess some people just naturally feel mor eor less strnagly abotu their gender than others.

This is true. All I was saying is that how feminine you are doesn't really matter to your gender

 

I will admit that I act more feminine now, partially because I feel more comfortable with just liking or doing whatever now, and partially as a coping mechanism

 

I generally go from the standpoint that your gender matches your sex unless you feel strongly that it doesn't. But again I can't make decisions for you, I just happen to know how hard it is and feel it's not a decision to be made on just a feeling here or there

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This is true. All I was saying is that how feminine you are doesn't really matter to your gender

 

I will admit that I act more feminine now, partially because I feel more comfortable with just liking or doing whatever now, and partially as a coping mechanism

 

I generally go from the standpoint that your gender matches your sex unless you feel strongly that it doesn't. But again I can't make decisions for you, I just happen to know how hard it is and feel it's not a decision to be made on just a feeling here or there

Why can't people just indentify as whatever the hell they want? It's not your place to say how someone needs to feel to indentify as a certain gender. Gender indentity is a completely personal decision and you have no say in it whatsoever

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I can't make a decision, but I am allowed to advise. And, being an extremely distrusting person, my advice will always be that if you aren't completely certain of something, you should assume the answer is no

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Actually, MWs advice makes perfect sense to me... if you feel at home in your own skin, why worry about it?

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