(if you want to skip the rambling and get down to the basic gist of this post, the last paragraph is the important question, but i would also appreciate any thoughts you may have about gender identity or the following experiences. also, i’m really really sleepy, so bear with me)
i’ve never really thought to question my cis-ness until maybe over a year ago. i mean, i like passing as female and being “feminine” some of the time, but other times femininity feels like it doesn’t fit right and i feel like being more “masculine” in my dress and stance and posture and speech and taking up as much space as possible, and since becoming aware of how i can purposefully emphasize my masculinity, there have been multiple times in which i’ve been asked if i’m a boy or girl — mostly by children, but a few adults have also called me “sir” or “young man” not realizing i identified as cis-female at the time and mostly just saw myself as a cis-female passing person that liked to dress outside feminine standards — just a tomboyish girl, i had liked to think of myself (it’s also worth noting that i shaved my hair a few years ago and have been keeping it buzzed ever since). i mean, since i was young i really enjoyed breaking stereotypes of what it means to be a girl, and once i went to a women’s college and got my first taste of what i thought was real feminism, of course i went through a few-years-long phase of being obsessed with “woman power” and yay vaginas and redefining womanhood! now i’m still trying to break myself away from the transmisogynistic aspects of what i thought feminism was back then, like equating vaginas with girl power (and always call me out on my bullshit ya’ll, i’ll listen and apologize profusely for it and research more on my own end), and after a couple years of reading about and internalizing what gender and real feminism is all about and living with people who frequently discussed their personal experiences with gender neutrality did i begin to actually feel connected to an identity that wasn’t just about redefining cis-female.
when i was a child, i liked being one of the boys, and in fact tried very hard to be boy-ish enough to be accepted in their fun (not that i dressed boyishly to appease them, though i did mostly wear boy’s apparel for a really long time; only that i would be really competitive and push myself to be just as good as the boys were at all the things that were considered boyish activities), though i frequently met resistance from those who didn’t want to play with me because i was a girl or treated me differently or worse for it, and i think as a result of this i also found solace in the company of my girl friends who could identify with wanting to take part in things that were “meant for boys” but being socially barred from them, and/or who helped teach me to be more in touch with femininity in ways that i’d not wanted to before, like experimenting with wearing makeup or trying on skirts and dresses. still, for most of my life, i’d pretty much thought of myself as a tomboyish cis-female, even in late high school/college when i discovered the joy of being super femme sometimes, until maybe over a year ago.
the first time or two i was mistaken for a boy, or just confused people about my gender in general, my first thoughts had been to immediately correct the offending parties. but now it’s reached the point where i’ve found i can actually enjoy passing as a boy, or appearing as androgynous as i want to be and confusing the shit out of people. as my salem little mentioned to me again very recently, there is power in being able to pass as both male and female. obviously they didn’t mean institutionalized power, but there is definitely an empowering sort of freedom to not being tied down to one gender, as i’m better understanding now.
i know labels aren’t really all that important, still, the search to put a name to how i’ve been feeling about my identity has started to really bother me, i think mostly because i can’t decide what it should be. i’m not sure if i want to claim full-on gender fluidity or am still just a gender non-conforming cis-female. but i guess in conclusion, while i’m not really totally rejecting female pronouns at this point and probably won’t be offended if you call me “she,” i would certainly appreciate it if more people started referring to me as “they,” just so i can find out for myself exactly how well it fits. i’m definitely warming up to it. though if you do happen to know me personally, i’d also appreciate it if you kept the gender neutral pronounage on the down low around my immediate family — i’m not so sure how they’d handle it yet. please and many thank you’s. :) that is all.