General, LGBTQIA+, Mental Health

Gender Identity and Expression- Personal Story

Gender and sex are an odd concept in a world with structured gender. The popular view is to admit there is male and female and go about your day. Of course, today, steps are taken to eliminate this view with the rise of alternate identities and new knowledge of a spectrum instead of a binary. The amount of transgender individuals in the world is rising. Still, these numbers are only representative of people that are willing to admit it. Many people today are still unaccepting of these new ideas and studies and violently try to silence them, adding to more people remaining in the closet. People can be afraid even to question themselves, in fear that it will lead them to a dangerous discovery.

I grew up in a conservative family and area with minimal exposure to new views. Questioning my sexuality was a journey in itself. I only dated a woman for a short time, but it didn’t take long to accept pansexuality with a more feminine preference. I’m assigned female at birth because of my internal body makeup. I’ve lived a feminine life because it was just the norm, occasionally showing some masculinity. Even with that, I’ve still told myself that I’m satisfied as a cis woman. Only when I began to question gender did I start to see how different it was and how fictional the “Binary” actually is. I studied the use of pronouns, the psychological effects of dressing in different ways, acting in different ways, even what hormone therapy did. Starting only in 2019 did I begin to try it myself, being slightly different than before. I now mainly use They/Them or He/Him pronouns, dressing and appearing somewhat more masculine, at least in the places where I feel safe. I’m still a typical cis woman at work and when with family. Only in church and in my campus LGBTQ resource center can I openly express. Occasionally I will show in public where I don’t expect to see people I know. Since I’ve been doing this, I’ve felt satisfied in the places I can express differently. It’s strange to me, trying the opposite way of my standard for a short while has made it feel just slightly better than I ever really felt. I notice at work, it bothers me, being referred to as Ma’am, hearing She or Her. I’m always receiving nicknames from customers, like “Young Lady,” “Babydoll,” or “Ms. Madam,” to name a few.

I had my first session of actual gender therapy and counseling two days ago. I took a questionnaire about my personal feelings regarding my expression and internal opinions, and then we talked about my answers. My counselor discussed the gender binary and the actual spectrum, things about appearance, and asked me a lot about how I feel with different pronouns and names. It was mostly an informational session, so hopefully, the better of it comes later. I mainly want assisted understanding of myself and see what I can best do for my mental health.

This is only the introduction to the beginning of my journey. For now, I remain genderfluid until I discover what’s truly best and what it is that satisfies me most.

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