I guess I’m still trying to figure out what my gender is, or rather, how to express that. When I started identifying as trans, it was largely because I realized I didn’t “feel like” a woman, I didn’t identify as a woman. That led me to reassess so much about my gender presentation. I stopped wearing make up, nail polish, sparkly anything, fitted shirts, flared jeans. It wasn’t really because I didn’t think female-bodied transfolk could wear that. Partly, it was because I didn’t want people to see me as a woman. And partly, I’ve realized, because it made me feel like a woman, and I couldn’t handle that. I never stopped liking it; I just stopped liking it for myself.
I’ve recently (very recently, a week ago recently) realized, though, that I want that back. I want to be able to wear sparkles and makeup and flared jeans sometimes and not feel like a woman and not be seen as a woman. Plenty of gay cisboys do it. There are even transfolk and genderqueers who pull it off, too, which I’ve just realized and sort of taken to mean that I could, too.
When I first came out as trans, I was pretty emphatic that it was a gender thing, that I didn’t want to change my body, that it didn’t mean I wanted hormones or surgery. Over the past nine or so months, though, I’ve begun to challenge that line of thinking and wonder whether that’s still true. There are a few things in particular about my body that are really bothering me. I want a flat chest. I really, really do. I like the clean lines. I like the idea that people won’t immediately assume I’m a woman. I feel like I could wear clingy v-necks again, or sparkly tees, without feeling or looking like a girl if I didn’t have that on my chest. I could run, or go up and down stairs quickly, or do mountain climbers, when cringing and feeling suffocated by the feeling of my chest moving (frankly, just typing that is about enough to make me panic). I’d love it if my voice were lower, and I didn’t sound like a tween girl. I’d love it if the curves went away, if my jeans didn’t have to curve around my ass. I want to be able to wear skinny jeans, but the hips make that impossible to do in an androgynous way.
Sometimes, I find myself identifying with what I see in a lot of flamboyant boys and genderqueers, more than with similar things in girls. Nail polish, for example, is completely different to me on a girl than a guy — or rather, on someone who’s read as a girl versus someone read as a guy. And I want whatever sort of fabulous I have to be seen in that stereotypical gay boy sort of way, not as a woman. It’s my way of embracing that part of myself.
I’ve heard, a couple of times, the words “fag” and “faggy” used almost in terms of gender – a certain type of style, a certain type of personality, mannerisms, clothes. Sometimes in reference to cisboys and transboys, sometimes to genderqueers and transfolk. And while I’m really hesitant to use the word myself because I know it’s been horribly offensive to so many people, and I don’t know if I can reclaim it (being a female-bodied, non-man-identified person), part of me is clamoring that, yes, that’s me. I’m faggy. I’m not feminine, I’m not girly, I’m faggy. Not necessarily in a sexuality sense of being exclusively into guys, but in a more gendered sense of “oh, my god, that’s FABulous!”
Is that a stereotype? I don’t know. I certainly don’t intend for it be one.