Thursday, May 28, 2009

"Don't dress so asexually"

The quote is from a friend of mine, when we once ended up at the mall. The point of it is that he was equating the words "asexual" and "androgynous" and while the two terms aren't the same thing, they seem to show up in some of the same people.
In this discussion on AVEN, http://http//, GoAllyGoGo says, "Actually, I think my asexuality affected my gender identity. I'm mentally pretty androgynous, and I really think asexuality has been a major factor in that."

I couldn't have said it better myself. I'm not even going to try, though I am going to elaborate on what that means to me.

This is something I've told very few people: As a teenager, I thought briefly that I might be transgender. I didn't feel like a girl and it was very obvious to me that the other people around me did, in some unfathomable way, feel gendered. People must feel gendered and proof of it exists all around us. I wanted to wear a suit to the Homecoming dance my senior year and go with a friend. I figured that if one of us wore a suit and the other a dress, we'd be able to dance together, and that we'd fit better than if we both wore dresses. Oddly, nobody else saw this.
Further proof of gender- it occured to me that the fact that people feel gendered is what makes the drag show at my school possible. There has to be an opposite to dress up as, if you're going to be in the drag show. So yeah, there's proof everywhere. Gender, social construct or not, exists as a very real thing for the vast majority of people. There's your gender, and the opposite gender.

For me, there's no opposite. Dressing up in a suit feels just as right as wearing a dress. Sometimes one feels better than the other, frequently I'm equally happy with either choice. For Halloween, again, my senior year of High School, I dressed up for a party as (no, I'm not kidding here) a Midshipman of the Royal Navy, Napoleanic War era. I'd been reading too many Patrick O'Brian novels, and I thought that would be really fun. It was; if I ever find a picture of it again, I'll post it here. Anyway, I went all out trying to look as authentic as possible. I pinned my hair like crazy and wore a top hat that covered it all and a big shirt, because I'm girl shaped at least, and I actually tea-stained a pair of white tights, for stockings, and a pair of white gaucho pants which I then cut up and sewed into knee breeches. It looked great. I showed a friend a picture, much later, and she said, "Who's that guy?" I guess some people might have been offended, but I was pleased. It proved that my costume had looked good.

So I finally decided that I'm not actually transgender. I'm... not anything, really. I'm okay with female pronouns and wearing dresses and using my given name, which I'm attached to after all these years. But I still don't feel like a girl should feel. But I'm okay with that, now. I've learned to understand it and how it fits into my life. In my next post, I'll explain how that fits into my identity as an asexual person and what GoAllyGoGo's quote has to do with any of this.

By the way, if anyone knows how to get make a word a link, like making it so people can click on the phrase "this thread" and that's the link, can you tell me? Thanks!


  1. Dressing up sounds like fun.

    "I'm okay with female pronouns and wearing dresses and using my given name, which I'm attached to after all these years. But I still don't feel like a girl should feel."

    Hmm, I feel like that too. I never thought I was transgendered though. A bit tomboyish as a kid, maybe, but I always leaned towards seeing "gender" as irrelevant.

    For the link, if you're not using a rich-text editor (in which case there should be a link button that looks like chain links), use HTML.

    <a href="URL here">Link text here</a>

  2. And also thanks to Isaac, who PM'd me the answer as well. You're also wonderful. :)

  3. I was going "I can totally relate to this" throughout your whole post, especially when you're talking about your Halloween costume. I was a knight for Halloween in the third grade...I didn't feel particularly attached to gender then, and I still don't.