[SAFESPACE] LGBTIQQA Thread - Queer Support!

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Re: [SAFESPACE] LGBTIQQA Thread - Queer Support!

Postby Aaeriele » Wed Jun 03, 2015 1:55 am UTC

ClockworkSky wrote:It's like, women are actually used to showing off their collarbones on a regular basis? HOW?!?!


There's a reason why all of my chilly-weather clothing involves some kind of jacket, scarf, or something else...
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Re: [SAFESPACE] LGBTIQQA Thread - Queer Support!

Postby Sungura » Mon Jun 08, 2015 8:16 pm UTC

Spoilered for being ranty and possibly triggering I just need to get it off my chest and need the background for some advice. Read if you like or ignore.

Spoiler:
So Oh me yarm the transphobia on facebook right now. I have actually been unfriending people left and right, restricting others, and blocking people even ones who were fb friends. Not all inconsequential - like people I see semi regularly (like 1x month or more, different functions). One person ended up being ok, i messaged them to stop missgendering people, and they apologized and are trying to fix it, didn't realize it was wrong. So okay, that I can deal with, people willing to change and learn. But that was one. One thread on a friend's page regarding caitlyn jenner got soooooo bad I ended up blocking everyone on it, my amazing SO stuck with it and kept poking their stupidity and utter nasty rudeness - one even said along the lines of "woah maybe you are a girl too because you are acting so emotional over this" and just starting to attack his masculinity - which my SO brilliantly turned around on this guy and we think made his girlfriend mad about how he was speaking about women :P I got to the point I just couldn't handle it anymore.

I'm not male enough to fit in to men's world, but I'm not female enough to be a woman. I have struggled with this since I can remember. Heck my MOM wanted to nickname me Al because I acted like such a boy when I was little. I vehemently was against it because I don't identify male. Physically i look super female, and I am okay with that, but nothing lines up so I certainly don't buy into binary gender because I don't feel binary! Demigirl is probably best description that I have been able to find. But anyway, I would love to try gender neutral pronouns and although where obviously in meatspace this would be too difficult to be "worth it" for me, I wanted to test it online and make a more hidden smaller facebook profile with select Friends...but now I am at a loss as to which friends I can even trust, because this recent episode of hatred that has sprouted has shown so many I thought were cool because they were pro-gay-marriage and recognize mysogeny and all this stuff....apparently you can be all that and still hate trans and non binary people. For some reason, this never dawned on me. Been a kick in the gut and a wake up call. So now I feel a bit lost...not only in how I fit in, but of what to do to try and find out. Because my idea seems to now be too unsafe for me at this time of the small hidden separate facebook profile. Ideas welcome...Also, regarding gender neutral pronouns, there are soooo many options...is there a most common set or how does one pick? that in itself is overwhelming and has preventing me from trying to see if I feel better with it.
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Re: [SAFESPACE] LGBTIQQA Thread - Queer Support!

Postby NovaNatalia » Mon Jun 08, 2015 9:14 pm UTC

*Gives hugs if you like hugs* I can't really give any advice on the friend front, it sounds like they were being absolutely horrible, and I'm glad you felt empowered enough to remove such people from your private space. For gender neutral pronouns, 'they, them, theirs' is by far the most popular set around here, although you're free to make your own of course, but it may take people some extra time to learn them.
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Re: [SAFESPACE] LGBTIQQA Thread - Queer Support!

Postby Sungura » Mon Jun 08, 2015 10:02 pm UTC

*hugs* thanks.

Luckily most were not friend-friends (I find facebook "friends" is such a watered down meaning of friend) but a few were people I otherwise considered friends...until now. But yeah, list decreased by about 50 people last week.
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Re: [SAFESPACE] LGBTIQQA Thread - Queer Support!

Postby Quercus » Mon Jun 08, 2015 10:09 pm UTC

I don't know if you read my post above (no need to if you haven't - it's not directly relevant to your situation), but I'm in at least a vaguely similar position in the other direction so to speak - physically male, but increasingly moving towards identifying as genderqueer/genderfluid.

I'm not sure what to say about the crappy facebook transphobia stuff, except solidarity and *hugs*. Like NovaNatalia said, glad that you felt you were able to take some action on it, and that you have support from your SO.

On the knowing which friends you can trust, maybe try talking to them about gender identity in general terms individually and seeing how they react (I guess that would only work with friends you chat to individually anyway, or it might seem out of place).

On the pronouns I agree with NovaNatalia - in my experience "they, them, theirs" is easily the most common, but that doesn't mean you shouldn't feel free to choose your own.

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Re: [SAFESPACE] LGBTIQQA Thread - Queer Support!

Postby Pfhorrest » Mon Jun 08, 2015 10:44 pm UTC

The other day I was at a convenience store, and the only customer in there, when two rednecky kind of guys walked in, and were chatting to each other, and I didn't hear much of what they said while I was browsing and not paying attention to them, until I heard a hushed sound of surprise and one of them say to the other "whoa, I thought that was a girl!" Since I was the only other person in there, they must have meant me.

I got a little kick out of it, but I really don't understand this sudden uptick in being gendered female lately. I'm not actually doing any kind of transition process that should be notably changing how I look, and I'm not behaving any differently. The only things slightly different are that I'm shaving more regularly, and I'm frequently wearing these plain black shirts that are technically women's dresses, but just wear like muscle shirts on me except for every-so-slightly shaping my body (narrowing the waist and enlarging the bust, but really just barely). Both of the times it's happened most recently I've been wearing one of those, and had just shaven.

It's cool, but I really don't understand it, because I wouldn't see someone with my build and think them female. But if other people do, or aren't quite sure... awesome, that's exactly what I've always wanted, to be able to pass either way or neither way (ambiguously). It's pretty awesome but I wish I could see why myself.
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Re: [SAFESPACE] LGBTIQQA Thread - Queer Support!

Postby Quercus » Mon Jun 08, 2015 11:16 pm UTC

Awesome, I'm pleased you're achieving what you want with your presentation :D

Do you have long hair? If I think back to how I used to semi-consciously assign gender based on presentation (which I try not to do these days) the combination of hair length, body shape and facial hair was probably the most significant assuming no culturally gendered clothing. You're affecting two of those things with the shirts/dresses and the more frequent shaving, so if the third is there the combination might be enough to create an ambiguous effect.

Also, might you be becoming in some way more comfortable with yourself, therefore relaxing more and unconsciously letting go of some stereotypically male ways you were moving/standing before? I know that I've noticed that happening to me on occasion recently.

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Re: [SAFESPACE] LGBTIQQA Thread - Queer Support!

Postby Pfhorrest » Tue Jun 09, 2015 12:40 am UTC

I do have long hair, yes; rather spectacularly long, longer than most women. When I was a little kid I would frequently get identified as a girl because of it, but pretty much never in my adult life. (I've had it my whole life). I also used to be clean-shaven throughout all of my early 20s, and never got identified as a woman then. So it seems like it's just the new shirts/dresses that are making the big difference.

I suppose it's possible that I'm unconsciously changing my body posture and such too, but I've never really been especially conscious of gendering my behavior, never gave any thought to acting specifically masculine or to avoiding feminine things; I can actually think of a couple things where people, many years ago, have commented that I did something in a more feminine way than a masculine way. (One in particular that comes to mind is the way I walk, putting my weight on the toe before the heel or the whole foot evenly, and keeping my body weight centered above my feet instead of a "controlled fall" forward, which I've been told are characteristics of the way women usually walk in contrast to men, but just seemed like the sensibly pragmatic way to move without falling down to me; I feel like I picked them up from spending a lot of my childhood barefoot, hopping around on unstable rocks, and trying to sneak through fields without making sound, more than anything to do with gender). So that could be a factor in people's perception of my gender now, but it's not something that's changed, so doesn't explain the recent change in perception.
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Re: [SAFESPACE] LGBTIQQA Thread - Queer Support!

Postby Quercus » Mon Jun 15, 2015 8:19 am UTC

Some of you probably already know this, but try searching for pretty much any LGBTIQQA related term on Google. It made me smile (I think it's a temporary thing for LGBT Pride Month).

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Re: [SAFESPACE] LGBTIQQA Thread - Queer Support!

Postby Sungura » Mon Jun 15, 2015 9:35 pm UTC

Quercus wrote:Some of you probably already know this, but try searching for pretty much any LGBTIQQA related term on Google. It made me smile (I think it's a temporary thing for LGBT Pride Month).

I tried mine and nothing different? Was confused. But then I tried "queer" just to check and saw what you are speaking of. Guess it just isn't fully inclusive, so actually, now I kinda feel sad. So be forwarned folks....they missed things. :(
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Re: [SAFESPACE] LGBTIQQA Thread - Queer Support!

Postby Aaeriele » Tue Jun 16, 2015 1:11 am UTC

Sungura wrote:
Quercus wrote:Some of you probably already know this, but try searching for pretty much any LGBTIQQA related term on Google. It made me smile (I think it's a temporary thing for LGBT Pride Month).

I tried mine and nothing different? Was confused. But then I tried "queer" just to check and saw what you are speaking of. Guess it just isn't fully inclusive, so actually, now I kinda feel sad. So be forwarned folks....they missed things. :(


Which term did you search for? I... might happen to know the responsible people.
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Re: [SAFESPACE] LGBTIQQA Thread - Queer Support!

Postby NovaNatalia » Tue Jun 16, 2015 2:12 am UTC

I looked for 'demisexual' and it didn't work either.
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Re: [SAFESPACE] LGBTIQQA Thread - Queer Support!

Postby Quercus » Tue Jun 16, 2015 7:42 am UTC

:(

Sorry, should have tested more thoroughly, I searched for genderfluid and genderqueer and kind of figured if they had those they'd have most things. Obviously not.

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Re: [SAFESPACE] LGBTIQQA Thread - Queer Support!

Postby CelticNot » Tue Jun 16, 2015 3:30 pm UTC

As of yesterday, I am officially on full HRT. Finally! \o/

Fun fact: apparently my GP was trying to kill me. Okay, that might be an exaggeration, but it turns out that mixing spironolactone (anti-androgen which my psychiatrist prescribed) with Ramipril (blood pressure/kidney leakage medication which my GP prescribed) is a Very Bad Idea. I had brought up the question with my GP once before when my potassium got way, way too high, but he wanted to scale back on the spironolactone, not the ramipril. That was five months ago.

Fast forward to yesterday; my new endocrinologist noticed this, but mentioned something that my GP had not - there's an alternative to Ramipril that doesn't use a potassium base, so it's safe to mix with spironolactone. Apparently it's not something that's usually stocked (my pharmacy had to order it in), but you'd think that my GP would've at least done his homework, instead of jumping to the conclusion he did. Then again, I have a suspicion that he's not nearly as accepting of my transition as he claims to be, so... "/
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Re: [SAFESPACE] LGBTIQQA Thread - Queer Support!

Postby Sungura » Wed Jun 17, 2015 8:28 pm UTC

NovaNatalia wrote:I looked for 'demisexual' and it didn't work either.

Yup.
Or demigirl
or sapiosexual
or pansexual

No worries, it wasn't that big of a thing, it was an awww sad not a okay now I'm gonna be upset for days sad. But I wanted to warn others in case it might be a bigger slam, if that makes sense.
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Re: [SAFESPACE] LGBTIQQA Thread - Queer Support!

Postby Sungura » Wed Jun 17, 2015 8:33 pm UTC

ClockworkSky wrote:As of yesterday, I am officially on full HRT. Finally! \o/

Fun fact: apparently my GP was trying to kill me. Okay, that might be an exaggeration, but it turns out that mixing spironolactone (anti-androgen which my psychiatrist prescribed) with Ramipril (blood pressure/kidney leakage medication which my GP prescribed) is a Very Bad Idea. I had brought up the question with my GP once before when my potassium got way, way too high, but he wanted to scale back on the spironolactone, not the ramipril. That was five months ago.

Fast forward to yesterday; my new endocrinologist noticed this, but mentioned something that my GP had not - there's an alternative to Ramipril that doesn't use a potassium base, so it's safe to mix with spironolactone. Apparently it's not something that's usually stocked (my pharmacy had to order it in), but you'd think that my GP would've at least done his homework, instead of jumping to the conclusion he did. Then again, I have a suspicion that he's not nearly as accepting of my transition as he claims to be, so... "/

Considering I've been to six doctors to find out what is wrong with my leg and they can't even agree and it went from wait and see, to you have a forign body in it (probably a rock that got in when it got cut in a creekbed and created this problem), to it's just a hematoma, back to it's a rock, and now we are at zomg the only way to deal with this is to do surgery - general anesthesia in the hospital kind (NOT happening, it is 1/2 inch at most under my skin, local it and #10 blade and DONE. I would do it myself if I had access to a local, no joke, it's way less surgery than I've done - I've done spinal surgeries! In animals...but it's not that different!).

....if they can't get this little tiny thing right, I honestly have never had any luck with the medical professions except finally a good gyno I found which took three years and eight tries. So.....no, I don't think you are off in thinking that there is something wrong. Go with your gut. And stay safe! Doctors are not gods no matter how hard they try andmake you think that. I honestly find no excuse for crap like that - if you filled out the paperwork or told them or whatever, about what you were on, they SHOULD check for cross reactions and contraindications. That's...their...JOB. So glad you found someone who fixed it!
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Re: [SAFESPACE] LGBTIQQA Thread - Queer Support!

Postby Pfhorrest » Wed Jun 17, 2015 8:58 pm UTC

Sungura wrote:or pansexual

Pansexual worked when I tried it.

Pangender did not though.
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Re: [SAFESPACE] LGBTIQQA Thread - Queer Support!

Postby Aaeriele » Thu Jun 18, 2015 7:38 am UTC

Yeah, pansexual is in the list of trigger terms. I'll pass the feedback along. :)
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Re: [SAFESPACE] LGBTIQQA Thread - Queer Support!

Postby rath358 » Sat Jun 20, 2015 7:41 pm UTC

Yesterday was six months on hormones. It sure has been a hell of a ride ^_^

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Re: [SAFESPACE] LGBTIQQA Thread - Queer Support!

Postby CelticNot » Mon Jun 22, 2015 3:47 pm UTC

First week on HRT done. Don't feel much different yet, aside from occasional spurts of inexplicably strong emotions. I'm told that's normal right off the bat, so I can deal.

A few questions for the community, one medication-related and one completely unrelated:
  • Does it matter when you take the estrogen and progesterone, in relation to each other? Last week I took them at roughly the same time (the estrogen is in gel form, while the progesterone is two pills, so accuracy is iffy), but this week I'm taking the progesterone at night, while the estrogen goes on in the morning. Will it make a difference? Is one better than the other? This is one thing my endo did not specify.
  • Having seen this come up in another topic on this board, the doubts are rolling around in my head again, so I want your folks' opinion - does gender identity NEED to come from a physical defect in the brain? I have never had an MRI, but between the psychiatrist/psychologist (I always get those mixed up) I was seeing for a year beforehand, and the one I saw who handed me my carry letter, neither seemed to have any doubts based solely on what I told them of my past thoughts and feelings. My biggest fear has always been 'am I deluding myself' - and there doesn't seem to be a concrete way to verify that. "/

EDIT: According to this doc, which I think was linked on this forum but in another thread, I meet two of the criteria without much difficulty, which is surprising. I didn't realize simply wanting to be another gender was enough to qualify.
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Re: [SAFESPACE] LGBTIQQA Thread - Queer Support!

Postby rath358 » Mon Jun 22, 2015 11:18 pm UTC

Some people on the internet report that going on HRT is what made them sure. The changes worked really well for them mentally and such. Aside from that, I don't really know of a way to be certain.

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Re: [SAFESPACE] LGBTIQQA Thread - Queer Support!

Postby Quercus » Tue Jun 23, 2015 11:27 am UTC

Okay, this is just me rambling about (my own) gender, responses are welcome, but people shouldn't feel like they have to respond.

I basically have no idea what I am in terms of gender any more. Which I'm kind of fine with, but it makes it hard to talk about anything to do with it, because I don't really identify as anything other than human at the moment. First of all I'm happy with my male body and have never felt gender dysphoria, although I'm pretty sure I wouldn't be at all happy with a stereotypically male-ideal physique (basically I don't want big muscles - I'd like strong, compact muscles for functional reasons, like you get on climbers, particularly female climbers actually, but I find large muscles freaky*).

At the same time I dislike or am uncomfortable with a lot of masculine cultural/social norms, and like/am comfortable with a lot of feminine norms. The way I see myself also shifts, a lot - I sometimes feel fairly masculine, I sometimes feel fairly feminine.

Ultimately I feel like I want to be able to identify as a man, but without the assumption that that means I'm going to be masculine, because right now when I say that I'm a man, that feels wrong, because it implies all sorts of things that I'm not. But, when I identify as something other than a man that also feels wrong, because society treats me as a man, and I'm okay with that, and calling myself something else feels like disowning my privilege, which isn't something that I have a right to do.
I feel a bit like my own gender has been appropriated away from me, and I don't know if that is an okay thing to feel or not :?
Edit: Actually scratch that, I'm not quite sure what I was trying to say with that. I think it was just me being confused (which is the normal state with me and gender these days).


*Incidentally, I've recently realised that this is one of the things that is stopping me from really committing to strength training - I should probably look into exercise regimes recommended for women, because women often don't want large muscles either, although I wonder how much of muscle gain is testosterone driven :(
Edit the second: Okay, so it turns out from some more reading that this probably isn't an issue - some muscle mass gain is going to happen, but it's not going to be huge unless you tailor your diet and exercise specifically to that goal (basically eating a ton of protein and spending huge amounts of time in the gym).
Last edited by Quercus on Wed Jun 24, 2015 8:51 am UTC, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: [SAFESPACE] LGBTIQQA Thread - Queer Support!

Postby Monika » Tue Jun 23, 2015 3:33 pm UTC

ClockworkSky wrote:Does it matter when you take the estrogen and progesterone, in relation to each other? Last week I took them at roughly the same time (the estrogen is in gel form, while the progesterone is two pills, so accuracy is iffy), but this week I'm taking the progesterone at night, while the estrogen goes on in the morning. Will it make a difference? Is one better than the other? This is one thing my endo did not specify.

It probably doesn't matter, as hormones work in the long run anyway. Taking progesterone in the evening is a good idea, as it can make you tired. If the doc didn't mention that it should be taken at certain times, that's another indication it doesn't matter.

I'm cis but also have to take estrogen and progesterone currently and neither the papers accompanying the medication nor the doctors mentioned that it should be taken at certain times in relation to each other. At one point I had to take estrogen 4x/day and progesterone 3x/day and now both are 3x/day, so it would not have been possible to take them in the same timing relative to each other on the two different schedules. (And god does the progesterone make me tired. I had to go to sleep at work once.)

Having seen this come up in another topic on this board, the doubts are rolling around in my head again, so I want your folks' opinion - does gender identity NEED to come from a physical defect in the brain? I have never had an MRI, but between the psychiatrist/psychologist (I always get those mixed up) I was seeing for a year beforehand, and the one I saw who handed me my carry letter, neither seemed to have any doubts based solely on what I told them of my past thoughts and feelings. My biggest fear has always been 'am I deluding myself' - and there doesn't seem to be a concrete way to verify that.

Even if it comes from the brain I wouldn't say it's a physical defect, just a variation :-) . Having a female or male brain is not a defect and even those who say transness manifests in the brain in some visible way would generally not call it a defect.
If it can be shown on MRI or other brain scans is debatable. I have a trans female friend who had brain scans that were interpreted by a doctor to prove that she has a female brain (i.e. similar to cis women's brains and different from cis men's brains). The major issue with this is that the whole idea of men and women having different brains, visible on MRI or other brain scans, is debatable. When scientists claim they have found such a thing it makes great news with pretty pictures that sell well in newspapers and magazines. All the much more frequent results that there are in fact no significant differences do not make news and do not make it into popular newspapers, only into scientific peer-reviewed papers that normal people will rarely read or could not understand if we did. As far as I can tell there is currently no proof that men's and women's brains differ significantly (including the extremely popular "women's right and left brain are better connected"), with one exception regarding spatial reasoning that apparently is in fact better developed on average in men. That something, in the brain or in any other way, is provably higher/lower for men/women says nothing about individuals - the variation within each gender group is larger than the difference between the genders, for basically everything that is measurably different. So even if it turned out that you are the person with the best spatial reasoning on the entire planet it would not be proof or indication that you are a deluded cis man, just that you have above-average spatial reasoning.
Many trans people seem to experience their gender identity as something biological that they were born with, but not all do. Some feel they had a choice, others feel it actually has something to do with how they grew up and the influences in their life. Or some combination.
So I would say don't try to get a brain scan. If you feel "I'm a woman" feels more true to you than "I'm a man" or "I'm non-binary" then you're a woman. If living as supposedly male made you unhappy and made you feel you have to pretend then your gender identity, whether from some provable brain property or not, is probably not male. If living as female works better for you than living as male, then go for that. If the changes that the hormones make to your body make you happy, continue taking them, if you find out they make you unhappy, stop taking them. It's really unlikely that you are deluding yourself (consider that only 2% detransition), but even if you're unsure that doesn't mean you have to stick with the gender that you were assigned at birth, you could still go and try other genders and in that way figure out what feels right.
Someone suggested this test for gender identity/transness in #xkcd-q: "If there were a perfect test that would definitely find out your gender identity, what would you like this test to say about you?"
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Re: [SAFESPACE] LGBTIQQA Thread - Queer Support!

Postby CelticNot » Tue Jun 23, 2015 4:48 pm UTC

Quercus wrote:The way I see myself also shifts, a lot - I sometimes feel fairly masculine, I sometimes feel fairly feminine.


Is that not the textbook definition of genderfluid? My lifemate (significant other) is like that. Physically female, but prefers male pronouns, shifts between feeling masculine or feminine on a regular basis, and is still very on the fence as to whether they want to change their body or not. (He keeps saying we need to get myself sorted out first.)
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Re: [SAFESPACE] LGBTIQQA Thread - Queer Support!

Postby CelticNot » Tue Jun 23, 2015 4:53 pm UTC

Monika wrote:It probably doesn't matter, as hormones work in the long run anyway. Taking progesterone in the evening is a good idea, as it can make you tired. If the doc didn't mention that it should be taken at certain times, that's another indication it doesn't matter.


That's good to know; I didn't realize it did that. Yes, I'd much rather be sleepy at night than during the day. ^^;

Monika wrote:Someone suggested this test for gender identity/transness in #xkcd-q: "If there were a perfect test that would definitely find out your gender identity, what would you like this test to say about you?"


... I have to admit, once I read the question correctly, it's a very clever one. And the answer is obvious to me - I would want it to call me female.

(I originally misread the question as "... would you like what this test had to say about you?" Which made me suddenly quite anxious as I was terrified at the notion of it giving me an answer I WOULDN'T like...)
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Re: [SAFESPACE] LGBTIQQA Thread - Queer Support!

Postby Quercus » Tue Jun 23, 2015 5:57 pm UTC

ClockworkSky wrote:
Quercus wrote:The way I see myself also shifts, a lot - I sometimes feel fairly masculine, I sometimes feel fairly feminine.


Is that not the textbook definition of genderfluid? My lifemate (significant other) is like that. Physically female, but prefers male pronouns, shifts between feeling masculine or feminine on a regular basis, and is still very on the fence as to whether they want to change their body or not. (He keeps saying we need to get myself sorted out first.)


Yeah, it pretty much is. I'm struggling at the moment with self-doubt about whether I'm genderqueer enough to adopt genderfluid as an identity, which I've read is a common issue among potentially genderqueer folks. I can totally relate to the questioning whether you are deluding yourself thing. Monika's question is helpful here for me too. Genderfluidity is a bit of a weird one, because it's not only my gender identity that seems to change over time, but my thoughts on my gender identity. When I'm feeling masculine I'm pretty much "yep, I'm a man, fine, sorted", when I'm feeling feminine it's "oh, maybe I'm agender, or a demiboy, or androgyne, or some other non-binary identity (I never feel so completely feminine as to identify as fully female).

I think my confusion earlier was a bit of "the storm before the calm", in that I'm now, after a bit more reading and thinking about it today, pretty much ready to say, "yep, I'm genderqueer and genderfluid". Whether I'll still feel like that tomorrow, well, we'll see.

This is a pretty new thing for me, up until a year ago I identified as a straight, cisgender man; then I went through a period of depression and anxiety, and in recovering from that spent a lot of time looking at myself and my motivations. Now I'm pretty much ready to identify as a pansexual, genderfluid person. I think this newness is why I come across as somewhat confused sometimes.

On a lighter note, I tried out nail polish for the first time today, and it felt so much like "me", which made me very happy. Now I just need to get the last bits of my PhD wrapped up so that I have the time and energy to try some gender-bendy stuff in public. I've picked out a load of inexpensive but pretty jewellery on etsy that I want to get, including a gorgeous twisted wire torc, and a silver oak leaf bracelet - I'm going to eventually go for a look that's pretty ambiguous I reckon. The nice thing with the torc especially is that it can look either really masculine, or really feminine, depending on what I pair it with.

Oh, and I need to come out to my housemates so they're not all WTF about it. Gender is complicated!


Good luck with the HRT, I hope it works out well for you. And thanks for mentioning your lifemate - hearing about other non-binary people always makes me really happy, because I only know one other non-binary person IRL.

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Re: [SAFESPACE] LGBTIQQA Thread - Queer Support!

Postby Pfhorrest » Tue Jun 23, 2015 6:43 pm UTC

Quercus wrote:This is a pretty new thing for me, up until a year ago I identified as a straight, cisgender man; then I went through a period of depression and anxiety, and in recovering from that spent a lot of time looking at myself and my motivations. Now I'm pretty much ready to identify as a pansexual, genderfluid person. I think this newness is why I come across as somewhat confused sometimes.

I wonder if there is some connection between depression/anxiety and exploration of gender identity, because I had a very similar experience myself. In retrospect I've always had the same feelings and inclinations that I do now, but it wasn't until I fell into the lowest depths of depression and anxiety (which were not, generally speaking, gender-related at all) that I really started thinking about what those feelings and inclinations mean and how I feel about them. Maybe it's just that depression in general drives people into heavy introspection, and for people with gender identity issues to explore in the first place, that introspection starts digging around in those matters, amongst other things?

I've off-and-on worried about the connection between the emergence of my own gender identity (also pangender and genderfluid) and the depths of that depression, because although the depression was not generally related to anything to do with gender (it was about housing, and career, and romance, the last of which I guess is a bit related to gender), it dredged up some issues from years earlier in my life (ones connected to romantic matters, actually) about which I felt ashamed of my masculinity — not like I felt like masculinity was not befitting me, but that in the eyes of the people whose opinions ought to matter, masculinity was vilified, and all men should be ashamed to be men, so I was — so retreating into the feminine aspects of my personality, and a more feminine self-image, was a kind of vicarious escape from the weight of that shame.

I've been afraid, at times, since then, that maybe the only reason I want to be more feminine is to escape the unhealthy, unjustified shame of being masculine. But I've given it a lot of thought over the years since then, and the feminine side of me has always been there, and I've always wanted to explore it more and just felt like I shouldn't. Maybe the unhealthy shame of my masculinity did play a part in driving me to explore it, but it was always there anyway, and in retrospect I wish I hadn't had the unhealthy shame of exploring it for most of my youth, and had always been equally comfortable with both masculinity and femininity, like I am now. (Well, I won't say that without qualification. I still feel to a much smaller and more easily dismissed degree both a societal pressure to "be a man", that makes me feel a bit uncomfortable with my femininity, and also a societal vilification of manhood, which makes me feel a bit uncomfortable with my masculinity. But they're both negligible these days).
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Re: [SAFESPACE] LGBTIQQA Thread - Queer Support!

Postby Quercus » Tue Jun 23, 2015 7:39 pm UTC

That's interesting. For me I think it was that the depression/anxiety prompted me to do a lot of questioning about ways of thinking, behaving and being that weren't really working for me, and trying to come up with better ways, and gender was something that popped up in there. So I'd say it is indeed the introspection that was important. For me it was almost that I gave myself permission to really change things about how I lived my life, because it was clear that the previous path I was on wasn't leading to healthy places.

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Re: [SAFESPACE] LGBTIQQA Thread - Queer Support!

Postby Killerofsheep » Tue Jun 23, 2015 9:08 pm UTC

ClockworkSky wrote:
Quercus wrote:The way I see myself also shifts, a lot - I sometimes feel fairly masculine, I sometimes feel fairly feminine.


Is that not the textbook definition of genderfluid? My lifemate (significant other) is like that. Physically female, but prefers male pronouns, shifts between feeling masculine or feminine on a regular basis, and is still very on the fence as to whether they want to change their body or not. (He keeps saying we need to get myself sorted out first.)

Ok now I'm confused. Because that seems pretty similar to how I feel, but I've been describing myself as bigendered. What's the difference between bi(pan)gender and genderfluid?

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Re: [SAFESPACE] LGBTIQQA Thread - Queer Support!

Postby Quercus » Tue Jun 23, 2015 9:31 pm UTC

As far as I understand the terms (which may be wrong) bigender is identifying as two discrete genders, either simultaneously or at different times, whereas genderfluid is more of a movement around a region of gender-space without so much identifying with particular discrete states. The two are pretty similar though. Pangender I'm less familiar with. As with all these things, I'd say the most important thing is to use whichever label you are most comfortable with.

Edit: I suppose that strictly bigenderism could be considered a subset of genderfluidity as I have defined it, in which the occupied region of gender-space has a bi-lobed geometry, but I get that phase-space-like description of the gender spectrum is probably a niche way of looking at it.

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Re: [SAFESPACE] LGBTIQQA Thread - Queer Support!

Postby somehow » Tue Jun 23, 2015 9:49 pm UTC

I started writing this post before Quercus posted, so I think we're more or less just saying the same things, but I guess I'll post this anyway.

There's definitely some overlap between those two terms, but I think some people use "bigender" to mean a sort of more-or-less binary switching between two distinct identities of different genders ("Yesterday I felt like masculine-me, but today I feel like feminine-me!"), while using "genderfluid" to describe a more, uh, fluid motion (I wish I could think of a different word, but I can't at the moment) across the gender spectrum. (I should probably add that while I am non-binary/genderqueer, I don't particularly identify as either bigender or genderfluid, so take this with an appropriately sized grain of salt.)

Also, I just realized that while I've been reading this thread for a while, I've never actually posted, so... hi! As stated above, I am a genderqueer / non-binary person (they/them pronouns, please), and also queer in terms of orientation.
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Re: [SAFESPACE] LGBTIQQA Thread - Queer Support!

Postby eSOANEM » Tue Jun 23, 2015 11:18 pm UTC

Pretty much everything you (Quercus)'ve written is very familiar to me (I identify as both genderqueer and genderfluid). In particular, asking a small group of friends to start using they pronouns for me helped me feel a lot more certain.

Also, I've heard a lot of criticism of the term pangender because it seems to imply an identification with genders such as two-spirit or hijra which would be appropriative for people who aren't of certain races. There are ways to the interpret the term which wouldn't imply that (e.g. that the person's gender encompasses all of gender-space) but it's worth noting that some people will be hurt by that term.
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Re: [SAFESPACE] LGBTIQQA Thread - Queer Support!

Postby NovaNatalia » Tue Jun 23, 2015 11:21 pm UTC

Regarding the whole 'physical defect/variation in the brain' thing, I have some thoughts (I'l put it in spoilers since this is a safespace).

Spoiler:
I think the only thing that could be called a 'defect' is that one theory for the origin of trans women (or at least some of us) is due to a defective androgen receptor, which affects our bodies' ability to react to the androgens produced by testes. I'm not sure how broadly this applies though, since while many trans women look exceptionally feminine pre-transition, but most don't; maybe it's a different cause for the two groups, or maybe it's just the receptors in the brain that are buggy. I don't think there's a great deal of information out there, and I've had real difficulties tracking anything concrete down.

Regarding different brain structures between binary cis people, I am given to understand that the variations within the genders are greater than the variations between the genders, but there is a fair amount of peer-reviewed work looking at the brains of transgender women (trans men not so much), and they seem to thik that there is some difference. Here's an accessible summary published last year, with links to the referenced papers.

Note, by no means am I suggesting biological essentialism: as is pointed out in the summary the dysphoria likely affects the brain as much as the brain does the dysphoria, and trans women with a faulty androgen receptor are no more 'really trans' than any other trans person. I'm just interested in the variety of causes that could lead to the awesomeness that is us ^_^
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Re: [SAFESPACE] LGBTIQQA Thread - Queer Support!

Postby rath358 » Wed Jun 24, 2015 12:50 am UTC

Do you have a link on the androgen receptor thing? That sounds really interesting

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Re: [SAFESPACE] LGBTIQQA Thread - Queer Support!

Postby NovaNatalia » Wed Jun 24, 2015 4:33 am UTC

Here's a BBC piece on it (the writing isn't the best). Here's the paper they're referring to; I don't know if it's paywalled.

Edit: I found this review article, which I'm really interested in reading, but it's a paywall my uni doesn't go through :(
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Re: [SAFESPACE] LGBTIQQA Thread - Queer Support!

Postby eSOANEM » Wed Jun 24, 2015 11:53 am UTC

The brain differences research worries me. I'm worried it will be used as a gatekeepers measure to deny people treatment. Hopefully it'd just be used as it is now to point at and say "look, trans people are definitely a thing". I just worry it won't.
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Re: [SAFESPACE] LGBTIQQA Thread - Queer Support!

Postby CelticNot » Wed Jun 24, 2015 2:48 pm UTC

Pfhorrest wrote:
Quercus wrote:This is a pretty new thing for me, up until a year ago I identified as a straight, cisgender man; then I went through a period of depression and anxiety, and in recovering from that spent a lot of time looking at myself and my motivations. Now I'm pretty much ready to identify as a pansexual, genderfluid person. I think this newness is why I come across as somewhat confused sometimes.

I wonder if there is some connection between depression/anxiety and exploration of gender identity, because I had a very similar experience myself. In retrospect I've always had the same feelings and inclinations that I do now, but it wasn't until I fell into the lowest depths of depression and anxiety (which were not, generally speaking, gender-related at all) that I really started thinking about what those feelings and inclinations mean and how I feel about them. Maybe it's just that depression in general drives people into heavy introspection, and for people with gender identity issues to explore in the first place, that introspection starts digging around in those matters, amongst other things?


It's possible - especially considering my circumstances. As noted before, I've always had those feelings of "I wish I'd been born female" - I can look back on my life and remember times when it's happened. Nothing clicked, though, until I had come off of some medication for anxiety (thinking I didn't need it any more), and ended up suffering some particularly bleak episodes.

What's ironic in my case is that I didn't do the introspection at that point - instead, it came later, after I'd gone on a maximum dose of anxiety medication. Once I ramped up that high, something changed - I was suddenly significantly more emotional, and it was through those fits of emotional instability (that went away after I asked to have my dose tapered down to something manageable) that I started to explore some of the thoughts that rose to the surface.

Case in point...
Spoiler:
rather embarrassingly, this time coincided with my discovery of a cache of shoujo-ai manga. I believe it was the feelings of jealousy towards the girls in these stories - 'why couldn't I have been born female and had this kind of girl's-love in my teenage years?!' - that really convinced me there was something different about me.


And now that I've thoroughly embarrassed myself... <cough>
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Re: [SAFESPACE] LGBTIQQA Thread - Queer Support!

Postby CelticNot » Wed Jun 24, 2015 2:55 pm UTC

Quercus wrote:I think my confusion earlier was a bit of "the storm before the calm", in that I'm now, after a bit more reading and thinking about it today, pretty much ready to say, "yep, I'm genderqueer and genderfluid". Whether I'll still feel like that tomorrow, well, we'll see.

This is a pretty new thing for me, up until a year ago I identified as a straight, cisgender man; then I went through a period of depression and anxiety, and in recovering from that spent a lot of time looking at myself and my motivations. Now I'm pretty much ready to identify as a pansexual, genderfluid person. I think this newness is why I come across as somewhat confused sometimes.

(...)

Oh, and I need to come out to my housemates so they're not all WTF about it. Gender is complicated!

Good luck with the HRT, I hope it works out well for you. And thanks for mentioning your lifemate - hearing about other non-binary people always makes me really happy, because I only know one other non-binary person IRL.


I went 35 years thinking I was a straight guy with a few not-uncommon fetishes, so I know what you mean. It's normal to doubt and question - especially at this point. The discouraging thing for me is that it sounds like the doubts don't always go away - that some transfolk still experience those doubts years after transitioning.

But yes - gender is damn complicated. A lot more so than it looks from the outside. {EDIT: Removed a line that, after thinking about it, was a tad insulting to certain demographics. Mea culpa.}

Also, thank you for your kind words. :)
Last edited by CelticNot on Wed Jun 24, 2015 3:02 pm UTC, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: [SAFESPACE] LGBTIQQA Thread - Queer Support!

Postby CelticNot » Wed Jun 24, 2015 3:00 pm UTC

Also, apropos of nothing, there seems to be some truth to the notion that queer folk cluster together naturally. I think that amidst my circle of friends, we have exactly one straight person - or at least he appears so. When answering memes that ask about gender or sexuality, his replies are usually 'it's complicated', which is a lot like the answers I was giving while I was questioning myself heavily. A lot of us gathered together even before we know what we were - or what each other was. It's rather surreal.
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Re: [SAFESPACE] LGBTIQQA Thread - Queer Support!

Postby Carlington » Thu Jun 25, 2015 1:09 am UTC

As a second point of anecdotal evidence, I am that one straight friend in my group of friends - in fact you described my reaction to sexuality so well that I had to double check your location to make sure you weren't actually one of my friends who was on here without me knowing it.

Well, I say straight, but that's kinda why I am posting. I am going to put what follows under a spoiler because this is a safe space and I don't know whether what I'm feeling is an instance of internalised homophobia and/or transphobia (specifically transmisogyny) or actually a valid thing to feel, so proceed with appropriate caution and I will remove this post if asked.

Spoiler:
So I'm pretty comfortable calling myself grey-asexual now. I spent a long while trying to work out whether my feeling this way was because I was comparing to the wrong baseline (all of my friends have really high sex drives, so maybe I'm just at like an average level) but it really does seem like I don't get the whole sexual attraction thing, or at least not in the same way. With that said, the grey- bit is because sometimes I do feel sexually attracted to someone...but that's a very infrequent occurrence. I don't dislike sex, it's enjoyable and I'm perfectly happy in a sexual relationship, but it's not a matter of being sexuality attracted so much as it is a matter of being ambivalent.
Coupled with that, I've started describing myself as panromantic, because I can and do feel romantically attracted to people of any and all (or no) gender.
So that brings me to the point where:
-I can romantically love any person regardless of gender
-I don't really feel sexually attracted to people of any gender
-BUT (and here comes the potential homophobia and transmisogyny), I am particularly disinterested in/repulsed by the idea of having sex with a person who has a penis. Which, given everything else I've said here...doesn't seem like it should be a thing. Like, I'd make out with a person regardless of gender or genitalia, and I don't feel sexual attraction really, but I specifically wouldn't have sex with a bepenised person? So maybe I'm just straight and questioning too hard? I don't know. I don't really want to be doing homophobic/transphobic/transmisogynistic things (or any bigoted things) so maybe it would be better to just ignore the rest of it and be like "Nah I'm just straight no biggie" (but I also don't really think that's right)

I don't know, and writing this post was tricky, so I'm going to go to work now.
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