Q&A: “I was wondering when/how did you figure out you weren’t a woman?”
HI! I like your blog. I’m pretty new around here though. Still trying to understand gender stuff. I was wondering when/how did you figure out you weren’t a woman?
hi, anon, and thanks. 🙂
i’m not sure that my own personal experience will be of any help to you, but…
the short answer: i never felt like i was a girl / woman to begin with, but at the same time i knew that i wasn’t a boy / man. i defaulted to society’s gender assignment because of not knowing that i could do or be anything else. i told myself, “well, i’m not a boy / man, so i guess that makes me the tomboy that people say i am.” however, the second i became aware of the fact that a person could be neither a boy / man nor a girl / woman, that being genderqueer (at the time “non-binary” wasn’t commonly used) was a thing, i knew that that was what i was / am.
the longer answer: i never felt like i was a girl / woman to begin with, but spent much of my life trying my damnedest to embrace my supposed “womanhood”. growing up in the late 80s ~ 90s in the height of the modern feminist movement (and the uprising of black women in particular– oh god, could write a novel on how that messed me up) was really hard because while society tried its damnest to get me to embrace what they decided was my “womanhood” and i tried my damnedest to do just that, i kept failing at it without knowing why. eventually i became apathetic about gender (among other things) and avoided the topic with myself and others. it wasn’t until i had an epiphany regarding my sexuality that i came across the term “genderqueer” while researching LGBTQIA-related things. before i even came across the word “genderqueer” (because even genderqueer was relatively unknown) i came across information about being (binary) trans, once again running into that mental deadend of “well, i know i’m not a man, so….” when i discovered “genderqueer”– that not everyone is either a boy / man or a girl / woman– i immediately knew that genderqueer was what i was / am, although i prefer “non-binary” now.
you may also be interested in [ this post ] where i kind of elaborate on the above, explaining how i know for sure that i’m not a woman.
as always, i want to reiterate that the above is just my personal experience. not everyone has or ever will “figure out” their gender. even those who do have some sense of what their gender is (or even only what it is not) may never have the confidence or conviction about it that i happen to have about my gender.
and that’s perfectly okay.
hell, even after knowing for certain that i’m not a woman, that i am in fact genderqueer / nonbinary, figuring out the specific gender that i am was a whole other journey that was even less straight forward. *shrugs*
anyway, sorry for the tl;dr response. all the best with the gender stuff, anon.