Friday, 6 April 2018

This Is Me | My Gender

Hey!

Welcome to a brand new blog post!. I thought that I would do something different.

I have talked about it on here before, and, I will probably talk about it again and again. Gender is something that I've never been 100% fully sure about and I thought that today's post would be a good time to talk about it in a bit more detail. I know that discussions about gender can across as intense, but I think that, we all need to be educated on gender. This probably won't be the best laid out post, but I hope that this post does help the conversation in some shape or form. 

Two members of the public kissing affectionately in the middle of a light coloured field with flowers around them and a blue sky on a light background.
A stock image provided by pexels.com

Sex and gender are two completely different things. Sex is what you're assigned at birth due to the biological attributes that you have (including things such as your genitals), but gender is based on society and the things that surround you in the world. I believe that gender is on a spectrum, and things, such as the nature V nurture debate could affect it but I think that's definitely a post for another time. Gender does not have to relate to the genitals that someone has, but also gender could relate to the genitals that someone has. It depends on how the person feels.

Personally, I feel like I'm slightly on the more man side of the middle of the spectrum between man and woman. I'm going off imagining the spectrum being like the Kinsey Scale, which talks about defining your sexuality via heterosexual is on one end, and, homosexual is on the other side with numbers such as 1 being completely heterosexual and 5 being homosexual with marks such as, heterosexual with homosexual tendencies and so forth. I think that's right. (Side note, I need to stop writing blog posts at 3am.) I feel like like I'm masculine ti a degree but I'm also pretty feminine in many ways. I definitely don't feel like I adhere to many masculine attributes or stereotypes, and I feel like I don't adhere to all of the feminine attributes/stereotypes so I've always felt... well confused because society tells us that we should fit into a paradigm. We should be either male, or female. We should either be fat or thin etc and honestly, I hate it.

I want to say that I'm genderqueer. Genderqueer is a person who feels that his/her gender identity does not fit into the socially constructed "norms" associated with his/her biological sex.
Genderqueer is an identity that falls anywhere between man/boy/male and woman/girl/female on the spectrum of gender identities. The only problem with this for me is, that I'm still at the stage where I don't know exactly where I fit which means that labels don't exactly work that well for me at the moment. Don't get me wrong, labels can be great, as they can help others know who you are and they can help you find communities where you feel safe but also they attach an instant assumption and stereotypes to whatever label we decide to go with. I don't want to commit to a label and everything that comes with it until I'm completely sure. That might sound pretentious of me but it's what I prefer and that's what matters.

Carrying on from this, I think that it's a good time to talk about my name, pronouns and all of that jazz. All of the above and the thoughts about my gender that I've felt for a long while. Call me Jamie. It's as simple as that when it comes to names. My birth name is James, so, Jamie is probably the closest thing to a unisex name that I will ever achieve. Jamie Lee Curtis and other stars like Jamie Lynn Spears reinforce that Jamie can belong to anyone and not just one sex. Don't call me by my birth name unless I say it's fine, or, unless we're family/I completely trust you with my life, If you're unsure about what you should call me, ask. I only let people call me by my birth name at education because it's easier due to paperwork.

I let people such as lecturers call me by my birth name as I'm not sure what would happen in terms of paperwork, but also it saves ignorance. By that, I mean, a lot of people are ignorant on these fronts and, I honestly don't have the energy or the time to correct everyone because I would end up wanting to hit my head on a brick wall very quickly. I normally tell lecturers that I prefer Jamie but if they need to then call me by that. I think because this isn't the norm, the 'norm' (cis het people) don't understand what to do and instead of asking, they dig their own grave that little bit more and I don't want to be pushing them easily into it. If you call me by my name, I won;t be furious, I'll tell you and I'll probably tell you what I prefer and if you keep doing it if I'm in a shit mood, then I'll probably ignore you. Simple as that.

Pronoun wise, I prefer they/them. Before you start to ask why they/them, it's because of the above reasons but it's also because I'll have days where I won't know how I feel so they covers both him and her and it makes me feel less skittish and uncomfortable when using it. If I'm in a good mood then I don't mind either he/him/she/her depending on many things including how close we are. Try and only reserve him/he for when it's needed to be honest. If you have no clue and your head is confused by all of this, then please, ask. It will make myself more comfortable and it will make you feel a little bit less awkward when talking to me. I haven't changed, I'm still me. If you misgender me then I will tell you but to keep you less confused stick to they/them or he/him if needs be. I get that you might not know and it's best to ask because if I don't know how I feel/I'm still figuring out how I feel, then how the hell are you meant to know?

Dysphoria is a sensation of discomfort, loathing, anxiety, and depression revolving around one's social gender role and/or physical sex characteristics. It's a very serious experience that leads to larger anxiety/depression problems, depersonalisation, thoughts of suicide, social withdrawal and many other things. I've had serious waves of dysphoria in my everyday life, and, trust me, it's one of the worst sensations in the world. It's weird to explain to anyone that feels comfortable within themselves that they don't have to experience it. Feeling out of place when it comes to being a circle of friends that are comfortable with themselves sometimes triggers it, social media triggers it sometimes and my own body can. I know I post pictures of myself on social media which includes showing nude parts eg topless photos, but those take a lot of energy. If I'm not feeling my absolute best then they don't happen. I also know that represent body and self confidence but as soon as I think, screw it, I'll post it, I also get moments of self loathing and regret due to hating my body because it doesn't fit into one box. I don't think it does and I hate that sometimes.

I think that my aesthetic is pretty neutral when it comes to items that could be perceived as either 'masc' or 'fem'. but I would like to incorporate more fem styles of clothing into my wardrobe, if I ever have the confidence to rock it. I'd love to just wear a bad ass patterned dress and some chunky heels and be like, well this is my look. Take it in... I'd also love to give zero cares to the world, and wear things such as crop tops, and show my body off in all of it's glory. I'd love to experiment with makeup a bit more and just feel like I can rock a bright lip and a smoky eye someday. I've started experimenting with makeup slightly, but, I think that I would light to delve deeper into it. I'd also love to keep my facial hair and have crazy rocker quiff hair and own loads of leather jackets, and, casually just rock a suit to something casual so I can be extra when I want to feel masculine. I want to walk into a club, wear whatever I want, have glitter smothering my face and not feel like I'm emphasizing on being a 'freak to the norms of society.' I wish for all of these things, but hopefully, in the future, I can look at this post and think back on everything that I've done.

I hope that this post gets the conversation going a bit, I hope that it ensures that the representation of everyone that isn't already represented can have a light shined on them, and, I hope that this post educates someone. Just one person would be fine.

Be respectful of everyone around you, respect pronoun's and preferred names. Have conversations about anything that you don't know or understand with others and help to remove any stigma that society and the media create.

Talk below and further the discussion!

Thanks for reading! 
Jamie x 

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