Reflections on Gender

I was video chatting with a group of people and we were talking about blogging. Blogging is always on my list of “things to do when I have more time/energy,” but I never do it.

Questions like “How personal should I get online?” or “What if I want to write about many different things?” always put me into a state of analysis paralysis. So I want to start with just one post.

I have an ongoing list of good (or neutral) changes that have happened in 2020.

A few highlights:

  • Trying vegetarianism
  • Started talking on the phone more
  • Started making my bed
  • Started meditating
  • Coming to terms with my genderfludiity

Not going out to bars or dating for months allowed me to see how I naturally exist in the world, versus how I present to the world. I was taking a break from being perceived and from showing up in a way that I thought would attract others.

I often feel androgynous or masculine inside, but I have always hid it under hyper-feminine clothing. It creates a lot of cognitive dissonance, especially in a relationship context: I am treated like a feminine person but inside I feel differently.

Over the summer I had a bit of a revelation about gender followed by an anxious purge to get rid of my “girl clothes”. Some of it was clothing I wore in college in order to appear conventionally pretty and attract men in fraternities. It was bittersweet to leave those items behind. I said the Marie Kondo-esque “Thank you for letting me wear you” and sent them on their way.

But then there were certain feminine pieces that I feel comfortable in and wanted to keep.

This is where self-discovery gets complicated. I learned that I always want to “fit a mold” or live to match an extreme – which maybe got me into this hyper-femme “look” in the first place – and I am just not that simple. I decided to keep some of the feminine clothes. I feel comfortable in them, and I like them.

I ended up cutting my hair, which helped with my complex gender feelings a lot. I had medium-length hair and got it cut into a bob. This was perfect; I can make myself look more feminine when I want by curling my hair and putting on makeup, but my baseline “look” is androgynous.

The look kind of has this vibe:

Woman's bob
This is not me. It’s just a picture from Google.

Finally, I began to think about how presenting more masculine would affect my personality. What patterns of speech have I learned as a woman? Would that change as I show my masculine side more? What about ways of thinking and emoting?

What I found, overall, is that I don’t have all the answers. The only thing I learned is that I don’t need to be an archetype; I just need to live according to my values and more will be revealed.