And now, I've questioned everything.
I was actually bullied in school for being late to learning that "girls don't have penises". I think it was only like 10 years old that I finally learned. And for some reason, my peers, the other schoolkids, already knew, and mocked me for it. In fact, I was generally considered pretty underdeveloped and immature, even more my age as a child, and this was just another piece of evidence. But that's off topic.
Anyway, I was so ashamed that I didn't know. And if you asked 13 year old me, for instance, what separates boys and girls. I would have given you the sex ed answer, "the only thing that makes a girl a girl is a vagina and xx chromosomes" and "the only thing that makes a boy a boy is a penis and xy chromosomes". I might have even skipped out on the chromosomes partly due to not being that that learned in biology yet. Though I might have been, while I was considered undeveloped in terms of common sense and appropriate behavior at that age, I was pretty precious when it came to vocabulary and trivial and learning studies.
But, I didn't know anything about transgender for the longest time. Except for that when I was a teenager, I knew that that raunchy show I wasn't supposed to watch, Jerry Springer, would have trans people on for shock value all the time. I still don't like any talk shows to this day because of that sort of early bad experience. They all seem vapid to me.
Today, trans issues are very well known and discuss. But goodness me if it hasn't been a shock and something difficult to wrap my brain around.
Everything I was taught about gender as a child, and made fun of for not knowing, what wrong. It's still hard to unlearn what was pushed onto me. Even when I got older and had been introduced to feminism and similar worldviews, the one I was familiar with was "yes, don't let anyone take away your man card or tell you to "man up". There is literally only one thing that makes a man, a penis. And literally only the only thing making a person a woman is a vagina. Everything else is sexism. Gender is a social construct, women and men are equal because gender is a social construct."
And now from two angles, childhood common sense and coming of age knowledge "everyone" goes through, to egalitarian gender politics and sociology stuff. Everything was pointing me to there being only three components to gender, penises, vaginas, and gender roles/sexism.
Trans politics throws all of that out. Everything I've ever known. And as a result, I don't even know what my gender identity is, and what it is based on if I even have one.
Too much information warning, but I have a penis. I never questioned the idea that made me a boy or man. When I was a 11 year old with a penis, I was a boy. When I was an 18 year old with a penis, I was a man. If someone questioned that towards me, my immediate thought was they were just being a sexist bigot. They were being sexist and trying to make my gender about something frivolous and shallow like my behavior, rather than my penis.
But if my gender is indeed not based on my penis, what is it based on? What is my gender identity, what is it based on and what causes it. If I have to take my penis out of the equation, I literally can't think of a single thing that would get me to label myself male that wouldn't be a gender role or gender stereotype. Things were so much easier when it was as simple as penis/vagina and everything else was just my individual personality and self expression.
So, what is my gender, and how to I find it?
Until discovering all this, I just thought I was a gender non-conforming male, as everyone should be gender non-conforming to destroy and eviscerate gender norms. I do a lot of feminine things, because I'm a person and there's no point in whether anything I want to do is feminine or masculine, just that I want to do it and it looks fun. Fun is more important than feminine or masculine expression. I wear lots of pink, it reminds me of lots of anime girls I admire. I saw this rivethead style dress at Hot Topic yesterday that looked super comfortable (always important) and a bit like wearing a pair of overalls. I want it.
But as far as gender expression, the only thing I feel like I'm expressing in myself is misanthropy when I do feminine things. When I do something femme or non-conforming, I feel like I'm giving a gigantic middle finger to society, and it feels great. Am I expressing some innate biological gender identity, that I dunno about. I'm either expressing myself as an individual or making a contrarian statement.
I guess you could say I'm just secure in my manhood to be non-conforming. But I'm really not. When I'm non-conforming, as always, and someone would challenge my manhood because of that, I would condescendingly think of them as sexist, and possibly respond by something like "yeah, but I have a penis". Or more gentle, I might say something like "I don't think my penis should determine my behavior". I mean, it's a bit uncouth to talk about my penis publicly, but I feel like someone kinda has it coming when they try to enforce my behavior based on my penis. They're referencing my genitals whether they outright mention them by name or not.
And when you take the whole penis/xy chromosomes, the later of which I think I have but have no idea since I haven't tested that.
There's nothing left at all to base a manhood on, and I no longer feel like a man at all. I couldn't give you a single thing to prop up a male gender identity of myself on that wouldn't be transphobic, or conversely, outright sexist and based in retrograde stereotypes. If you peel back the whole "male equals penis" thing, there's nothing left. I'm not sure I have a gender identity afterward. In fact, I think discovering and becoming learned in trans politics, has given me a bit of an identity crisis. It's taken away what little gender identity I seemed to have.
Now I don't know what I am? Some parts of MtF transition sound like a marginal improvement with pursuing. A higher pitched or more "feminine" voice(I'm pretty sure "feminine" in this context is just a lazy way of saying high pitched, as that's really the only thing separating the average male or female voice, or what is passing), would be pretty nice. I wanted that when I felt like a penis identity person or whatever. I was a penisdude, but I did want a cuter, higher pitched voice that wasn't exactly considered "male passing" or masculine by my society.
On the other hand, wouldn't spiro take away my sex drive? I have heard it does. I don't want that. Also, I like my flat chest. Flat is Justice!
I can't just go away throwing away my Justice with hormones, now can I?
Low sex drive and big tits sounds like a nightmare. Like, I'd be giving up one of the only good things about my body. Spiro + Estadiol would take away my literally only good feature. I'm not averse to HRT, at least in theory, but for my body it sounds a bit unwise. Every other part of transition doesn't sound as a bad thing, though. In fact, I was already doing all of this stuff as a man, feminine voice practice, laser hair removal(gosh facial and body hair itches so much!), make up if that counts? I just didn't think it made me trans, I thought I was just being a contrarian individual and counter-cultural.
In VRChat I definitely only want to walk around as an be a cute anime girl. I don't know that means I'm trans or what it means. It's just the skin I'm more comfortable in and is a major upgrade over reality. And of course I try to go for that cute anime girl voice when speaking in VRChat like Tosha and others do. But that probably doesn't say as much about my gender identity as it does about me being an otaku, that is all into those parts of otaku culture normies don't get and are skeeved out by. In fact, even if I have a gender identity, I probably identify more with being an otaku than with any gender.
And again, even if I tried, I honestly can form an image of what a man or a woman is in my head outside of genitals that doesn't rely on outdated sexist stereotypes.
So, I don't know. I think I have an identity crisis now. The Jenga tower of my gender identity came crashing down as soon as I learned the whole thing I was basing it off of was considered transphobic and problematic.