Recently a mate of mine confided that his daughter, who just started Uni, has come out as genderqueer. I didn’t know what to say, mainly because I had no idea what the hell he was talking about. But as people don’t typically confide in me because I’m immature and easily distracted I decided to have a dig and find out what the hell he was going on about by utilising the slightly slower download speeds of copper to the node I’ve been forced to settle for because bloody Abbott couldn’t get his head around technology.
Anyway, after watching a few car crash videos, I had a quick Google and it turned out I wasn’t totally oblivious of gender dysphoria, as the search results called it, as I’d heard something about Caitlyn Jenner at some point a while back. My research revealed that some people want to live the gender they feel they are or aren’t because it makes them happy, which sounded fair enough and I’m all on board but now it’s left me with one small question;
How do you actually FEEL your gender?
It’s something I’ve never thought about before as I just simply took it for granted that I was male, there has never been any “feeling” associated with it . When I analyse it my perception of my gender was derived from conforming with society telling me I was male which I presume was pretty much based on the fact that I have a penis* and maybe partly due to the premise that I’d make a butt ugly girl as one good mate once generously pointed out. So how do you identify your gender beyond the biology of it all? Do some people wake up in the mornings thinking, I’m feeling especially male today? ‘Cause I don’t and now it’s got me wondering.
I’ve grown up doing traditionally male things. Played footy, hunting, boxing, joined the Army, worked in a steel mill, rode motor bikes and laughed at flatulence but as it turns out that these things aren’t exclusively male, especially today. In contrast, apparently I played with dolls as a toddler, I like cooking, I get on better with women than men, I cried during Million Dollar Baby , I have a bit of a man-crush on Mike Rowe and for some reason lesbians tend to like me, I mean they really like me. But in spite of all this I’ve never felt female either.
So does any of this mean anything? Am I missing something? Am I not missing something? Are other people getting an inner sense of gender that I’m not or is gender beyond biology solely a social construct? And if it is a social construct then how then can some people feel gender? I’ve put these questions to friends and colleagues but none could provide an answer of substance and most of them just looked at me funny. I’ve also tried the social networks but they too were unhelpful plus a bit suspicious and defensive. So here I am putting it out there to the blogosphere.
*Edit submit- [insert quotation marks] -Mrs Yakovich