GQ Challenge: Day 5

The Genderqueer Challenge is here.

5. Dysphoria and how you manage it.

Oops, I’ve already talked a little bit about this in day three, I think? But I’ll go into more depth here.

I don’t have any physical gender dysphoria. In fact, I quite like my body. I don’t have any strong feelings about genitals or most secondary sexual characteristics, although I do quite like having boobs (it’s basically like having cushions strapped to your chest that people (with your permission of course) can rest on — which is good when you’re like me and the rest of you is about 99.5% skin and bone (not as nice to rest on). So yeah, I’m quite happy with my body as is.

I do, however, get some social dysphoria. I don’t like the idea of people seeing me as a girl (which they inevitably do). In fact, I’ve just realised that I haven’t once used the word ‘woman’ in this challenge to refer to how people see me, and it’s entirely because I dislike that idea so much. Girl somehow seems less misgendering than woman, but I feel like that’s a conversation for another time. I find it very difficult to reconcile this social dysphoria with the way I present, and sometimes it gets to the point where I just can’t wear something that will make me look even more ‘like a girl’ than I would in jeans. It doesn’t happen often, because I love the clothes I’ve got at the moment, but sometimes I have to put my hair up so it looks from the front like it might be short and then wear either my dungaree shorts (which make me feel like I’m presenting really queerly, even if I’m probably not really) or one of my Captain America shirts. My Cap shirt is really weird in that it seems to soothe a physical dysphoria that isn’t actually there; it make me feel like I have wider shoulders and less curves (possibly because it’s a unisex shirt?).

Another way that I try to soothe my dysphoria (although it rarely works) is that I go on either the ‘gender stuff’ tag or the ‘nonbinary’ tag on tumblr, just because they are were I feel most validated and comfortable when I’m feeling like I’m not being seen as nonbinary (unfortunately I don’t have a good NB community to turn to like I do with the ace community).

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5 thoughts on “GQ Challenge: Day 5

  1. I relate to your weirdness around the word woman – for me it goes beyond even just what words are being applied to me, though. A few years back, when I was first really coming into my feminist self, one of the things I did was try to actively stop referring to grown ass adults as “girls” in contexts where it would be clearly inappropriate to call men “boys”. But I found it weirdly uncomfortable to use the word “women” at all for a while – I honestly think that we have so over-sexualized the entire concept of “womanhood” that it seems inappropriate to call people women in regular day-to-day conversations.

    But that’s obviously something I want to push back against, so I did it anyway.

    …Anyway, yeah. That is my somewhat tangential thought on “girl” vs. “woman” 😛

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’ve actually been feeling that kinda weirdness too recently — I just assumed it was because I so disliked the word for myself that I like to forget it exists or something, but I wonder if it might be the same as your reasoning actually. Thanks for the comment!

      Liked by 1 person

    • Hey did you guys ever see this discussion over the term woman? https://asexualagenda.wordpress.com/2015/04/14/question-of-the-week-april-14th-2015/ 😉

      I am cis and kind of… “Not as adult” as a lot of peers my age, as I still rely on my dad for a lot?? and of course ace too… but being 26 I do feel adult and therefore when it comes to woman vs. girl I’m much more comfortable now with woman. I find I prefer however to say “female” a lot of the times, if I have a choice, rather than “women” or “woman”. It’s kinda weird but that’s what is most comfortable to me.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Omg thank you for sharing this! And for your personal perspective! Words are so complicated and no one reads *exactly* the same connotations in since it is so based on personal context and experience, which is what makes language both amazing (in its flexibility) and frustrating (in terms of clear communication)

        Like

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