Two lines of thoughts are swirling around in my head, connecting to each other but travelling too fast to grasp. This is an attempt to run a comb through my thoughts to figure out what’s what. (To be very clear, this post is only about me and not intended to question anybody else.)
Let’s start with gender identity and expression. I’m not trans. I’m not cis. I’m sort of a woman, but no, not exactly. Sometimes I’m feminine, sometimes I’m not. My expression used to be more of a choice than it is nowadays, due to more severe illness and disability. I don’t know what I am, but I do know who I am. Contradiction? Maybe. I’ll try to explain.
I’ve spent a couple of years studying different theories on gender, both academic studies at the university and taken part of a lot of different ideas from various people in different LGBTQI communities. Some understandings of gender I refute, others make sense. With this said, I still have no sense of what gender is. I’m familiar with how other people understand sex and gender, but I don’t get how it relates to me. I have no clue where I fit in to these understandings, even the ones that make sense.
I read something the other day that made me think about how this probably relates to an autistic way of thinking. To some extent this is affected by being punished in different ways for not behaving like a girl or a woman is expected to, but that’s not the main reason. The more important part is slippery and hard to catch so I haven’t been able to put it into words yet. Let’s just say that I don’t recognize myself in any of the descriptions of gender I’m familiar with.
Then we have sexual orientation, and it’s sort of the same thing. I can recognize different people’s understandings of what sexual orientation is, but where do I fit in? I don’t, so far. My desire seems to be aiming in directions that don’t match, which is likely connected to my none-understanding of gender. My sexuality is intuitively clear to me but it doesn’t make sense when I try to position it according to familiar systems of sexual orientation. I’m not confused, I just don’t relate.
What I just wrote is only about me, I consider other people’s gender identities and sexual orientations as completely valid. I’m very curious about if somebody gets what I mean and possibly even share this experience. Please feel free to comment if you do.
Update: To be clear and not make cis-sexist assumptions: I was assigned female at birth.