Quick Hit: What’s Your Gender?

Hello

My name is

eloriane
I am
aggressive, ally, beautiful, brother, butch-liking, butch-loving, celibate, chapstick lesbian, chubby, cunt, etc., fabulous, fangirl, fat, female, feminist, femme-ish, friend of Dorothy, gay, geek, gender abolitionist, gender liberationist, gender pirate, hairy, harpy, introvert, lady, lezbean, liberal, Ms., me, open, out, outspoken, passing woman, privileged, pro-choice, progressive, queer, redhead, sapphist, student, survivor, teh gay, tomboy femme, woman-loving
Who are you?

Thanks go to Genderkid (here) for introducing me to this.

I don’t have too much trouble marking the little box marked F on all the forms in my meatspace life (a privilege that spares me many headaches!), but I still appreciate the chance to express the bigger picture of who I am. I love the fact that with alphabetical sorting, all the concepts get mixed together, “queer” right next to “readhead,” without artificial weight added to certain terms. Sure, I’m queer, and that’s a big deal, I guess, but I invest a lot more energy into my readheaded identity– I pay good money quite often to dye my hair red, whereas I just am queer.

Plus, there’s the totally bizarre “hairy, harpy, introvert, lady” sequence. Yup, I’m a hairy harpy and an introverted lady! Sometimes I’m even a lady unironically. 

I found it interesting what words I couldn’t bring myself to check. For example, “homosexual” is not on that list, although I have “chapstick lesbian,”fabulous,” “friend of Dorothy,” “gay, “lezbean,”  “out,” “queer,” “sapphist,” “teh gay,” and “woman-loving.” It’s because I’ll use all those words to describe myself, but I never call myself homosexual. It’s weirdly clinical to me. It’s just not who I am. “Lesbian” is also, notably, missing. I feel like I’m reclaiming this word more than I’m claiming it, because for some reason saying it all seriously, lesbian, sounds like some man leering at me, lesbian, or the narrator of some nature documentary, lezzzbian. When I’m actually talking about myself, I’m much more light-hearted, there’s a smile to it, like lezbean, or “teh gay.”

I’ve also marked myself down as a “brother,” because I’m a Brother in a co-ed fraternity, and it’s an important, life-long commitment to me. I didn’t mark daughter or sister, despite being these things to my family, because they aren’t chosen relationships, and somehow that makes them feel more like part of my life than part of my identity.

I also marked “passing woman.” I’m not sure why, but claiming outright, woman!, or even more scarily, cisgendered woman!, felt disingenuous. I’m femme-ish (as noted above!) and I enjoy it, but I’m keenly aware of all the ways that my femininity is a performed thing. It’s a performance I enjoy, one that makes me happy, but I’m not sure it’s part of my identity.

This Hit is turning out to be not so Quick, so I am going to call it a day. The main point stands, though: this is a fun way to reject the gender binary. Please, in the comments, let us know– who are you?

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9 Responses to Quick Hit: What’s Your Gender?

  1. dirtyrose says:

    Well, let’s hope I did this right:

    Hello
    I am

    admirer, adorant, ambiguous, amorous, ask me, assertive, BDSM, babe, bisexual, bondage, bottom, complex, confidant, creative, cunt, Democrat, daddy’s girl, daughter, dreamer, eclectic, family-closeted, feminine, feminist, femme, fetishist, flirt, geek, girl, girly-girl, human, intelligent, introvert, kinky, liberal, little sister, lost, loving, masochist, not sure of myself, not sure of others, pervert, pro-choice, pro-family, pro-sex feminist, quiet, quirky, readable, romantic, sassy, shy, soft, strange, student, submissive, suicidal, survivor, sweet, undefined, unique, virgin

    Who are you?

  2. dirtyrose says:

    … Uh, you get the idea anyway, right? 🙂

  3. eloriane says:

    Totally 🙂 And I want to give you some internet fist-bumps of solidarity for, like, half of those– hurray geek, for example! (And I’m glad you also chose not to choose “she-geek.” It’s nearly as bad as manageress.)

    But also, I’m with you on “suicidal” and on “survivor.” Well, I didn’t check “suicidal” myself because I’m not right now, but the medical leave that begat this blog was actually spurred by a rather serious attempt. I don’t really feel talking about either at length in public right now, but, like I said, solidarity! If you ever want someone to talk to, my email is all over this place: eloriane at gmail dot com.

    Also also, I totally considered checking “flirt” too since apparently I never stop flirting, but it’s so totally accidental I decided it didn’t count. Seriously, dudes of the world! I just actually want you to walk me to the bus stop because I am afraid of the spiders in the forest! This is not a ploy!

  4. dirtyrose says:

    Thanks so much for the solidarity, Eloriane. I just may e-mail you one of these days – I kind of feel like I’m safe and happy whenever I come over here to comment and that counts for an awful lot these days. Not just for me, but for everyone. I can’t say that I fly into those desperate, real and imminent suicidal moments very often, but I checked it because it’s a constant struggle with depression and those thoughts for me, and has been for the past… oh, jeez, ten years? It’s been ten effing years?! Yikes. Every day I get through is still a testament to survival, even if I spent an hour in bed crying until my eyes hurt, or couldn’t bring myself to go to class.

    And that’s about enough of that. But flirting and I have Issues with a capital I. I was with my ex for a very long time and pretty much all through my teen years, so I missed out on a lot of prime flirting trial-and-error. I am trying to teach myself to be better with it (seeing as how he’s now an ex and I’m single, and all) but I think either I fail horribly at it, or guys just don’t care for shortass women. I wear heels! What more could they possibly want! I am also retarded about flirting with girls… it’s very lonely here in my corner. 😉

  5. eloriane says:

    Yeah, I’ve been having great fun with depression (and, I am discovering, anxiety! hurray!) for ten years here, too. I know exactly what you mean, and I’m glad that this is a comfortable space to you. I’m going to say it again, because it’s important: if you ever want someone to lean on, even if it’s “not important,” please don’t hesitate to contact me. I’ve gotten used to seeing you around here. 🙂

    As for flirting, I would like to ask you not to use “retarded” as I try to maintain the same “safe space” that Melissa maintains at Shakesville. However, rephrase that to “I am also made of fail about flirting with girls” and I’m right there with you! Right now I’m happy being single, but I spent the last year searching for just a date in vain. Alas.

  6. dirtyrose says:

    Gotcha – I certainly meant no offense, though I do sometimes speak without thinking. I’ll keep it tasteful from here on out. 🙂

    I’m definitely HAPPY being single, though I miss the companionship I used to have with my ex. We were very, very close when we were together (isn’t that pretty usual?) and it was a pretty big hit when there wasn’t that friendship and contact. In general, and not just romantically, I think I’m just battling loneliness, which is a bummer, but you gotta power through.

  7. eloriane says:

    Man, are you me in disguise? I think I have a lot more bitterness towards my ex than you do (what with the umpteen betrayals she managed to squeeze into our last month) but I’m definitely missing the closeness and feeling extremely lonely. I haven’t got a single friend in the state of Arkansas– my closest friends are in North Carolina. I only get by because of the good ol’ intertubes.

    We should IM or something some time, to battle the loneliness together! My life has been improved times a bajillion ever since I started chatting on AIM with Crowfoot. Email me and I’ll give you my screen name!

    And don’t worry too much about the “retarded;” I know people generally don’t mean to be hurtful with their words, which is why I like to help point it out when they might want to be more mindful.

  8. purpleshinycrafter says:

    I wonder if you’re in the same co-ed fraternity as I am! 😀 (Mine just had their every-other-year national convention in Boston this past December–I was totally psyched to be there, but I’m still navigating how to be involved as an alum.)

  9. eloriane says:

    I think not, unfortunately– we just had our annual convention in Indianapolis, and our next one is this summer in Vancouver. It would have been really cool, though! I love my fraternity.

    Does yours have a mailing list or something? A lot of our alums keep in touch just by participating in our list-serve conversations.

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