“I want to hear about how it is to live as a bio woman for you”
Bio woman sounds like a bad word because I don’t feel like a bio-woman most of the time. But there are some physical things that remind me that I have been assigned female due to the body parts that I have. And though I have questioned gendered constructs, I have never really questioned my gendered body. So, writing this felt a bit weird, but I get why it can be important to reflect on this. Women with vaginas have a weird relationship with their bodies too. There is shame/guilt. There is discovery or disassociation.
Brace yourself for some ⚠️super-confessional shit⚠️. Please skip if you will be embarrassed for me. Confession is my writing style, so… ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
I think I have already spoken about how I saw my breasts during puberty here. I am sure there will always be more to excavate if you think about it. I was embarrassed about having small breasts initially, but now I am more intimidated by big breasts. And I don’t know how I would assert being queer with huge breasts. Also, I think about how I like to be a bit invisible and anonymous, so big breasts definitely make you hypervisible and I would hate that. Now, I am much more comfortable with my breasts.
⚠️Superconfessional shit– My breasts were not part of self-pleasure until like last year! I think participating in the #identitty project did help after all. I do not actively still know how to be super proud of my breasts, but it was a learning lesson anyway.
I feel like your parents teach you to be embarrassed about your breasts and always worry about covering up. It is so ingrained this rapey way of looking at your own body. Feel sexy, but not too much. That’s such a weird balance to maintain.
Uterus et al.
Contrary to the majority opinion of women with uteruses, I feel happy during my menstruation cycle. I think I associate it with the relief I feel after the week of mood slump due to PMS. Also, when the period is late, then the mood slump continues for longer which is the most terrible for a depressive person like me. I cannot escape the fatigue of a mood slump even in the most optimistic of mental states.
But I manage the periods well! I feel like I take care of my body and have to monthly because of it. I love to update my period tracker app. I guess, it is a weird joy of gender confirmation for someone like me who feels boyish most of the time.
Menstrual cups have been a huge blessing too. I hate sanitary napkins. I haaaaaaaaaaaaate them. Even when I feel lazy sometimes with the menstrual cup, I remember the rash and the cloth stains that a pad entails. So, to avoid that ordeal, I take up the slightly longer ordeal of menstrual cups. It is great to be on periods when you feel dry and can ignore it for the most parts! Also, for a boy like me, it is the movement of manspreading that I value most that menstrual cups afford. Thank god for its discovery right around when I had control over my money. (My mom’s first reaction to it was conservative and also slut-shaming but luckily, I rebelled and took a risk that paid off).
Menstrual cups also fucking taught me so much about my vagina. The amount of research I did on this was crazy. I still couldn’t visualise it but if you told me to draw a rough diagram of how a vagina looks like from the inside, I think I could draw it pretty well. Some people live their whole lives not really exploring their bodies because there is so much shame attached to it. But for the sake of comfortable menstruation, I learned something!
⚠️ Superconfessional shit: This may seem like a weird trajectory but I had had sex first. Then the next year, I started using the menstrual cup. Then, after another year, I started masturbating! This is actually quite reasonable of girls really depend on guys to help them figure out their bodies. That’s stupid because they too don’t know shit. But then after I realised people with penises are on the same boat as me, I took more initiative to discover the secrets of the mysterious vagina. So, menstrual cup obviously is the more scientific, nerdy way to start that journey then.
Then, finally, you reach the clit! I have a vague teenage memory of trying to masturbate and the pleasure was so strong that I was afraid to touch myself again.
When I became braver later, I just couldn’t match what I had imagined. There was a disassociation to overcome. I could just keep trying and trying and nothing would happen. I have watched Feminist Youtube videos on how to get into the mood, read comic strips about how to do it. Nothing. I just had to persist. I think by this time, I also had a dildo, but it didn’t help shit. I even thought what if I didn’t have a clit and I will be barred from this amazing experience of multiple orgasms that women have.
Finally, when I conquered the tiny Everest, I was elated. I felt free. I felt like I will conquer sex like a beast now. That didn’t happen. Because it is still dependent on the vibe with the other person. But still, we will be proud of the baby steps we’re taking in getting to know each other’s bodies I guess.
⚠️ Superconfessional shit: Isn’t it the best depression medicine ever? I could have salvaged some teenage sanity if I had pursued this adventure earlier.
I mean, I can write a whole more provocative thesis on the Magic of the Clit but I’ll move on.
Who the fuck gives a shit to trace gender at that level? Transphobic people, that’s who.
Being seen as female
Again, in the last five years, I must have taken up the label of “genderqueer”. It felt like a better explanation of myself. I could explain why my expression to be not so “feminine” is more than just internal misogyny. It is not just the hatred at being disrespected when coded as female. I also am incapable of performing femininity. I feel like a fraud in a costume who is trying to doll up, which is not a comfortable skin to be in.
I don’t like being seen as female but I know I am because my genderqueerness is not gothic rebellious or confusing. It is just plain. Like I said, I prefer invisibility. It is not trying to be too boyish nor too girly. It is a mismatch of things. So, I feel uncomfortable when somebody reminds me I am a woman. I feel watched and I can’t chill in public spaces, even if I am the only person on the bus or at the station. I am expected to know everything related to household chores, which I have never volunteered to do ever. I will help if you ask. But I refuse to be seen as an efficient expert at it. I definitely can’t dress up so I hate office-HR-celebrations which decide the dress code according to gender. It sucks so bad. I hate dressing up because I have not found clothes which feel like “me”.
I think I know exactly my dress sense is but the world is not nudist enough for that shit!
I mean, this is my gender expression. Can’t wait for when this becomes the norm and we are okay with all types of bodies in this world.
The truth is I don’t hate my femininity either. I am just uncomfortable to be just one gender. Even if someone boxed me into a more masculine role, I would just rebel against that too. I like men who can be chill about gender themselves bcz there is a sense of freedom in breaking these arbitrary rules of presentation. Gender truly is a performance of self-expression, and that expression (for me, at least) is moody. So, I just cannot choose one thing as my permanent gender forever and ever.
I am glad that I am not finally confident in calling myself genderqueer. I used to feel like an imposter (bcz I benefit from being coded as cishet automatically) but then life has only confirmed what I already know to be true for myself. So even if someone accuses me of being “just a girl”. I will just shrug it off. I don’t have to prove anything to anyone.
PS: The title is a Harry Styles song because I am in love with that boy and the chorus was playing in my head while writing this.