Before venturing down this rabbit hole, I will say this: Figuring out I was Asexual was a whole fucking lot easier than this. I knew, in my core, that sexual attraction was virtually non-existent for me. Also, in part due to my C-PTSD, I’m leaning toward being Aromantic as well… do I occasionally like romantic things? Yeah, sure… but wanting to -participate- in romantic things… no. My romantic leanings are much more fluid than my sexuality. I don’t find women even romantically attractive, but that isn’t the only other option to being hetero-romantic. Seriously, folks. There’s a shit-ton of territory to cover. But I digress… romantic and sexual orientations are not the territory I’m delving into…
Years ago, when I first realized I was asexual, one of the first people I told was a friend who had called me late in the evening, drunker than a skunk in a poppy field, and depressed about his work vehicle (which had all the tools of his then-livelihood in it) totaled while parked… some jackass slammed into it with their vehicle. Because this friend was drunk while we were talking, he kept confusing asexuality with androgyny. Also keep in mind, my boobs were a LOT bigger back then (thank you, Bast, for surgery in 2015). It wasn’t until the next morning that I realized he was referring to Androgyny. He kept focusing on looks and not what asexuality is… which is more internal, not external.
Here I am, closing in on 8 years of knowing my sexuality. And now I’m wondering about my gender representation. Here we go down the rabbit hole.
Ever since childhood, I’ve been classified as a tomboy. I hated dresses about 95% of the time, preferred climbing things, playing the dragon-slaying knight instead of a damsel in distress, destroying my Barbie dolls (realizing their hair does not grow back… whoops), and generally doing things that were not assigned a gender. I had dolls. I played with Legos. I read and wrote about science, science fiction, and fantasy. I dreamed of being an astronaut and begged to go to Space Camp (never did).
Later, in high school, I still rarely wore dresses, opting for skinny leather lace up boots, stirrup pants, concert shirts and either a beret (black) or a cotton fedora (also black). My clothing was neutral for the most part. I hated jeans but that was mostly because they tapered in to the waist and were uncomfortable for my very short-waisted body type.
In my 20’s, I still blurred the lines. Black high heeled boots, black leggings, a white ruffled shirt (or something more plain), and longer hair (think kinda like how Prince dressed, just less flashy). The next day I could be wearing sweat pants and a grungy t-shirt. When I worked in retail, I wore heels and mens’ dress shirts… and their ties. I loved wearing ties. Hell, even today, if I see one at Goodwill that I like, I get it.
Since then, my clothing has become more relaxed… but my choices in clothes have always blurred those lines. I prefer shopping for some things in the mens departments… mostly because they’ll fit my broad shoulders and broad ribcage better (thank you to my Swiss grandpa for that). I still like wearing skirts (I usually make my own when the mood strikes) and I tend to wear dresses for interviews. I rarely wear makeup (cosplay and job interviews, and even then, the bare minimum). I can no longer wear piercings of any kind due to a metal allergy. And my hair is currently cut as a mohawk… which I love. My hair (and the cowlicks on my scalp) has a mind of its own… especially on the sides. So, keeping the sides shaved super-close and the top and back longer keeps my frustration levels down.
So I’m looking at the terms that surround Gender Neutral. When I said at the start that realizing I was asexual was easier, I was NOT joking. I feel I may simply be Androgynous. I am fine with female pronouns… I primarily present as female (even though the boobage is smaller, they aren’t exactly non-existent). But how I dress… this is where it gets confusing. There are so many terms for this middle ground of gender representation. I think, for now, I’m just more androgynous. At least in terms of clothes and hair.
There’s a lot to consider. This, I think, will be a longer journey of figuring shit out. I’ve read some articles, tried to find the best term (androgyny and genderqueer are the closest, but even then… not sure). This is a process. I know that many people will say “only you can decide what you identify as” and I get that… I do… but damn… there are so many terms and I’m not sure what fits best.
A little insight from others might be helpful…