#SexIsSocial - Sometimes Adam, Sometimes Eve

Ansley Ansley


Sometimes Adam, Sometimes Eve, by Kayletta Jade! - Click here to read the article.



This is a very interesting article about Kayletta's relationship with a bigender person. What is bigender you ask? Bigender is where a person identifies as both male and female and how they identify themselves can fluctuate. For instance, Kayletta's partner has two dressers: one for their masculine clothing and one for their feminine clothing.

They, like many others, who identify outside of the gender binary experience invasive questions about how one can live like this, how one can see themselves as both male and female and seemingly interchange the two at will.

Kayletta explains the best way to express one's curiosity about how someone identifies, but is it really anyone's business? Why does it seem like people feel entitled to explanations about things that don't concern them? Are their attempts to dig deeper an effort to understand or an effort to criticize?

Is perception reality? If you perceive a person as a man or as masculine, does that make them a man?

Our poll question is going to be pretty basic this week, as we would really love to hear your opinions on the topics of transgenderism, cisgenderism, and everything between.

Do try to remain respectful toward one another, the internet allows for anonymity but there are real people and real feelings behind each of our responses.
Answers (private voting - your screen name will NOT appear in the results):
Is it invasive to expect people to define their gender for someone else?
3
No, of course not.
4
Friends and family can inquire, or be curious, but it's rude for strangers to ask.
24
Yes, it's definitely invasive whether friends, family, or strangers ask.
1
I'm not sure, surely there's a time and a place for everything right?
13
.
Do you know anyone who identifies as transgender or bigender?
2
Yes, I identify myself this way.
2
Yes, I know people who identify this way.
31
No, I don't know anyone who identifies this way, nor do I identify myself this way.
13
Total votes: 93 (44 voters)
Poll is closed
10/04/2012
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Airen Wolf Airen Wolf
Quote:
Originally posted by Ansley


Sometimes Adam, Sometimes Eve, by Kayletta Jade! - Click here to read the article.



This is a very interesting article about Kayletta's relationship with a bigender person. What is bigender you ask? Bigender is where a ... More
I do know people who don't identify as either male or female. I didn't want to hurt their feelings or be insensitive so I took a risk and simply asked how my friend would prefer to be referred to as. I was thanked and a really great conversation happened where I was able to ask lots of personal questions....and answer personal questions! I am after all a Pagan housewife, lover of two men and mother of three children. There was fertile ground for invasive questions on both sides.
Being willing to respect the personhood of everyone you meet makes most people feel accepted and appreciated. That's the first hurdle to making friends out of possibly scary different strangers.

I have come to a realization that how a person defines themselves is their business and it really isn't up to me to define them or pigeon hole them. However you see yourself, celebrate it! There are too many people wandering around with no idea who or what they are.
10/04/2012
charletnarouh charletnarouh
I think tactfully asked questions from a place of seeking to understand from a friend or close family member are fine, if posed respectfully and if the person being asked doesn't mind. Questions asked from the curiosity or fascination of a stranger or from a place of trying to judge or criticize are not ok. It's a difficult situation on both sides. It's important that the person being asked not feel like a freak show or a science experiment. But it's also important that the person asking, if asking for the right reasons, get the information they are seeking that could lead to greater understanding and promote acceptance and tolerance. Is it right or fair that these people are so misunderstood and meet with such intolerance? No! It's not their fault or choice and it's not fair that it falls to them to be poked and prodded and inspected (at best, verbally) just because they don't fit into people's expectations. They didn't ask for the responsibility to educate the world. They just want to live their life and be left alone like everybody else walking around in this world. But at the same time, if people really want to understand, how else are they supposed to do so but by asking? I've found that MOST trans/genderqueer, bigender, and otherwise non-binary folks are amazingly tolerant of this kind of thing when people approach them respectfully. The vast majority are really of the mindset that they'd rather people ask and give them the opportunity to educate and share because they feel it's the answer to reducing and hopefully ending intolerance, but it's also really crappy that they have to be subject to it and they shouldn't have to be. I think the most important thing people with questions can do is, like Airen said, respect their personhood, and also respect that it isn't their responsibility to bear their soul to satisfy your curiosity. Being non-binary doesn't make them less entitled to respect or privacy and it definitely doesn't mean they don't WANT that privacy. Asking them about their gender identity, beyond asking which manner of address/pronouns they prefer, their sexuality and their anatomy, especially if you don't know them very well, is very rude. Consider if the level of information you're asking for would be appropriate for you to talk about with a cis-gendered person that you're on the same level with. In the case of a cis person, you might not need to ask to know it, but would you talk about it? You probably wouldn't ask your cis-gendered coworker about their genital anatomy. True, you might not need to because you can assume some basics, but you still prolly wouldn't talk about it with them, or ask them for details. But with a really close personal friend, you might get to know them well enough to discuss sex, and anatomy might become part of the conversation. If you're that close with a non-binary identified person, it might be ok to respectfully pose some questions.
10/04/2012
Ryuson Ryuson
I think that it depends WHY the person is asking. If you've just recently become friends and you want to know that they identify as in order to not offend them and be able to introduce them properly, then I think it's perfectly okay. If you're asking because you are being judgmental, no way Jose!

I know quite a few transgender people, and it's a bit of a problem when I knew them before they... Switched? Came out as their 'proper' gender? There's this friend I have who now goes by Cal, but I knew 'him' as Callie for most of highschool. When it's like that it's hard to get used to using the right pronoun/name. I know this one guy though who started getting hormone therapy and such real young, and there is NO WAY that anyone would suspect that he used to be a 'she.'
10/04/2012
GONE! GONE!
Quote:
Originally posted by Ryuson
I think that it depends WHY the person is asking. If you've just recently become friends and you want to know that they identify as in order to not offend them and be able to introduce them properly, then I think it's perfectly okay. If ... More
Basically. It's just important to be polite and respectful when asking about such things. Most transgender people I know (Myself included.) are more than happy to volunteer information that will be used to make our experiences and friendships more comfortable (I.e. What pronouns we use.).
10/05/2012
P'Gell P'Gell
I know some transgendered people. I've never heard anyone refer to themselves as "biggender." Is it different?

I don't ask a lot of questions, if people want to tell me something, I allow them to do it when they are comfortable. It isn't their job to make me or anyone else comfortable in any way. Nor to reveal parts of their life they may not prefer to talk about.

Just because someone has an "unusual" lifestyle or orientation doesn't mean they owe other people anything. Unless they want to educate, of course.
10/05/2012
Ansley Ansley
Quote:
Originally posted by P'Gell
I know some transgendered people. I've never heard anyone refer to themselves as "biggender." Is it different?

I don't ask a lot of questions, if people want to tell me something, I allow them to do it when they are ... More
"It isn't their job to make me or anyone else comfortable in any way."

Interesting. Is it your job to make them feel comfortable? Or does no one have a responsibility for ensuring the comfort of others?

Not attacking, implying, or insinuating - I'm genuinely curious.
10/05/2012
Kayletta Jade Kayletta Jade
Quote:
Originally posted by P'Gell
I know some transgendered people. I've never heard anyone refer to themselves as "biggender." Is it different?

I don't ask a lot of questions, if people want to tell me something, I allow them to do it when they are ... More
Bigender is a way of saying that a person identifies with multiple genders. My spouse identifies as a male and as a female at different times. One day he's perfectly happy as a male, the next he's lamenting the fact that he doesn't have real breasts. It changes daily sometimes, but other times we'll go weeks between shifts.

But bigender isn't limited to identifying with male or female - one gender identity could be androgynous and the other a male. Also of note is that sexual orientation can shift with the gender identity shift, so the androgynous identity could be asexual and the male identity heterosexual.

Bigender is one of the gender identity terms that's still not strictly defined, there's a bit of play room with the definition, but it is recognized as a subset of transgender by the APA.
10/05/2012
emiliaa emiliaa
Our society just needs to go through a change before this can be accepted. I would personally be insulted if they were someone random because I am very sensitive about my gender. I'm cis-female, and I ask my friends CONSTANTLY if I look it and they say yes...I still don't know, but I guess I do. but when I was young someone called me 'he' (I was like 4 and wearing boy's clothes, I know, I know) but I never really got over it ,it upset me so badly. I'm very obsessed with being feminine.
10/05/2012
Ansley Ansley
Quote:
Originally posted by emiliaa
Our society just needs to go through a change before this can be accepted. I would personally be insulted if they were someone random because I am very sensitive about my gender. I'm cis-female, and I ask my friends CONSTANTLY if I look it and ... More
That is a really interesting insight. Now you've got me pondering how many cisgender people feel the way you do. If a boy had been mistaken for a girl, did he grow up to make presenting himself as masculine a priority?

Very, very interesting. Thank you for this comment!
10/05/2012
charletnarouh charletnarouh
Quote:
Originally posted by emiliaa
Our society just needs to go through a change before this can be accepted. I would personally be insulted if they were someone random because I am very sensitive about my gender. I'm cis-female, and I ask my friends CONSTANTLY if I look it and ... More
This is really fascinating. I'm so glad you commented. My girlfriend, by contrast, dressed like a boy and had short hair until she was a teenager and she got mistaken for a boy regularly and didn't care. She's not super femmy now but there's nothing masculine about her either and no dysphoria or any gender identity mismatch. She has long hair and wears kind of a combination of clothing choices (ie: she usually wears girl's pants but not dresses or skirts, she wears women's dress shirts but boy's t-shirts and casual shirts). The infinite variations of gender and perceptions of gender and gender identities are really fascinating.
10/05/2012
Airen Wolf Airen Wolf
Quote:
Originally posted by charletnarouh
I think tactfully asked questions from a place of seeking to understand from a friend or close family member are fine, if posed respectfully and if the person being asked doesn't mind. Questions asked from the curiosity or fascination of a ... More
Precisely! I never ask if a person is going to make the full change cause if I'm not a lover of their's is isn't my business. Now I have been asked about my genitals and we DID discuss the drawbacks and benefits of making the "full" change. I also realize that just because I am very open and forthcoming about my personal life doesn't mean other people are comfortable with my level of openness.
It's all about respecting the decisions of others and allowing them to own their decisions without the need to understand what motivated those decisions.
10/05/2012
Lildrummrgurl7 Lildrummrgurl7
This is always something that I've wondered. When I am unsure of someone's identified gender, I'll ask them what pronouns they prefer I use when talking to/about them. If the person wishes to use gender neutral pronouns, it's none of my business why. I've met many transgendered individuals and all of them will describe their gender identity in different ways. I've never met two transgendered individuals who describe themselves the same way.
10/07/2012
panthercat23 panthercat23
I have a number of friends who identify as trnasgender, non-gendered, and bi-gendered. So I have grown use to people who are in that position and it no longer phases me in the least bit. At first I was curious, which is human nature but I think it's better to do some research to get a basic understanding than to just ask them all kinds of questions.
10/07/2012
LoooveMonkey LoooveMonkey
I think it's silly that gender matters so much in the first place. I don't think parents should push certain colors or toys on their children just because of their gender. When I was a kid, I had a Barbie and a huge monster truck that I drove her around in the back of. I had Legos and toys to play house with. I was taught to repair appliances, work on cars, and cook and clean. I had a white bedroom until I was able to choose the color I wanted for myself. That's the way it should be. I hate it when people treat me in a gender specific way. I think everyone should be able to become who they choose to be without being pushed one way or the other.
10/07/2012
Gone (LD29) Gone (LD29)
Quote:
Originally posted by emiliaa
Our society just needs to go through a change before this can be accepted. I would personally be insulted if they were someone random because I am very sensitive about my gender. I'm cis-female, and I ask my friends CONSTANTLY if I look it and ... More
I'm also cis-female, and I went through a milder version of this, particularly in grade school right around the age when some of the boys started growing their hair out longer. I never really went out of my way to make myself look super feminine, but I always had this concern in the back of my mind that my lack of makeup and general features made me look too much like a boy.

I think if you know someone well, it's ok to ask about their gender identity, but not if they're a complete stranger or even a casual acquaintance. There's always that chance that your assumption based on how they present themselves may be really off base. I'm kind of likening this in my mind to those ladies who look pregnant, and get asked when they're due, only to find out they're not actually pregnant. It just becomes embarrassing for everyone involved.
10/07/2012
Sangsara Sangsara
personally i feel that we all go through some sort of identity crisis at some point in our lives. whether its your body or your mind that you want to change who's to say that one is right or one is wrong. may seem simple but I think that as long as noone is being hurt anything goes.
10/09/2012
AwesomeAmanda AwesomeAmanda
I dont think that it is rude or nosy to ask what the person identifies as. I know several transgender people and they would prefer you ask them what they identify as, then guess, and be wrong.
10/10/2012
AwesomeAmanda AwesomeAmanda
But as others said, it also needs to asked out of respect, and even curiosity i think is ok, but disrespect, ridicule and humiliation are not. I think it has alot to do with how your asking.
10/10/2012
Total posts: 19
Unique posters: 14