I am a cisgendered woman. This is to say that I am convinced that I am female, and the body I am in best conforms to the medical definition of female by sex. I also navigate a world that is particularly aware of the importance of trans* and non-binary gender, being the younger half of the kink scene.
Trans, on a binary, is pretty automatic, at least if you are not a twit or a bigot. I was fortunate enough that at the age that other children were being taught please and thank you, I had the process of a gender transition explained to me (why does mummy’s friend seem both male and female? He is actually a she- they are living for a year as a woman as part of the process of deciding if a surgical transition is right for them). Okay, cool, this was as much a part of the background as having a copy of “Heather Has Two Mommies” in my picture book collection, although that in itself was confusing because I had two female caretakers who were sisters, both of whom were heterosexual, and one of whom I was using a male nickname for father for but who presented as very femme.
Where I start sucking at things is where we get into the “they” pronoun situation and people who are trying to do gender fuck, or gender fluid. I realize, only with some consideration on the matter, one of the reasons why I’m finding the process so alienating instead of just another quirk to incorporate into the wide and wacky world of social etiquette is probably due to my mother’s queerness combined with their poor boundaries in relation to my own gender expression.
My mother is a product of an era when masculine woman was ‘butch’, but for her the presence of the feminine and feminine sexuality is squicking and triggering and aesthetically non-pleasing. The fictional sexuality that I got dramatically over exposed to from her is gay male snuff porn, as much as in real life she behaved like a straight person. Perhaps, born in my generation, she’d just call herself queer. Unfortunately as her daughter, my body and development were subject to the overflow of her experimentation and discomfort.
And this is how I ended up in toddler sized Renaissance cross dressing garb with a stuffed codpiece, and why people who see my baby photos assume I was a boy.