I'm intersex and I've turned out okay hehe. Great article, I've read it before but it's nice to see it being shared <3
Of course, Vanessa. I imagine you may have seen it first on Facebook, as I did. I shared it with my BR before posting it here; we'd been talking about gender, especially gender identity and presentation. It seems to me that even with being cisgender myself, my perspective in life is so much wider than just "male" and "female" and sometimes that leads to be not understanding my writing as well, when trying to understand it through the limited labels of "male" and "female." Plus as I've decided to share my conversation with Lady Audrey, my transwoman character, tomorrow, this seemed fitting to share
I do think part of it is in "turning out," what are people expecting. I like how the article touches on that. Now that I'm married to a man, it seems to have somewhat made my mother (who is as closed minded as they come) seem to think I'm "okay." LOL if only she realized I'm in a consensual 24/7 BDSM relationship with a man who encourages my interest in women and we are happily polyamorous. In the end, I think "happy" is a pretty good thing to turn out, even if it doesn't match what our society says is right or most desirable.
No matter if you are cis, trans, intersex, etc. only you can really define your own gender, and as long as it makes you happy, nobody has the right to tell you anything different otherwise. I'm intersex, identify as mostly bigender physically with my intersex body but mentally in how i feel. I use the female pronoun in situations where I have no choice but to choose one gender or another, but otherwise, I'm pretty happy being who I am. I get often mistaken as a man on some days, a trans* person on other days, and a woman on every other day lol. It's interesting how others perceive my gender, but at the end of the day, only I can define me, and it's not based on what I have between my legs or what clothes I wear. A little off topic, but on the subject of FB having the new custom gender option, I really wish that they would update the relationship status too that meets those who lead poly lifestyles/relationships. I'm hoping that will be next on their agenda.
oh yes, on the relationship choices being opened too. The gender choice is a great start. my Master and I use "open relationship" at the moment, but it's not great. Too many guys see that as "I can hit on her!" and yes, I'm quick to use block lmao. But yes, in the end, it's what the person identifies as. I get irritated with people who struggle with the pronouns a person chooses- I may try to guess at first, especially if someone looks more one gender or the other, but the moment I'm told a person's preference, well then that's what I use. Interesting to hear how you approach your understanding of your gender. I thought about gender a bunch with Lady Audrey as I worked with her today. I'm still unsure. I know one detail I need to clarify when I get done with my current re-write so I can get to work with her is her race. I know she is a woman of color, but I don't remember if I was more descriptive than that.
Oh yeah, men think "open relationship" means "Yay I can have my cake and eat it too, have a gf and get laid as much as I want" or "Great, that means I can hit it" lol. most don't realize that an open relationship is just that, a RELATIONSHIP lol, not a free ride to getting laid, that's called being single/hooking up. Yeah, some people blatantly ask what my gender is, which I don't mind, can't ever just assume. A lot of people don't "get me" when I explain what I am but I don't live my life to make people comfortable and it's not about me educating people. With dating/sex situations yes, I *have* to do a little bit of that so they can make a choice to either run to the hills or take a chance on me lol, and plus not everyone can accept a body like mine (esp. straight guys), which is understandable, otherwise, i really don't like having to explain myself and my gender all the time unless the situation naturally leads to it lol. Anyway, have fun with Lady Audrey :) Race always adds a bit of richness to a character, depending on which race you decide to choose.
It is so frustrating. After all, my Master and I have spent tons of time discussing what polyamory means to us, what we're comfortable with. Thankfully He understands so well that, when it comes to my desires, I'm not interested in any male-identified people other than Him.Ugh at educating. Yup, I don't like the assumption the people will make that *you* (whoever is different from the mainstream) should constantly spend time educating. I personally enjoy it so I happily spend the time doing it, whether it's something I personally understand (like polyamory) or sharing articles like this. I once dated an intersexed person; thankfully I'm not arrogant enough to think that means I understand what it's like.I'm having such a hard time waiting to experiment with Lady Audrey more. I can't wait. She really is such a joy to work with. Maybe today I'll go look up the medical things I needed to understand better.
Yeah, same with polyamory and the BDSM lifestyle, I don't like having to explain that either. I only like to educate those who are understanding and open minded enough, it's not my life's mission to educate everyone because not everyone will understand no matter what information i give them based on research and my own life experiences as an intersex person. I also feel a bit uncomfortable how some people treat me like a study, and nothing grinds my gears more than somebody who says "i've always wanted to date/fuck a intersex person." Makes me feel like i'm being objectified. Not cool or sexy. As for understanding what it's like being intersex, really, the trans and intersex experience is very similar, actually, unique in their own way, but they don't fall too far from the same tree. Doesn't mean we ALL think alike and such, but the intersex experience and the trans experience do have things in common. That's why I connect romantically, mentally, and sexually better with trans people than I do with cis-people, we can just relate to things that cis people just can't relate to. Just food for thought when it comes to that ;)
One thing that kind of helps, I've found, in dealing with characters who are different from the mainstream in some way is to use their name. So with researching about hormones, GRS, and the legalities (like birth cert, driver's license) for a trans*gender person, as I've been talking with my BR about what I've learned, we've both been saying Lady Audrey. I try to approach characters like people I know, trying to hopefully avoid too much stereotype in that way. But yeah, I don't care to try to educate when someone just doesn't get "it," whatever it is. Although like on this blog, I throw plenty out there, figuring at least some of it will educate someone. I figure if someone's on my blog, they're probably at least a little open minded :D icky at study. yeah. blech blech. I was thinking about that as I dipped into the lovemaking scenes with The Queen and Lady Audrey today; it may have passed the earlier reading by a transwoman as sensitive, but I'm not so happy. There is so much I want to fix. Like them starting the conversation about her deciding to go on hormones before they're in his bed or making out on his couch. sighs. yes, I needed a trans*sensitivity course I think
If this helps, keep this in mind, a sex scene with a trans* character really shouldn't be treated any differently than you would write for an F/F pairing, M/M pairing, or M/F pairing. Realistically, do people do that much talking about hormones, surgery, gender, etc. before having sex? Is that a turn on? Nah, it's anti-climactic. With me, when somebody brings up issues like that before we have sex, frankly, it kills the mood lol, and I get turned off. It always makes me think, why couldn't you talk to me about this with my clothes on? whether it's intentional or not that also feels like a "study". We should be getting busy enjoying pleasure/orgasms not having a convo about my body, what pills i take, etc. lol. And like I mentioned with the "i love you just the way you are" thing, though i get the intention when writers use that technique, that's a bit unnatural too. The sex scene should be just that, a sex scene, not a platform to talk about trans* issues ;) That's why i suggested that things like that should take place OUTSIDE of a sex scene, it's more realistic and natural. And also keep in mind with trans* is that there are other issues that are involved than just hormones, surgery, and genitalia. Trans* people also go through homelessness, discrimination, transphobia, having a hard time finding a partner, etc. And all that is even harder for a trans* woman of color (i have two girlfriends who are going through all that at the moment). Those are things that is not discussed much in the media either, it's sad that it's so under-looked, those are the issues that trans (and even intersex sometimes) go through, it goes deeper than just the medical, logistical, and sexual aspect of things. Sorry if i'm coming off as preachy and ranting, just wanted to throw all that out there :)
nah, no prob on the preachy :D I get it. I know with Lady Audrey, I had one concern about mechanics- it was a "what would hormones to do her body." but other than that, it's two people making love with a third watching. And really , the way I wrote it, I don't think The Queen would have said anything if she wasn't actually uncomfortable. But yeah, there is so much that does need to be added, even over some of what I did that all belongs outside sex. I realized today that he invites her to spend a whole week- so much time I can improve. I was interested on fb- when I made a comment about Lady Audrey, another author asked how I handle her pronouns :D I think I quipped "Lady Audrey says she's a she" :D Although I have to argue on "pairing"- lol, it's somewhat rare that there are only 2 people in my sex scenes. 3 is much more common.true on the trans*experience being more than the medical stuff. thankfully I felt ready to deal with her as a character, just I wanted to make sure I had the medical part down. I've been friends with trans*gender people; I'm familiar with what they've told me, but no heh I've never asked them about those medical things, which I find to be prying and unnecessary conversations. I have yet to have a girlfriend, sexual partner who was trans or intersexed, so there's been no need for me to know that about a person
Yeah, hormones/surgery, etc. (if the trans character goes down that route), has to be established of course :) I just wish people can delve more into deeper issues that the trans* character goes through, it seems to always be only about sex, hormones, and genitals, that's not all that being trans* is about. and definitely, the medical things convo is prying and unnecessary, and i find it especially so when it's before we have sex lol. the beauty of writing a trans* character is that you can build so much history around him or her, not all of it has to be medical, sexual, hormonal, and negative, take it whichever direction you like as long as her character/personality shines through :) i have a good feeling that you'll do such a great job with Lady Audrey <3
thanks for the vote of confidence :) I'm excited to do justice by her. I do hope that getting the medical research done now, when I'm at least a week or two before I'll start that rewrite, will mean that I won't be thinking on the medical stuff too much. because yeah, there really is a lot more of their relationship than what the doctor said :D
Hi Joelle, thank you for sharing this. Very interesting article and also your comments above. It has given me food for thought.Hugs,Roz
you're welcome, Roz. A bit of information that the article doesn't share- and this is what I had still been reading as of about 5 years ago- to "fix" a baby's genitals (using the surgeries they talk about in the article) "emergency cosmetic surgery" will be preformed, even earlier than a circumcision to make the genitals clearly one "gender" or the other. That just horrified me when I learned that.In terms of the various readers I have on my blog, I wonder what it would have been like if I hadn't decided to write The Queen as a cisgender man; originally he's been intersexed while identifying as male. I decided in the end that I just didn't understand about what it's like to be intersexed enough to do the character justice. Of course, I still have the "issue" of him being bisexual; there is quite the myth that male bisexuals don't exist :(