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  • Showing only topics with the tag "gender". Back to normal view
    1. What's something you have always wanted to know about being LGBT (but were maybe afraid to ask)?

      Introduction Gender and sexuality are complex, personal topics, and asking questions about them can often feel invasive or even offensive. Discussions about them can be tough to navigate,...

      Introduction

      Gender and sexuality are complex, personal topics, and asking questions about them can often feel invasive or even offensive. Discussions about them can be tough to navigate, especially online, where people's guards are often up and hostility and harassment are common.

      In order to help clear the air and provide a safe space for honest and genuine dialogue, we have assembled a cross-section of Tildes' LGBT community to whom you can ask questions. These volunteers have agreed to open up about their experiences, identities, and knowledge.

      In this thread, you will be able to ask our panelists questions regarding anything you've ever wanted to know about being LGBT. Our goal is to provide you with meaningful answers, not judge you for your questions! For the purposes of this thread, LGBT refers to the umbrella term under which all minority gender and sexual identities fall.


      Guidelines for Participation

      Asking Questions
      • Questions will be afforded the principle of charity. Ask any questions you've ever wanted to know, especially those you might feel are "not okay" to ask elsewhere.
      • Feel free to ask informational questions (e.g. "What does 'pansexual' mean?"), experiential questions (e.g. "Are you out to your family? If so, how did they respond to you coming out?"), and opinion questions (e.g. "What are your thoughts on the various LGBT acronyms?").
      • You can ask questions to the whole panel or to specific members. If asking specific members, please ping them using an @username mention in your comment.
      • Follow-up questions are allowed and encouraged.
      • Not all questions have to be serious! It's totally okay to ask fun, non-serious stuff too.
      Giving Answers
      • Panelists have the right to pass on any question they do not want to answer. While they might give a reason for passing, they are not required to do so.
      • Similarly, not all questions will receive answers from all panelists. We have a large group and don't want to overwhelm everyone with 10+ responses to every question.
      • Each panelist is speaking from their own experience and perspective, so you might find conflicting information in responses to a question, and that's okay! We're a diverse group of different people, not a unified monoculture!
      Additional Notes
      • The panel's make-up is based entirely on who volunteered and is not meant to be representative of all identities under the LGBT umbrella.
      • Similarly, any one panelist's voice should not be taken as representative of the opinion of all those who share their identity.
      • Please remember that these panelists are choosing to share intimate and often difficult personal information. Please respect their disclosure in your responses -- they are putting themselves out there for you!
      • If you do not wish to see or participate in this thread for whatever reason, use Tildes' ignore topic feature to hide it from your feed.

      Panelists

      Here are the users who will be answering your questions:

      @Algernon_Asimov
      @CALICO
      @Cleb
      @emdash
      @Gaywallet
      @kfwyre
      @patience_limited
      @reifyresonance
      @ShilohMizook
      @Silbern
      @tindall
      @Whom

      You can get more information on each in their bios below:

      Full Panelist Bios
      Name Identity Preferred Pronouns Bio
      @Algernon_Asimov Gay man I'm "Algernon". I'm a middle-aged gay man living in Australia. I came of age during the 1980s, when "gay" meant "Got AIDS Yet?".
      @CALICO Pan & Poly, Male-shaped, Agender, Non-transitioning Trans None/No-preference Late-20's, military brat, former military, current gov't contractor. Historically lived all over the US; in the past 18-months I've lived in three states and two non-US countries—currently Afghanistan. Out where it matters, closeted where it doesn't. Unmarried—probably forever—in a LT/LDR currently with just one person. Shameless hippie, hobbyist, & aspiring author.
      @Cleb Genderfluid (Agender & Femme, also fine with just Non-Binary) They/Them, She/Her Early 20s, American, white, closeted in real life. Grew up in very conservative & religious area, still live here. Can talk about growing up like that, my struggle with fluidity/internalized transphobia/gender as a whole, things relating to trans culture on the internet, and any of the other standard fare trans and gender-nonconforming person questions.
      @emdash. If you wanted to find my real name and social media profiles, you probably could, but keep it to yourself and don't be a dick, okay? Gay cis-male He/him Early 20s (wow there's a theme emerging) guy living in New Zealand. Software engineering degree, but I hate the industry, so working on my own business and studying to be a pilot instead (aka the backup plan). I also fly a paraglider for fun. I've always lived in New Zealand, but would love to live overseas. Have the Tinder/Taimi profile tuned to a fine fucking art (IMHO). Out to friends, family aren't informed since I'm not particularly close to them anyway.
      @Gaywallet pan, poly, enby (nonbinary) they/them Early 30s, lived in California my whole life. Currently have 5 partners and feeling quite polysaturated. Big into raving, psychedelics, and general hippy stuff but with a queer focus. Out to friends and family, but not fully flying my flag at work (work in progress to happen this year).
      @kfwyre gay cis male he/him/they/them Teacher. Happily married. Living in the US, and grew up in a very conservative Christian area. Came out in my 20s and dealt with severe depression and fallout with family.
      @patience_limited Queer; intersex non-binary they/them/she/her Mainly in the sidebar. US, 50's, raised near a university town, married. White(ish).
      @reifyresonance transfemme, queer, poly she/they 19, living in the southern US. Studied in China for a year and did a field research project on marginalized queer identities in Shanghai nightlife (talked to people in gay bars), so if anyone wants to hear my (white, American) thoughts on that, I'm game :). I also got to help start an LGBT organization at my school there! Spent the last six months or so doing computer programming, and was part of the workplace LGBT affinity group. (Also, general transgender questions.)
      @ShilohMizook (Shiloh) Bisexual, lean mostly towards guys. Cis male. He, Him. 17, I go to a Catholic school in Florida, but the people there are pretty accepting, so I'm out to everyone. My parents try to avoid the subject. I've never actually met another non-straight guy in real life, which has kind of frustrated me, but it's okay.
      @Silbern Gay male He/him I'm an early 20's white guy with Asperger's Syndrome studying Computer Science. I come from a military family, so I've traveled a lot and lived in many places that were across the spectrum in gay friendliness. I currently live in Hawaii, which might be relevant both for my answers as well as possible time zone limitations.
      @tindall bisexual transgender female she/her Software engineer just getting out of college and into my first long-term full-time gig, at a company making cancer screening software. Grew up all over the place (East Coast, then Texas, then California) and I'm now in the Midwest. I care a lot about making the world a gentler and more supportive place for everyone, and I try to apply my skills to do that.
      @Whom (...and Scarlett) Trans lesbian She Early 20s, raised in the rural US (Wisconsin) studying English Education. Oh, and white. That's the important bits for context. I'm very familiar with current youth trans culture on the internet (which is so pervasive within the community that it's necessary for understanding what it's like being young and trans), so I'm well-equipped to answer questions relating to that or, of course, the trans experience as I see it. I might also be a decent resource to ask about how mental illness (particularly depression, severe anxiety, and light dissociation) fits into the whole picture.

      The door is open. Ask away!

      80 votes
    2. How rigid/fluid is your gender and/or sexuality?

      The following questions are aimed at gender identity, gender expression, romantic orientation, and/or sexual orientation. To cut down on wordiness, all the questions below will just say...

      The following questions are aimed at gender identity, gender expression, romantic orientation, and/or sexual orientation. To cut down on wordiness, all the questions below will just say "identity", but know that I'm asking about any and all of the different parts that make up our gendered, romantic, and sexual selves.

      You don't necessarily need to answer regarding all axes or focuses: choose the ones most salient or meaningful to you and your experiences. Furthermore, these questions are open to all, including people who don't identify as LGBT.

      • How would you describe the rigidity/fluidity of your identity or its different parts?
      • Do you experience short-term changes in your identity?
      • Have you experienced long-term changes in your identity?
      • Does your identity have any elements that are unchanging long-term?
      • How does the fluidity/rigidity of your identity affect you? Are there advantages? Disadvantages?
      • Are you certain in your identity right now, or is it unclear to you at the moment?
      • If you are certain, do you think that certainty will persist, or might things change in the future?
      • If you are uncertain, do you think a more definite identity will coalesce for you at some point?

      As always, the questions are just jumping off points and don't need to be treated like a quiz. Also, just to be clear, I am asking this purely out of curiosity and am in no way trying to assert that a more rigid/fluid identity is better/worse. Likewise, I'm not trying to cast judgment on anyone still questioning or engaging in self-discovery. Your process and your identity are valid wherever you're at and however you feel. I'm simply interested to hear what your experiences are, whoever you are.

      27 votes
    3. How do you define your masculinity/femininity?

      In lieu of the recent Gillette ad, and seeing as the conversation around it has stirred the pot quite a bit, I wanted to propose a conversation where we start from the very beginning: Without yet...

      In lieu of the recent Gillette ad, and seeing as the conversation around it has stirred the pot quite a bit, I wanted to propose a conversation where we start from the very beginning:

      Without yet talking about subsets, variants, or interpretations of masculinity/femininity (toxic or otherwise). How do you define it for yourself: what makes you masculine or feminine, or what parts of you would you describe as such, do you feel that those things go as universal descriptors or are they specific to your case?

      There may also be some deeper questions in here about where you think you gained this conception (your family? your immediate circle of contacts? Role models?) or who you think best embodies your ideal definition of your gender.

      23 votes
    4. “There are no girls on the internet”

      “There are no girls on the internet” is one of the “rules of the internet” of the olden times. It was a tongue-in-cheek saying that meant two things. The first interpretation is that women don’t...

      “There are no girls on the internet” is one of the “rules of the internet” of the olden times. It was a tongue-in-cheek saying that meant two things. The first interpretation is that women don’t hang out on online forums because only loser guys do that. This obviously wasn’t totally true, but it felt true because of the second interpretation: gender doesn’t really exist on the internet, or at least it didn’t back then. Someone posting on IRC or 4Chan could be male, female, black, white, or any combination or race or gender, but you wouldn’t know that. Your post just existed in a void, completely separate from your social identity. While sexism and racism existed, someone wouldn’t be discriminated against on those grounds, because on the internet there are no girls. Only people.

      People who brought up their gender were accused of being attention seekers who couldn’t get by on their own merits. This was probably just a shitty excuse to justify harassment (ie tits or gtfo), but there might have been some truth to the idea that your gender and race have no effect on the legitimacy of your opinion.

      Today on the internet, a the “rule” “there are no girls on the internet” is completely done away with. Not only is the social makeup of the internet much more diverse today, all of the major networking sites have profiles on which you can proudly display your gender, race, sexuality, etc.

      I only just now came to realize this difference as I was reading some threads that posted statements like “as a gay man” or “as a girl who...”. These kinds of statements used to attract ridicule, but are now accepted as the norm.

      I’m not sure if this is an improvement or not. I do think it’s an improvement that harassment is no longer tolerated, but I struggle with the concept that it’s okay to that someone’s race/gender/etc can legitimize a claim, but it is not okay to think that it could deligitimize someone’s claim.

      Again, I want to add a disclaimer that I do not think it is or ever was good to harass people, or to discriminate based on identity. I just want to start a conversation about how the internet has changed in this respect, and whether or not online discourse has been hurt by this change.

      57 votes
    5. I think I have a fundamental misunderstanding of how the concept of being transgendered works. Clarifications would be helpful.

      So I've been wrestling with this idea for a long time. I get that the idea behind being transgendered* is that you don't feel like you were born into a body of the correct sex. You were born male...

      So I've been wrestling with this idea for a long time.

      I get that the idea behind being transgendered* is that you don't feel like you were born into a body of the correct sex. You were born male but feel like a woman, or you were born female but feel like a man, and all that. That part I get. I obviously don't "get it" at the level that someone who has that issue would get it, but I know how wonky the mind can be and it doesn't strike me as too hard to believe that this is a thing that happens.

      Simultaneously, I see that people of a more progressive mindset are enthusiastic about eliminating gender norms and stereotypes. Women aren't constrained to the kitchen, and men are perfectly fine being stay-at-home dads. All of this I vehemently agree with.

      However, I notice a very foundational contradiction when I read or hear about how transgendered people came to realize that they identify as the opposite gender. Pretty much all of the time, I hear them say things like, "I was born a male, but I always enjoyed playing with dolls and wearing dresses," or, "I was born a female, but I always enjoyed rough-housing and trucks," or whatever. Granted, I don't frequently seek these stories out, but whenever I come across them, they follow that general format.

      What I don't understand is how you can believe that gender norms are completely arbitrary while simultaneously using those norms as evidence that you were born into the wrong sex. It seems to me that believing in the superficiality of gender norms should automatically render the concept of being transgendered redundant. After all, if being a man or woman isn't determined by the things society socializes us to believe, how would you possibly have any indication that your body has the wrong sex? What would having the "wrong sex" even mean if gender norms are disregarded? If being a man or woman isn't determined by your actions or preferences in life, what left is there to define the genders except your biological sex?

      Surely there must be a concept or aspect to this whole thing that I'm missing, because it's hard to believe that such a widespread and vocal social movement has been made out of such a paradox. If anyone has some clarifying information, I'd appreciate it.

      *I know "transgendered" isn't the preferred term, but it's clear in meaning and the preferred term is just going to change again soon anyway. So no offense meant by using it.

      EDIT: It has since been made known to me that "transgender" itself suffices as an adjective, so my terminology was off on a grammatical basis. For posterity, though, I'll leave the submission as-is.

      15 votes
    6. On the matter of calling a child "they"

      I thought about posting this as a comment in the other active pronoun conversation but I didn't want to derail it with a tangent. For starters I should make it clear I believe honoring someone's...

      I thought about posting this as a comment in the other active pronoun conversation but I didn't want to derail it with a tangent. For starters I should make it clear I believe honoring someone's pronoun preferences is a matter of basic decency and respect. Conversely, insisting on using a different word when you know someone doesn't like it is, frankly, a jerk move. It's being antagonistic for no good reason.

      That said, an acquaintance recently informed me that her 4-year-old prefers to use the pronoun "they." I have to admit something about this situation doesn't sit right with me. I'm also the parent of a 4-year-old, and it's clear to me that kids that age aren't developmentally equipped to make an informed decision about gender identity.

      I can't help but feel like the parents are putting words in their kid's mouth, projecting a non-binary assumption onto a minor who lacks the cognitive and emotional maturity to manage it in any meaningful way. Saddling a preschooler with that kind of baggage just strikes me as irresponsible parenting.

      I'm not saying there should be some kind of hard-line age of consent, just that four is too young. One ought to be far enough along developmentally to come to one's own conclusions about pronouns and gender presentation.

      Apologies if I'm strawmanning, but I guess the argument could be made that all kids should be referred to as "they" — by default — until they reach an appropriate age to choose their own gender identities. I can sympathize with that as a goal, but it strikes me as unrealistic. I don't think society would ever be able to attain that kind of widespread change.

      I'm curious what my fellow tilders think about this subject. (FWIW, I am referring to this kid as "they" and keeping my objections to myself, apart from this discussion.)

      11 votes
    7. "Guy" should be a neutered term. Change my mind.

      In light of @Deimos mentioning that we have a lot of "favorite" topics going around, how about something a little meatier? I've seen it a few times already around threads that someone uses the...

      In light of @Deimos mentioning that we have a lot of "favorite" topics going around, how about something a little meatier?

      I've seen it a few times already around threads that someone uses the word "guy" to refer to a poster and the response is "I'm not a guy". I'm not trying to invalidate this stance, but rather make this argument in the same way I argued for a singular "they". Consider the following:

      • the plural form, "you guys" is already neutered. I can walk up to a group of women and ask "How're you guys doing?" and it doesn't draw any ire
      • we've similarly neutered "dude" in both the singular and plural, but it's especially casual and almost familiar
      • "gal" sounds like something out of the forties, "girl" is diminutive, and "person" is clinical / formal
      • we don't have another common, non-gendered, non-specific term that fits the "sounds right" criteria and fits in the environment like the one we have (wherein users are getting to know each other and don't know exactly how to address one another).

      I realize that this is probably masculine-normative and therefore problematic, but my main goal here is to stimulate discussion on a meatier topic (gender) without having it be an incredibly serious topic.

      [EDIT]

      I want to clarify a few things, as this reads a lot more trolly than it did 6 hours ago.

      generalizing "guy" is a sexist idea because it attempts to make the masculine the generic (what I called "masculine-normativity" above). However, there isn't a term that adequately replaces "guy" but is neutered (@Algernon_Asimov brought up that "dude" fits, but is as more casual than "guy" than "person" is more formal). [Edit edit: I'm an idiot. They pointed out that "dude" as I had defined it earlier in my post would work just as well, but they did not agree that it has been neutered]

      Instead of bringing this up as purely a matter of diction, I set myself up as an antagonist to see what would happen. And for this I apologize.

      That said, I feel like there is some good discussion here and do not want to call making the thread a mistake. More that mistakes were made in the manner of its posting.

      42 votes