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Gender Fluidity

ADigitalArtist

Veteran Member
Staff member
Premium Member
Irrelevant to the main question. Will the modern gender identity movement be judged beneficial or deleterious by history?
I don't know. But I know the same sort of fear tactics relating to growing understanding of LGBT identities has been used against every LGBT demographic by conservatives who want to irrationally suppress them.

I also know that trans people exist and are not as a group hurting anyone whether or not bigots view them as deleterious.
 

JDMS

Academic Workhorse
To clarify something, I think for many who are anti-gender or nonbinary wouldn't use the word "silly" to describe the consequences of rigid cultural constructs concerning this aspect of human identity. I used words like "sexist" and "problematic." I could have also used the word "harmful."

Where I respect gender constructs, it's because I understand not everyone is harmed by the expectations of them and I value diversity on the whole. I'm pretty live-and-let-live. I don't mind abiding by other cultural customs as a way of showing respect; it works for their people and that's great. The problems happen when one set of cultural ideas is the only option permitted or available. Anyone who doesn't fit into the mold is told they do not belong. That's where that word "harmful" comes in.

I am always going to have a hard time with a gender binary because it harmed me growing up. I can't apologize for that; it wasn't even something I wanted, it was forced on me by my surrounding culture. I understand the cultural construct of the binary just fine, I just don't agree with it. It's hard to agree with something that hurt you, yeah? Well, maybe not for masochists. I'm not one of those. :D

On another note, I did some more reading, and I've realized that gender and religion should be two things that are socially acceptable to practice or abstain from. Parents should not be raising their kids with strict gender-based expectations, nor should they force them to go to church. Gender expression and participation should be chosen, not required. So I think I agree with the diminishment of gender in society, if not abolition.
 

dybmh

דניאל יוסף בן מאיר הירש
I think I agree with the diminishment of gender in society, if not abolition.

trans people exist and are not as a group hurting anyone

I think the problem is, what ever is happening now in pursuit of gender freedom, is actualized as an over emphasis on labeling. Perhaps this is natural, and neccessary as the pendulum of cultural norms is equalizing? But this need for young people to label themselves isn't without consequences.

For example, we have a friend, a parent who confided in us that their child is troubled and confused because in their friend group it has become very important for everyone to label themselves by gender and sexuality. And because their child is a bit of a late bloomer physically, this labeling is ambiguous especially regarding their sexuality. The child has been convinced by their friends that they are asexual, but the child doesn't know really, and the parent feels this is harmful, and we ( my spouse and I ) agree.

As I said, maybe this is necessary, at least for now. But if the goal is to abolish gender, wouldn't that entail abolishing this incessant labeling, and let people be free to behave how they choose to?

I will appreciate any feedback you choose to provide.

Thank you,
 

JDMS

Academic Workhorse
I think the problem is, what ever is happening now in pursuit of gender freedom, is actualized as an over emphasis on labeling. Perhaps this is natural, and neccessary as the pendulum of cultural norms is equalizing? But this need for young people to label themselves isn't without consequences.

For example, we have a friend, a parent who confided in us that their child is troubled and confused because in their friend group it has become very important for everyone to label themselves by gender and sexuality. And because their child is a bit of a late bloomer physically, this labeling is ambiguous especially regarding their sexuality. The child has been convinced by their friends that they are asexual, but the child doesn't know really, and the parent feels this is harmful, and we ( my spouse and I ) agree.

As I said, maybe this is necessary, at least for now. But if the goal is to abolish gender, wouldn't that entail abolishing this incessant labeling, and let people be free to behave how they choose to?

I will appreciate any feedback you choose to provide.

Thank you,

Yes, gender abolition would decrease the need for labeling. Although I myself am not in support of gender abolition, but rather a diminishment of the importance and/or strictness of gender. I apologize if it seemed otherwise.

I actually believe labels can be an important tool to describe one's self. I myself use several self-explanatory labels, such as "trans" or "gay", but some aspects of my sexuality are often difficult to explain without them. For example, people struggle to understand my sexuality if I describe it as, "I find fictional sex scenarios hot, and I love pleasuring myself, but I myself am repulsed by even the idea of me myself being involved in sex acts, even if I love the idea of sex and have a partner". You might wonder, am I asexual? Am I just uncomfortable with my body? Etc... But if I say, "I am aegosexual", you can Google that term and figure out what I mean instantly. I myself value having this label because it allows me to find others similar to myself, and it makes me feel less "broken". I no longer feel alone.

However, your friend's child is just that... a child. They may not have figured themselves out, and they are likely full of teenage angst. They'd be trying to find labels for themself whether LGBT labels existed or not. Instead, they'd be trying to pick whether they are a goth, a nerd, a gamer, a socialite, an introvert, etc. That angst and worry about how they fit into the world is just a part of growing up.

If not being able to pick a label that satisfies them is causing them anxiety, tell your friends to sit down with their child and tell the child they love them regardless, and it's not unusual to feel this way at that age. Tell your friends to tell their child that their feelings can change or evolve over time, and that is okay. They don't need to find a label either, if they don't want to. Also remind your friends that having anxiety about your child experiencing identity stress is normal, too. I didn't know I was asexual at that age, so I used a different label to explain myself. I just thought I was picky or too busy with high school. I wasn't harmed in the long run thinking that I was something I was not.

That's my recommendation. :)
 

Ella S.

Dispassionate Goth
As a binary trans person, I still haven't decided what I feel about gender abolition myself. On one hand, I think it would be a neat idea in a world where there are no sex differences in the human race, but on the other hand, I exist in a world that DOES have sex differences that inevitably leads to the concept of gender being ingrained in human society.

In my view, the concept of gender rises from the separation of sexes. As long as humans have a biological sex, gender will continue to exist.

Say we decided not to acknowledge gender, even while sex exists... I feel like it would likely lead to the alienation of certain people's experiences. Those who menstrate or experience pregnancy and major rape risk often try to band together to share their experiences. Spaces for women and others that experience these things are incredibly important. But there are other risks to people who identify with feminine labels, trans or cis. Violence, social discrimination based on bodily strength or perceived differences in mood and interests, etc. Some of these things no longer apply to trans men/AFAB folks, but also now trans women as well. Yet if gender was abolished, it'd be difficult for people to find spaces that they feel describe them. AMAB folks might be excluded from these spaces more than they are already. And now trans folks can't find spaces for only themselves, too.

I also dislike the premise that "everyone is a little nonbinary", or "nonbinary is natural while gender is not", or "I think binary genders are silly, but I respect them"; this is a mentality I come across often with gender abolitionists and general nonbinary crowds.

To me, as a binary trans man who's gay but also asexual, it reads as very patronizing at times. You can see what I mean when I compare it to phrases I hear from cisgender and heterosexual people all the time... "Everyone is a little sexual", "transgenders are unnatural", "I think trans identities are silly, but I respect them".



And while I know you didn't mean it this way, this quote is exactly what I'm talking about. You personally do not understand the gender binary. It makes no logical sense to you, just like the idea of being transgender makes no logical sense to most cis folks. So when people try to tell me, "it's silly, but I respect it anyways, even though it seems wrong to me", it doesn't really feel like acceptance at all.

A world that disregards gender while sex differences exist is a world that is inherently harmful to trans people.

At least, that is how I see it.

I agree with the idea of abolishing harmful gender/sex roles and the inequalities between them, but I do not agree with the idea of abolishing gender. I feel like my mind could change on this topic, which is why say that I don't know how I feel about it, but for the moment, it seems rather harmful.

Personally, I love being a woman. I wouldn't want that taken away from me. I feel gender euphoria from expressing my femininity and it's something that's important to me.
 

The Sum of Awe

Brought to you by the moment that spacetime began.
Yes, gender abolition would decrease the need for labeling. Although I myself am not in support of gender abolition, but rather a diminishment of the importance and/or strictness of gender. I apologize if it seemed otherwise.

I actually believe labels can be an important tool to describe one's self. I myself use several self-explanatory labels, such as "trans" or "gay", but some aspects of my sexuality are often difficult to explain without them. For example, people struggle to understand my sexuality if I describe it as, "I find fictional sex scenarios hot, and I love pleasuring myself, but I myself am repulsed by even the idea of me myself being involved in sex acts, even if I love the idea of sex and have a partner". You might wonder, am I asexual? Am I just uncomfortable with my body? Etc... But if I say, "I am aegosexual", you can Google that term and figure out what I mean instantly. I myself value having this label because it allows me to find others similar to myself, and it makes me feel less "broken". I no longer feel alone.

That’s great that you found a label that suits you! My only question is, how often does one find themselves explaining their sexuality with people? Maybe with a close friend on the occasion that they ask or with a date when discussing this topic. It’s not like you would talk about your sexual feelings to everyone you meet, so why the need for a label?

You say that people struggle to understand it when you describe your sexuality as "I find fictional sex scenarios hot, and I love pleasuring myself, but I myself am repulsed by even the idea of me myself being involved in sex acts, even if I love the idea of sex and have a partner". — but I found that very explanatory and more useful than that mysterious label “aegosexual” which I had never heard of before.

However, your friend's child is just that... a child. They may not have figured themselves out, and they are likely full of teenage angst. They'd be trying to find labels for themself whether LGBT labels existed or not. Instead, they'd be trying to pick whether they are a goth, a nerd, a gamer, a socialite, an introvert, etc. That angst and worry about how they fit into the world is just a part of growing up.
I believe many of us can relate to this. And it’s for that very reason I dislike the idea of neo gender pronouns and sexuality labels. Kids are impressionable, and this stuff is reaching our kids, there’s no denying that.

The difference between the labels you’ve listed and a misplaced sense of gender, is that, for example, a young male might take hormones and do other things that drastically change their self image growing up. People say that hormones blockers are reversible, but if you take them for a long enough period of time you will have a late puberty which can affect your natural development. And on top of that, if you dress and identify as a gender for so long, it would become much more concrete and harder to come back from (if you changed your mind) than being a goth or a nerd would.

Another thing, the minicultures (goth, nerd, jock, etc) are stereotypical forms of personality. One can identify with these to better understand themselves. But when we are applying personality to gender that seems counter productive. Not all females have the same personality, not all males have the same personality. There is no substance there for a useful description, unless you want to strengthen gender norms again. Which, I on the other hand, find it more beneficial for men to be feminine rather than feminine men call themselves female. And the same for “tomboy” females.

If not being able to pick a label that satisfies them is causing them anxiety, tell your friends to sit down with their child and tell the child they love them regardless, and it's not unusual to feel this way at that age. Tell your friends to tell their child that their feelings can change or evolve over time, and that is okay. They don't need to find a label either, if they don't want to. Also remind your friends that having anxiety about your child experiencing identity stress is normal, too. I didn't know I was asexual at that age, so I used a different label to explain myself. I just thought I was picky or too busy with high school. I wasn't harmed in the long run thinking that I was something I was not.

That's my recommendation. :)
It didn’t sound like the child in dymbh’s post was anxious, but was identifying as an asexual because they were a late bloomer and their friend group had tossed this label around and it stuck to them. It could cause someone to have huge confusion and outright deny their true sexual urge’s because they feel as though there’s a contradiction. In a similar way if someone is misdiagnosed with Schizoid PD they might actively deny themselves social outlets and dig themselves into a deeper hole of being asocial, making it hard to come out of.

Labels like these are like playing with fire and are not for children who are very impressionable, imo.
 

JDMS

Academic Workhorse
That’s great that you found a label that suits you! My only question is, how often does one find themselves explaining their sexuality with people? Maybe with a close friend on the occasion that they ask or with a date when discussing this topic. It’s not like you would talk about your sexual feelings to everyone you meet, so why the need for a label?

You say that people struggle to understand it when you describe your sexuality as "I find fictional sex scenarios hot, and I love pleasuring myself, but I myself am repulsed by even the idea of me myself being involved in sex acts, even if I love the idea of sex and have a partner". — but I found that very explanatory and more useful than that mysterious label “aegosexual” which I had never heard of before.

I hang out with a lot of LGBT people, so it comes up quite often. Also, it's so great that you figured out my sexuality after I described it in a single sentence... but in my experience, others do not figure it out so easily. It's easier for me to show them the Wiki page and move on. I don't personally enjoy explaining every time someone asks about it.

I believe many of us can relate to this. And it’s for that very reason I dislike the idea of neo gender pronouns and sexuality labels. Kids are impressionable, and this stuff is reaching our kids, there’s no denying that.

The difference between the labels you’ve listed and a misplaced sense of gender, is that, for example, a young male might take hormones and do other things that drastically change their self image growing up. People say that hormones blockers are reversible, but if you take them for a long enough period of time you will have a late puberty which can affect your natural development. And on top of that, if you dress and identify as a gender for so long, it would become much more concrete and harder to come back from (if you changed your mind) than being a goth or a nerd would.

Another thing, the minicultures (goth, nerd, jock, etc) are stereotypical forms of personality. One can identify with these to better understand themselves. But when we are applying personality to gender that seems counter productive. Not all females have the same personality, not all males have the same personality. There is no substance there for a useful description, unless you want to strengthen gender norms again. Which, I on the other hand, find it more beneficial for men to be feminine rather than feminine men call themselves female. And the same for “tomboy” females.


It didn’t sound like the child in dymbh’s post was anxious, but was identifying as an asexual because they were a late bloomer and their friend group had tossed this label around and it stuck to them. It could cause someone to have huge confusion and outright deny their true sexual urge’s because they feel as though there’s a contradiction. In a similar way if someone is misdiagnosed with Schizoid PD they might actively deny themselves social outlets and dig themselves into a deeper hole of being asocial, making it hard to come out of.

Labels like these are like playing with fire and are not for children who are very impressionable, imo.

Using labels and physically transitioning is NOT the same can of worms. Never ever did I say that children should be starting hormones because other children told them to. Assuming the label "asexual" for a little while is relatively harmless (they just may not have sex for a while), but having transition pushed on them (which by the way, I've never seen in my entire 8 years of being active in trans spaces) is a completely different story. Please do not assume my position on children transitioning. I don't appreciate that.

I also never ever equated personality with gender. Again, do not assume. I am a trans man because I felt dysphoria and explicitly desired having a penis, flat chest, body hair and a deep voice. I explicitly wanted to be seen as a male. Now that I have these things, I'm very happy. It had nothing to do with my personality. If anything, being trans effected my personality, not the other way around (as a kid, I thought I was a boy, so I refused to play with girl's toys even though I now realize they are just as respectable now). There are a lot of trans men that choose to continue being feminine after transitioning because they find it fun.

Gender is not equal to personality, and trust me, that sentiment is parroted everywhere in the trans community.

It could cause someone to have huge confusion and outright deny their true sexual urge’s because they feel as though there’s a contradiction.

Also if you had looked up "aegosexual" like I recommended, you would've found out that many types of asexuals experience sexual urges of some kind or another :)

This is not to say that the child is asexual, this is to say why sub-labels CAN be useful for some people to know. What if someone continued trying sex over and over because they thought they had to like it, since they experienced sexual desire? Wait. That was me. I guess it does happen! And having a better understanding of sexuality, and having that word, and KNOWING that other people existed that felt the same enabled me to stop forcing myself into uncomfortable positions because the world convinced me that sexual urges mean I have to have sex.
 

Saint Frankenstein

From the river to the sea, Palestine will be free!
Premium Member
I've heard it said (can't remember who said it) that being trans isn't about correcting a dysphoria, but about finding and expressing what brings you euphoria.
Maybe they should've spoken for themselves, because I certainly transitioned to aleve dysphoria and correct a problem.
 

Saint Frankenstein

From the river to the sea, Palestine will be free!
Premium Member
They more or less were; it was simply advice given specifically around a perceived notion that physical transition was a necessity.
Well, yeah. If you have no dysphoria and feel no need to physically transition, you're simply not transgender. End of story.
 

The Sum of Awe

Brought to you by the moment that spacetime began.
Using labels and physically transitioning is NOT the same can of worms. Never ever did I say that children should be starting hormones because other children told them to.

Nor did I. I was saying that impressional children might take hormone blockers and that would cause a late puberty, which could be detrimental to their full pubic development if they wished to reverse it. Are you saying that you are against the idea of hormone blockers for children under 18? If so, we are in agreement on that. :)

Assuming the label "asexual" for a little while is relatively harmless (they just may not have sex for a while), but having transition pushed on them (which by the way, I've never seen in my entire 8 years of being active in trans spaces) is a completely different story. Please do not assume my position on children transitioning. I don't appreciate that.
As above, I was not talking about anything being pushed on them. I was talking about them being misled. A young girl who prefers jeans and denim jackets might see another trans man and feel the need to identify as a male. It’s unnecessary to take it that far and confusing for them if they later do not feel like a man. And for MTFs that is much worse, because like I said, hormone blockers and creating the outward impression that they are a female is hard to come back from without judgement.

I also never ever equated personality with gender. Again, do not assume. I am a trans man because I felt dysphoria and explicitly desired having a penis, flat chest, body hair and a deep voice. I explicitly wanted to be seen as a male. Now that I have these things, I'm very happy. It had nothing to do with my personality. If anything, being trans effected my personality, not the other way around (as a kid, I thought I was a boy, so I refused to play with girl's toys even though I now realize they are just as respectable now). There are a lot of trans men that choose to continue being feminine after transitioning because they find it fun.

Gender is not equal to personality, and trust me, that sentiment is parroted everywhere in the trans community.
I hear different things from different people. Some say they felt that it has to do with how they want to dress, some have said it’s to do with their feeling feminine and not masculine (or vice versa). And, less commonly in my limited experience, a desire for physically different parts (like you’ve said), so forgive me with my assumptions.

It seems to be different among people with gender dysphoria. Those differences in how gender dysphoria feels convinces me more that some believe they have gender dysphoria but they’ve misunderstood, and that leads to issues, which is why there is a fairly large community of detrans.

What am I suggesting as the solution? Not denying gender dysphoria, it’s clearly a real thing, but to stop publicizing it and making it seem like “just another thing”. It becomes a fad this way, and this is not a healthy fad for those who are misled. Gender dysphoria is a mental disorder and should be known as such. And that isn’t a negative connotation, as autism is a mental disorder and there’s nothing wrong with it.
 

Ella S.

Dispassionate Goth
I hang out with a lot of LGBT people, so it comes up quite often. Also, it's so great that you figured out my sexuality after I described it in a single sentence... but in my experience, others do not figure it out so easily. It's easier for me to show them the Wiki page and move on. I don't personally enjoy explaining every time someone asks about it.



Using labels and physically transitioning is NOT the same can of worms. Never ever did I say that children should be starting hormones because other children told them to. Assuming the label "asexual" for a little while is relatively harmless (they just may not have sex for a while), but having transition pushed on them (which by the way, I've never seen in my entire 8 years of being active in trans spaces) is a completely different story. Please do not assume my position on children transitioning. I don't appreciate that.

I also never ever equated personality with gender. Again, do not assume. I am a trans man because I felt dysphoria and explicitly desired having a penis, flat chest, body hair and a deep voice. I explicitly wanted to be seen as a male. Now that I have these things, I'm very happy. It had nothing to do with my personality. If anything, being trans effected my personality, not the other way around (as a kid, I thought I was a boy, so I refused to play with girl's toys even though I now realize they are just as respectable now). There are a lot of trans men that choose to continue being feminine after transitioning because they find it fun.

Gender is not equal to personality, and trust me, that sentiment is parroted everywhere in the trans community.



Also if you had looked up "aegosexual" like I recommended, you would've found out that many types of asexuals experience sexual urges of some kind or another :)

This is not to say that the child is asexual, this is to say why sub-labels CAN be useful for some people to know. What if someone continued trying sex over and over because they thought they had to like it, since they experienced sexual desire? Wait. That was me. I guess it does happen! And having a better understanding of sexuality, and having that word, and KNOWING that other people existed that felt the same enabled me to stop forcing myself into uncomfortable positions because the world convinced me that sexual urges mean I have to have sex.

Well, I'll admit I haven't been in the ace community since the founding of AVEN, but after looking into microlabels of the spectrums, I can safely conclude that I am, indeed, aro-ace.

I suspected as much for awhile now, but I'm glad my doubts could be alleviated here. "Sex-indifferent" and "aegosexual" are pretty much perfect descriptions for me. I doubted my feelings of being ace because I'm not outright sex-repulsed, but I feel a lot less sexually confused now that I have the language to describe my relationship with sex properly.

Thank you for this.
 

JDMS

Academic Workhorse
Well, I'll admit I haven't been in the ace community since the founding of AVEN, but after looking into microlabels of the spectrums, I can safely conclude that I am, indeed, aro-ace.

I suspected as much for awhile now, but I'm glad my doubts could be alleviated here. "Sex-indifferent" and "aegosexual" are pretty much perfect descriptions for me. I doubted my feelings of being ace because I'm not outright sex-repulsed, but I feel a lot less sexually confused now that I have the language to describe my relationship with sex properly.

Thank you for this.

I'm glad to hear that! There are many sub-labels of being asexual and I think knowing them can be useful. Asexuals like me that do feel some sexual urges of some kind often have a difficult time finding themselves even after years... it's just a lot of doubt and discomfort and many people don't take it seriously, so they push the idea that perhaps you haven't met the right person or something yet. Reading about aegosexuality definitely made something click for me and I've felt peace ever since.
 

Saint Frankenstein

From the river to the sea, Palestine will be free!
Premium Member
And, less commonly in my limited experience, a desire for physically different parts (like you’ve said), so forgive me with my assumptions.
Yes, that's what it is - an incongruence between the mind (perception of self) and the body. It ain't about clothes, at the root.
 

JDMS

Academic Workhorse
Yes, that's what it is - an incongruence between the mind (perception of self) and the body. It ain't about clothes, at the root.

Yeah. I'm not sure where Sum of Awe got the idea that physical dysphoria is in the minority. The view that dysphoria is what makes a person trans is by no means unpopular, even if some disagree. I don't think a single trans person I've ever met would say, "You're a trans man because you like wearing leather jackets!" ... like no, haha.
 
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