Neat Little Boxes

These days it seems, everyday a different term or even an alphabet letter comes forward to describe a different facet of the transgender or LGBT community. In fact the latest LGBT acronym has been expanded to LGBTQIA + to include Queer, Intersex and Asexual persons also. Often when I write the original four letters (to me) I feel remiss in leaving out the other groups but for the sake of simplicity, I leave it alone.

Image Courtesy Christine

I wonder also why we need such a selection of neat little boxes to identify with. Perhaps it is because we are learning gender has so many different variations to discuss. Again I will throw up my age as an excuse to be mesmerized by the newer facets added to the old school thought that there were just boys and girls growing up. Then we slowly became aware of people such as Christine Jorgensen  was the first to be widely known for undergoing sex change surgery  To put it into perspective Jorgensen changed gender in 1952 when I was three years old. As I grew up, the only vague terms I ever heard or read to describe at all what my gender feelings were transsexual or transvestite. 

The next main person I remember in my gender dysphoric life was Virginia Prince who I started to follow in the 1970's when I subscribed to her "Transvestia Magazine". Some publications give her credit for coining the transgender term but others don't. It doesn't really matter because in the seventies the transgender term became popular anyhow. I viewed it at the time for ideally describing me. I wasn't ready for any life changing gender surgery but on the other hand I knew my cross dressing was more than an innocent hobby. 

It was during this time I progressed into what I called a very serious crossdresser, even to the point of imagining if I could really be a novice transgender woman. I was trying to fit into two of the neat little boxes and I was having a difficult time doing it. My old male self was fighting back as I slid down the slippery slope to living my gender truth. To cloud my judgement too, this was becoming the time more terminology was being added to the system I was identifying with. Terms such as "gender queer" and "gender fluid" became popular subjects in support groups I was attending. "Gender Fluid" I felt could have really gone a long way describing how I felt when I was younger and totally confused. Just when I thought I had the box thing figured out, two of the biggest, most challenging box choices were still to come as I began to seriously pursue a gender transition. 

The biggest of them all came when I made the ill-fated attempt to live a life in both binary genders. To put it very simply, my feet ended up not fitting in either box and the process came close to killing me. The second was when I had to determine my future sexuality as a transgender woman. During my life I had never been remotely attracted sexually to another man so I wondered if I ever could. What happened was after a couple brief flings with men which resulted in no sex, I was able to settle back in with women friends. So I viewed myself as a transgender lesbian which I see more and more of in social media circles.

It took awhile but I finally figured out which of the neat little boxes I fit into. Until someone comes up with another.