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September 24, 2007 | by  | in Opinion |
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What gender are you?

What gender are you? How do you know? For most people, this is a bit obvious.

They just are male or female. Me, I’m a bit different. I’m transgendered. I’m female, but was born a boy.

Gender isn’t something most people have to think about, as who they are as a person fits with their body. But for people like me, who we are doesn’t fit our bodies. I never really fitted in as a guy, and I was very unhappy for a long time living as one. As far back as I can remember, I wished that I could be a girl. Heck, when I was eight I made a time capsule to myself (yes, I’m a geek), and in it was a message for me at age 18 that ‘If you’re not a girl yet, get on with it’. Of course, I was too young understand gender and sex at that point, but I still somehow knew I wasn’t comfortable living as a guy.

I was always bullied in school- kids instinctively pick on other kids that are somehow different to them, even if they don’t understand why. Going to a single sex boy’s high school was frankly horrid. Homophobia (the pupils assumed I was gay) and bullying do immeasurable damage to people, and is something that really needs to be addressed, by the way. It’s great that SS4Q is making progress in this area.

I told my parents shortly after leaving school, and they weren’t too keen on the idea of me changing gender, though they did say they would support me. It was the scariest thing I’ve ever done. I guess that’s the most important thing to convey; the terrifying prospect that people won’t want to have anything to do with you anymore. You have to break all of society’s rules and defy everyone’s expectations.

Eventually, I got to the point in all of this where I just had to live as a woman, and all that was holding me back was fear. It took me a long time to develop the confidence to start transitioning, and I never felt like I could do that while living at home.

So last year, once I moved out of home, I started the ‘transition process’- all those myriad things I’ve had to do to change gender. I think the hardest thing was coming out to people- it’s still scary at times, even though I’ve told pretty much everyone now. Fortunately, people have been really supportive thus far, my family is fantastic, and very few people have a problem with me. A lot of people are just pleased to see me happy, with a smile on my face for a change.

I’ve been taking hormones for a year. Generally it’s good. I’m certainly enjoying a second puberty more than the first. It takes a while to get used to oestrogen, that’s for sure. It does some odd things. I recall getting incredibly clucky in my second month on hormones, for example.

But, enough about me. What about transgendered people in general? Let’s clear up some common misconceptions:

We’re not doing this to avoid being gay. I’m attracted to women, so that would make me gay after transitioning, not before! Sexual orientation is separate from gender and sex. There are straight, gay, bi, pan and asexual transsexual men and women.

We’re not trying to destroy the fabric of society (though it might be fun to try). We don’t necessarily identify as/with ‘male’ or ‘female’. In a sense, these are restrictive roles. Why not be both? Or neither? Some people just don’t fit any of society’s ideas on gender.

On that note, I have a challenge for you. Examine your gender. Try something different- change your appearance subtly or obviously. Wear makeup, or don’t. Wear a dress, a skirt, a check shirt, a sombrero, a corset, a moustache, pink, beige. Dress as a stereotype, even! Think about whether you feel different, and how people react to you differently. If you’re uncomfortable, think about why you feel that way. What is it about the goth boots or overalls that you like, or don’t like?

Question yourself, and the world you live in. Challenge expectations.

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Comments (39)

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  1. Ivy says:

    Hehe, actually written by me, so people know :-)

  2. M says:

    Hey
    Thanks for sharing your story, transgendered people are cool!

  3. Ivy says:

    Thanks M.

    (Don’t know if you can see this, my comments are moderated after I swore liberally in the previous weeks Queer column…)

  4. Andreas Rupprecht says:

    Whose “Pachali Brewster” if this is written by “Ivy”?

  5. Andreas Rupprecht says:

    transgendered people are cool………rriiiggght…another fascinating insight into nothingness.

    Nothingness: Well, can you do any better? All you do is criticise!!

    AR: Nothingness, there’s nothing to respond to.

  6. Andreas Rupprecht says:

    Wait up! I do have something substantial in response:

    woww…body…geek…yeahh..aawwwh cooool…me too, I was bullied too…aaawwhhh, I wanna change gender too…can I have some hormones…? Awwwh, woww…that would be great….yeahhh…i’d like to wear make up and a skirt…yeaaahh…i wanna wear a corset and have a moustache tooooo and be different…yeaah, this is so cool, i wanna be different too so everyone will think im cool…yeahh and i want everyone to look at me too…im transgendered…yeaahh, im way cool…I wanna be different to and wear beige..I want everyone to notice me yeaaah…im so outside of the box…that’s right…yeaahh, im queer and everyone wants to try something different…stereotypes are great…

  7. Antichrist Superstar says:

    Andreas Rupprecht: you are an arrogant, ignorant fuck. shut the hell up and go fuck yourself. no one likes you and your retarded simplistic comments. your are an insensitive cunt and I hope that someone runs you over tommorrow.

  8. Michael Oliver says:

    Can we get the above comment bronzed and mounted on a plaque in the Salient office?

    That’d be great, thanks.

  9. M says:

    Yes I can see your comment, thanks again Ivy for sharing your story.

  10. Ivy says:

    Or an autographed copy of the comment.

  11. B says:

    I don’t know much about transgender people, but I do know what it’s like to spend your life feeling you really belong to the other gender. It’s the first time I read about someone else feeling like that (and I’ve been around for quite a bit longer than you). Thanks for sharing your story.

  12. Ivy says:

    Well, if you want to explore or discuss that, I would recommend rocking up to UniQ or contacting Agender who I think are based in Wellington (www.agender.org.nz)

  13. Pachali says:

    Ivy, I’m so sorry. There was a big fuck up and they all have my name on them. I was extremely upset, and I’m making them print a retraction.

    Glad you’re getting feedback.

  14. Ivy says:

    Hey that’s ok. Thanks heaps for publishing me in the first place!
    And that’s cool that you’re putting a correction in.
    You might also benefit from a correction- to be very clear so that people don’t think you’re trans too and keep asking you questions like “When are you getting your dick chopped off?” and “Are your boobs real?” !

    I hope you’re not too upset by the comments made by Andreas about you.

  15. Smidge and Sons Catering says:

    Yeah, thanks for sharing your story Ivy.

    Dude, Andreas,
    why do you feel like to you have to respond if you’re just going to be hateful. You’re not actually contributing anything – you’re just picking people apart for no apparent reason, other than just for the sake of it.

  16. Andreas Rupprecht says:

    Why has the name of the writer changed? What is this bullshit. Consistency please!!!!!

    ATTENTION, “DUDE” – i.e. “Smidge and Sons Catering” – why state the obvious – WHY AREN’T PEOPLE TAKING ANY NOTICE OF THE CRAPTASTIC ‘QUEER’ ARTICLES IN SALIENT – ARE YOU ALL STUPID? AM I THE ONLY PERSON WHO CAN SEE HOW SHALLOW THE COLUMNS ARE…CHRIST…!!!!

  17. Andreas Rupprecht says:

    OK – I’M BEAT, YOU’VE RIPPED MY SOUL APART…I’LL GO WITH THE KIWI ZOMBIE SHEEP – SO NOW SOME PROFOUND QUESTIONS:

    1. Why are trannies who are blokes in ladies clothese attracted to ladies?
    2. Is it true that most trannies are samoans and suck cock for cheap in Vivian St or thereabouts?
    3. How come trannies look like blokes still even post-op!
    4. How come its becum trendy to become a tranny?
    5. Is Georgina just a bloke in a dress or has he had thew chop? Does he have real tits?

  18. Andreas Rupprecht says:

    RE: IVY:

    “I hope you’re not too upset by the comments made by Andreas about you…”

    Hon, what comments??? First the comments are in reference to your comments –not Pachistio’s. You wrote it didn’t you? Its not “about you” – geez. Its about the words used.

  19. Andreas Rupprecht says:

    RE:

    “Andreas Rupprecht: you are an arrogant, ignorant fuck. shut the hell up and go fuck yourself. no one likes you and your retarded simplistic comments. your are an insensitive cunt and I hope that someone runs you over tommorrow.”

    THEN RE:

    Michael Oliver
    September 24th, 2007 at 9:24 pm

    Can we get the above comment bronzed and mounted on a plaque in the Salient office? That’d be great, thanks.

    NOW ME:

    YEAH, CAN WE? ITS SOOOOO COOL? WOW, PROFOUND….HE SURE IS A SCHOLAR….WOW….HEY MAN…THAT’S SOOOOO COOL…WICKED….WOW…YEAH, Y’KNOW…WOW….

  20. Andreas Rupprecht says:

    “Antichrist” “Superstar” (totally naff handle), Michael Oliver obviously wants to fuck you in the ass.

  21. Andreas Rupprecht says:

    Im sorry Ivy.

  22. Andreas Rupprecht says:

    Im sorry panschali.

  23. Michael Oliver says:

    what a rude dude

  24. Antichrist Superstar says:

    hey tim, why dont you just fuck off and diiiiiieeeeeeeeeeeeeee

  25. Felicia Jollygoodfellow says:

    Michael Oliver
    September 24th, 2007 at 9:24 pm

    Can we get the above comment bronzed and mounted on a plaque in the Salient office?

    That’d be great, thanks.

    September 26th, 2007 at 7:20 pm

    what a rude dude

    Payback can be a BITCH Michael…

    I’m not ready to make nice
    I’m not ready to back down
    I’m still mad as hell and
    I don’t have time to go round and round and round
    It’s too late to make it right
    I probably wouldn’t if I could
    ‘Cause I’m mad as hell
    Can’t bring myself to do what it is you think I should
    – The Dixie Chicks.

    Remember that the Real Antichrist Superstar, aka Marilyn Manson, is known for fellating other men on stage.

  26. Michael Oliver says:

    Oh shit, Dixie Chick lyrics.

  27. Antichrist Superstar says:

    haha. maybe we should get the dixie chick lyrics bronzed and mounted on a plaque in the Salient office?

  28. Michael Oliver says:

    We may as well get a hammer and sickle bronzed and mounted — god knows we’ve already been lambasted as being the veritable hub of VUWSA-sanctioned socialism at Victoria, right guys?

    Yeah, fucking Salient – especially that cossack-blowing sports column with all its, uh, sport and… uh… socialist…uh coverage of… um… the stuff with….uh…. soviet… lesbian… dodgeball team?

    Yeah, fuck those guys.

    And with breaking news, here’s Andreas Rupprecht with a completely unreadable and mind-numbingly boring queer-related diatribe that was more or less copied verbatim from some comment left by a 13-year-old kid from Arkansas on some Queer Eye for the Straight Guy YouTube clip.

    1. Why are trannies who are blokes in ladies clothese attracted to ladies?

    GUYS, WHY AREN’T YOU LAUGHING HYSTERICALLY HA HA HA THIS IS SOLID GOLD HO HO HO HOW ZANY AND UNEXPECTED IS THIS HEH HEH HEH!

    Andreas Rupprecht is trash, throw him in the bin. The fuckin bin

  29. Andreas Rupprecht says:

    Michael Oliver: “Andreas Rupprecht is trash…”

    WHAT’S YOUR POINT?

  30. Andreas Rupprecht says:

    fuck your dumb Michael Oliver.

  31. Andreas Rupprecht says:

    Yeah Im trash!! Yaaaay!

    1. Why are trannies who are blokes in ladies clothese attracted to ladies?
    2. Is it true that most trannies are samoans and suck cock for cheap in Vivian St or thereabouts?
    3. How come trannies look like blokes still even post-op!
    4. How come its becum trendy to become a tranny?
    5. Is Georgina just a bloke in a dress or has he had thew chop? Does he have real tits?

  32. Andreas Rupprecht says:

    Michael Oliver needs a good root. Get down to those bogs girl – glue your anal cavity up to that glory-hole and allow some KIWI FLAG LOVING, ALL-BLACKS SUCKING, LABOUR PARTY GLORIFYING rugby-lad to stilck it in your ass.

  33. Andreas Rupprecht says:

    To Michael Oliver:

    ‘DUDE’, you claim to NOT be taking my silly-willy commentary seriously yet you brutalise me with the usual vim and vigour one has come to expect from the contemporary sub-university gimp. And, honey, you clearly have no sense of C.A.M.P.

    re: “…with a completely unreadable and mind-numbingly boring queer-related diatribe that was more or less copied verbatim from some comment left by a 13-year-old kid from Arkansas on some Queer Eye for the Straight Guy YouTube clip….”

    You actually took that seriously. You are a complete troglydite.

  34. Andreas Rupprecht says:

    WHo the hell is Tim? Send him to me.

  35. Pita says:

    Andreas: “fuck your dumb Oliver”…? fuck your dumb Oliver what?…or is that suposed to be …fuck you’re dumb Oliver? Got to love the irony.

  36. Andreas Rupprecht says:

    Hi Pita,

    In reference to this dumb comment made by Ms. Oliver:

    “And with breaking news, here’s Andreas Rupprecht with a completely unreadable and mind-numbingly boring queer-related diatribe that was more or less copied verbatim from some comment left by a 13-year-old kid from Arkansas on some Queer Eye for the Straight Guy YouTube clip.

    1. Why are trannies who are blokes in ladies clothese attracted to ladies?

    GUYS, WHY AREN’T YOU LAUGHING HYSTERICALLY HA HA HA THIS IS SOLID GOLD HO HO HO HOW ZANY AND UNEXPECTED IS THIS HEH HEH HEH!

    Andreas Rupprecht is trash, throw him in the bin. The fuckin bin..”

    NOW ITS MS. OLIVER THAT DOESN’T GET IRONY.

  37. B says:

    What is the point of this “discussion” I wonder?

    I find it’s not very appropriate for people to be rude to each other online. It’s actually quite cowardly: why don’t you just meet for real and have a good conversation together (and insult each other as much as you want) without bothering the rest of the world?

    Thanks.

  38. dumb Oliver says:

    fuck your dumb Oliver

  39. Andreass Rupprichtigarshloch says:

    Troglydite? It you’re going to play the pseudo-intellectual at least spell it right – troglodyte. Dumbass.

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