Tuesday, January 28, 2014

i'm not a girl...i'm nothing. [long post]

this is something that i've really been holding on for too long. this post will be lengthy, because i'm long winded, and because i know people would be asking "why?" if i made it short.

as the title says, i am not a girl.
but, i am also not a boy.

i don't feel like i belong in either gender category, maybe somewhere in between.
which has caused a huge identity crisis for me throughout my life.
i am not cisgender, but i don't like to refer to it as transgender, 
as there would be know way for me to ever transition...
really, i am, and have always kind of been there.

i am gender neutral.
it took me a very long time to figure out what to call it.

this started for me as a child...
i remember my first crush. it was a girl named Amber in my class. (i have an awkwardly good long-term memory) i didn't know what it meant to "like" someone obviously at that age, but i do remember how it felt. i was always happy around her, she was the only person in class i wanted to talk to. like everyone else in my class, she rejected me. but she was the only person i constistently tried to befriend. i remember that i wanted to hold her hand and hug her like my mom and dad hugged, and i didn't want to be anyone elses friend that way.

throughout elementary school, i had crushes on more girls. i never really told them, i just admired them from afar. i honestly didn't have alot of crushes on boys for some reason, but most of my friends were boys. girls thought i was wierd, boys did too but they accepted me more because i liked "boy things." i loved my friends, but i subconsciously really wanted to be friends with the girls, so i tried to like boys to fit in with them. i would talk about how cute they were and whatever, i just wanted them to not think i was so wierd. 

my parents divorced when i was around 5, (my mom didnt tell me until i was 8; i'll save that story for another time...) so i was raised by my mom, and lived with my grandma until i was 8 and we moved into our own house. 
i was extremely sheltered.
i went to a Christian school until the 6th grade, on top of that, we were at church most of the week after school. Church twice on sundays, Tues\Thurs for aerobics, and service wednesday nights, and sometimes more than that because of church plays or choir practices. because of this, i honestly did not realize that there was a difference between boys and girls, well..."down there." i thought girls just got boobs and periods and boys didnt, and thats why they had the babies.

because of being sheltered, there were a lot of things i did not know about the world, and the more i knew, the more i felt outcasted from it. i already had to deal with being mulatto (mixed race/ puerto rican and african american) and being one of the only people i knew like that, or were dark at all, but on top of that, i was starting to get confused about myself.

later on, around 5th and 6th grade, i found out that "girls arent supposed to like other girls, and boys arent supposed to like boys." so, because of my lack of knowledge about the world, i honestly started to think i was a boy. this really lasted until almost the 10th grade, but i never talked about it to anyone so they didnt know that. i was really just too scared to talk about it, because i was afraid they didnt understant, or wouldnt.

on top of liking girls, there were other things that made me think i was male too. after years of searching, finally found my names meaning...and that it was a boys name, people thought i was a boy as a baby and my mom drilled it into my head, and most of the people she compared me to were men. other people as well, including currently. me and my dad fit the same shoe size, the fact that i had slightly larger hands and feet for a person my size, a subtle but still noticeable mustache, told i had "bushy" eyebrows which was as far as i knew to be a male characteristic, i gain muscle really quickly, i have a visible Adam's Apple, and as all of my friends were hitting puberty, i wasnt getting hips or large breasts. i figured as a kid, maybe i'd be this beautiful woman when i grew up, tall, with an hour glass figure and boobs and straight pretty hair. instead, i'm about to be 21 years old in a week, i don't have hips, and still have A-cup breasts. 

the people i idolized most were majority male, and most of them were also androgynous figures. i loved Boy George, Elton John, Joan Jett, 80's hard rock singers -most of these, ironically, my mom introduced me to thinking i would like them, though she herself is against homosexuality, though accepts it, but only if its not me or my sister. i've actually tried to come out to her a few times but she's ignored it, so i stopped trying. 
Joan Jett was someone she often compared me to in my teen years, which is what got me into her. she became an idol for me, because she's also an "in-between-er"...she's androgynous. my mom also introduced me to that word, but never said it was a bad thing. small breasts, not very curvy, deep voice, wears makeup but really doesnt scream "girl" but doesnt scream "guy" either. i didn't feel as alone anymore.

with my moms welcoming of my androgyny, i did cross-dress a little around middle school. she didn't really mind it. she was pretty open minded about things of the sort because she is preformance artist, i grew up doing ballet, singing, acting and doing art. despite my height, girls did think i was male, just a really young guy, because of my hand size and adam's apple. i never said i was a guy, though. when girls would ask, i'd say i was a girl. some of them would be confused, some would just say that it was cool, or that they had a feeling. 

i did start to actually like boys in middle school, i had two "boyfriends." both off and on for about two years. the first one was 7th and 8th grade, the kind that would pass me notes in class, and call me after school, but never really in public...and cheated on me constantly. the second one was not long after 8th grade ended, he was very very shy around me; we barely spoke a word in public for a year, not even including that whole year we were in the same classes. in class, we'd just through shit at eachother, mainly balls of paper. when were boyfriend & girlfriend, we'd just look at eachother, blush, and turn away, spit on random things, and write eachothers name on everything. he was the first boy i'd ever kissed. i was 15 years old... most of my friends had thier first kiss in elementary school. i was thrown off when i realized that later on. 

around this time, i came out "bisexual" to my friends. i was having a talk with my back-then-bestfriend during one of my extended-stay sleepovers at her house and we accidentally kind of came out to eachother. it was really relieving, honestly, to have someone understand like that. because i didn't think anyone would. we told all of our friends that night. those friends i had, i will always see them as my truest and best friends even if i dont see them for 20 years. why? because they accepted me. not only that, they knew me SO WELL that they weren't at all surprised when i told them, they all said that they already knew. i'd never had such close friends that knew me that well, and i haven't since then. and i'm totally tearing up right now.. 

since i found out there was at least one word for something that i was, i felt a little better about myself. although i've liked girls since i can remember, i do kind of feel like my being sheltered is part of the reason that i don't see gender when it comes to love, or just people in general. because for so long i didn't know the difference, so it just stayed kind of the same for me.

until i was with my current boyfriend, i never really had to differenciate genders. we had a rule where i could only talk to other girls, (guys for him) so i had to force myself to separate them...and that was really hard for me. on top of that, for a long time in our relationship, i had to compete with other girls for his attention...girls that really looked like girls, that were pretty, and normal looking, and pretty much everything that i wasnt. i tried to force myself into a "girly" phase, i tried really hard to look like a girl and act like one. you can probably notice it in my blog posts sometime around 2011. i had even changed the way i posted... but when i was doing it, yeah, it was still me, but i had to try. . . so it wasn't as "me" as it could have been. part of the reason i agreed to that rule he made was so that maybe i'd finally have more female friends since they were the only ones i could have, and that maybe i would somehow become a "normal girl" but on top of it not working, i just didnt feel right.

it's a really complicated feeling, honestly, just to wake up every day. people don't know. nobody knows the real me anymore. my real self really only exists in pictures, paintings and in my mirror, and my real self is in a conundrum.

i don't have a specific race, i'm mixed race. black people said i was too white, white people either consider me one of them or wont befriend me because im half black. me and my sister have both been in "secret" relationships or rejected because people werent allowed to date us because we were half black. Hispanic people of all kinds, thankfully, embrace us with open arms. but its more of a black and white world where we are...which makes it a struggle. on top of that, i was raised with mainly white people, so i thought i was like them. ya know, "white." i eventually found out i wasnt white of course, but black people rejected me and made fun of me, it was actually really cruel. people have called me both stuck up and racist because i naturally gravitate towards white people, but i mean what else was i supposed to do...and i did actually have black friends, 2 of my best friends were african american. 2 of the closest friends i'd ever had. i had a hard time fitting in because of my race(s), being bisexual and "gender confused" oh, and CHRISTIAN?! my brain is a fucking shitstorm. and i have a little bit of a twisted belief about God, so Christians don't really like me either. i'll save that for another day too... 

on top of those problems, i have to try to tell myself every day that i'm an adult. remember that first boyfriend i mentioned above that cheated on me constantly? before he was with me, he seemed to strictly date older girls, tall and developed and what-not. after he got with me...he was playing me with girls our age, but they quickly kept younger and younger...long story short? that guy is in jail for pedophilia. and guess who feels guilty, like they caused it...me. at age 13, i looked about 9. i am now 20 years old, 4 feet and 10 inches tall, almost a flat chest, and i am just over 80 lbs. unless i am at work, people don't assume i'm over the age of 12. and honestly, most 12 year olds are taller and more developed than i am. do you have any idea what kind of struggle that is for a person? to feel like any person that is your age or older that thinks you're attractive might be a pedophile? when you're as small as i am, it is honestly really hard to accept my androgyny because of this. because you know who else are androgynous? children. underdeveloped and small...like i am. sometimes i can look at myself and feel okay, "i'm just androgynous, and im alright." but sometimes i just look in the mirror and i see a kid...and i get disgusted with myself. honestly this paragraph isnt completely relevant to this post...that was a vent.

i don't talk to people about these things. i dont know how to without going on a rampage like i just did now.

why this post was brought up:
about a month ago now, i had to file a complaint at work...on top of some other issues i was constantly having with this fellow employee, he made a comment saying that we (the staff members discluding himself) only got tipped because we are either (he later added "attractive") females or a minority. also, that people feel sorry for minorities. our main staff at the time were 3 white females (one being our manager), one black male, myself, and the commenter who is a white male. my initial response was "minorities, really?" i am used to the whole men and woman in the workplace argument now, but to go as low as race? he replied "i like how you go straight to race" and thats when i said i'm not a female. he proceeded to tell me that i was a female no matter what i thought, and that i am also "not necessarily unnatractive." i assume, in order to offend me more. i might be 1/16th white. i am Puerto Rican and African American with both North and South American Native blood in my background. i am made almost entirely of minorities. that's 4. i'm anatomically female, guess now thats 5. and im supposedly attractive? you're up to 7 because that's completely innapropriate. and you ignore my gender identity (or lack thereof) 8 and tell me that how i feel doesnt matter? 9. on top of the constant rubbing-in-my-face of things and setting me up to fail for past week lets put that at a 20. which should probably be higher for the amouint of weeks/months i had to go through it. 20 different ways he offended me, 9 of them happened in probably less than 5 minutes.
that was...my accidental coming out.
after the incident, i had to file a complaint...it was really the straw that broke the camel's back, (possibly more like an anvil,) because of the things i hadnt talked about before. i just shrugged off the other stuff, only mentioning it casually and almost joking about it, because i didn't want to seem petty. i dont want to be that person. but i couldnt keep on going after that... when i told my Manager and DM what happened, after the "im not a girl" comment, they asked what i meant. they're replies were something like a welcoming "cool," the good kind of cool. our DM said he has an employee at another one of our stores that identifies as gender neutral so it wasnt any kind of shocker, plus my Manager and DM are really nice, accepting and open minded people. it was relieving to me that they understood completely why i was so upset about it all. we handled it in a way where nobody got terminated, and things are a little better (except for my guard being up to the Sears Tower and what-not

i don't have a race.
i don't have a gender.
i am nothing.

you see, the thing is about LGBT-types of issues, is that people think it's not a big deal. a lot of people are either closed-minded or ignorant about people like us. its like unless they're actually going through it or know someone closely that is/has, that they dont understand. and unfortunately being "gay/bi" or "trans" or the mention, have also been fads. people literally have pretended to be LGBT for attention or to be trendy, and some of them put on an unfortunately good fucking act. as if actually having a gender/sexuality crisis wasnt confusing enough?! it really is a confusing thing, and when you go through it, you're trying to figure all of this crazy shit out and of course you're going to be defensive about it. 

its only natural. 
its our IDENTITY
"normal" people get to wear their identities on thier sleeve, on thier face, in and on everything. 
us? first, we have to find ours, then find a way to show it to where other people will understand it. or accept it. 

and sometimes that isnt even possible,

if it was, people like me, transgenders, lesbians and gays and so on, wouldnt be made fun of, purposely offended, picked on, bullied, beat up and even killed just for even trying to be ourselves.

its not strictly about acceptance. its about respect. we may not be normal, but we ARE homosapiens, just like you. if you cant accept how someone identifies, that is literally O.K. as long as you still RESPECT them.

 if someone is transgender, use their correct pronouns. 
how would you honestly feel if you were a girl your whole life and someone called you a man when you arent?  it would suck wouldnt it? when you know and are getting used to it is one thing, keeping it up is another. its extremely rude.

if someone is gay,
 and they say anything related to thier homosexuality, and it grosses you out, keep it to yourself. they need love just as much as you do. if you cant, then politely ask them not to talk about it around you. or distance yourself from them, don't be an asshole.

and if they're bisexual,
don't oversexualize thier sexuality, especially if you're dating a bisexual. just because they like both genders does not mean they "want" everyone, or that any given person is an option. no, it does not mean we will date a girl and a guy at the same time. we like people the same way gay and straight people do. bisexuals can be in committed relationships just like everyone else. and just because they're with you and not a [instert gender] does not mean they want someone of a different gender or wish you werent whatever gender you are.

if you know someone who is gender neutral, 
don't objectify them or gender bias them. 

respect other people, whether its thier beliefs or thier identity or orientation, just respect them if you cant accept them.
the golden rule: treat others the way you would want to be treated. 


i know this might be a question, so i'll just put it here. 
i'm an "it."
i'm alright with any pronoun. my boyfriend calls me his girlfriend, that doesnt offend me. he's called me his boyfriend once, it was sweet too. and he's come to now calling me "his little alien." i like alien :)
 people refer to me as a "she," thats fine. i am anatomically female, so i dont mind that. 
"he" is uncommon, but still fine. "they" makes the most sense.
whatever pronoun you use on me, i will be fine with, as long as you don't categorize me/bias me by my anatomy.


if you read all of this, thank you. 
it means alot to me.

1 comment:

  1. Aeri ( I would spell your fullname but can't remember how to spell it and don't want to spell it wrong),
    We know of each other but never really talked. I don't know why but I really enjoy reading many of your posts on Facebook and sympathizing with you when you are upset. We weren't/aren't close but there is something fascinating about your perspective on life. Anyway, and I hope this isn't coming off too creepy, I just see a lot from you in my new feed. But for some reason I decided to read this all the way. I can't say I was surprised but I was happy for you to finally settle on what you feel is right. And proud for you being able to say it and all the feelings that went with figuring that out. Lets just say it was one of the more beautiful things I've read, particularly the last section on identity. It was an honest acceptance of yourself and others I hope to achieve one day. Part of me wishes you didn't have to go through all that you did to get where you are, but at the same time, you are who you are because of your experiences and you physical appearance. To me an outsider looking in it seems that you are a wonderful person inside and out. I'm starting to ramble I think and need to get back to my studying, or sleep, sleep would be nice, but I just wanted to tell you that.
    a mutual friend ( and yes, I am a girl)


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