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Gender Identity, Self-Discovery and #BDSM

By 2019-04-18Uncategorized

I promise this will connect to the BDSM/kink lifestyle….

I’ve always “checked out” women. Ultra-feminists (those who rant against males and blame them for all the woes of the world, not those cool ones who say feminism is about welcoming everyone, including cis males) would claim I’m performing the “Male Gaze” and think I am objectifying the woman. They ASSUME by seeing my skin and assumed gender identity that I am a “typical” white, cis, het male. I happen to only be white, though I am technically cis too. The misunderstanding by hardcore feminists places a significant amount of pressure on male-bodied persons. Their rants inadvertently force male-bodied individuals who have a profound sense of difference to stay in the closer for fear of being accused of trying to usurp femininity by “becoming” women, thus minimizing womanhood. It’s a mess, and a Catch-22 situation, for sure. So, when people saw be looking at a woman, they naturally assumed I was objectifying them.

I wasn’t. At least not their bodies.

About 99% of the time, I look at a woman and wonder if I could pull off that look. I like woman’s jeans and the off-the-shoulder shirts. I love mascara and lipstick, though I am not a fan of other makeup at all. I am a minimalist in that sense. I see blush and I cringe, though I understand it’s intended to enhance, it’s just not my thing.

<h4><strong>35 Years is 36 Years Too Long</strong></h4>

It took about 35 years for me to realize I shouldn’t give a shit what people think I am or who I am. I came to a realization; I needed to clear the air with everyone, especially my spouse: I like “girl stuff”. I hate bras and girdles. They are all too constricting. I’m not into dresses either. But I do love mascara, nail polish, lipstick and many types of “womens” accessories and clothing, like sandals, boots, bracelets, anklets and such. <a

This realization led to my acceptance of why gender identity. I’ve always supported the <a href=”http://www.shareasale.com/r.cfm?B=340299&amp;U=1253612&amp;M=36679&amp;urllink=” target=”_blank”>LGBTQ community</a>. But due to the culture in which I grew up, I was afraid to come out. My parents were okay with my interracial dating, but only barely. There were always whispers of having “mulatto” grand kids and “having to explain that to people.” Often, not-so-closeted racism. I could have fallen in in love with an Indian and then they would have been fine. Or a Latina. Or even a Muslim. Because the skin color of our kids would be “white enough.” Imagine if I brought home a man, or someone who’s transgender, or, crazier yet, a cross dresser who could completely pass as female. I would have been disowned immediately. Like so many others, I was raised in a patriarchal society, not unlike those found in Latin America. It’s basically the same, but perhaps worse since I’m white.

Too often those of us who are different, who are trans, are fetishized or demonized. And this is where gender identity ties into the BDSM community…

Our lifestyle is about accepting others. We often don’t though. That’s the sad reality of life, isn’t it? Sexuality and gender aren’t supposed to matter.

While my friends accepted my sexuality, especially since one is a best friend for nearly 20 years and her ex-husband remains a closeted gay man and the ex-husband of another transitioned a few years back, my spouse did not.

She’d known about my bisexuality. I never hid it from her. Ever. But coming out as <a href=”https://internationalspectrum.umich.edu/life/definitions”>bisexual</a> or pansexual (as “A person who experiences sexual, romantic, physical, and/or spiritual attraction for members of all gender identities/expressions, not just people who fit into the standard gender binary (i.e. men and women) is something completely different than hearing your husband identifies as a woman most days. It was not something she expected.

We never discussed my gender identity. Ever.

In the community, there are only a handful of male-bodied transgender and gender non-conforming persons. And often, they are looked at as sissies or crossdressers or forced into gender reversals or objectified/fetishized. I’m all for making a buck on fetishes. I’ve no issues with camgirls and boys, adult entertainment stars and sex workers in general…since I am a sex worker too. But I do take pause and get a sinking feeling when I see “sissy” and other words and terms that fetishize those like me.

 

<h4><strong>Becoming Self-Aware</strong></h4>

It’s a hard concept to understand even for loved ones. It’s easy to say, “Oh! You’re only into guys (or women, or both, trans*)” because sexuality isn’t the same as gender; attraction is easy to understand. However, when you’re telling someone you’re not part of the gender binary we’ve come to accept, it’s an entirely different admission and more confusing to understand.

The truth is, in my case, I simply feel like a woman many times.

It’s been this way for as long as I can remember. But due to cultural confines and prejudices, I could never act on those wants, needs, desires in a way that allowed me to publicly wear lipstick or nail polish.

Ziggy Stardust was the first indication of my outside the dual gender dichotomy thinking. My crushes on the most intelligent and funny men—like Anderson Cooper and Will Arnett—solidified my sexuality; it helps they are both attractive too. I simply didn’t have a name for it beyond “bisexual.” My “bisexuality” wasn’t a traditional bisexuality I knew. Some bisexuals will go beyond the dual gender identity, but not many. I went well beyond the culturally accepted gender binary. And I often associated sexuality with gender, not realizing—due to cultural concepts of gender being intertwined with sexuality—that my bisexuality wasn’t the same as my feeling of woman-ness.

Prince was a close second to Ziggy. I kept feeling something when I saw him. I would become nervous and I’d start salivating. I felt like one of Pavlov’s dog; I’d see prince and I’d swoon. I never connected it to my gender “dysphoria” until years later. (#RIPPrince)

To me, androgyny is beautiful. So are cismales and females. Trans (2S and Hijra included) individuals—pre-transition, transitioning, or fully transitioned to the gender they are—have been a special focus of mine for decades. Some of it is sexual, I won’t lie; but most of it is because I felt a deeper conneciton to the third gender individuals. It wasn’t until 2016 that I finally realized why I have an affinity for trans individuals: I am one. I looked at them not as freaks, but as the perfect blend of the male and female binary. I saw something in these folks that was missing in my life. It took way too for me to finally understand that I am transgender. I’d found the official name for me. A label. And while I abhor labels, I understand they make things a bit easier for people to grasp some aspect of another. Sexuality, nationality, skin color and so on are all irrelevant.

Yet we use labels in all the communities to which we belong. In BDSM, we label ourself Leather, Dominant, Master, submissive, slave, Mistress, FinDominant, ProDominant and so on and so forth.

The community also embraces difference, but honestly, not well. If one just looks at social media, you’ll see the differences in how transgender persons in the community are viewed versus those who are cisgender.

To be honest, I actually understand the issues people have with trans persons. We aren’t cis. We are different. Different tends to be fetishized.

 

<h4><strong>Coming Out and Being You</strong></h4>

Coming out as lesbian, gay or bisexual is easy. What isn’t easy is coming out and saying you don’t fit the cultural conception of gender (regardless of sex). When the coming out is about gender we fight against what we’ve been conditioned in Western culture to view gender as a binary; it is difficult to wrap one’s brain around the concept that a cis male would exhibit female stereotyped behavior and vice versa. It’s even hard to start calling men you’ve known for years “she” when you discover they have or are transitioning from male to female (or vice versa with FtM transitions). Imagine how difficult it is to explain you’re not a cross dresser, but instead you feel both gender binary identities almost always at the same time and you still identify as male, but you’re also female. Imagine how difficult it is coming out and saying you’re not male at all or female at all, that in fact you’re the opposite gender, and that you will be completely transitioning into that gender. We’ve been so conditioned to think in a gender binary that we forget everything is a social construct and on a sliding spectrum.

There’s now a true sense of<a href=”http://www.shareasale.com/r.cfm?B=340299&amp;U=1253612&amp;M=36679&amp;urllink=” target=”_blank”> PRIDE</a> for me.

Miss Ruby

Miss Ruby

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