Who I Am: Walking Between Worlds

September 16, 2010 at 10:03 pm (Walking Between Worlds) (, , )

Of late, I have been processing some of the things I have written about here in the context of some recent experiences. As I grow, some aspects of my personality have become more clear to me, more understandable. Writing helps me come to terms with them. And, as my recognition leads to greater understanding, the language evolves. Sometimes I play with that, push at edges, blur lines, explore my own boundaries of self. For a few weeks now, I have had experiences that have raised some issues related to the main thing I talk about here: being a dyke, being biologically androgynous, and having a strong energy that, in the gender binary, is viewed as male energy. This is who I am. And, it brings with it some issues. Some are troublesome. Some are enjoyable. Some are…well…just interesting to me.

Like the friend of my dear Scin who thought I was in transition. Or the way children see me. That, perhaps, is the most interesting. Children, frequently, see me as I actually am. Example:  A friend of mine, with whom I am close, has a boy and a girl. The girl is now five and the boy is three. I have known them for two years and have spent a lot of time with them. Now and then, the girl will stop whatever we are doing and ask me: “Miss Li Li, are you a girl or a boy?” [They call me “Li Li” because the youngest could not pronounce my full name.] The most recent time, the boy answered his sister before I could: “You know who that is; that’s our Li Li.”

For him, it is simple. I am who I am and that is enough for him. There is no male or female. There is no boy or girl. There is simply Li. Unlike his sister, he is, as yet, untainted by the world view of gender. 

So, with that ideal in mind, this is what I will say about who I am in regard to gender identity and sexuality–at least, in my present state of being and understanding.

I am a lesbian. A dyke. I love women. And I am a Butch. As a gift of my particular gene pool, I am physically androgynous. From the time I was five or six years old, I have been assumed to be male at least as often—usually more—as I was correctly assumed to be female. Often, in fact, I have even been asked if I was a hermaphrodite. [Yes. People have actually been gauche enough to ask that to my face.] I have frequently had gay men try to pick me up which always results in hearty laughter and interesting discussion. 

I like to do things that the inadequate language of the gender binary tells us are male in essence: I like to build things; I love tools; I like to play hard and work hard; I like to box; I like to work out; I like to work on cars and motorcycles; I like to refinish furniture; I like to practice archery…and I like to fuck women. I like to watch them walk. I like the way they laugh. I like the feel of soft, smooth girl skin against my calloused hands. I like to lead when I dance with a woman. I like to romance them. I am, by nature a top—although, with Scin, I seem to be able to switch and to like it. I like to play football in the snow with other guys. I like to wrestle with guys. I love martial arts. I like the camaraderie of men.  I am a butch.

In addition, I still often feel out of place in a female body. It has always felt like…well…not what it was supposed to be. But, it was not grossly dysphoric. More and more, I think that is due to the fact that so much of my sense of self was troublesome and difficult in a global way that there was not a sense of one particular thing being the issue. 

Because of a range of factors from the influences of the women’s movement on my generation, to the negative influences of religion, to the inadequacies of the transgender technology during my formative years, I learned to find a way of being in this body which suited me. A way of being I could live with. And, as I grow, my ability to be at home in this form grows and becomes a much better place to be. The fact of a partner who truly sees, “gets” and accepts me is a large part of this growing comfort. While it would appear that people often wonder if I am in transition—or considering it—I can say that I am not. And I do not intend to do so. That may change, but I do not sense that it will. I do share a lot of experiences, feelings and issues with a lot of FTMs.  And, I do relate very strongly to many of my peers who identify as trans-masculine. I have used statements here such as: I am a non-transitioning trans-gendered male in a lesbian body. Some people have not appreciated the hyperbole. I will, no doubt, find other ways to push the language in efforts to increase the dialogue, my own understanding and sense of self, and to generally fuck with the binary ideology. That, too, is part of who I am. I will fuck with a thing until I break it or rebuild it. Either way, understanding increases.

Having said that, I also like my butch cock. I like that it feels like a part of me. I also, however, really enjoy my biological genitalia. Having a partner who understands my body has made it a much more comfortable and sexually satisfying place to be. I am biologically androgynous; it is not something I have created or cultivated. My clitoris, for example, has never reacted in ways that are typical for most females—my clit functions more like a penis. I am good with that. [So is Scin, by the way.] I also build muscle in more of a male way. And there were issues with the functioning of my internal female organs. Yet, I do not plan to transition. I am happy with my life as it is. I am a butch with things in common with many people—just like any other person.

In my somewhat simple thinking, it seems to me that being butch is like any other aspect of being human. It still involves being an individual. The human condition being what it is—universal—I have much in common with many people. There is also much that sets me apart, individualizes me, makes me who I am versus being someone other than who I am. Most importantly, being butch is only part of who I am. I am, like all of us, much more—many things that work to make a whole. So, I am who I am. Like my friend’s little boy says: “you know who that is; that’s our Li.”

NOTE:  This work is published here as proprietary and may not be reproduced, distributed, sold, or otherwise utilized outside the posting on this site without the express permission of the author; these works are the sole property of the author writing as Androgynonamous or DreadPirateRobert.

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6 Comments

  1. Scintillectual said,

    c’mere, big boi…(cue the music)

    *grrrrrrrrowl*

  2. Femme Fairy Godmother said,

    Hey, there, Li.

    You know, this walking in 2 worlds thing is something I can understand, being mixed race. I *am* Indian but I look white (because my mom is) and I was raised by my white mother, so I have very little cultural identity as an Indian. I lived on the rez for a year, was married to an Indian for 8 years and still I was suspect among other natives. Because I look white. And white people ask me stupid things like “How much Indian are you?” and “Does your birth certificate say you’re Indian?” and “Do you get money from the casinos?” Seriously? No other race gets the questions that we do and it’s insulting. I wrote a blog post last Thanksgiving about how I won’t deny either part of me, I am what I am: a mixed race woman, for better or worse. You, my friend, are what you are: a masculine female, for better or worse. I know it can be so hard. I have hope that because women like you exist in the world, it will continue to be better for future generations of baby dykes.

    • androgynonamous said,

      Thanks sweetie!! As I am sure you know, I share your hope for a better world for the ones who come after us. I so appreciate your world view and your understanding of being 2 spirits is something I know about you and for which I have great respect. I am not sure I told you, but my grandparents lived in Arizona for many years. Each year, I met many native people–I also saw how mixed race Indians were treated. Growing up here, I have also met and known many mixed race Indians here. It is–and has been–clear to me that you are right; no other race gets the kind of questions you do. I am sure that your journey and mine–for different reasons–have more in common that we have yet to discuss. One thing I do know is that you get it. You understand many of the experiences and I consider you kin…I am sure you know what I mean by that. I am honored to have you as a friend and in my corner! Peace to you, sister.

  3. genderqueersquared said,

    You speak to my own experience as well. Feeling “in between” is a feeling about gender I am really familiar with. Keep writing!

    • androgynonamous said,

      Thank you. It is good to know you are out there. I appreciate your reading and your comments. I hope you keep dropping in here.

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