I went out for beers and barbeque with my buddy, Arron, a couple of days ago and, as usual, we had a great time. Â I downloaded some of my experiences from Butch Voices, talked about the Butch Voices vs. Butch Nation struggle, and about the joys of being with Roxy (as well as the anguish of parting).
As usual, our conversation ranged all over, but this time in particular, we talked a lot about gender identity. Â At one point, Arron asked me how I would feel, gender-wise, if I’d been born in a male sexed body.
Things that make you go “Hmmmm”, ya know?
The question stumped me a bit. Â Arron knows my story, knows that as a youngin’ I thought of myself as a boy who got the wrong body at birth. Â As a young adult, I remember identifying more strongly with my female body. Â What happened in between, and would I have had any sense of female identity if I hadn’t been born with this body?
That was Arron’s question, about the possible impact on my gender identity. Â Of course, I can’t know the true answer but I have a strong feeling that my female side may never have developed. Â Having a body that didn’t match my internal vision of self created discord and stress but it also provided me an opportunity to have a larger idea of gender than I might otherwise have had.
But what if….?
When I was a young child, the fact of my female body was aÂ nuisanceÂ but not something that interfered with my identity as a boy. Â As I got older, the dissonance created by my sense of identity and the gender assigned to me at birth grew greater. Â If I’d been born with a male body, would I have felt any dissonance? Â Did I grow into my female identity as a survival mechanism? Â If I’d been raised and acculturated as a boy and man, would I have felt female identity moving within me the way I feel male identity now? Â Or would I have incorporated those traits into my male identity?
What about sexuality? Â I’m guessing I’d be bisexual, well, probably queer, as I identify now. Â My male side is attracted to men and women and all the glorious variations of gender between and beyond that binary. Â I probably would have explored gay male culture directly, rather than from the outside. Â And there’s a very real possibility I’d be a man-whore: Â I love sex, love to fuck, have a pretty large sexual appetite.
As I was considering this alternative path, the appeal of feeling integrated was very strong. Â However, there was also a sense of potential loss. Â What would it be like to not have my companion self, the two genders coexisting inside me? Â What insight and experience would I have missed out on by entering the world as cis-male? Â What would I be like as a man? Â The young boy inside me thinks that would have been a wonderful thing, no nagging by our mother about getting my knees dirty or not acting like a lady. Â NoÂ insistenceÂ that we wear dresses. Â I would have been first born male, how would that have changed things in my family life and in the way society treated me?
Would I feel drawn to explore gender and identity? Â Or would that have been a non-issue? Â So much would be different. Â I probably wouldn’t have a blog called Butchtastic, and without that, how would I have experienced all the wonderful things that have come because of it? Â Would I have met Roxy? Â If I had, would we have experienced the attraction that shook our lives like a mega-quake?
I can guess and speculate all I want but this mystery will remain. Â I am who I am, a person of two minds, two genders, two ways of experiencing and embracing life. Â I may or may not integrate into one self during this lifetime. Â I will endeavor to enjoy the life, and identities, given to me to my best ability. Â And I’ll always wonder what it would have been like to not have the heartbreaking realization as a child that I was born in the wrong body.
Thank you, Arron, for asking such an interesting question. Â Anyone else have some thoughts on this ‘What if..?”
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