The feedback I have gotten about my appearance has been both gratifying and unusable lately.
Mainly, people don’t recognize me when I switch from male to female clothes.
This is… interesting.
Sometimes, I wonder if the person is trying to insult me. “I didn’t know you could look like that!” someone gushed to me recently. Like what? I thought with annoyance, as these were items I’d worn several times in the past few months.
Then I realized the last time she’d seen me, I’d been wearing a button down shirt and a vest and had hair about half as long as it was now. So… sort of understandable?
Another time, I met someone wearing female clothes and then the next time they saw me, I was wearing even more feminine clothes: namely, a corset and thigh highs and heels. “You look way different than you do at happy hour!” they said.
Yes… because this outfit isn’t street legal in a public bar?
The only part of this that’s gratifying is that I’ve apparently achieved something by dressing differently. A lot of the time, I wonder how useful it really is for me to try and dress as a different-than-assigned gender, since so many people seem to go "Ah, I see boobs! Therefore, girl!" Since I don’t typically get feedback from anyone besides my closest friends, it’s good to know that I made some kind of impression.
On the other hand, I want fucking compliments. I want to be told, unreservedly, that I look good or interesting or what the hell ever, not this wishy-washy “You look… different.” Not this weirdo thing where people don’t seem to realize that sometimes I dress casually and I won’t be wearing a full face of makeup all the time.
Shit like this is what makes it impossible for me to dress casually in boy’s clothes—I’m afraid people won’t see any difference from when I normally wear shorts.
The other day, my sweetheart comes to pick me up from work and a manager ~jokingly~ says, “Hey look! Some gay guy’s at the door! Heh heh heh.” I say, “Yeah? My boyfriend? Who’s queer? And so am I?”
"I was joking. It was a joke."
"Huh, I don’t get it- he is gay." And then I kissed the love of my life hello.
I have the *worst* sense of humor, y’all. #laughingatyounotwithyou
Another great one:
"So… Chad… Likes guys too?"
"Yeah." I say, bored of this conversation already.
"I knew it!"
"… Yeah, me too…?"
Two days later, the same girl asks me if we’re “exclusive” (I forget sometimes that working in a restaurant is the equivalent of going back to high school) and then tells me how jealous she is that I get “a boyfriend AND A GAY BEST FRIEND all in one!”
Holy shit that last one.
Today, Facebook introduced the option of custom gender and pronoun settings on individual profiles, AKA more than just “male” or “female.” The site will now allow you to enter up to 10 different gender identities (out of about 50 possibilities) as well as pronouns — though these appear to only include he/him/his, she/her/hers and they/them/theirs. Changes are live now, but only for users in the United States.
Identities on the list include transgender, agender, cisgender, two-spirit, neutrois, genderqueer, intersex, androgynous, and many, many more.
Here’s a portion of the FAQ:
Q: Why is Facebook doing this?
We want everyone to feel comfortable being their true, authentic selves on Facebook. An important part of this is the expression of gender, especially when it extends beyond the definitions of just male or female. We’re proud to have worked with leaders in the LGBT community to offer these new features to people who use Facebook.
Q: I just signed up for Facebook and didn’t see the “custom” gender option.
A: If you are a new user, you will need to choose from the male/female gender option when signing up and then navigate back to your profile at any time after signing up to change your gender to custom.
Q. Will news feed stories appear when I change my gender?
Q. What is the audience of my gender?
A: If you choose a custom gender, you can select the audience for your selected gender(s), but your preferred pronoun (male, female, or neutral) will always be public.
Some of the custom gender options appear to be more of gender descriptors than identifiers, but for a lot of people these are crucial to one’s complete identity. And, womp, you can still only be “interested in” men, women or both.
Overall, this is huge. It’s going to give people so much more freedom, accuracy and honesty in self-identifying online.
What do you think?