Anonymous said: is it weird to want bottom surgery but not top surgery? i am dfab and want bottom surgery but want to keep my breasts. i have not heard of anyone doing this, and also am worried that it will drive off potential partners. any advice?

Not weird at all.  Different people have different types of dysphoria, and I assure you there are many people out there who feel the same way you do.  It may be that there are potential partners who will not be interested if you do that, but there are also plenty of people who will.  To decide, you have to weigh your projected increased happiness with that potential risk.

-Riam

Anonymous said: I find that I only fluctuate between two genders (male and agender). Do you think I'm genderfluid? What do you think about this?

Yes, if you want to call yourself genderfluid, that would certainly be an accurate label!  Many genderfluid people only fluctuate between two genders.  I believe you could also, if you so desired, call yourself bigender. 

-Riam

kinthulou said: Today I am having a case of the genders and feeling kinda crushed under all the things that make being genderfluid in my current situation really distressing. So to counter that, I would like to make this declaration: Today I am a dude in a skirt. It is a fantastic skirt and I am completely rocking it. A dude is perfectly entitled to wear a skirt if he so chooses, and just because he happens to have boobs and an hourglass figure doesn't make him any less of an awesome dude in a fantastic skirt.

Absolutely right, go you!

-Riam

Anonymous said: I identify myself as both female and neutral and I feel like I would rather be adressed as she/her , as well as they/them , but I dont feel very comfortable being adressed as he/him. Just wanted to know if that made sense if i told people that?

That makes perfect sense, and that is totally valid.  I’m sure many people feel similarly.  Good luck.

-Riam

Anonymous said: How do I know if im genderfluid? I dont want to mistakenly call myself something I might not be and I would hate to offend anyone who is or has more knowledge about it than I do.

First of all, don’t worry about mistakenly calling yourself something.  Exploring is okay, trying out labels is okay, deciding they’re not for you is okay.  Figuring this stuff out and dealing with the feelings that come along with it is difficult enough without constantly panicking about the possibility of making a mistake, and whether that means you’re a terrible person.

Secondly, all these labels are subjective, experienced differently by everyone, but the broad outline is something like this: you’re genderfluid if sometimes you experience your gender as one thing, and sometimes as another thing.  In other words, your gender identity changes.  It can change between any genders, not just male and female, and any number of genders as well.  Also, the timespan of the changes varies from person to person, minutes to years, irregular to regular, gradual to instant.  Some people change their outer presentation when their gender changes; others don’t.  Some have different names and/or sets of pronouns for use when different genders; others don’t.

Gender identity is hard to define, but it’s generally something you feel inside yourself, and it’s not whether you prefer traditionally masculine or feminine clothing/activities/mannerisms.  The best I can do is talk about “feeling like a boy” or “feeling like a girl” or “feeling like both at once” or “feeling like neither” etc etc etc.  I would also encourage you to look into different trans/nonbinary identity labels, to see if any of them seem to fit you better.

-Riam

graspthesanity said: Hey! I really love your blog and as a genderfluid person it's really a safe space for me. Can I ask for help? Me and my GF are trying to reach a safe country away from discrimination and murders but our airline fucked us up and now we're stranded abroad without money to hit home. Could you please reblog the last link I posted? If you can donate that would be great too. If you can't, it's Ok too. Thanks, and have a nice day!

http://graspthesanity.tumblr.com/post/93124993369/help-transgender-callie-and-jamie-go-home-safe

Hopefully this is the correct link?

-Riam

Anonymous said: This is just an anecdote, but I've noticed that my sexual and romantic orientations change with my gender. When I'm agender, I identify as gynosexual aromantic, but as a male I'm asexual panromantic. For the sake of space, I won't describe my identities with the other genders, but I really feel like that is what happens to me. I used to wonder why my sexual and romantic interests changed so much, but when I realized this, it made so much sense that I could not deny it.

Thanks for sharing.  Seems like you’re in good company.

-Riam

hope-lessfaith said: What are the safety recommendations for wearing a binder if I don't want to hurt my breasts? I feel masculine and feminine and I don't want to hurt one part of me permanently to feel something else. Not sure if that makes sense.

Make sure you get one the right size, and don’t wear it for too long per day—I think eight hours is the standard max—and don’t wear it while exercising.  I think that’s about all you can do.

-Riam

Anonymous said: So like, I'm genderfluid. I'm positive about that. And I only like girls (dfab's). I'm dfab as well, so would my sexuality be lesbian? I know sexuality and gender dont go hand in hand but I'm kind of confused because there's not a way to describe liking only dfab's when I change between genders so often (you see, lesbian doesn't work because I go to male sometimes - like now. And heterosexual isn't right because of my female days.)

Okay, so: if your question was “I’m exclusively attracted to women, but my gender changes, what should I call myself?”, the answer is “some people use gynophilic or gynosexual, and others just use ‘lesbian’ sometimes and ‘heterosexual’ other times, and others choose whatever one is more common, and others altogether just say ‘attracted to women’”.

But that’s not your question. Your statement here is “I’m exclusively attracted to DFAB people”, and from what I can tell I assume that is meant to mean “I’m exclusively attracted to cis girls”, but it could just as well mean “I’m exclusively attracted to DFAB people who are not trans men”. And that is a transmisogynist statement, especially since you’re considering using the word “lesbian” (as a woman) or “heterosexual” (as a man) in a way that excludes trans women.

Trans women are women. If you use a word that implies attraction to women but then implicitly exclude trans women from that word, you’re saying they’re not really women, not to you. I’m gonna go through a pre-emptive FAQ before I get bombarded with asks about this, if that’s all right. These are all questions I’ve seen directed at other people who’ve talked about this. The below discusses genitalia and sex explicitly, be warned.

But Key, you can’t choose who you’re attracted to!

Uh. I think I’ve made it very clear on here that I don’t subscribe to “born this way” rhetoric. I don’t think that is a true statement, and I believe that attractions are often shaped by what is societally valued, and that it is our responsibility to deconstruct why we like what we like and think about whether that’s reinforcing any power imbalances. For example, I was pretty much exclusively attracted to white people in high school, and that was internalized racism on my part! Deliberately questioning that, as well as exposing myself to blogs and other media which were less white-centric (and also thin-centric) was something I had to do. 

Now, I’m not saying that liking who you like at the moment is bad. I’m not saying that makes you a bad person. I’m saying that you have the responsibility to question that and think about it and work out why you feel the way you do, and whether that’s, objectively, something you should improve on. And I’m definitely saying that conflating “attracted to women” and “attracted to DFAB people” is something that needs work.

But I’m just attracted to a particular figure, and DMAB people don’t tend to have that.

Twofold answer to this one: firstly, see above with regard to questioning your attraction. Secondly, uh, there are plenty of DFAB people who won’t have that “particular figure”. And ten bucks says there are DMAB people who do. I know at least three pretty, long-haired cis men with delicate features who would be far more likely to pass a casting call for female modelling at a pinch than I would. More to the point, it is transmisogynist to assume that all trans women “look like men” or “have male figures” or whatever the heck, and just categorically not true. I mean, Laverne Cox.

I just don’t like penises! It’s misogynist and ableist toward me as a survivor with trauma issues related to penises to say that I’m being transmisogynist!

Also a two-part answer here. First, not all trans women have penises, and some trans men have penises! There’s a thing called surgery! It exists! Secondly, I get that. And I mean “I have PTSD and viscerally understand that”, not “I guess I can see where that comes from”. And I’m still telling you that defining your attraction that way is transmisogynist. Y’know why? Because when you see somebody on the street you’re sexually attracted to, you’re not going “damn, that is sure a fine lack of peen there, it’s so sexy.” You’re looking at the person as a whole. I don’t know what in particular makes somebody sexually attractive for you, but it sure as hell isn’t, at first glance, their not having a dick. Not wanting to have penis-centred penetrative sex or not wanting to see a penis at all doesn’t mean you are never attracted to people with penises. It doesn’t even mean you can’t be in a relationship with somebody with a penis, or have sex with somebody with a penis! Oral sex exists! A wide variety of other sexual acts exist! Some people with penises don’t actually want to involve their penises in sex, just like some people with breasts like to wear binders during sex! Hell, as an asexual person who doesn’t like sex at all, I’ve found ways to be intimate with sexual partners who have penises that don’t cross my boundaries and still involve them getting off!

You’re asexual, you don’t understand!

I’m not gonna dignify this one with an answer like other people have - all I have to say about this one is “fuck off”.

If there’s any other questions, I’m happy to field them, but I might not respond immediately. I’m sorry if I’m being unkind, anon, but this does need to be addressed in general, and your question was a useful place to start. I think this was something you’ve probably never thought about, and I hope this was helpful to you too. If you want to talk to me privately about your attractions or whatever, I promise I’ll listen and be constructive and gentle - you can contact me at klutzygeek, or in a number of other ways here.

-Key

Anonymous said: Ive always identifed as female - born & raised. I know I'm bisexual tho because I'm attracted to both genders, but it feels deeper than that. Sometimes I feel like I could be a guy or a girl. I'm not sure if it's because I'm bi or not. Any idea why?

Well, as far as I know being bisexual has little or nothing to do with identifying as a guy and a girl.  So it’s probably not because of that.  But it’s possible that for you your sexuality and gender are interlinked—some people’s are and some aren’t.  

What you’re describing is generally a gender thing and not a sexuality thing.  So it would theoretically make you some sort of non-cis-type-person, and is not solely due to your bisexuality, even if it’s related.  I can’t be anymore specific that that, I’m afraid.

-Riam

flyfastlivefree said: Hi! I just wanted to say that I love this blog so much! I have a question about approaching someone new and asking which pronouns they prefer? I was at my lgbt group and someone asked another person (very androgynous in appearance, gender neutral name) in the group "hey, what's your pronoun?" She responded coldly and seemed offended as she rudely said "she". Is there a better way to ask this? I don't want to offend anyone and I'm not sure what was so upsetting about it :/

How about at the beginning of every group you go around the circle and have everyone give their name and pronoun?  That way no one feels singled out.  

The reasons I can think of that somebody might be upset by such a question are 1) they’re cis and have internalized transphobic/transmisogynist/cissexist ideas (perhaps they feel you’re implying they’re not properly embodying their gender? or not sufficiently masculine/feminine? or that they’re a trans person and they think of that as a bad thing?) 2) they’re trans and are upset that they apparently didn’t “pass”/you didn’t automatically guess the gender they’re attempting to present as.  There are probably other possible reasons.  

But it’s definitely better to ask than to just assume, because the second will do much, much more harm.  I think your best option is probably to give everybody an opportunity to state their pronouns, so that nobody feels singled out in whatever negative way, and also so you don’t inadvertently misgender someone whose gender you wrongly assume because of their appearance or presentation.

-Riam