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Poetry Fishbowl Report for July 5, 2016 - The Wordsmith's Forge — LiveJournal
The Writing & Other Projects of Elizabeth Barrette
ysabetwordsmith
ysabetwordsmith
Poetry Fishbowl Report for July 5, 2016
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ng_moonmoth From: ng_moonmoth Date: August 1st, 2016 05:14 am (UTC) (Link)

Re: Nonbinary person waves "hi"

>> I use ["functional" and "healthy"] to distinguish between things that are working and things which are not (or at least are risky). But I'm basing that on someone's internal comfort level, ability to manage tasks of everyday living, and not harming themselves or anyone else. If so, I care fuckall what society thinks. <<

A little more reflection provided some useful insight. "Unhealthy" is actually applicable to my relationship with my gender identity, but not the way gender bigots would use it. What's unhealthy is not that I have a gender identity that does not align with my birth or present morphology, but that I am constantly balancing the internal cost of suppressing it against the external cost of expressing it.

>> And whether you count the many people who are far enough from the extremes that the usual terms don't ... quite ... fit. Tomboys, for instance. I think that was the earliest genderqueer term I latched onto this life. <<

And another sad example of gender asymmetry. "Tomboy" is an acceptable epithet for girls, and there is no non-pejorative equivalent for boys who exhibit non-masculine forms of expression. And it gets worse from there.

>> It's closer to 1% if you count all the types of largely nonbinary folks. It's probably around 10% if you throw in everyone who's far enough from the ends of the binary spectrum to start having the kinds of problems that nonbinary people have, i.e. "Girls/boys don't do that." <<

That last one was the one I got hit with first. It wound up being the cornerstone for the facade I've mentioned in other places in this thread.

As for percentages, I'm inclined to only count people who assert a nonbinary gender identity. A lot of the range between your 1% and 10% cohorts belongs to people who say, "I'm a (man/woman) who ..." when asked about their non-normative behavior. Whether those people would assert a nonbinary gender identity were it less hazardous is an interesting and relevant question, but I'm not inclined to count them now.

>> I have to admit, when I realized that thinking aloud, "I'm doing it, therefore either girls do it or I am not a girl ... oh wait, nevermind, you could be right." When what they meant was they didn't want me doing it. *shrug* <<

That was also my experience with my birth gender, although it wasn't them wanting me to not do it as much as it was wanting me to be able to do other things the targeted behaviour would rule out. Some of those things I viewed as worthwhile, so I helped them build a box into which I could put the "don't do that" things, and kept them hidden there because I thought I might need them later -- and found out I did.

>> Reality tunnels are so fragile. I keep wagging my tail and breaking the damn things. <<

Keep on wagging! Even though some of them, like the "masculinity" one, are awfully fragile despite the constant cultural reinforcement.
ysabetwordsmith From: ysabetwordsmith Date: August 1st, 2016 06:22 pm (UTC) (Link)

Re: Nonbinary person waves "hi"

>>A little more reflection provided some useful insight. "Unhealthy" is actually applicable to my relationship with my gender identity, but not the way gender bigots would use it. What's unhealthy is not that I have a gender identity that does not align with my birth or present morphology, but that I am constantly balancing the internal cost of suppressing it against the external cost of expressing it.<<

Exactly. You can be healthy or not in the state of your gender identity; and the choices you make may be healthy or not; and only some of that is your decision. Many people wind up unhealthy because they are tormented.

>> And another sad example of gender asymmetry. "Tomboy" is an acceptable epithet for girls, and there is no non-pejorative equivalent for boys who exhibit non-masculine forms of expression. And it gets worse from there.<<

Sadly so, although the acceptability of "tomboy" is variable.

>>As for percentages, I'm inclined to only count people who assert a nonbinary gender identity. A lot of the range between your 1% and 10% cohorts belongs to people who say, "I'm a (man/woman) who ..." when asked about their non-normative behavior. Whether those people would assert a nonbinary gender identity were it less hazardous is an interesting and relevant question, but I'm not inclined to count them now.<<

>>Most of the time, I favor the 1% marker, although the 10% is useful for some contexts (i.e. how far can you go from the core cluster before you start having problems?).

Keep on wagging! Even though some of them, like the "masculinity" one, are awfully fragile despite the constant cultural reinforcement.<<

Yeah, it's a house of cards. :/
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