- Category: A Negative
- Published on Monday, 24 October 2011 15:24
- Written by T. Henrik Anttonen
- Hits: 2732
Author's note: This column was originally featured in the AVENues online newsmagazine, but has now found a new home here at Asexual News. I am republishing the first two columns for the benefit of those who have not read AVENues and for the sake of completion.
I never used to think about gender before. It didn’t seem like a topic worthy of even thinking about, that’s just how indifferent I was toward the whole thing. That’s why I never bothered to even give myself a gender identity. But that all changed when I joined the Asexual community about five years ago. All of a sudden I was interacting with people with all sorts of gender identities in a way that I never had before. And slowly, I started to formulate a gender identity for myself as well.
Gender has always been a bit of a mystery to me, to be honest. I could never understand the divide between the boys and girls when I was a child, because it seemed so completely arbitrary. Why should our friendships be decided on the grounds of how we pee? People said that I’d understand when I got older. I don’t. In fact, I’m even more confused by the distinction in adults. I’ve never understood the logic that you should be friends with people of the same sex and romantic partners with people of the opposite sex. I’m aromantic, but even if I wasn’t, I’d find it rather hard to see myself in a romantic relationship with someone I’m not friends with. The distinction falls apart for me at that point, but it appears that I’m in the minority in that count as well. I never drew a distinction and I was friends with girls and boys in equal measures and I still am.
When I started formulating my own identity, I realised that in many respects I wasn’t very male at all. I’ve never went for the macho stuff that I apparently should find appealing as a member of the male sex. I’ve never been all that interested in popular culture directed at men and I don’t find the aesthetic of male culture all that appealing. If a group of men get together and start to chat, I’m always lost and can’t contribute to the conversation.
But at the same time, I found that I do find several aspects of culture directed to female audiences to be highly appealing and compelling. This is especially evident when I go to the movies. If I notice that the audience is prominently female, I gather it to be a very promising sign. If a group of women get together and I happen to be a part of the group for some reason, I usually can contribute to the discussion.
A friend of mine suggested that maybe I actually was female and even went as far as to suggest that I wasn’t Asexual, but a lesbian trapped in a male body and therefore suppressed my sexuality. At the danger of sounding incredibly creepy, I have to admit that I gave it some serious thought before abandoning the idea. The main reason for abandoning it was that I realised very firmly that my life would not be any different if my biological gender was different. I wouldn’t find sex any more appealing even if I had the alternative variety of reproductive organs. And that is where my indifference to gender really stems from. Being female wouldn’t change my life in any way. I’d wear the same clothes, I’d have the same friends, I’d have the same interests and I’d be writing this very same column, processing the same questions.
There are things that I’m more comfortable with that are mainly associated with women, but there are plenty of stuff that I’m not. Just as there are things that I’m more comfortable with that are mainly associated with men. I don’t shy away from a “chick flick”, but I’m not very invested with Sex In The City. Just like I’m not very invested in James Bond or the latest special effect filled blockbuster starring Megan Fox’s bosom.
Basically, I’m comfortable with aspects of either gender as long as they’re not too gender specific. At that point, I start to shy away from both of them. I just can’t find a comfort zone in the depths of either of the two main genders and being explicitly androgynous seems like too much of a commitment as well. I’m just not interested enough in gender to even be that.
So I started to wonder: Why can’t people just pick and choose the traits from either genders that they find the most comfortable with and just go with them? And then I realised, nothing is stopping me.
And that is what I do.
I've never really liked being female, but don't like the idea of being male either. I've also thought of getting surgery to make myself genderless quite a bit, but decided it involves too much complicated stuff. More recently I've began to wonder if it has anything to do with my asexuality, and maybe I'm just genderless at heart. It's a huge relief to read about another aromantic asexual who feels the same way as I do about all this. I definitely feel much less like a freak now, lol. Thanks for posting this.