I’ve been reading my first blog entry and I realized that it’s clear as mud. So let me try that again, taking things slower this time and trying to explain myself more.
The Wikipedia entry for Transgender is a great place to start learning what an androgyne is. Reading the first sentence, androgyne is a gender identity in the transgender community that describes some people who aren’t exclusively masculine or feminine. The way I understand how genderqueer is used today, which is in some ways partly different than it was 20 years ago when I first discovered the transgender community, I feel comfortable saying that it’s another way of “being” genderqueer. Now, some androgynes may disagree with me saying that it’s actually non-binary. But as I said in My thoughts on transgender identities different people have different ideas of what “exactly” a gender identity is. The important thing is that you have an idea of what I’m talking about.
Look at the Wikipedia entry for Androgyny. Section 5.1 (“Bem Sex-Role Inventory”) isn’t very clear at all. One sentence in the Wikipedia entry for Gender schema theory describes that much better but the rest of that page is a confusing mess, so we’ll leave it alone. (I understand how the 10 dimensional universe is thought to work and even I can’t make sense of the rest of that page.) It says “Androgynous individuals process and integrate traits and information from both genders.” Which simply (?) means that androgynous people can use skill sets that are masculine and skill sets that are feminine.
Getting back to the Androgyny page, have a look at the Gender identity section. From this point on It will be easier if I talk about things as I experience them. But keep in mind that other androgynes may have somewhat different experiences than I do.
I consider myself mentally and emotionally both masculine and feminine. And when I was a kid I sometimes would play street football with the guys, then later play Mother May I and hopscotch with my sister. I wasn’t trying to be one of the guys and one of the girls. I enjoyed playing all of those so I did. It never occurred to me that I “wasn’t supposed to” play Mother May I.
Hopefully you’ve been able to follow what I’ve been saying. You may very well find the rest of this confusing. That’s OK. If you try to define me using male and female terms you will be confused. I’m both equally, which as I said in my entry My gender isn’t pangender, it’s other combines to make me something else in its own right.
My gender is other and being an androgyne I’m transgendered but I also consider myself a man. You see, when I was a boy I didn’t know I was different. It wasn’t until I reached puberty that I felt like there were two people inside me: a man and a woman. So until then since nobody told me differently I thought of myself as a boy. Ever since I accepted who I am and stopped seeing myself as equal parts male and female but just one person I feel just like I did when I was a boy. Since an adult boy is called a man I call myself a man too. Is that right? Is that wrong? I figure that if anyone asks me a question where the answer is man, woman, or other we’ll deal with that on a case by case basis. But nobody has asked me such a question and I don’t go around saying “I’m a man” so I don’t worry about it.
Up until very recently I felt that I felt the most comfortable when I dress in a mix of men’s and women’s clothes. Now I feel the most comfortable when I dress in whatever feels natural at the time. I’m not out to anybody but my family so I’m careful about what I wear outside my apartment. But at home when I get dressed in the morning I look in my dresser drawers and my closet and choose each piece according to what says “wear me”. That’s exactly how most people choose their clothes for the day. The difference is one day that might be men’s twill pants and the next it might be women’s jeans. I don’t normally go to bed thinking that the next day I’ll wear women’s jeans.
Technically I crossdress. But no matter what I’m wearing I’m not crossdressed. If I’m wearing a suit and tie I’m not crossdressed. If i’m wearing a skirt and blouse I’m not crossdressed. if I’m wearing a men’s polo shirt and women’s twill pants I’m not crossdressed. As long as I’m not forcing myself to wear something I’m not crossdressed, I’m dressed naturally. And choosing to wear clothes that look more unisex or in some other way help keep me from being outed isn’t forcing myself to wear something, it’s a free choice.
So that’s my description of what I mean by androgyne. Again, that’s partly facts (although we humans sometimes have some funny ideas about what is and isn’t a fact) and a large dose of my own opinions and experiences. Another androgyne might tell you something slightly different or even more than slightly. But then they would be telling you what an androgyne is the way they experience it.