This is related to my most recent documentary for Oni Photography. Feel free to watch, share and spread the word!
However, this blog post will be more about myself and my stories in discovering my identity as both in gender, sexuality and as an autistic person.
I identify as a cisgender female. But even that label doesn’t 100% represent me. I don’t always feel like I am my biological sex. I sometimes feel uncomfortable with the biological parts that I already have. It sometimes feels like it’s “not right”.
The ideals for what a woman is according to society is warped beyond simple repair. I was the typical “girl” when I was a child. I loved ponies, princesses, and pink stuff. The stuff we are exposed to constantly. I had my hair looking like Baby Spice with the pig tails or like Lara Croft with the braided hair. I liked the idea that you could be a pop star. I also loved to sing and draw. One of my special interests was the Playstation. Video games in general was my special interest as I loved games like Mario and Sonic. But when the Playstation came around, it was just a huge deal to me. I loved the wide range of games. Games that were “intended for boys”. Not many girls I knew liked video games. Platforms such as Crash Bandicoot, Survival Horror (I was too young for that but I got at least one game, Dino Crisis), Pokémon and Racing games. All of the games “intended for girls”. I hated. They were downgraded cash cows. All about shit I didn’t care about. Make up, Fashion, Pink or Mary-Kate and Ashley. Blue is my favourite colour in reality. I felt more like myself when I played games that were “not for girls”. It felt “badass”. I felt comfortable and myself.
I also preferred action cartoons too. Girly cartoons about being a pop star were guilty pleasures. I did like Sailor Moon and Cardcaptors though.
However, I did have occasional “girly” moments. I liked some bubblegum pop music and liked TV shows about being a pop star. I’m not ashamed of having my “girly” moments.
For music, I was exposed to whatever music was on the radio or tapes when I was a child. For my teens to adulthood. I was heavily into Jpop or dance music. Some of it was considered cheesy or bubblegum with high pitched females like Ayumi Hamasaki or Yuko Sasaki. My late teens leaned into J-rock, speed metal, power metal and new age. Nowadays, I’m varied as hell but if I had to pick 5 favourite genres, it would be – Punk, Industrial metal, Ambient, Trance (electronic in general) and Vaporwave.
I’ve seen myself as a girl, but I was always more curious over the masculine. One of my first exposures of transgender online was from an online friend I used to follow on their journal. They started experimenting with “female clothes” and I found it interesting. An alternate way of thinking.
For acting or even voice over roles, I preferred to be male. I always enjoyed being something different from what you are usually. A new world. I personally feel different with my voice and mannerisms. This is probably the best example of gender theories “gender is a performance”.
I feel that the problem is society is that they are afraid of change. Change is scary, I get it. I’m scared of sudden changes, but these things make you grow as a person. Society is also afraid of alternatives. It’s like the “clapping ban”. I don’t think it’s a ban, and the rule isn’t intended for “special snowflakes who are mollycoddled into cotton wool”. It’s an option, an alternative, catered for other audiences that society needs to learn. Teaching alternatives as an option can encourage alternative thinking. Thumbs ups, smiles, marshmallow clapping, we can use those. (sometimes, clapping can do my head in, especially golf clapping. It’s just so uncomfortable and awkward to listen to. However, My sensory barriers can handle it. Clapping is a bit like ASMR, it annoys me to no end.) I feel that alternative thinking is lacking on society’s strict guidelines. What annoys me the most is when they try and blacklist our strict ways of thinking (in order to cope) because it’s not their guideline. It’s sad that people only listen to one voice and think it’s the right one. Society needs more equity.
Looking into gender is alternative thinking and can create a more open mindset. I think that being less strict on gender for situations can encourage us to stress less. Who cares if it’s a “boy” or a “girl” thing. We don’t need colours to tell us if it is for us or not. We want function. If a boy likes pink, big deal! Autistics like to think outside the box. Maybe society should look into our alternative thinking, and maybe they could learn something. It isn’t the first time society figured out a problem thanks to an autistic way of thinking.
Sexuality. I’ll be brief. No label. I was called straight before, but even that label doesn’t work. People are people. I’m with a male partner. My sexuality is not a big deal right now.
Now. I’m slowly ditching the dresses and replacing them with suits, flannels and baggy clothes. I feel more like myself when I wear them. I occasionally like to wear something “pretty”. I could write more but I’d ramble all day. Knowing myself, I’ve probably forgotten a few details to add in!
We can’t deny biological limitations and we will keep that in mind for each person. Sex and gender are different. Gender definitely represents the mind and how we express ourselves. I’m still in a self discovery phase, but I’m happy to keep searching. Non-binary is a good example for neutralising gender constructs and it’s an interesting thing. You get less stress over constructs and to express yourself how you want. It’s one less thing to worry about in this complicated mess called life.