I’ve been talking about my gender a bit lately and how I tend on the masculine end of the binary. (I only reference a binary because the majority of people set up their concepts of gender in that way, and it makes it easier to base it off of that system.) I consider myself closer to the ‘man’ end of the spectrum than the ‘woman’ end of the spectrum.
Some of my behaviours may seem contrary to my gender identity. For example, I just shaved my legs. I still shave my armpits, sometimes my pubic hair, I wear normal bras occasionally, I’m wearing a skirt right now.
These are behaviours I mainly picked up while I was being socialized as a woman. I actually butted heads with my mom for several years about shaving my legs before she gave me the ‘ok’. (Although why I thought I needed her permission, I have no idea.) I wanted to incredibly badly. I can’t exactly remember why, but I did.
When I came out as a trans* man, I stopped shaving my legs and pits and all that. I went from mostly feminine hygiene habits to masculine ones. Since coming back to a more middle position in terms of gender, I have maintained some of those masculine habits, but I have also gone back to doing some of the feminine ones.
It feels good when my legs are shaved. I don’t like the prickly feeling and even though it’s really awesome to feel the air moving over my hair, it feels exponentially better to have smooth skin. I shave my pits because it reduces the smell factor and again because it’s uncomfortable for there to be hair there, especially after experiencing the smoothness for so long.
I stopped shaving my pubic hair after realizing that it wasn’t unhygienic to have it, and because I enjoyed having it. It’s also very uncomfortable to deal with ingrown hairs. I started doing it again after discussing the sexiness of grooming with my partner.
I wear skirts because they look good on me, and because my partner likes them. Wearing the skirt doesn’t compromise my inner sensation of gender. I used to care a lot more about the skirt misrepresenting my gender to other people, but around strangers it doesn’t matter as much. I’m still fairly uncomfortable dressing in ways that emphasize my feminine characteristics when I’m around my skeptic friends, which I feel is mostly because I want to accurately represent my gender around those people. Though, they’re probably the ones least likely to confuse my outward behaviours with my inner sense of gender.
Anyway, I shave and have long hair and occasionally wear skirts because they make me feel good, and because they make my partner feel good. My outward behaviours aren’t indicative of my gender; having that distinction in my mind has really helped me be able to express myself better.