how do you know

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Vexarae

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Dec 14, 2000, 8:55:23 AM12/14/00
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Hello.

I am attempting to satisfy my own "curiosity."
However, I don't have any resources to be able to determine what defines
an intergendered person.
thank you for your time: VEX

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Donna Lynn Matthews

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Dec 14, 2000, 9:11:53 PM12/14/00
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In article <3a38e10d...@news.region.net>, ldb...@region.net
says...
> As for the "how do you know" question... you know because something deep
> inside you is undeniably driving you in this direction. Transgender is not
> so much a choice as a realization. One comes to understand that although
> male you want to live a feminine life or although female you want to live a
> masculine life. It's really about the motivation, not the lifestyle.

> Intergender is a somewhat contrived sub-set of transgender.

The whole gender system is contrived.

> The idea is that a person (of either sex) lives in a gender neutral
> lifestyle, neither man nor woman.

It's not a matter of lifestyle. It's how one sees themselves in
relation to the inplace 'gender' system. Some people identify
strongly as men, some as women. Some of us don't identify strongly as
either.

> Usually this is the result of compromise.

No Laura, it has nothing to do with comprimise. It's the recognition
that neither of the two sanctioned gender categories really cut it.
Declaring oneself as either a man or woman when one does feel like
*either* would be a compromise.

> Intergendered people do have the inner motivation towards the woman-male
> or man-female lifestyles.

According to whom? What you are doing here is trying to force people
into yet another arbitrary binary system of classification. Yes,
there are more than likely those who might feel an affinity more one
way or the other, but to make the blanket statement that all do is
flat out wrong.

> But, sometimes, practicality and social circumstances interfere
> with the full expression of these wishes

Provided that 'these wishes' are in fact what the individual wants.

> and so intergender (i.e. androgyny) becomes a very sensible compromise.

Intergender is not androgyny. Androgyny could be a means of
expressing one's intergender identity, but it is not necessary. One
can be transgender and not make a cross-gender presentation, right?
The same is true here. How I dress and how others gender me has no
bearing on how I gender (or not) myself.

Like you said above, it's not so much a choice as a realization. ANd
it's a realization of self as valid as any other.

> If you want to read more about it try http://donnas-hideout.org

See the follow up to this post.


Love and Stuff,
Donna

--
Donna's Hideout can be found at
http://donnas-hideout.org/

Donna Lynn Matthews

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Dec 14, 2000, 9:13:14 PM12/14/00
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What Is Intergendered?

By: Donna Lynn Matthews, October 1998

Society openly recognizes two gendered states with which people may
identify: man and woman. We are born, a doctor looks at our genitalia
and declares us a boy or a girl. We are gendered at birth in a way
which aligns with our sex. This alignment of sex and gender has become
accepted as a given, creating two valid gendered states. This is a
binary classification system and as such, allows two and only two
valid states. In a binary system, there are no exceptions.

Now, there are two main groups of individuals out there in gender
land. On the one hand, you have the cisgendered, who align their sex
and gender as described above in what can be considered a traditional
way (male/man - female/woman). For most people, this is fine and they
feel little or no anxiety with this identity.

Then there are the transgendered (in the true sense of the word) who
cross-align their sex and gender (male/woman - female/man). While they
violate the accepted traditional sex-gender link, they still adhere to
the construct that gender is a binary system and feel that they are
men or women, but their morphology is wrong.

The former accounts for what is the majority of the population. The
cisgendered are the normal people (from the point of view of society
as a whole.) The latter make up (almost) everyone else.

Now, this is all well and good. Society does it's best to see that we
all are cisgendered, so as to not upset the apparent 'natural' order
of things. There is some validity to the point that being cisgendered
makes one's life much easier to deal with in so far as one is
subjected to the stigma of not feeling like a real man or real woman.
But despite all of the socialization, there are people who wind up
realizing that they just don't fit the cisgendered mold.

What seems to happen here is that they feel that they are of a gender
opposite to that which there were assigned. As a result, you wind up
with people who were gendered at birth as men realizing that they
really feel more like women, and people who were gendered at birth as
women realizing that they really feel more like men. This comes to be
because of the assumption that gender is really is a binary system:
There are only two genders and you must be one or the other.

But is this really the case? Are there only two gendered states?

There are many in the gender community who subscribe to the construct
that there is a gender spectrum and we all fall somewhere between the
polar endpoints of man and woman. All of the aforementioned people
cluster around the endpoints. They are all either men or women,
regardless of their sex. While some may be more masculine or feminine
than others, they all primarily place themselves firmly at one end or
the other.

I said that the assumptions here are that only two and only two
genders and you must be one or the other. This is the binary gender
model and the majority of the aforementioned all subscribe to it. It
makes no provision for anything other than man and woman. Yes, one can
argue that there are feminine men and masculine women, but they are
still gendered and men and women.

In order for the construct of a gender spectrum to work, one must be
willing to let go of the notion that gender is a binary system. There
is no room for a third state, let alone a multitude of intermediate
states, in a binary system. So, if there is a gender spectrum, then
there has to be some group of people filling in the middle, right? Who
then are the people between the endpoints?

Meet the intergendered. simply stated, intergendered is a gendered
state between the polar endpoints of man and woman.

Intergendered is *not* identifying primarily as a woman or a man. It
amounts to a wholesale rejection of the binary gender system and
declaring that there is more than just man or woman. It comes down to
stating that there are as many valid gendered states as there are
people. Some may feel strong (or weak) masculine and feminine
qualities all at the same time. Some may not see themselves on the
gender spectrum at all, describing what amounts to a null gendered
state.

[An aside for a moment. All my life I've never felt comfortable as a
man. I've always had this feeling that I was something else. Raised in
a pretty traditional way, I concluded that if I didn't feel like a
man, than it follows that the way I feel must be a woman. I held this
belief for quite a long time. After much more introspection, I had a
realization: I don't feel like a woman. This put me in a difficult
position: I know I don't feel like a man, and I don't really feel like
a woman. Well, what am I? After kicking this around a bit, I've become
comfortable with the notion that I do not have any gender in
particular. In the framework of the binary gender system, I'm both and
neither at the same time.]

In any case, intergendered people live a life somewhere between the
traditional extremes of man and woman. As we do not gender ourselves
along the either/or lines of the binary gender system, we often choose
not to present along these lines. Given that, our presentation can be
confusing and it would seem, at times, unsettling. As we present a
mixed set of signal, there is often confusion in others as to whether
we are a men or women.

Well, that's the point. We are neither and both at the same time. We
have rejected the notion that one needs to be at either end of the
gender spectrum and live and present accordingly. We are not really
interested in passing as women or men. We want nothing more than to be
able to simply be who we are without having choose between two
extremes. This does not invalidate those who feel most comfortable at
the end of the gender spectrum, it is simply expands the options one
has. For us, it amounts to nothing more than being honest about who we
are.

We have, for a long time, been ridiculed for being who we are (as have
many in the gender community.) The thing about it is that we have
gotten it from all sides. Anyone who holds on the notion of gender as
a binary system, anyone who has places themselves at one end of the
gender spectrum or the other, has seen us and our lifestyle as a
threat to that which they have made a core part of their identity.

The cisgendered tend to look at us as like we're just plain weird;
that there is more than man and woman simply does not register for
them. The transgendered don't quite know what to make of us, as they
tend to view us as an anomaly. The transexuals, much like the
cisgendered, simply can not accept the construct that there is more
than just man and woman. The (m2f) crossdressers think we make a
mockery of the ideal of femininity because we don't care if we are
clocked as men or women.

We are the outermost fringe of the so called transgender community,
daring to live in what amounts to the gender wasteland. We have no
problem with presenting as openly trans. None the less, our identities
are as valid as anyone else's and we deserve the same respect and
consideration as any other member of society.

Stephe Thayer

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Dec 15, 2000, 12:28:58 AM12/15/00
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Laura Blake <ldb...@region.net>
>
> Intergender is a somewhat contrived sub-set of transgender. The idea is

> that a person (of either sex) lives in a gender neutral lifestyle, neither
> man nor woman. Usually this is the result of compromise. Intergendered

> people do have the inner motivation towards the woman-male or man-female
> lifestyles. But, sometimes, practicality and social circumstances
interfere
> with the full expression of these wishes and so intergender (i.e.

androgyny)
> becomes a very sensible compromise.
>


Buzzzz wrong answer. Where does =it= say that one must wish to be either a
man or a woman? And that to wish to occupy someplace between these two
extremes must be some sort of compromise? I'm surprised to see this sort of
binary talk coming from you Laura. While I probably lean more towards the
feminine side of things, I still feel like I enjoys some of the masculine
sides of things as well. It does get strange when our feelings need to be
put in some sort of compartment but for some reason "compromise" doesn't fit
how I see myself while the label "intergendered does.


Stephe


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Vexarae

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Dec 18, 2000, 1:42:51 PM12/18/00
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Thank you for taking your time to respond to my question. Recently I
have discovered in thorough self examination that being intergendered
may be part of who I am.

A Friend: VEX

Sojourner

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Dec 21, 2000, 1:40:15 PM12/21/00
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Thank you Donna and Stephe--(and you too, Laura!)

In some intergendered discussions, one common cause of sadness is that even
in the trans community we are seen as compromising or somehow not fully
committed to a real change, whatever that may be.

In my world, the male and female roles society has given us seem
irrelevant--and feeling like i don't belong caused me lots of internal
problems and a couple suicide attempts to boot. I was very scared and
growing up in a fairly conservative home--didn't even have the vocabulary to
articulate my feelings.

When i finally discovered the intergendered community--it was a long overdue
relief.

I understand many people in the trans community identify as mtf or ftm. I
may not understand all of their motivations, but that is simply because i
don't quite accept maleness or femaleness personally. But i would never
view them as any sort of compromise.

Being somewhat presumptuous, i think what the intergendered community wants
most is to be likewise accepted. Androgynes, neutrois, pangenders, and
other identifiers... Whatever they are, they are identities arrived at with
the same trepidation and courage as any other type of coming out.

And frankly, when i go out as myself, i have just as much chance of being
harassed and accosted as any other transgender, so i feel that in a world
hostile to all members of the transgender community, we really need to give
each other support and legitimacy.

Bless you Laura, for bringing up such a cool discussion!

hugs,
ryka

Donna Lynn Matthews <ms_d...@donnas-hideout.org> wrote in message
news:MPG.14a348453...@news.erols.com...

Stephe Thayer

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Dec 22, 2000, 2:26:53 AM12/22/00
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Sojourner <sojo...@zensearch.net> wrote in message
news:j8s06.541$dG.1...@newsread1.prod.itd.earthlink.net...

> Thank you Donna and Stephe--(and you too, Laura!)
>
> In some intergendered discussions, one common cause of sadness is that
even
> in the trans community we are seen as compromising or somehow not fully
> committed to a real change, whatever that may be.
>

Seems for many people at least in the transcomunity, until your intent is in
flesh, it's not "real". Rather sad it is something some people see as on the
surface of someone.

--

Stephe Thayer


Sojourner

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Dec 22, 2000, 4:15:25 AM12/22/00
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Stephe Thayer <ms_s...@juno.com> wrote in message
news:91uviv$5dl4f$1...@ID-52908.news.dfncis.de...
Gosh-this newsgroup can be so wonderful... *hug*
ryka


Sojourner

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Dec 24, 2000, 3:26:31 AM12/24/00
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Hi Vex

The best of luck in your journey. Please keep us posted with the highs and
lows.

Take care!
ryka

Vexarae <Vex...@webtv.net> wrote in message
news:9497-3A3...@storefull-214.iap.bryant.webtv.net...

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