So... A question to put out there for all of you. I was talking with my cousin a while ago about me questioning gender, because she said that she thought she was a man for a while in high school and I thought she would understand. She also thought she was gay for a while in high school, but at this point her facebook profile says she's exclusively into men and she's encouraged me to be "open." I thought we'd be able to watch gay movies together but it's always gay-to-straight stuff like Chasing Amy or Kissing Jessica Stein.
ANYway, off that mini-rant, I thought she might be able to talk with me about trans stuff, but she's also pretty distant from that now too. I think part of trying to get back up on her feet and live a normal life after her nervous breakdown is focusing on accentuating straightness. She's been through a lot, a lot of mental stuff and she's just coming out of it and she's really strong for that. But she said, when I asked her about her flirtation with transgenderism, that it was partially about denying her other problems. Like, it was attractive to box everything into a problem so easily definable. With me, I've never been interested much in fashion or makeup, and I've never felt like I fit in. Am I being melodramatic by questioning gender? Ascribing general loneliness and lack of confidence to gender dysphoria? I feel like maybe not, but maybe I'm hiding a lot of anger about being different, maybe I'm covering up a lot of angst because angst can be so dramatic and embarrassing. And inappropriate sometimes.
And coming out hasn't been this fulfilling thing. (Maybe because I don't know what I am.) I mean, trans people are fulfilled when they can present themselves the way they really are, gay/bi people are fulfilled when they come out and when they have relationships. That's the archetypal story. Self-doubt, depression, the whole nine yards--and then an Eden of self-understanding and integrity. It hasn't been like that for me, though I've tried hard to figure myself out.
Wow, this turned into something a lot longer than I expected. Basically, here are me and my cousin: case studies, eight years apart in age. Will I go around dating men as a female when I'm in my 20s? Is this really an easy explanation for my own anxieties? Or is it more complicated than that?
What do you guys think? Do you invest undeserving pain into your queer identities? Do you rely on them to explain more problems than maybe are appropriate? Don't worry, my cousin hasn't convinced me, I'm still madly questioning, as usual, but as a philosophical question and not a tangent from who I (may) truly be, what are your thoughts?