It's not only about expression... right?
By - napchan
It doesn't sound dumb, the impostor sindrom is extremely normal!
And how I know I'm Non-binary... It just feels like me, I feel free in this definition. Thinking about me being a Non-binary person feels right, I explored a lot myself before finding the answer and every time I can I find some new things about me and my identity! It's a constant exploration and it's beautiful
Whatever makes you happier is real, regardless of the reasons
I don't think so. Disclaimer that I'm more of a "guy who's also non-binary," but generally even though I enjoy looking at people's style and enjoy dressing up sometimes, my presentation is very....plain. I wear whatever cloth mixture feels nice, and whatever isn't too tight. So, yeah, presentation and style doesn't really have a bearing on my gender at all. Whatever dysphoria or euphoria I've had with clothes (wearing dresses, wearing 'masculine' everyday shirts, etc.) hasn't been about the clothes themselves, but rather how I know I'm socially perceived. And even though that's connected to my gender, it doesn't define it, you know?
Well, I know it's definitely not the case for me. I know perfectly well that women can be masculine/androgynous, and vice versa. I still have dysphoria.
But I'm also not terribly concerned about how or why someone identifies as non-binary, as long as they're doing what's right for them. If I encounter someone whom I feel is espousing some very gender-essentialist viewpoints, I might gently challenge that. I don't think anyone should feel like being gender-nonconforming automatically makes them non-binary, or push gender-essentialist ideas on others in our community. But I also think that 1) people's individual relationships with gender can be complex and varied and 2) the line between gender identity and gender expression can sometimes be blurry. For example, there are butch lesbians who describe experiencing dysphoria, and while some of them identify as non-binary or transmasculine, others identify as cis women. I feel like that's something that gets lost a bit--that for all TERFs say that they support masculine/butch/androgynous women, there are still constraints. If getting top surgery is a form of "mutilation" that women do because of internalized misogyny, for example, then what is that supposed to say about proud cis butch women who get top surgery?
I've yet to meet anyone who landed on and stuck with the non-binary label just because some days they like pants and some days they like skirts, and if someone asked me if they were non-binary because they felt that way, I'd encourage them to give it some deeper thought. But I also give people a lot of benefit of the doubt, because I get that feelings about gender can be complicated and hard to describe. And if someone feels best calling themselves non-binary, I'm generally cool with that, even if their experience is different than mine.
I think everyone has these thoughts at some point in their journey. A simple thing that I've heard from a few people that has really helped me is "most cis people never even question the fact that they're cis." So if you're questioning, there's already no way you could be an imposter. You can't accidentally fake this. If you're faking something, you know you're faking it. Along those same lines I've also appreciate the argument that everyone, including cis people, should question their gender at some point in their life, because even if they come out of it with a confirmation that they are in fact cis, now they know themselves a little better, and they're living with their gender in a mindful way. Finding your identity is not the end of your story, it's just the beginning. You get to continue to explore your identity, and it will change over time, sometimes in small subtle ways and sometimes in bigger ways. We're not meant to be static creatures, we're supposed to learn and grow and change. I think questioning yourself is great. Even questioning your questioning can be a good thing. Keep learning about yourself.
It's okay we all get the imposter syndrome. I mostly go by euphoria myself as I don't feel that much dysphoria
Echoing what other people have said here, but the impostor syndrome is 1000% normal! I also have anxiety and have those doubts a lot.
Something that really helps me when I’m feeling doubt is remembering that you cannot be “faking it” without intent. If you’re worried that you’re faking it, you aren’t. If the idea that you might not actually be nonbinary gives you anxiety and makes you feel terrible, you most likely are nonbinary!
As for personal expression and gender roles: for me, at its core, being nonbinary isn’t about that. It’s really, genuinely, about how you feel inside. Gender expression, presentation, clothing, mannerisms, pronouns, etc, are expressions of our deeply felt personal identities. When I can see past the anxiety and the fog of doubt, the knowledge that I am nonbinary, and the times I am seen for who I am, gives me euphoria.
Just think about tomboys and femboys. There are cis tomboys and femboys, and there are trans tomboys and femboys. If gender is only about gender expression than why don't cis tomboys/femboys transition?? Why are there binary trans tomboys/femboys? Why aren't they all nonbinary instead? Why don't trans tomboys/femboys stay as their AGAB if their gender expression aligns more with their AGAB??
The way I knew I was nb was because I kept agonizing over it, trying to figure out what I am, if I was cis or not. Eventually I realized that if I *was* cis, I wouldn't have been agonizing over my gender as much as I did. Originally went with genderqueer as a "placeholder" while I did more thinking about it, now I've settled on nonbinary because I feel it's more common/easier to understand and it gives room for whatever I *really* am.
Gender is a social construct just in the same way money is a social construct. So yeah, in a way gender is fake but that doesn't mean it's not important in society. The contemporary definition of gender is basically "how do you *feel* about yourself?". If you feel you are male, then you are male. If you feel you are female, then you are female. If you feel that you are neither exclusively male or exclusively female, you are nonbinary.
I most certainly deal with imposter syndrome too…I seriously asked my psychiatrist “What if I’m faking” and she said I would pretty much know if I was.
With that being said, yeah being non-binary is more than expression. There are some people where expression is a HUGE part of it, but for me it’s not. I experience mostly physical dysphoria with a bit of social.
Try they/them and see how it goes for you. One way I did it was I changed my pronoun settings on Facebook and changed my profile picture 😉
I do think it's important to recognize that you can't say why someone else would identify as any particular gender. someone's identity is their identity, and framing it as "you're trans because of dysphoria or euphoria" kind of... ignores that? it's like, you dont really get to say *why* someone else identifies the way they do. you can identify however for any reason. there's no right or wrong way to exist.
It's not only about expression, someone may feel good dressing what's expected from their AGAB and still be non-binary.
"But how do you know you're non-binary?" And this... I can't fully understand it, so I can't find the right words sometimes and it's when imposter syndrome comes for me. I've always had some clues I could only get after my egg cracked and think about it a lot. I've always felt a "I don't belong here" among cis people, but I couldn't figure out why... well, now I do.
I have anxiety too and I have to tell myself everyday to not overthink. It can be hard sometimes, I know, but you're valid.
Last but not least important: FUCK OFF, TERFS!!
A LOT of this is related to what Jung called "archetypes." The are male and female archetypes...and NO one IS 100% one or the other. Moreover, one may even argue that someone who is IMMENSELY "into" one or the other is out of balance. Same with some cultures...like patriarchal--machismo ones. Is this helpful?
We don't owe androgyny to anyone. You express yourself in a way that makes you happy and comfortable and that's okay.
You can’t fake euphoria. You are who you are and being happy about that isn’t you faking, but you living.