I’ve just recently come to the realization that I am genderfluid. Ever since I was a toddler, I’ve been this mix of feminine and masculine, insisting on wearing fluffy dresses while playing Power Rangers. With my biologically female body, I’ve tried to put myself more into that mold, with dresses and heels that never get worn outside of weddings. But I’ve always felt too masculine to be a girl and too feminine to be a boy.
Realizing and accepting that I’m genderfluid has been hard, specifically because I’m not only the CEO of a company (small but still a company), but also working to drop a lot of weight for my health. I’m at this odd crossroads where I feel more confident about who and what am I now, but things will keep changing.
After the weight comes off and I look into skin removal surgery, will I want the augmentation in my breasts most women get to replace the lost volume? How will I feel about my body when I can see more definition? How do I find that happy medium where every day I love myself in the mirror?
TL;DR: how do others in the trans and genderqueer community handle physical body changes like weight loss? Does anyone else worry their perception of their own gender, or lack thereof, could change at the end of that particular journey? – Gaia
As someone who has lost a lot of weight myself, the mental changes are dramatic. It’s confusing, you won’t recognize yourself sometimes, and you’ll struggle to accept yourself as you are, still with flaws we all have. It’s not a magic bullet. And you’re dealing with seeing your body as something else on top of that — something that doesn’t easily fit within society’s current definitions. It’s a challenge, but I have a feeling you’re going to deal with it better and better each day.
As with any transition — body size/shape, embracing the gender terminology or feeling with which you actually relate — all of it is a progression into feeling more and more like yourself, whatever that ends up meaning. Losing weight doesn’t change your personality much (though people will believe it does and will relate to you differently), but that layered with gender fluidity is a lot to deal with and you may find that your head changes more than you think it will.
I found this article that explores the layers of body image issues in the genderfluid and trans communities. This example seemed interesting…
Chris, a trans man, feels very dysphoric about his body, which he describes as an “hourglass figure.” This, however, has improved by starting testosterone. “I have definitely felt a massive reduction in dysphoria between the changes brought about by testosterone and the admittedly fairly minor changes brought about by exercise,” he tells me.
Additionally, this story (although on People, so be warned about comments and gendered language there), touched on both issues of weight loss and transitioning as well. The part about being able to wear clothing that fit better was particularly poignant as plus-sized clothing is often really limiting no matter where you’re buying it.
I’d suggest joining some online communities about both dealing with weight loss and with accepting your gender identity. I don’t know if there are ones that deal with both, but I bet you could bring it up in either. Additionally, definitely start working with a therapist if you aren’t already. Help from online communities can be spotty at best and keeping your mental health in check along with your physical health is important (for anyone!). You need someone there to help as you go through so many mental and physical changes.
But let’s see if anyone in our community can help with either issue or hopefully both!
Readers: help a fellow Homie out! Have you ever dealt with learning and accepting your body in either of these situations? What’s your advice?