I am gender fluid and losing weight. How will I feel about my body after?

I am gender fluid and losing weight. How will I feel about my body after?
Cinnamon Rolls Not Gender Roles Enamel Pin from Zealo Apparel
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?

  1. As someone who is nonbinary, I have a little input. I have not however gone through any major weight loss though, just small plus or minus 10 pounds fluctuations.

    On a strict physical level, the boob issue will certainly be very obvious. Having less boobs really opens up the possibility of presenting more masculine. If you are ceo of a company, you might like to experiment with including men's shirts, ties and vests into your professional wardrobe. But that just might be me projecting the instant sense of power and confidence I get when I wear ties to work. Plus the looser fit of men's shirts is very forgiving.

    Definately get support, and try stuff! Sounds like you are redefining yourself at the moment, it might be the right time to try different looks! And maybe they'll work out, maybe they won't. Or maybe what feels right on monday is totally not you on wednesday. Definately think long and hard before surgery. For me it's not so much "am I happy with a vag" as "would I be happier with a penis". I guess in regards to top surgery you will need to wonder "will bigger boobs feel right". Maybe something on the smaller side of average would be more versatile, giving the option of using push-up bras or sports bras depending on wether you want to emphasize them or not?

    In regards to coworkers and clients judgement, I have found most people don't really comment directly on your clothing choice. Many will assume I'm lesbian and I don't correct them if they are just professional connections.

    Congratulations on this whole journey to discover your true self! And don't pressure yourself for your outside to always reflect your gender identity. Some days just won't work out. Be compassionate with yourself and explore all the new possibilities!

    3 agree
  2. I'm so happy for you that you're finding your identity!

    That being said, I think you might need to face the fact that losing weight and keeping it off is nearly impossible. And dieting can often lead to disordered eating, so please be careful and kind to yourself.

    I don't mean to be discouraging, but losing weight is pretty unrealistic and might just lead to more self esteem issues. There have been studies showing that people who don't diet and stay the same weight or even gain weight are happier than those who diet and lose weight.

    Good luck with whatever you decide to do, and I hope you find happiness!

  3. Since the breast surgery is optional, and you have misgivings about it, why do it? When you feel more masculine they won't get in the way, and when you feel more feminine, there's plenty of ways to celebrate that side of yourself which don't require big breasts.

    Talk with your body. Listen to it. Take care of it. Chances are your gender fluidity is right there anyway, in your DNA or hormone balances or whatever. I can understand your body saying, "Please lose weight–I'm suffocating!" or "Don't lose weight–I need that extra fat right now." But I find it harder to imagine a body saying, "I want silicone implants" except to say, "Your low self-esteem is messing with my immune-system–get the breasts!"

    So, would having the sort of deflated breasts that major weight loss leaves behind stress you out? Or would it be a relief to be able to tuck them out of sight whenever you want? Never mind how others perceive you–what would make you healthy?

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