I think every few years (general from 18 onwards) i have a Gender Moment. Like i need to check in on my feelings about it. The timeline has been this: (kind of guessed age range as its loose in reality)

Age 11-13: discovered things about sexuality (went from lesbian to bi) but i was still a girl

Age 13-14: learn even more through more online communities, ID as pansexual and figure out im a trans male.

Age 14-17: Being in highschool, i was exposed to IRL friends who were queer and.... tumblr was starting to influence my identity too. Sexuality labels varied based on microlabels i IDed with, same with gender to a level. trans male, genderfluid, bigender, demiboy.... that was mostly it.

17-20: I am a trans guy. I went through the motions of my early teens years and now I was p sure, just a trans guy. No need to bother with more labels. Trans and Gay. Especially from 19-20 i was getting to where i was presenting externally in a way that felt good, going out a lot and being in the world where people perceived me as such. I was dressing up in colorful button-ups, had fun hair styles, etc. I was not on T but i wore a binder. Deep down though I still had some conflicts about being a trans man which later effected how I identified again.

Age 20-23: age 21 onwards gets more loose as I feel like for the most part I have wavered only a bit from here. But after age 21 we hit the pandemic which left me to a LOT of reflection and learning about myself. My attachment to "trans male" was lesser as I realized I didn't feel like I fit "male". but this conflict was also present because of my back and forths on further passing as a male. Did I want to go on T? Will I get surgery? Not to trauma dump-- but the short of it was that I was very stuck in the image of me looking like a young/teenage boy. Which I have achieved in those earlier years. But at the same time... Maybe I did want T? It had some stuff I wanted. Considering some of this was trauma related, I did start to work on trauma in therapy which slowly effected how I felt too. I started to accept that I don't need a label and actually, I am okay doing whatever it is I want to do. I am not afraid of going on T, and actually I really want to now that I feel confident about my gender and how I present myself again. It was no longer about trauma I couldn't let go. I didnt ID as anything other than trans now. no "guy" on there, just trans. I eventually started T and got top surgery.

Age 24-present: Not too much changed after this, I have been satisfied with where I got in terms of mentality and I still am. Because in the end that whole expirience brought me to I guess.... caring less? I stumbled out of Tumblr mogai culture with no clue how to work with myself because I felt so stuck in what is expected of your gender labels, even when I was comfy with what i picked. I got into being a weird gender-thing that I want people to be confused about. And I still do! But I am trans and gay, thats it.

But that brings me to the very present, like as I am writing. I am in a moment of checking in on my gender because I have slowly thought more and more about the circle back to older terms and the loose ways people IDed even in the early 70s~. using the "Transvestite" label, "he/him lesbians" that take T, the acceptance that you can reclaim "fag" or "tranny"... etc. These were concepts that as a teen, would be so mad about. I wouldn't be able to understand-- many of these terms were dated and were bad, they used them in the past but now we don't because they were offensive! And he/him lesbians, very clearly why 2015 tumblr would discourse about it. It took me a bit too, in recent time, to come around to all this too. But it didn't take long and now as I am older I have much much better understanding and knowledge of queer history and seeing where we came from. Especially thinking about the elders, the people who still use these terms, puts it into perspective. I see how you can reclaim, and that what is "dated" to most people's perspective is still an entirely legit was to identify because why tell the 76 year old male transvestite she can't use those words anymore?

To bring this back around to my identity. I have no issue telling because im just trans and gay. Like, in most cases (quick introductions or where its just not relevant to explain more) it works and I like it just fine. I have more specifics... for uh, sexuality I guess. For that? Aromantic Allosexual gay. For gender? Ermmm not really other than genderless trans, perhaps. I feel good nailing down my sexuality and its more so because I feel its important to specify being aro but also allo-- I never like the assumption that if I say i am aro, it means i am also something like asexual too. I want people to know I am aro but i am also allo. But gender wise, after my realizations around age 22-23, I just threw out any specific gender labels and went hard on deciding it/its also helped fill the blank too. And like I said, I feel okay about that. But lately the lack of personal identifiers past "trans" has lead me to think more about gender labels and even more so because IRL i have been wanting to explore my look in different ways now that I started T and pass as male. Which is to go opposite now... I have started doing things that are more feminine with my look, like makeup and nail polish. I intend to get skirts etc but haven't been able to buy anything yet, but its my intention. Now that I can claim a masc persona externally, I want to also do the other part now. Especially when my origins brought lots of negativity about being a girl... I can reclaim it, and I can also do it in ways I never did. I didn't want to use makeup or nail polish because that was girly and I desperately wanted to not be a girl. But now, I am what I wanted to be and I can safely and confidently say "hm, lets do that. and if I dont like it, thats okay". Because before, the idea of trying something drastic (start T, and now dressing femme because it was a extreme difference with how much I denied trying it).

The plan to shift between presentations in a way that I want it to be obvious has me thinking a bit more on what I am. I still stand with how I don't relate to a lot of "gender neutral" labels. I don't like that or genderfluid, genderqueer, nonbinary... I think my issue with that is just this image that people have for gender neutral people. some kind of vague mix that I don't want to go for and that I don't want to be neutral I want to be none of them. I also don't use they/them because i feel like its *still* associated too much with being a gender related pronoun because its oftened used by those genders. However I have warmed up to terms like transmasc, transfemme, (trans?) androgynous. Because none of them feel like specific language descriptions of a gender label. To me "trans" is like just saying you definitely aren't cis, and if you have something to add on to that you can. I use it because I want to make it clear I am not cis... but it doesn't answer the "gender" question. Trans what? Woman? Guy? While saying transmasc may create assumptions that one is a trans guy and/or afab, I don't feel like I'd be so tied to it because of it feeling more about how people read you. Maybe I go from transmasc to transfemme because I decided to be a bit different that day. "transfemme" to me, means that i am trans and that i am femme. Not trans female, but femme in appearance. By no means does that label mean you are specifically a trans woman. So, this is to say, I have circled these labels around in my head. I don't really want to swap between transfemme and transmasc as labels or something, I think its annoying to say I want a label but then I have to... change it every time I write it or say it. However i have kinda been liking "androgyne". I think I like "androgynous" as descriptor because its a word with history that isn't purely associated with the "new age" of queer (to be clear, I mean society's interpretation that nonbinary genders is recent. but people know the word "androgyne" for a long time). Its a word applied to all kinds of non-human things which is also why i like it/its pronouns. It establishes too that its not "in the middle", because of these preexisting uses.

Is that what I am then?? Well I write this and think about this because I have decided that maybe it was time I thinking about it. About seeing if it feels nice to find some descriptors. Genderless solved my strictness with trans male presentation. I was able to relax and not think hard. Now, as I start to find my sense of expression externally, I realize that finding words to express this may also feel nice. I will say trans still, but if I want to say more I think that is the word that I do like. I don't want to dress "gender neutral" I don't want to be "genderfluid" i don't want the preconceived notion people have about they/them. But do I want to be androgynous? Yeah. Its how I want people to see me. Maybe it is masc or femme some other days... but I don't feel like these words are putting stress on gender identity. They're like an addon to me that I can easily jump around, and to define a noun to myself then it would be androgyne.