This is yet another of those rather difficult topics to summarise. I just wish to put together a nice, comprehensible summary of some of the babble I’ve posted on various boards and talked about with some of my friends.
It’s still a bit odd to talk about this in a personal blog.
Especially when I have no idea how the friends with whom I’ve not discussed this about will react.
Oh hell. I’m probably worried for no reason. But here goes…
This much was already obvious
I’m hoping people will not freak out too much over this self-portrait.
The reason I think I’m probably worried for no reason is that this isn’t the first time I’ve babbled about weird stuff going on in my head.
I already came out long ago, after all.
I told people I’m bisexual. The end result was pretty much an universal “well, good for you, I’m glad you’ve figured it out. We didn’t hate that before and aren’t going to start now.”
And that was that.
What I’m getting at here is that being bisexual isn’t very controversial in this day and age. It’s not something people need to actually think about. (Obviously, this is a good thing.)
And because it’s not very controversial, I think one of the things I’ve been doing right so far is that I’m not particularly advertising this fact. Heck, I’m mostly pretty average and just a little bit shy computer geek. This stuff almost never crops up in my life, because I try to have the good sense of discussing topics that actually have any relevance at hand. People frigging hate it if you go off-topic.
Perhaps I thought the matter was settled and there wouldn’t be any need to discuss it further.
It wasn’t quite as settled as I thought.
Mostly because I thought that my own nature was that easy to figure out. Perhaps it would have helped if I had kept consciously thinking about it or pondering it or if people would have helped me. But ultimately, it doesn’t matter - what matters is that I’ve managed to get some conclusions out of me.
So, the obvious out of the way: I’m bisexual. I’m not transsexual - I have absolutely no desire or inner need to change my sex. There’s really no need to dispute either of these facts that I’ve known this stuff for a long time. I’m really not a very good person to study by the way of stereotypes: I like some guy stuff and I hate some guy stuff, just as much I love some girly stuff and hate some girly stuff. I like intellectual, emotional, worthwhile stuff, regardless of supposed gender demographic. If it’s interesting, it’s interesting - let’s leave it at that.
As for the ideas about gender, well, that’s the tricky part.
What am I, when you really get down to it?
After long, hard reflection, I decided that it’s better to just look at what I really am.
I’m a Narrator.
I tell stories. Factual, fictional, it doesn’t matter - I enjoy telling both kinds of stories. Medium doesn’t matter either - I just do better telling stories in some media compared to the others.
You’re reading something I’ve written. A factual, written blog post, addressed primarily to people who I know but also other people who might be interested.
…Okay, I probably shouldn’t have stated the obvious. But my point is that the elements are there when you really think about what I’m doing. Most of my life is concentrated into these very important facts and these relationships.
There’s me, there’s the narrative, and there’s the audience.
And, of course, I’m speaking of very broad terms here - for example, if I’m expressing myself through, say, character customisation in video games, that’s a form of narrative with some kind of an audience, and that’s me being a narrator.
Narrator as an entity that may have a gender
So what does that have to do with gender?
Nothing. And everything. And again nothing. It depends on the situation and who’s looking where. Sometimes we might say it makes a difference, but no one’s really willing to say it doesn’t really matter in any way.
I’m sometimes a male narrator. I’m sometimes a female narrator.
It doesn’t really have anything to do with the message, most of the time. Sometimes I just feel like the person who does the talking is a guy. Sometimes I just feel the person who does the talking is a gal.
Sometimes the people just notice that the poster claims to be a male. Sometimes the people just notice that the poster claims to be a female. Sometimes there’s no indication either way.
In other words, the fact that the Narrator is male or female sometimes matters to the audience. Sometimes it’s inconsequential, but the audience thinks it matters. Sometimes the audience says it’s inconsequential but they think it matters anyway. Sometimes it just doesn’t matter either way.
And what comforts me is that when I’m staying on-topic, it rarely seems to matter to the audience.
But there’s also the fact that sometimes I’m feeling that the fact that sometimes it matters to me personally. I may just look at a game avatar, or a user icon that says “male” or “female”. For example, sometimes I feel like setting my Xbox Live avatar to male and sometimes I flip it over to female. The avatar is clothed almost the same way and has mostly same features - most people might not even notice the difference. It’s not like people would pay a whole lot of attention to avatars in general, but it matters to me. It’s just a minor, probably insignificant part of the relationship between the narrator, the narrative and the audience.
So what should I call this mess?
I believe the term people usually throw around in situations like this is “genderfluid”. I think that term describes me best: my sex is pretty much nailed down while gender is subject to what I might be feeling in a given situation. It can be something or the other. Or it might not matter. But what matters is that it sometimes does matter to me.
I mostly wrote this blog entry so that there would be less need to explain stuff in detail to people who don’t know me that well.
Ordinary labels don’t necessarily work that well, so this will hopefully serve as a longer explanation of what I am and especially why I feel this way. It’s easy to comprehend bisexuality but our ideas about what gender is and what does that even mean are actually very complicated.
I just hope this will explain people what I actually feel so that they won’t freak out or find mysterious gender-toggling weird.
Because fundamentally, I’m just this narrator figure, doing some narration.
I’m more concerned about getting my message through than people getting occupied by the whole gender thing. I find it silly that people get caught up in little things like that.
A good narrator goes out of the way of the narrative, after all.
Can we - speaking of the whole world - ever achieve any kind of equality in society before we stop looking at personal details that are ultimately fairly incosequential?
I’m just this guy who sometimes finds that he’s a she. Or that he’s a he. What matter is that he or she has something to say, really.
I don’t think there’s too many reasons to find it odd or anything.