First attempt at binding

(With something other than a super tight sports bra, that is.)

I finally sucked it up and ordered a binder last week. We had a little bit of wiggle room in the budget, and I wanted to see if it would help.

I’ve only worn it once now, mind, so we’ll see. I’m glad I got it, but I think I’m going to have to look at pics of larger bio men to see if I can better arrange all my different bits.

It’s certainly the right size, and does a good job of flattening everything down to equal sizes. The problem seems to be that, when your breasts come 9-10″ out from your chest wall, there’s only so much that compression will do.

So, yes, I was able to put on and button a dress shirt I normally can’t, and from the front, it looked pretty decent.

But from the side, I’m not sure. Don’t get me wrong, I’m well aware of the concept of “moobs,” and that if I were a bio man, I’d have them. But this doesn’t look like that. I feel like it still looks distinctly feminine. It’s sort of like… I’ve got a diagonal shelf coming out from my neck? Hard to explain. So I took pictures.

Taking a deep breath and hitting post before I can chicken out. Pics behind the cut, because though I’m (obviously) covered in each, they’re definitely revealing.

Any advice on positioning/clothing/layering?

Continue reading

In which I angst, completely unproductively

I have two unfinished posts hanging out, posts with intelligent and interesting writing, waiting to be finished and posted.

Instead, you get whining, and perhaps some talk of my own self-defeatest bad habits.

Last night, the wife linked to this picture with text (clicking on it will take you to the original post):

both

My first reaction: falling completely in love with the set and the text.

My second reaction: utter jealousy

My third reaction: sadness

I’ve said before in conversations with my wife and friends that I don’t mind my body, despite it not being my mental image of myself. And that’s true, I guess. I mean, I think it is. It’s mostly true, anyway.

But what is also true is that I purposefully try to ignore it. When I was a child, I had dreams that I was controlling it from within my head. That it wasn’t me, per se, but something that belonged to me.

I don’t take very good care of it, though.

I treat it like I do things in my life that I’d rather forget about. I ignore it until something goes wrong, and then try to ignore that until I can’t anymore, which is usually past the point at which I can do something about it.

If there’s something I could improve, that would improve my body or health or self-image, but wouldn’t quite get it to where I want it, then I tend to ignore that as well.

I’m very good at all-or-none. I preach moderation, I PERFER moderation. But when it comes to my body and my health, unless something will get it all the way done, it’s nigh on impossible for me to convince myself it’s worth doing at all.

Exercise can’t get me down to my* ideal weight/size/shape? Fuck it.

I’ve injured myself/got arthritis/whatever, and can’t do my preferred exercise? Fuck it, why exercise?

I’m not exercising? Fuck it, why eat healthy?

.

Suffice to say, it doesn’t get me very far.

So, I see a picture like this, and my first reaction is elation. But it is quickly followed by, “why am I bothering with any of this shit?” Because my gut tells me that, if I can’t get to a place where I COULD realistically pass either way, then why should I bother appeasing the voices in my head that tell me that’s who I am?

(ETA: I’ve also had a disturbing realization this week that part of why I don’t fight against my big belly more is that – in my fucked up head – it makes my boobs look smaller. Add in that my breasts don’t get smaller when I lose weight – they essentially get bigger, since the rest of me gets smaller – and I’ve got yet again an issue where the fact that I can’t go all in means that what I’m doing is actually actively working against me.)

.

I’ve been falling into a place lately where I’ve reverted back to as I was as a child. Where don’t just take joy in wearing the more masculine clothes, but also fight against the more feminine ones. Why do I do that? I don’t hate how I look when I’m wearing them. My body is mine, and that is me, and I can look good in a skirt or a dress, even if it’s not my preferred look.

As a child, I fought against them because I was told I had to wear them. If I wanted to be a girl, I had to. Well, then, fine, I wouldn’t.

Nobody’s telling me anything this time, though – nobody but myself. And it’s almost as if I’m saying, if I want to be a boy, I can’t wear anything feminine. But that’s not any more true than what I was told as a child.

What it is – I *think* – is that I’m feeling stuck. Again because of my size, and the size of my breasts. When I wear “boy” clothes, I am still obviously a girl. I am a girl, wearing boy clothes. And when I wear girl clothes, I’m just plain a girl.

And this is frustrating me to no end.

.

In my ideal world, on one day I’d be able to go out dressed as a girl, and read as a girl. And on another day, I’d go out dressed as a guy, and read as a guy.

But in this body, that won’t ever happen.

And apparently I’m feeling a little fucking bitter about that today.

.

.

*MY ideal, not society’s

Butch? No thanks.

After hitting “publish” on my last post, it occurred to me that a lot of what I wrote about feeling and expressing myself in a masculine way had to do with clothes.

And then I had a panic that “oh, oh no, the people who read this (all two of you) are going to think that my feelings about gender are only related to fashion and that’s so stuuuuuuuupid.”

So, um. Right.

Lest I need to put that out there – I know that clothes do not define gender.

Nor does dressing in a masculine manner make somebody a boy.

I know this.

However, for me, that is the bulk of my outward expression. Especially at this point in time, where I really can’t make myself look any more masculine, without actually going in for surgery (which is a tricky and complicated subject unto itself).

And here’s the trickier part – I don’t like looking “butch.” I mean, okay, the look in and of itself doesn’t bother me – I certainly enjoy it on other women, and have no problem with butch people in and of themselves. But I am not butch.

And I am, apparently (as I’ve learned digging deep into my psyche this last half year), really really bothered with the idea of looking like a butch lesbian.

Which, given that I’m an overweight biological woman, with a very large rack, who has a very very short haircut, and prefers to wear masculine clothing…

it’s bound to happen.

And I cringe at that.

Not for any reason related to what the look implies. Just because… it’s not me.

When I think of how I’d look, if I could create myself from scratch, even looking like a guy, it’s certainly not anything that would fall under the “butch” category. I definitely prefer, while not a “dapper” look, definitely a more clean, put-together, sort of metro look. Not suits and ties, necessarily, but …

.

I am totally failing at bringing the thoughts from my head and putting them into words on the screen.

.

The moral of the story, as it is, is that it’s hard for me, in this body, to find clothes that express me as ME. I can dress up as a woman, and look nice. I can wear men’s clothes, and look like a shlub. Or like a butch lesbian. Or a shlubby butch lesbian. And none of those things are me. I’m still floundering at a way to outwardly express how I feel like I’d like to look (with, you know, magic instant free & painless surgery, plus the effects of years of working out without having actually worked out), in a way that is at all feasible with this body.

So, now that I’ve muddied the waters up a bunch… that’s what I was trying to clarify. Good luck with that.

Who am I?

(well, currently I’m somebody trying really really hard to not finish that with “24601”)

Now that I’ve got 2 readers and 3 posts, I suppose I ought to give some sort of introduction.

I’d actually been putting it off until I’d thought of something for you guys to call me, but I’m at a loss. I use my given name initial in other places, but it doesn’t quite seem right. Not that I’m hiding who I am, but I’d rather this be a bit more private, at least for a while, and as likely or unlikely as it may be, I’d rather not connect this with my other online presences for the moment. Then I thought about the nickname for my given name that I prefer. Conveniently, it’s one that could be used for either gender, and it’s a good name. But that felt weird too. Because it’s part of a nickname my aunt gave me as a child? Because it feels weird to masculinize* my given name? I’m not sure.

And now it’s been a few months, and I haven’t been posting, so fuck it, I’ll let you guys know if I think of a name.

So. I’m, well. me. Ambigendrous for a name, for now. After trying to come up with a word for my brainspace, I stumbled upon that somewhere or else on the internet, and it stuck.

Going back to the video that was my first post over here, let’s see if we can’t make it simple. I abhor labels, but I love information and simplicity, so here goes nothing. I am a biological female, born that way. I identify as bisexual, only because I like boys and I like girls, and I hate all the words used to describe people who like other people (both romantically and sexually) without giving a shit what’s between their legs. I have a wife, to whom I’ve been married nearly 8 years, and she still puts up with me, so that’s something.

Gender’s the tricky part here, though. Going by that video, I’d say I’d place myself somewhere about…. here:

that orange mark is me. today, anyway.

Like with so much else in my life, I find myself sitting nearly exactly on the edge, occasionally veering to one side or the other.

In the case of my gender identity, I tend to consider myself more masculine than feminine (see this weekend’s post for more on that). But there are days that I consider myself more female; there are times I enjoy wearing dresses or painting my nails. These times tend to come about 3 times a year and pass pretty quickly, but they’re there. As for intensity, I feel it, but (again, like with most things in my life), I don’t feel it that strongly. Certainly I don’t feel painful enough in my masculine feelings that I, as many people do, suffer and hate my body. For that, I am thankful. Honestly, though, I’m not sure I’ve ever felt connected enough to my body to have those feelings. I walk around in it and carry it with me, but it’s never felt like it’s been mine.

When I was younger, I fought really hard against being a girl, or at the very least a typical girl. (That’s how I remember it, anyway. I’ve been too nervous to ask my mother how it read from the outside.) I hated the color pink with a passion, and the only times I played with dolls were when a friend and I would pretend they were having sex. As a pre-teen and teen, I got in big fights with my grandmother (who, thankfully, I didn’t see often) over my refusal to wear skirts or dresses, and my complete disinterest in make-up. She was horrified that I didn’t “dress like a girl.” Thankfully, my own mother never pushed her views, whatever they may have been, on me, and was happy to wear make-up or not, grow my hair out or chop it off, and to wear whatever I wanted, provided it was within budget and within the realm of decency.

(Granted, this meant a lot of truly unfortunate outfits in the early-mid 90’s, but what’re you going to do?)

Eventually, I did start dressing more feminine. Why? Not because I felt more feminine. But because I was sick of looking like a schlub. I wanted to look nice, and I knew that, even being overweight, I could look nice. Unfortunately, given the fact that my chest is rather well endowed, dressing in a way that looks nice (as opposed to looking like a stylized mumu) means wearing things that fit my body well. Which means, often (okay, pretty much always), more form-fitting and feminine clothes. I could – and probably will – write whole tomes on this, so I’ll leave it for now, and just go with: I realized that, perhaps, I was reaching a breaking point when I, well, broke, and nearly bit my co-worker’s head off when she complimented me on a girly outfit I was wearing. I suppose I’ll go into that more later, as well.

In the meantime, I’ve spent the last few months exploring what it is I can do to make myself more comfortable within that male side of me, while still recognizing what I want (to look decent) and need (to be true to myself, and figure out what the fuck really IS going on up there in my head), while working around my biggest obstacle (it’s difficult to truly express oneself outwardly as male or even ambigendrous, when one is carrying around a metric shit ton of breast tissue).

So, that’s me, now, in a (really really small) nutshell. More later on me, before, and how watching Being John Malkovich changed my life.

.

*that’s totally a word

A Very Feminine Boy?

The question mark is not due to my own confusion, of that I assure you.

.

Today, for the first time that I can ever remember, I was referred to as feminine. Not just feminine – VERY feminine.

I know, you’re all as shocked as I was. (Or perhaps not, as I only know of one reader, and anybody else who stumbles upon this place likely doesn’t know me. But that’s not the point.) I confess: I was taken aback. Don’t get me wrong – there’s nothing wrong with being feminine. It’s simply not a word that I’ve ever used in reference to myself, and certainly not a way I would have thought others thought of me. Even when I occasionally put nail polish on, or tights, and am willfully dressing more feminine, I certainly don’t feel that I exude a feminine vibe.

Now, I’ve known this woman for a while, but only see her occasionally, only through work circumstances, and while we are friendly, we are certainly not friends, or close. I wanted to ask her – why do you say that? (er, in general. not as a comment in the conversation – it was part of a larger conversation, in which the placement of the comment made sense.) What is it about me that, in the total ~2 hours we’ve spent together over the last 2.5 years, makes you think that I’m “very feminine?” I’m honestly curious. But it was busy, we were in a rush, and there were a lot of people about, so I didn’t pursue it further.

.

Meanwhile, about half an hour earlier, I’d had another first. I was referred to as “he.”

Gigantic boobs aside, this one is at least a bit more understandable, as I’m sporting a super short haircut, and happen to be wearing a men’s polo today. When I turned and commented to the woman (I thought she had been referring to the young man on the other side of me), she was horribly embarrassed. I tried to reassure her – I didn’t mind. After all, I am dressing intentionally masculine (though it wasn’t a setting in which I could have said that). She blushed and mumbled apologies, and I made a quick exit.

When I was younger, I regularly wore more masculine clothes, and occasionally had a short haircut, and though I was referred to as many things, I wasn’t ever (that I can remember, at least) referred to as a male. And I’ve had this haircut for over a year now, and while I’ve been adding more bought-from-the-men’s-side-of-the-store items to my wardrobe, my style hasn’t changed. So why today? Who knows.

.

I’m not quite sure where I’m going with this, other than it was really kind of surreal to have two fairly polar opposite descriptions placed on me by others (as opposed to by myself – and I hesitate even to write ‘polar opposite,’ because that’s not true, and you can be a feminine man, but anyway) in such close proximity to one another.