When it's not just your gender that doesn't match
There is so much more than just gender in the body we see in the mirror. For many of us the effects of age, ill-health, poor diet, misfortune or genetics leave us with a body that looks nothing like we feel it should. It seems to me that for many, while gender is the key, it s the physical attributes associated with particular genders that causes the most grief. For some of us the changs we most want are far less practical than any gender transition. How do we reconcile attitudes that say you should be able to choose your gender with understandings of the limitations on someone who wishes they could be a child?
As my name hints, I identify as a sissy baby-girl. By that I mean that, not only do I feel a strong dysphoria regarding my genitalia, but I also find my overall body-type and size, my age and my understanding of femininity all are at odds with who I am.
Firstly lets look at the three primary dysphorias I enjoy.
1. Gender dysphoria - Hmm, I don't think I need to go into details about what that is. Physically I am build on the male template. Actually i'm built on the Viking or Lumberjack template. Over 6' tall, about the same across the shoulders, very solid, if tending a bit toward the cuddly as time and good food take their toll. My dysphoria occurs at several levels in this regard. I find it strange to have a body that doesn't fit into a size 12 dress. I am constantly disappointed by the lack of breasts, and the 40/44/40 figure feels like the opposite of what I expect. As for genitals, not only have I got the wrong set, but the set I have doesn't work unless I fantasise that I actually have the opposite sort. All in all it's probably about typical dysphoria for any large guy who wishes he was a girl. That's Kiki.
2. Age dysphoria - This is probably just as common as gender dysphoria in its own way. I know vey few people who truly feel, act and wish to be their own age. For me this goes a bit further than this. I feel like an imposter as I go through my life. I feel like a child pretending to be a grown up. On my stronger days I feel like I could maybe be a ten or twelve year old. Usually I feel more like a two or three year old. When I'm feeling tired, stressed or otherwise used up, I want to go back to being about 6-9 months old, back before I had to explain my needs or had to try to obey any rules at all (i.e. before people started to punish me for failing to control my body - before toilet training). Thus Baby Kiki
Age dysphoria is really challenging and will be the main topic of the rest of this post. Due to the support offered by communities such as this, I feel that I could possibly dig my heels in and at least live as the gender of my choice, but where do you go, or what do you do when what you want is to run ahead of mummy in a baby-harness, eat icecreams messily and have someone else clean you up, breast-feed, and at times just lie in a cot or crawl on a mat for days on end while someone looks after all your inputs and outputs, and makes all your decisions for you. This is a pretty challenging need.
3. Social Dysphoria - I'm using this term to describe that feeling where you know that ideas or attitudes that are emotionally powerful to you are at odds with your rational understanding of the world. For some this may be things like trying to deal with a racist upbringing when they personally despise racism. For me this manifests as a rational understanding of the fact that being female should not be defined by pink, lace, etc. etc, while feeling an overwhelming association between all the classically assigned tokens of femininity and my own desires for a feminine role. This is the basis for the term sissy in my name. I actually find this aspect the most confronting. It's not that my choices in clothing etc. are an issue, but I find it very hard to feel good about wanting to be dressed in lace as a way of being feminine, whilst holding strong views about peoples expectations that to be feminine, a women must fit some archaic social conventions of dress and behavior.
Anyway, that is me - Sissy Baby Kiki.
As I said, the part that seems the most important to examine is age-dysphoria.
Social dysphoria may warrant a later diary entry, and better writers than I are taking discussions of gender to amazing and wonderful places, but I've never read any commentary on age-dysphoria, nor on it's impacts on gender.
The biggest thing with age dysphoria is that it is very hard to do anything about. I mean, if you want to behave younger than yourself you can, though people will certainly comment. The immature late 20s guy who still want's to act like he's 17, and the woman who likes to dress and act like a naive girl are both popular images in pop-culture and are both likely to be mocked for not growing up.
Acting older is a little easier to get away with, but will still generate comment. "They think they're so mature" or similar becomes the basis for attacks.
Where it becomes really challenging is when the age you feel is highly disparate from your real age. As a mid 40s man, I would face open public ridicule if I walk down the street in a nappy. If anyone thought I used it the reaction would be disgust.
The only options I can see are to weather the public disgust and live as an adult-baby (if I could find a mummy willing to do all the work to support my needs), to keep everything in the privacy of my home (i.e. to remain in the closet as it were) or to treat it as a psycological issue and to seek counselling to "cure" myself.
For me this has ended up with the counselling. It's not that I have a problem accepting my desires in this regard, but I cannot find the opportunity to let them reach a meaningful expression. I am not ready to try to re-write the popular medias mockery of adults dressed as babies, and in the end all I can do at home is play a few games of make-believe. I can't get age-reassignment surgery, and if I could who is going to want the brain of a 40 year old looking out the eyes of a new-born baby. So it is off to counselling for me.
To be honest, for all that I really get a kick out of age play, it is mostly a source of pain in my life anyway - counselling could be a useful answer.
But now I hit the other issue. I start to try to disassemble the causes of my age-dysphoria, and very soon I'm also finding the causes of my gender-dysphoria too.
This is really challenging to me. I strongly support people's right to express their gender however they wish. Myself I'd rather identify as a girl than as a boy just as I'd rather be a child than an adult. But now I'm finding all these pieces are interlocked. I may be able to cure the age dysphoria and the gender dysphoria but I almost certainly can't choose to just cure one of them. In large part I don't want to cure either, and I particularly don't want to suggest to others that they should "fix" their gender issues. I don't want to be able to be used as an example. I want to remain gender-queer.
I don't think I've any useful conclusions I can draw from it all. Of course I can choose to continue to cross-dress or to identify as female, sissy or any other expresion that suits me, but if the need is removed by the same process that eases the desire to be a baby, then maintaining the genderqueer position would be as false as abandoning it would be now. It would be a political position not a genuine expression of my self.
So for now I leave this to my good readers to consider.
How do you reconcile things when you can see your gender-position as curable?
How do you live an age-queer life?
And how do we build structures to help those age-queer individuals who don't want to have to be cured?
'cause if someone can answer that then maybe I can get to be myself.