Updated: Nov 20, 2020
By Ezra Elias Vivas
In this day and age, more and more people, especially young people, are identifying as transgender. This has led to increased visibility, and because of this increased visibility, more and more people are questioning their genders. If you’re reading this, you probably already know what gender fluidity is. Just in case you don’t, genderfluidity is defined by the Nonbinary Wiki as “[having] different gender identities at different times.” If you’re someone who’s questioning their gender, it can be very tempting to obsessively look for signs or for proof. However, as tumblr user the-transfeminine-mystique eloquently puts it, “You can’t fully know the possibilities or just how much you’ll vibe with a trans identity until you make that leap, though, there’s no amount of pre-knowledge that will do it in advance.” If you’re wondering if you might be genderfluid, here are 6 signs that could help you figure it out.
Your preference in title or pronouns changes. One day, you might be fine with your partner calling you their “boyfriend,” but another day being called that might feel wrong, jarring, or even repulsive. Maybe some days you’d strongly like to be your parents’ “daughter,” while other days you wish you were simply their “child.” Perhaps you’re fine with being called “she” on some days, but on others you wish you could tell people to call you “he.”
You experience dysphoria, but only sometimes. While this on its own isn’t an experience exclusive to genderfluid people, it’s very common. Dysphoria in trans context refers to marked discomfort with one’s assigned gender. Dysphoria comes from Greek roots that mean “hard to bear.” While this can be a common experience, it’s important to remember that not all trans people experience dysphoria, and it’s hardly “necessary” to have dysphoria to be trans.
The idea of being read as only male or female for the rest of your life makes you uncomfortable. Imagine your life in one year. In five. In ten. While this can be very difficult (especially due to the high rates of mental illness and trauma in the trans community), it can be a helpful exercise for figuring out what you want for yourself.
You find it really difficult to pin down what your gender is. Some days, you might feel like you’re definitely a girl-- no, wait, a boy. Both. Neither? No, probably boy. Probably. Despite semi-popular representation in media that depicts gender fluid people as always being able to tell what their gender is all the time, a lot of genderfluid people find it difficult to tell what our gender is at any specific time, or even what we want to look like.
You’re a big fan of, really relate to, or wish you were a shapeshifter. A lot of media with trans, genderqueer, nonbinary, and/or genderfluid characters portray them as shapeshifters.
You’re really fascinated by the concept of gender fluidity, want to be genderfluid, or spend a lot of time wondering if you’re genderfluid. Think of it this way: cis people don’t spend a lot of time wishing to be any gender other than what they were assigned at birth. Wanting to be another gender is a perfectly valid reason to be that gender, and often, it means you were that gender all along.
Ultimately, your gender identity and how you label it (or don’t) is up to you. If you feel “genderfluid” is the best label for you, then go ahead and use it! Even if your label changes a year from now, or tomorrow, or even a moment later, what’s most important is that any label you use for your gender is one that makes you feel good. A final note from turn-me-into-a-girl.com, a site for trans women, that may be helpful for any trans person: “As a fundamental truth, we hold that gender is always self-identified. In fact, self-identification is the only meaningful way to determine gender. This means that nobody but you can say whether you’re a man, a woman, or anything else.”
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Written by writer Ezra Elias Vivas