So a few times I have attempted to explain how I feel in regards to my gender in the simplest terms, but almost no one, from strangers on this site to the people I live with, seem to quite 'get it' except for the few I have come across that feel exactly the same. This is probably because I've barely pushed the topic, but perhaps also because I've not really gone that in depth about it. To start with, I should point out that being bigendered is not the same as being Intersex. That is where you are born with the sexual organs of both sexes (or in rarer cases you are born with none at all) and your parents choose your gender at birth and raise you that way. It is possible to be both bi-gender and intersex however, and this brings me to my main point. Your sex is purely physical, and is decided at birth based upon your genitals (quite a reasonable way to do it of course) but your gender is a different thing altogether. Gender, and this is bit most people don't know anything about, is a matter of identity, it is not biological. Now I can see why most people just go 'waaaa?' to this because for the vast majority of people their gender identity is exactly the same as their physical sex, but there are a large amount of us where this is not the case. The most obvious example is in Transsexuals, people whose gender identity is the exact opposite of the sex they were assigned at birth, but gender identity is a much wider spectrum than 'one or the other'. The world isn't black and white. Bi-gender is essentially where you have both genders 'inside' you, regardless of whether you are male, female or intersex. For most of us who do feel this way we tend to jump between the genders depending on how we feel at the time. Quite often something will trigger the need to swap to the 'other' gender such as seeing a new dress you'd like, new things turning up in the mail, you saw something to do with transgenderism online or sometimes just the need to unwind from stress, but this is not always the case. I can just as easily wake up in 'male mode' as I can in 'girl mode', its not something I or anyone else has control over. Sometimes it even springs out of nowhere during the day. To some this may sound similar to a personality disorder (and trust me, a few people have told me I'm a freak or that I sound mentally ill) but it simply isn't. I'm still the same person when these feeling hit, I still like the same music, I still have the same sense of humor but most importantly I still have the same memories and personality. Being Gender Variant in any way is not even slightly a symptom of illness.
So hopefully that clears up exactly what Bi-Gender (or Dual Gender) means, but why is it so important that I need to let you all know about it? I'll give you a little analogy to explain more or less how it feels when I am in girl mode. Imagine being born a man and growing up that way, growing facial and body hair, your voice steadily getting deeper, your body becoming larger, wider and more masculine etc, but inside you want to be the exact opposite. Your body hair feels coarse, uncomfortable and ugly, your voice seems alien and doesn't connect to how you see yourself and all those little features of your sex that people don't notice most of the time (wide jaw, broad shoulders, heavy brow line) are glaring at you in defiance of your own identity. Even if you do accept who you are inside and you get all dolled up and do you best to make the outside match the inside, the black and white gender binary tries to crush you at every turn. Nearly all forms that require you to fill in what gender you are list just the two options, Male and Female (although the good people at deviantArt have an 'other' option, to which I gladly filled in the box), something normally as simple as which public toilet to use becomes a horrifically momentous task, people will constantly refer to you as sir, he and him (or by your birth name if they already know it) and the worst but thankfully rarest of all, people tell you you're wrong. People will say 'no, you've got a penis therefore you are not this' or 'you can't do this or go there'. You can't wear women's clothes (and they're not women's clothes they're mine) because you've got a dick, you're a 'man'.
Now I must point out that this describes the life of a Male to Female transsexual more than that of a bi-gender person like myself, because by definition bi-gender people only feel that way half of the time, but the point is exactly as valid, and it applies to most other forms of gender variant people too (of which there are many). Obviously, to see it from the perspective of someone who is Female to Male, merely swap everything around. Imagine being a straight male but being treated like a butch lesbian your whole life. I'm aware I'm probably 'preaching to the choir' because rarely do people come across blogs, photo galleries, websites etc dealing with transgender topics without looking for it, but I know that occasionally people who aren't part of that do come across my journals sometimes, perhaps because they are supporters of Gay Rights and have progressed for there, but probably most come from the goth and photography groups that I also post my photos in. Hopefully some people come from other places too.
Too any of my friends in real life reading this, I hope this explains why I do insist on being called Rhiannon (or Ria for short) and she and her when I'm dressed up, why I get defensive about things like why you should call someone He rather than She even though they haven't had a 'sex change' yet and why I can become upset and insecure when I feel like my identity isn't being acknowledged.
I could go on about other gender variant identities such as gender fluid and androgynous, why I hate phrases like 'sex change', why being a crossdresser or trans doesn't mean you're gay, the problem of transphobia in not just the straight world but even the gay community and so on, but this is already becoming a bit of an essay and I have a real one to write, not to mention I wanted to go to sleep 2 hours ago. Good night all, and expect some more photo's from me soon ^_^
Reading: The God Delusion by Richard Dawkins
Playing: Paper Mario: Sticker Storm