I’ve been having a multitude of discussions on this topic for several years with the people I love, and decided to put the information out to the universe for anyone who is actually curious and to be fair to those of my friends who genuinely want to know and have asked time and again to ensure they’re being courteous and respectful. It’s something about which I’ve not really gone into much detail outside of my immediate partners because I’m still working out a lot of it in my head. It will likely continue to grown and evolve as I learn more, but for now, here is the rough version:
This can get confusing, as I am a biological female who normally presents as Femme at events. The inside of my head is anything but “traditional” female, as those closest to me well know. My gender identity is incredibly fluid. As a Doll, I am an inanimate object without a gender identity beyond my costuming (which is often ultra-Femme, though recently I have been known to prance around with a strap on attached as a very queeny she-male). On a biological level, I do possess two X chromosomes and, as a result, am a “she” in puppy space. As a human outside of scenes and public spaces, I am a person who doesn’t generally identify as one of the binary genders, wears gender-neutral colors and clothing, and answers to “hey you.”
Growing up, I hated being forced to always dress like a “traditional girl” – flowers, frills, ruffles, lace, etc were among the worst offenders. I pushed hard to stay away from such things (ironic, if you’ve looked at some of my pictures) and went through a multitude of looks. I’ve experimented with a variety of identities, and steadily come around to understand that the only time I’m interested in presenting a feminine “self” is if it’s a specific look. Costuming is more important to me than dressing like a “girl” or a “boy” – especially because I haven’t ever really FELT like I’m one or the other. I like things that look striking and evocative – stilettos, gowns, top hats, canes, muscle shirts, combat boots…I like to enjoy the energy of what I’m wearing and worry less about the identity it might convey to others. (Picking a single “look” or “feel” is impossible for me and, as such, my girlfriend keeps threatening to Facebook divorce me over the sheer size of my wardrobe.)
On some level, my gender identity and expression is tied into my sexual interests. Some partners make me feel hyper-feminine. Some make me feel hyper-masculine. Some make me feel gender fluid squishy and flowy. Each partner brings out a different aspect of my personality and identity, which is why I identify as pansexual. Those close to me have heard me describe it as “I like what I like and I know it when I see it.” Narrowing down the description beyond that is about as impossible for me as settling on an individual gender. As a result, the concept of pangendered is basically the best identifier for me.
All that said, I understand the world that I normally move in is used to dealing in gender binaries. I’m not going to get upset if I’m mis-gendered by someone because of how I present on the outside. I’m confusing on the inside, and I don’t expect anyone to be a mind-reader and automagically know what to call me. If I’m in a headspace where it matters terribly to me, I’ll say so. If I don’t request a specific pronoun, then it obviously isn’t foremost on my mind and I can’t fault anyone for addressing me as they best guess. I’m really difficult to offend.