Hello, and thanks for stopping by…

So why gendersoup?

In common with a growing number of people I have come to realise that the question of gender is not always as straightforward as we expect, or perhaps would like it to be.

At birth we are assigned a gender based on physical characteristics of our body – male or female. For most people this gender assignment matches how they see themselves and they can pretty much get on with life without giving it a second thought.

For some of us it’s not so straightforward.  We attempt to live as our assigned gender but something just doesn’t feel right inside. We feel varying levels of discomfort, distress or even pain because, no matter how we try and see ourselves in a way that is consistent with the gender we were assigned at birth, we just cannot be at peace about it. This condition is described in medical terms as gender dysphoria.

With our binary definitions of male and female, reinforced by society’s established gender roles and expectations, we don’t often stop to think that differences in gender identity and expression are not as clear cut as definitions suggest. Stereotypes aside, there are plentiful examples of men with feminine traits and women who prefer a ‘butch’ or ‘tomboy’ style – and everything in between. So is gender Identity really so binary or, as we see so often in nature, are there degrees?

What is certain is that those of us who experience, or have experienced gender dysphoria are a lot more conscious of our gender identity, and some of us cannot say we are 100% male or 100% female. It could be because we are still figuring it out, or because we can identify aspects of both genders or, for some, neither. Why should we be forced to pick a label that cannot adequately express who we are just so we can conform when clearly we don’t?

So there are so many experiences, expressions and terms in the gender nonconforming community that sometimes it feels like a bit of soup (in a good way).

So my goal with this blog is to share some of my questions, thoughts, experiences and resources I find along the way in the hope that they are useful to others on their journey or those wonderful people who share the journey with them.