Phosia Euphosia
by on June 18, 2020

Your pronouns
    Genderfluid, 70% masc, 20% bi gender, 10% fem

When did you realize you were not cisgendered?
    I always knew but never had the language. As a child I wondered why I didn’t have a working penis to go with everything else.

Are you out, or what was coming out for you like?
    I don’t think I’ve ever really been stealth, but whether I talk about it is entirely governed by the environment. At work, I’m entirely stealth,and have no intention to be the token punching bag of the middle-aged conservative men I work with. At home, I’m entirely out, and in my other involvements it depends on how relevant it is to getting things done and how badly I think I would be received.     As for coming out, I tend to just mention or point it out in common conversation, like it’s entirely normal and casual. Doing it that way keeps people from making a scene because it cues them that it’s normalized and sometimes makes them nervous that they don’t have prior knowledge to draw off.

What are some personal challenges you face on a regular basis due to your gender orientation, whether you are out? (Like public bathrooms, people casually misgendering you ect)
    Occasionally, being singled out at work as “the only woman” gets really obnoxious, on a level beyond the regular misogyny and bothering found in manufacturing. In certain settings I’m constantly in a low state of cognitive dissonance about wanting to be “one of the guys” and dealing with misogyny and toxic masculinity.

Do you think people understand and accept genders that challenge the gender binary or being something other than what one is assigned at birth?
    I think people who’ve never had to think about their own gender don’t have any way to relate to it, so building that commonality is the most important and sometimes challenging part. Most people who haven’t been primed to be openly hostile can be worked with. More and more people have an awareness, if not an opinion, as the years go on.

If you have started transitioning, or have transitioned, what are some things that you would like to share about that experience? If not, do you want to transition, why or why not?
    I have almost no physical dysphoria, can’t stand medical stuff, and can’t pass for masculine if I try cross-dressing. I don’t need or plan to transition visually. My transitions happen fluidly, in body language, posture, and verbal cues.

How often do you feel comfortable correcting people for misgendering you? Do levels of familiarity impact your decision to correct others?
    I almost never correct people because I know how I look and how heuristics work. If someone asks my pronouns I’m sheepish, but I tell them they/them are most accurate and bro is preferred. I have a few close friends who’ve made a point to call me “bro” and make me comfortable with it. Frankly, with how poorly people react when I tell them my name is [my full name] and not [a shortened version], I don’t even want the strife about pronouns in my life. Kudos to people who have changed their names fighting the good fight.

Do you think transphobia is an issue that should be discussed more? Why or Why not?
    Yes; transphobia should be brought up in groups that visually look cohesive. I’ve had fitness instructors correct themselves to “ladies and gentlemen” and then look around and re-correct themselves to “ladies.” If we could raise enough awareness about non-binary people and stealthed trans people to get everyone to use inclusive language all the time, that would take away so much unnecessary dysphoria.

Do you have a story, that you are comfortable sharing, about a situation that was uncomfortable because of your gender orientation? For example, where you had to go back into the closet for your own safety or came across someone who was hostile or aggressive towards you based on your gender orientation.
    I’m a leader in my BDSM community, and recently another leader approached me to help run a femdom group with her. I said sure, I’m a fab and female presenting visually, I face common challenges, let’s do this. She clarified that it’s “non-masculine representing” (NMR) and I hesitated, but we’re still co-leading, despite my gender only fitting about 10-30% of the time. The group is still nascent, so we’re still figuring our comfort.

hen was a time you felt comfortable in your own skin, where you had “gender euphoria” or having a time when you were validated and it resonated with you?(A positive memory)
    In college, I found my people in a group of nerds pretending to be bros pretending to be nerds while LARPing. When the leader realized I worked out more than him and his buddies combined, he laughed and dubbed me part of the main group, not the women’s auxiliary. It was like coming home. A few years down the line and the group was no more, but I have some strong ties to friends I made. When one of my bros and I were asked if we were dating, we both burst out laughing, and he said, “Man, if we had sex, I think the whole time I’d just be going, ‘No homo, bro!’” That I can have this body and elicit that reaction makes me incredibly happy.

What are some things that you do for yourself that make you feel comfortable in your own skin or affirmed in your gender orientation?
    The only thing that gives me dysphoria is being weak. I’ve done martial arts since I was four and weight trained since I was 13. I have decades of fitness in me, and at this point I don’t know if the dysphoria is based more around gender or just how functional my body has always been. Either way, I work out almost every day, practices martial arts and dance, and am constantly looking for new physical activities to learn. I’m happy with my body as long as it’s capable.

Who are some characters you relate to in the media that you relate to them or see yourself in? Of the ones you have listed, do any of them share your gender orientation?
    I’m a huge Anne Rice fan and have read her entire Vampire Chronicles. Lestathas always resonated with me, both for mental health reasons and the fact that he is so casually, outgoing bi romantic and, well, for the time it was written in, “metro sexual.”

Do you feel like there is an absence of people like you in the media, that they are either erased or pushed out of the spotlight?
    I know why this happens, but I’m still frustrated that non binary people have to have a uniform or look. I’m white collar and don’t experience dysphoria. I can’t do and don’t WANT to do something special to look like I’m “not a woman”or “not just a woman.” I wish the media would normalize asking about gender,rather than just giving people another superficial cue to look for.

Do you feel that there needs to be more queer, gender specifically, education for children to help with creating a better understanding about trans and nonbinary individuals?
    ABSOLUTELY. All I had growing up was “tomboy,” which was a phase I was supposed to grow out of. I hate that term now because it erases the fact that, most of the time, I am a man. I’m not just a girl who likes boys’ things. Give people more words!

Is there a particular type of humor that you have when talking to people who are also not cis gendered when discussing personal gender identity issues? (Gender affirming surgeries, hormones, or simply your general experience)
    One of my friends went through bottom surgery last year. She and I are extremely crass, and I recycled a joke my relatively transphobic father had said some years back: “It’s easier to dig a hole than build a pole.” My friend lost it laughing, and all I could think was that the problem isn’t the humor itself,but the education and background it comes from.

Is there anything else that you want to say or include that was not asked above?
    I don’t think the queer community critiques itself the right way. Everyone’s concerned about inclusion and representation, and we need to add concern for public perception. As a hunter, I make sure not to display my deer carcass to everyone on the highway, tied to the top of my car or on my hitch rack. That gives the people who “aren’t into hunting but are okay with it” a pretty revolting impression of hunters. Similarly, antagonizing dress codes at work rather than queering them can make people who don’t mind us start to mind us. I work white collar, so I wear rainbow button down shirts; I wear polos and slacks like the men; sometimes I wear pride nail polish. Everything is within the white collar realm, it’s just far less drab than the cishet norm.

   I get compliments on my attire; doubly so because my mother makes my button downs. Showing up with a bunch of pride pins on my Northface jacket would be like shouting, rather than inviting. I don’t mean to put any other queers’ choices down, I just want people to be aware of how those on the fence are looking at them.     I actually think the current iteration of pride parades are socially engineered to keep queer representation out of the workplace by generating a highly visible image that is hyper-sexualized and more costumed than attired. This is an image that can’t be easily reconciled with everyday work clothes, sothe public doesn’t perceive queers in their everyday lives. We need a little more conformity in our representation just so people can bridge the gap between how we look when we’re out with our people and how we look when we’re at work.Othering ourselves isn’t helping us change society, it’s keeping us a subculture.

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