13 July 2021

I'm having a bit of a gender crisis right now and I'm looking for a term to describe my gender identity...

I’m having a bit of a gender crisis right now. I use he/they pronouns, as they are what I identify with most, but I present female (wearing dresses, skirts, makeup etc.). I’m also comfortable with certain female terms (such as fangirl, queen, wife) but not others (specifically girlfriend or being referred to collectively as ‘girls’). I’m AFAB and I’m wondering if there’s a term for this?
(If it is relevant, I believe I am attracted to all genders at varying degrees)



Hi Pluto!


That’s a really good question, thanks for asking!


So first of all, I would say that the way you dress and the terms you like and dislike to be referred to can sometimes be a part of your gender identity, but it’s not all it is either. What I mean is that, in theory, people can use any pronouns/gendered terms they like and refuse whichever they don’t. For example, a non-binary person could go by she/they and dress mostly masculine, a genderqueer individual could love makeup and hate she pronouns, a trans man could wear dresses and high heels and use only he pronouns, etc etc.


So, with that in mind, I can’t really think of a specific identity or a specific word that would refer to what you describe in your message. You can like or hate to be called fangirl, buddy, malewife, thembo, king, them fatale, public universal friend, old crone, bog witch or anything else the internet can come up with. You could also be transmasculine, non-binary, queer, demi-girl, butch, agender, any combination of the above or something else entirely. You could even be cis and just prefer some words over others. It’s hard to say from my perspective, and it’s hard to figure out on your own, believe me I know!


“Girl” refers to some form of femininity, but also sometimes to youth and immaturity. Some people don’t like to be called girl/girlfriend because they find it patronizing or infantilizing. That’s something to consider, but it might not apply either.


Either way, I promise you that you can identify with whichever label(s) you like best, feels right or the most like “you”. It’s something you feel on the inside, when you’re on your own or with friends or in the street. It’s not an easy feeling to describe. Looking up the definitions or the lived experiences of people with those identities can help. 


This might not be related, but I think it’s interesting you chose ”Pluto” as a nickname. As you know, it has changed classifications quite a lot in the past few years. I think now it’s a planet again? But like a small one? Just so you know, it’s totally okay to switch labels, to use a couple at a time or not to be sure. There’s a lot of fluidity in gender diversity, and that’s good! Having a gender crisis is a very relatable way to put your hesitations, but there’s no need to panic. You can welcome change, doubts and void as it comes, with open arms, like waves in the ocean in space.


On that note, I hope some of what I wrote made sense and can help you on your gender discovery journey. Feel free to write again to us if you want to!


Have a groovy rest of the week,


Maxime, peer support agent for AlterHeros

Iel/they/them, accords neutres