15 Struggles Of Trying To Find Love As A Genderless Person

Photo: Ossiana Tepfenhart
lgbt pansexual

I don't view myself as either gender and it's caused a lot of relationship problems.

I was born biologically female, but that doesn't mean I view myself as such. Rather, I view myself as neither gender. I don't feel comfortable in skirts, nor do I feel comfortable when guys tell me their expectations of women raising kids.

I occasionally do wear makeup and I keep my hair long. My wardrobe is almost always filled with vests, flannel jackets, men's shirts, pants and leather race jackets. I wear men's jewelry. My favorite things to do when I'm not reading and writing is to have a good beer, play darts with friends, go out dancing and maybe get a tarot reading in.

In a word, I consider myself genderless, and act as such. People have even told me that my voice sounds androgynous. Unfortunately, this makes dating difficult in ways that are hard to understand for others out there. If you're anything like me, you've probably dealt with these issues in the past.

1. You're told that you'd probably have better luck with dating if you wore more skirts and makeup.

So, let me get this straight. I should pretend to be someone I'm not in order to attract people who wouldn't want anything to do with the real me, right? Because that's exactly what people are always telling me to do. I'm not girly, and I never will be. If a guy doesn't like that, he won't like who I really am, and that's basically setting the relationship up for failure.

2. People assume you don't love yourself because of how you dress.

I've heard this one way too many times. For some reason beyond my understanding, people assume that I hate myself because I don't act like a girl or because I don't like to wear makeup. This leads to a lot of guys not even bothering to respect me, which in turn means that I will often get up and leave mid-date.

3. You're told you're aggressive.

Yes, I have no problem taking the lead when it comes to dating. In fact, I consider it important to let my intentions be known. If I left guys up to their antics, they'd all be too chicken to actually pursue someone like me. I know this because of how many men have told me that I'm intimidating in the past, as well as the sheer number of guys who thanked me for taking off the pressure when we did date.

4. People tell you that you're intimidating.

If you want to really see how timid men can be, dress up like a tomboy and act androgynously for a day. I have had a lot of men tell me that they were scared to talk to me because they were worried I'd beat them up. The worst part is that this intimidation issue doesn't just stay with men. I've been told by women that my "soft butch" look isn't really soft at all, and that they're intimidated by it.

5. You're inadvertently one of the guys.

Being a bro is cool, but the fact is that it hurts your chances at actually getting a boyfriend. Whether they say it or not, no one really wants to have the "cool" girlfriend at home.

6. You're told, "Well, I was actually expecting a girl... not you."

I'm not shy about telling people that I'm queer, and back when I even bothered to deal with cyber dating, my photos actually showed me as I was. When guys see me in person, they feel like they've been dealt a bait and switch because I behave more masculinely than they want me to. Eventually, I gave up on online dating because people kept saying that to me, regardless of how often I'd tell them I'm queer.

7. People ask if you were born a man.

I usually reply that if I was born a guy, I would have stayed one.

8. People assume that you're going to always be dominant in bed.

When people see me, they assume certain things. Both males and females tend to assume that "soft butch" people and queer folk such as myself are dominant in bed. While I have no problem being a top, the truth is that I prefer being submissive.

Unfortunately, it's nearly impossible to find someone who believes me when I say that, simply because they've already made up their minds about who I am. This issue also inadvertently turns me into a magnet for men who want to be submissive to a woman, but don't want to broach the subject with their wives. No matter how you look at it, it's annoying to say the least.

9. You aren't taken seriously when you come out to people.

For reasons beyond my understanding, too many people think that being genderqueer is a phase. It's not. People seem to think that I'll change my style and personality "when I meet the right man." The right partner for me will accept me as I am. They won't expect me to change for them, nor would they want me to change.

10. People don't take your body autonomy choices seriously.

I'm not going to get into this too much, but let's just say that my reproductive choices are almost never taken seriously because of the way I look. I also want to get certain body modifications done so that I can feel more like the person I feel like I am inside, but many of these mods are controversial.

When I've broached the subject with doctors and surgeons, I was told that I didn't know what I want. Needless to say, both issues have affected my dating life as well as my sex life.

11. You constantly have to explain your sexuality to people.

When people hear that I consider myself genderqueer, many of them assume that means I'm gay. I'm not gay  I am attracted to a multitude of genders, which means I'm pansexual. Gender and sexuality are not the same thing, and not many people actually seem to understand that.

12. You're constantly being judged.

Being neither male nor female is NOT easy. Simply put, you don't fit anywhere. People will hate you on principle alone, and a shocking number of people will tell you that you're not wife material just because of how you present your body.

I've personally had some guys who were afraid to be seen with me because they didn't want to be seen as possibly gay. I've also ended a relationship after one boyfriend's father called me a "faggot." The worst part is that being agender also means that you might be discriminated against in the local LGBTQ community as well.

I've been told I'm not butch enough to be of my (lack of) gender by people who were queer. In other words, the judgment never stops, and it comes from all sides.

13. The dating pool is way smaller.

Most men want a feminine woman. They also want a woman who wants kids or has a maternal edge to her. I do not send out those vibes. I don't even have a working reproductive system anymore, so even if I wanted to have kids, I couldn't. This means that my dating pool is much smaller than the average person's. Can I fix this? Not really, unless I want to sacrifice the person I am and live a life of misery.

14. You have to explain your gender to people.

This becomes an issue in dating and beyond. Generally speaking, I'll refer to myself as a woman because I don't want to get into a long, drawn-out explanation of what being agender means. However, when I'm dating someone, I let them know why I won't wear dresses or why I get so miffed at being told that I should act a certain way.

I usually have to tell them that I wasn't born a guy, that I do want certain body mods, that I will still have a vagina after it all and that I'm still me. People don't realize what a luxury it is to be easily identifiable by gender until they meet someone who isn't, and sometimes, that issue can come to a head when dating someone like me.

15. You wonder if there really is someone out there for you.

It's something I think everyone struggles with. I can't be alone in this, right?