What makes you feel like a man/woman/nb?

Seriously a good question. I know biologically I am female, tho a lot of what I say and how I act are considered male. Not that I would identify myself as male because of what things I do.
I love to dress up occasionally.
Now I think I’m confused :joy:
Good luck on finding your answer to this question.


non-b femme here, tho if I’m getting super specific, I prefer ‘agender.’ my two x chromosomes led to a pretty typical stint at Internalized Misogyny & Sitting with Your Legs Closed Academy. I’m actually the kind of person who loves labels, I’m always searching for that sort of point of reference. And all growing up, nothing that people tried to stick to me fit at all: girl, tomboy, “girl who wants to be a boy”, etc.

My enjoyment of labels also translates to an extreme annoyance when labels don’t fit correctly, so I just found myself constantly existentially torn between what kind of girl others thought I was and what kind of girl I actually felt like, always trying to defy something or someone. To the point of losing my identity at some points. Constantly second-guessing myself: do I actually enjoy this thing because I like it or because people would expect a girl not to? Going out of my way to demonstrate how I defied gender norms just to feel really unsatisfied and uncomfortable about it later.

Coming from a largely traditional African family didn’t help -_-

but yeah, as others have said, I feel it. I’m very particular about my labels because I know myself well and the binary labels just never fit me. Learning about gender as a spectrum and non-binary gender identities felt like coming home. Like, ‘finally, something makes sense!!’


Wow, this is a question that I actually would like to answer, but can’t. I was born in a female body, but do I feel like a man or a woman? That’s a really difficult question. I don’t understand the difference between a male and a female besides biological differences. At least to me, take out the biological differences, and they’re practically the same. Maybe it’s how they act, but isn’t that just how society perceive things?

Growing up, I always wished I was born a guy because of how the hobbies and traits I had were more like a male’s. But, I realized that I could do and be those things even as a girl. There was nothing stopping me from doing things, so I stopped wishing that I was a boy. At this point, if I was magically turned into a guy right now, I wouldn’t mind, but even the way I am now doesn’t bother me.


Actually, a lot of “feminine” Vs “masculine” behaviours and tastes largely depend on the biological differences between the two sexes as well and not only on social expectations (which are often themselves based on said biological differences). Hormones for example dictate a lot of our personality traits, feelings and behaviours. Biology says that, as a general rule, human females tend to be physically weaker than human males and so, most females enjoy activities that are less physically demanding. Men tend to be more interested in things and women more interested in people, hence some of the differences in career choices etc. Of course, there are always exceptions to every rule but generalisations usually exist for a reason. That’s not to say that we have to behave how general rules suggest, though. Everyone is equally valid and free to be who they are regardless of what is common/uncommon!


I don’t want to be needlessly argumentative, but I need to see credible citations for that. Everything I learned in my gender studies class asserts the opposite: while sex is biological, gender is learned behavior based on cultural norms.

If, for example a boy is climbing a tree, he might be praised for bravery. If a girl is climbing a tree, she might be scolded for taking risks or getting her clothes dirty. A girl might be comforted when she cries, whereas a boy will be criticized. Now compound those events tens of thousands of times, from relatives to teachers to peers to media. Now factor in that virtually all messaging relating to gender is binary…

While the landscape is better now than it used to be, it’s still a mess. It’s a cultural mess, though, not a biological one.


I was replying to Sarah1 with my response, but I disagree wholeheartedly with the concept that more freedom to explore gender is in any way a bad thing.


In the words of the great Hank Moody, “fuck if I know, dude”. I was born one day as a guy and I’m not uncomfortable with it. You can call me “they” if you like, I don’t care

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What? That’s taking the matter lightly. :rofl::confused:

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Most people don’t. I do


Interesting question. I’m nonbinary, btw.

When I was a child, it wasn’t that huge a thing. I guess the most memorable feeling was a sense of…puzzlement when other boys and girls act differently. I couldn’t understand why boys refused to play some of the games that girls played, or girls refused to play some of the games that boys played. I couldn’t understand why they refused to read different types of stories, or same types of stories depending on the gender of the protagonist. (It’s more common to see boys refusing girl protags, but you see the other side sometimes.) Why were girls laughed at for having short hair and boys punished for having long hair? The only difference was between our legs, right? I went along with the expectations of my physical gender, but there was also this failure to understand why the expectations were there in the first place.

When I got older, dysphoria became a thing. I became lowkey uncomfortable with the way my body developed and physically present myself in a way as to hide it. I get antsy about being perceived as my physical gender, and switched to using gendered first person pronouns that don’t belong to it outside of formal settings. (I still do, today.) It gets especially bad when my attempts to be friends with the opposite sex are perceived as trying to get into their pants and they shied from me despite being good friends a day ago just because people started gossiping how about how they’re getting hit on by someone they don’t want a relationship with. I’m ace (I realized that later), so the idea never even occurred to me.

In my twenties it occurred to me that I might be trans. I asked people I could trust to try referring to me with the opposite-gendered pronouns, the same way I talk, but it…didn’t click. It was wrong and off in ways that are equally distressing as my body dysphoria, which got stronger and stronger. (tbh if I can cut off all these things and have a genderless robot body that’d be great) Perversely, I was more comfortable when people tried to insult me by calling me some sort of jellyfish animal, because that (I realized this later) implied they see me as a thing mankind perceive as having no gender rather than being a man or a woman. The only person whose language use worked for me is my brother, who talk to me with a weird combination of male/female lingo to this day.

It finally clicked when I was stopped in the middle of a crowded road by a drunk, who asked me if I was a man or a woman, his friends had made a bet and he couldn’t tell. It was impossibly rude lol, but this super rude and somewhat unsafe event actually made me feel more elated than most of the accomplishments in my life thus far. It felt like things fell into place. I’m not trans (at least, not in the binary way), and I didn’t feel out of place just because I was a weird man/woman, it was because I wanted to be seen as neither male or female.

Life got a bit easier after that and a few years later, when the term ‘nb’ started floating up, I knew that that is me.

Bit of a rant lol, but I hope you have your answer there! TLDR; 'twas a combination of dysphoria and failure to understand why boys and girls were supposed to be or want different things.


I wish I had a clear answer. I’m a trans woman and for as long as I can remember (when I was 4-5) I just felt like I was a girl. Simple as that. It’s funny cause when I told my sister around that age she said she wanted to be a boy. Now though I’ve transitioned and my sister identifies as a woman she’s just more masculine. Not very helpful sorry xD


Don’t worry about being argumentative, that’s what discussions are for! :relaxed:
I don’t know anything about gender study classes, to be honest. We don’t have that in my country as it’s not recognised as an actual science but my comment gave examples of things I learned in biology, psychology or socio-economical science classes. You gave the example of a boy who gets praised for climbing a tree/mocked for crying while a girl might be scolded/comforted… I was never scolded for climbing trees, on the contrary. Similarly, my brother was always comforted by my parents when he cried. So those examples are, at best annecdotal and at worst, completely hypothetical. But even if those different standards were entirely common and widespread, it wouldn’t contradict my point that more often than not, they’re based on the biological differences between the two sexes rather than being completely arbitrary social constructs.


I don’t think you’re wrong in saying that there are biological differences. We’re a sexually dimorphic species, of course there are.

But it’s probably better to say that the biological differences increase the likelihood of societal factors encouraging/discouraging differences in male/female behaviours rather than assuming that biological differences causes different likes/dislikes. For example, the physical strength thing you mention, largely makes it more worthwhile for males to learn and participate in physical activities, so society encourage males to do so more while encouraging females to spend their time doing other things. There is nothing in biology that says being better at something makes you enjoy it more. And in an ideal world, enjoying something you’re not made for or not encouraged about is just fine.

But then you get those assholes who start drawing lines about ‘women are better at this’ and ‘men are better at that’ on things that have no real evidence except ‘common wisdom’ and societal factors (such as ‘men are better at math’ because societal factors prevented women from getting access to math-related things in the past, because in the past things that required math used to require autonomy, which used to require physical ability, and so on), and make absolute lines about ‘these actions only belong to women’ and ‘these only belong to belong to men’ that ends up hurting everyone, and that’s where the problem starts. THAT’S where it starts getting ‘arbitrary’, though there’s a root cause for it if you dig long enough.

TLDR; I’m not contradicting your point that societal factors often stem from biological factors, I’m just saying that it’s also important to recognize when societal factors are caused by other societal factors. And that it’s not scientific to say someone is more inclined to like X just because they can do X.




Say that is based on biological differences has been used to abuse and bully people like me and others here since ancient times. Illness is biological that doesn’t make the fact of fight it wrong. If we were Only based on biology we would still on trees. We are biologically the same that the first human that invented the wheel. So then we are culture same? No, we would have absolutely anything to relate with a prehistoric people.

I am not an aberration because I don’t like pink I don’t know where is the biological reason to dress dresses versus pants. I suppose Roman men where totally aberrant for put tunics.

I am far stronger than most man around me and I don’t get why I should be biological an error. Neither that people that not feel that way are an error.

Everyone that says is biological in my experience, Uses that to force other people to enforce patriarchal rules.

Nuns defended in biology, that we as a woman are weaker than male so we have to submit to them and obey them.

Male has to protect and be bold and be ready to fight for the poor little woman. …

We don’t live in caves anymore. We don’t live in base biology only anymore. We are ruled by culture and culture measures. What a tribe in Tanzania consider female role could be totally different from what an Inuit or I consider female roles. What in Carthage was considered female roles is totally different what American now believes.


Yes, that’s exactly what I meant… thank you for articulating it better than I did!

Edit: English isn’t my first language and it’s sometimes difficult for me to try and precisely convey the finest points of my arguments… Hell, at times it’s even difficult in my native tongue!



When I was a kid, I often felt as if boys as girls were two distinct langues which everybody but me was talking. I knew that I was being insulted when I got told that I ‘was like a boy’, but I never knew what the insult was, so I got angry because I felt I had to.

There were and are times were I had glimpses of understanding female/male or rarely both, but they never really lasted long.

As for when I knew. Well, I had been ghosting the non-binary experienced over at AVEN. A lot of them sounded familiar, but it was funny enough when a choice of game included a non-binary option. I picked it and the sheer flood of relief at having to not pretend to be either man or woman is almost impossible to describe. It took me a little bit longer and a lot of discussion with other enbies, but that was the moment I accepted that something was up.

I still allows the world to percieve me as a woman. Danish people are not as tolerant as they believe they are and I will rather take the lies and the distance than dealing with other people having an opinion on my right to exist.


Sorry, If sometime I addressed you with the wrong gender (It was never my intention) @DreamingGames With what pronoun do you want to be addressed? And I understand that feeling of looking at people puzzled by genre differences. Like when nuns called mg dad when I started school with 3 years. They called him because I didn’t want to dress up for paint class a pink apron with ribbons and I wanted to dress the cool blue one.

I didn’t understand why they punished me and called me a naughty girl and let me out of class making other kids laughing.
My dad told them that If i hate pink and want a dress a blue one I was not to be forced to it. My dad is awesome!!!

But yeah. I am tired of society assume that if you look like X you have to be X or like Y.


y’know, i’m actually gonna dive in and answer again. 'cause I feel like I have a slightly different answer for the way this question is worded specifically.

Nothing could ever make me feel like a man or a woman and I have only ever felt non-binary. Like… just outside, unrelated to the cultural parameters of what society defines as men and women, masculine and feminine. not just like ‘I don’t feel like a man/woman’, but much more like ‘I have never felt like a man/woman and attempts by myself and others to constrain myself to those expectations and norms has always felt exhausting, irrelevant, and frequently distressing’. My sex is female but I have never felt connected to it or like my sex has any major bearing on who I am as a person aside from how others perceive me based on it.

I really can’t stand the logic that because gender is largely defined by feeling and sex is a fact of biological science, non-cis gender identities have no validity. Gender is a social construct inextricably linked to and largely revolving around the biological facts of sex and sexual dimorphism, but it is still just that: a construct. I would honestly describe social constructs, regardless of what facts they may revolve around or derive their internal logic from, are largely society’s feelings treated as fact. If how some people feel doesn’t fall within the lines of a social construct, that doesn’t mean the construct is fact and the person is experiencing fiction. How would they experience it at all, then? Why would things like dysphoria, depression, and self-hatred manifest? Have gender nonconformists just been fooling themselves? For centuries?

The idea that every facet of something as malleable, subjective, and immeasurable as human identity needs a corresponding biological or neurological fact or study backing it up in order to exist or be experienced is, imo, an oversimplification and misapplication of how the scientific method works or what its purpose even is.


Where I grew up and where you grew are completely different i think. Where i grew up nobody ever judges you for who you are. It could also be that my will was strong. Yes i was sometimes pushed around for being to feminine for a man and it did hurt. But being in the company of family helped me get through my problems. In the end i honestly dont care what anyone sees themselves as. More power to you…person? Friend? I dont know what you are because you haven’t told me. So it’d just be better to use your name mara. Are you okay with me using that name? I like your views on this topic tho and your pic is cool. If what i typed seemed offensive I’m deeply sorry for that. Im not sure if you are upset. I respect your opinion.