Gender Identity and How It Relates to My Eating Disorder

Strong caution for discussion of disordered eating patterns, body image, and gender dysphoria.

I’ve been sitting on this post for a while, trying to figure out how best to approach it. It’s been difficult because our weather has been very unstable and it messes with my fibromyalgia and leads to brain fog.

Anyway, it recently occurred to me that my recently embraced gender identity might have something to do with my eating disorder. I came out to my friends (the ones who didn’t know already!) and family as genderfluid (feminine pronouns — she, her, hers, etc — masculine honorifics — brother, son, etc — and refer to me as “person” rather than man/woman/lady/girl please!) a day before my birthday (April 10th) after doing a lot of soul searching and having finally picked out a name that suits who I am better. The initial reactions from my father and younger sister were great; very supportive and affirming. But as time’s gone on, they’ve become less supportive. My dad even told me that he’ll always use my old name and said some pretty insulting things when I told him that B (my fiance) knows and is supportive (“who’s on top?”). It triggered a mini relapse with my eating disorder. I hadn’t considered the connection seriously until I read “Please Don’t Call Me Ma’am” on Disrupting Dinner Parties (which is a great blog and you all should check it out!), which I had done before I came out but only just got around to fully analyzing.

This part really hit home and spoke to me:

I would’ve considered skipping breakfast, hoping to starve away the traitorous curves that evil motherfucker, estrogen, stuck me with.

It’s like a part of me I’d never fully listened to woke up when I read the words that Logan (who prefers feminine pronouns and masculine honorifics!) wrote. There were several times that I was literally pointing at my screen and shouting “this is me!”

Over the last couple months, I’ve had to take a hard look at myself and what it means to be me and it made me realize that a part of the reason I struggle with food is because of my gender-differentness. When I was really sick and super thin it was easier to be androgynous like I’ve likely subconsciously leaned toward for many years. It was easier to present however I felt like presenting at the time; I didn’t have much in the way of breasts or hips to contend with, my waist curve was barely existent. In fact, when I was thinner and had short hair several years ago, B’s coworkers thought I was a guy, which filled me with a thrill I didn’t understand at the time.  My cis-gender friends were insulted for me when I told them but being “mistaken” for the “wrong” gender made me giddy.

So, it’s an interesting realization. Hopefully my self-acceptance will help me on my road to eating disorder recovery!

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5 thoughts on “Gender Identity and How It Relates to My Eating Disorder

  1. FEMALE PRONOUNS MASCULINE HONORIFICS SOLIDARITY!

    And thanks for the shout out! Although (even though Disrupting Dinner Plates is utterly hilarious and a way better name) we are actually called Disrupting Dinner Parties.

    Glad my post resonated with you and I look forward to reading more about your process!

    • ::waves banners:: YAY!

      Oh dear lol… That’s what I get for trying to fight through the brain fog to get this post out. I’ll edit that.

      Thank you! I’ll probably only post about Gender Stuff as it relates to Eating Disorder Stuff (trying to stay on topic…) but I think Gender Stuff might be making more of an appearance. I really enjoy a lot of what you write over at Disrupting Dinner Parties. I always want to comment but then my brain eats my words so I just hit the “like” button =/

      Edit to add:
      It was actually you and one of my trans* friends who inspired me to switch up the gender with the pronouns and honorifics. My friend’s masculine pronouns with feminine honorifics but I liked the feminine pronouns with male honorifics better ’cause I HATE being called “daughter” and so forth.

      • That’s so cool! Yeah, I’m pretty cool with female pronouns, but (as you MAY have guessed) HATE when people call me ma’am, or lady, or whatever. So I decided to explain it this way. Por ejamplo I’m slowly getting my mother to use “child” instead of daughter.

        Thanks for the readership! FYI, we looooooooooooooove commenters, even when the comment is “hello!” or “burbleburble.” I myself comment all the time to say such poignant things as “Yes.” or “I like this.” Plus our (DDP’s) whole deal is getting a variety of voices engaged in conversation, so if you ever feel comfortable, please do add your voice! Especially since I’m the only trans-ish writer on the blog so I LOOOOVE hearing from other trans/genderfluid people.

      • I saw your pronoun and honorific preference on “Please Don’t Call Me Ma’am.” I would’ve asked if I hadn’t seen it ’cause that sort of thing is very important to me. Yes…. Fiery doom upon people who call me “girlie;” that one’s my LEAST favourite. That’s great! I hope your mom adjusts soon. I’m not very hopeful of my dad even using my proper name, much less pronouns or honorifics.

        Aww! Okay! I will definitely try to comment over there even if it’s really short. It can just be intimidating when I see these multi paragraph comments that go on for several comments and all I can think of to say is, “Right on! Yes!” But I’ll work on it 🙂

  2. […] I’ve posted about before, I came to an epiphany lately about how if I’m experiencing gender dysphoria, it […]

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