Writing Genderfluid Characters
for the longest part i actually thought i was genderfluid ! turns out I'm allergic to gender so here i am now identifying as agender
still, i have some tips for you cause let's be real, writing a genderfluid character is both tricky and hard – though not impossible !!
first of all, be not afraid amigo
genderfluid people are not aliens
they're not gonna eat you alive (probably)
“what's genderfluid?” genderfluid is a gender identity which refers to a gender which varies over time
“so what the Fuck does that mean? do you...shapeshift?” god i WISH
it means that often, their gender shifts
“excuse me?” listen – it sounds complicated but it really is not, pinky promise
— let's see an example: in the morning, character A identifies as female. she wakes up, puts on a beautiful dress and goes outside for a walk.
— in the afternoon, character A feels the "shift™" and goes inside to change. he is currently identifying as male. he looks gorgeous in a dress, though, if he wants to or if he's experiencing dysphoria, he might change into a more masculine outfit.
— in the evening, character A feels the "shift™" again, and now they identify somewhere between male and female. they can choose to use they/them, she/her, he/him, neopronouns or, simply, whatever the fuck they want. they currently don't want to change cause their clothes are comfy but they could if they wanted to.
— the next morning, character A looks into the mirror and suddenly, nothing fits. they don't want to be perceived as any gender, though, for the sake of communication, they choose a set of pronouns, just because. once again, it could be anything.
— at noon, ze feels zir gender shifting again. ze goes to change and do zir hair, cause ze feels like it. they feel the "shift™" and suddenly, they're male, female and nonbinary at the same time. they feel gorgeous with their hair in a cute bun. once again, they can choose any pronouns, yet, for now, they'll stick with they/them.
“uhhh what's exactly "the...shift™"? do they actually change inside?” the shift isn't actually a physical thing, like no organs are being moved yknow – it's just a small "oh! she/her time!" or "oh! xe/xir time!" or "oh! he-he time" if you're michael jackson
“do you like...know when your gender's gonna shift?” you could! some people experience it so, for example, every morning they identify as female yknow, but also, you may not know – it could be super random
“to how many different genders can you shift?” two. six. nineteen. two hundred seventy one. three. infinite. π. four. 648
“but there are no 648 genders!” not for you, someone might feel like 'male to the left with some glitter' and call it a gender
“how do i change their pronouns though?” look at my little story about character A! im changing their pronouns constantly. here's advice:
– try not to change their pronouns in the same paragraph unless you're describing them shifting
(i just realized this sounds like they're shifting realities. who knows ? they might be)
“how would other characters know what pronouns to use?” this is a really fun one to do !! some people wear different colored bracelets (example: pink = she/her, blue = he/him etc.), some people wear badges, some will wear particular jewelry, some will just change clothes or they can just tell them !
“how often does their gender change?” depends individually. could be hours, could be days, months, years
“wouldn't that be confusing for the readers?” surprise surprise! if you write it well, it won't.
before you change their pronouns in your story for the first time make sure the readers know they're genderfluid
let them have some fashion™
*asks brain what's the gender today* *it shrugs*
they might have their preferred gender (though it wouldn't affect shifting that much)
let them use makeup! maybe contour the face for them masculine vibez™ or just eyeliner for the ✨whore hours✨
BY THE WAY they can be influenced by something (like let's say a hot actor) and then feel their gender shift (or sexuality 😳)
just write them like humans
change pronouns accordingly
give them some sass
and there you have it
have fun !
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“My spouse of ten years is trans! I feel like I'm meeting her for the first time, bc her personality was so restricted as a man”
You can find many gems over at reddit. u/cetacean-station posted one about celebrating her spouse coming out as a transgender woman a couple of days ago.
I've been living with this new person, formerly my husband, full-time for almost three weeks. Cuz of corona we spend our time at home, so she's been dressing up, I've been doing her hair and showing her how to do all the girly things... and like, holy shit. I'm head over heels for her!! Omg
Like OK, so many things that were challenging for me when she was a man have just... disappeared for this new person. In part because of this fabulous, fancy, blooming personality that I'm meeting for the first time, but also in relation to my own gender presentation. I'm a cis-looking genderfluid AFAB person, and while I'm OK at being a girl, I've always been kinda masc. I give off kinda tomboyish energy, low-key dyke vibes, & i always felt i needed to hold that back, for fear of emasculating him/seeming stronger or more masc then him. Also cuz, society. But this girl yo, she's like, the most delicate & ladylike thing... I don't have to tone myself down around her... her girly energy totally increases my masc energy, and i feel so authentically myself. It's nuts. I'm super gay for her honestly.
I just wanted to declare this somewhere cuz she's not out, and she may not come out, cuz she's afraid to affect her job. I'm in love with this woman!! Holy shit. I can't believe she's been there the whole time and i didn't know!!! and I'm so excited to get to know her, the girl of my dreams, the way i got to know the man of my dreams. <3
Thank you for reading this, I hope you have a nice day <33
Edit: y'all are beautiful, thank you for the kind words & shiny awards. I feel so much love. My heart is so stinkin WARMED rn! ♥️ Think I'll take this energy and make breakfast for the pretty lady sleeping in the other room (my, um, WIFE?! omg😍wat)
I find more and more stories about family and friends embracing the gender variance of the loved ones these days. The message is often this one: They are not losing the person they loved. They are getting more of the best parts of that person.
There is a cultural backlash against trans people these days, but keep in mind that that backlash is caused by the increasing support of transgender people. The trans-positive undercurrent is getting stronger every day.
Illustration photo: LaylaBird
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I’m a cis-gender man which basically means that, when I was born, the doctor went “It’s a boy!” and when I was old enough to understand I agreed with him.
The thing is, I don’t know why I feel like a man. I was teased and bullied for it a lot when I was little. I’ve never had stereotypically American male interests. I never cared about sports or cars or guns. I was more interested in music and cooking and the arts. I’ve always been emotionally in tune and sensitive, even when I did my best to suppress my emotions to survive a childhood of abuse from other children.
It’s not physical either. I don’t feel like a man because I have a penis or a beard. If you put my brain in a robot body or any other body, my essence would still feel male (I assume). I literally can’t imagine what being any other gender would feel like, since I feel so acutely male.
I think that’s why the concept of being transgender always made sense to me. I’m a man. I don’t have any bloody clue why I feel like a man, but I don’t feel that it’s tied to my body or my interests or the way that I’ve been treated. I feel like a man because of something beyond that. Something ephemeral. So, why couldn’t others feel the same? Why couldn’t a person who’s been misidentified as a girl feel like a boy for the exact same nebulous reasons that I do?
And, since gender really doesn’t make any sense to me anyway, why couldn’t there also be people who feel as if they don’t have one? Or who flow across genders like a ship on a map?
Are there people out there whose sense of their own gender is inseparable from their physical form? If you put those people into robot bodies or, simply, other physically different bodies, would their gender identity also swap? If so, why? Are they actually more lost in their gender identity than I am and they need to hone in on the physical in order to anchor themselves?
Why do people feel like they are the gender that they are?
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