Kat (kitkats94) wrote in bigender,

Hi I'm new

My friend posted here awhile ago because I feel like I can't always express myself well.  But I feel like I want a place to talk where people are similar to me so I felt it was time to come see what this community is like.  I'm sorry if my English isn't so good, I do my best! :)

I don't usually tell my story very often. It's very long so you don't have to read it all, I won't be offended. But I feel like I need to share the whole thing because I haven't told anyone in a long time and sometimes I need to just get it out

Well first off my name is Kat. I was born in Kirovohrad, Kirovohrads'ka Oblast, Ukraine as a female, in 1988 (I am 23). My given name is Kateryna Nikole Irenka and I still use this sometimes. I knew from a very young age that I didn't feel right and that I was a bit different. When I was 4 I told my mother I wanted to cut my hair off very short, and she did this for me, so then I would have short hair and wear less feminine clothes some days. And then I bought a blonde wig and wore it with my little dresses on the other days when I wanted to look more like a girl. Looking at pictures of me as a kid, you would see me as both a little boy and a little girl. But at 4 years people thought it was just the funny thing that kids do and they didn't complain

At age 7 was when it started to be taken more serious. It was the first time I woke up one day and didn't think the name of Kateryna was proper, I knew I was a boy and that was a girl's name. So I went in to school that day feeling as a boy and looking like a boy and asked for a second place tag on my desk, I wanted it to say Katriel. This was a name I had heard before and I had liked, I thought it sounded right

When I started going to school as both a boy and girl and asking to be called 2 different names, that was the first time everyone started to think it was less funny or cute behaviour and more strange. School was already hard for me because I was dyslexic and had ADD/ADHD, also I'm Jewish and Judaism makes up about .5% of the population though I wouldn't say that was a problem...just a difference. My mother was always very loving of me but my father started to think that I was imperfect for his daughter to be "pretending" I was a boy. So around that time I started getting bullied at school and I would come home and be hit by my father

At school I would feel confused of which bathroom to go in and I started to go in the girls when I was Kateryna and the boys when I was Katriel. The students started to call me names, "безстатевий" which is "sexless" and they wouldn't let me go to the bathroom. The girls didn't want me to be in the girls room and the boys didn't want me to be in the boys room, they would form a barracade and knock me down. I was forced to wait 8 hours of school until I went home to use the washroom. But there were days I couldn't wait and they made me go outside. The teachers didn't care and wouldn't do a thing

So the bullying got very bad eventually, some days they cornered me in an empty room and all gathered to smack me with rulers on my arms and legs. And then at home my father was not any better. The teachers and parents eventually came to my parents and said i was sick and it was better for everyone if I was in a hospital. My father would of agreed to it but my mother would never. So Before I turned 9 my mother packed me and my sister and we left my father and the school. We moved to Nikopol, Dnipropetrovs'ka, Ukraine where my grandma and my aunt lived and moved with them. It was near the end of the school year so I had a few months of home before starting a new school

I started the new school and I was desperate to fit in so I tried to present as female everyday because I thought it would be easier. It didn't go so well. I think I went under the radar a bit and I made a few friends but on the days when I was male I felt awful, I thought I would cry and scream. My own skin felt like it wasn't right. I don't know if I'm making sense of that

When I started going and presenting as male on the days when that was my gender, the kids did of course get weirded out because they'd seen me as Kateryna for awhile and didn't know how to make of it. But one of my female friends stayed by my side and accepted me as Katriel as well

I managed to be somewhat okay at school until age 11 when I started to have feelings for my female friend as both a male and a female. I told her one day and she felt weird about it and so she abandoned me. Things got harder after that, I never really knew for sure or not but it may of been because she started saying stuff about me. So abuse at school got worse again, but still not as bad as at the last school

I started going back to attempting female presentation when I was a teen and at the end of my years at lower secondary. My mother also started trying to find a psychiatrist for me to talk to, not because she thought I was sick but because she started to see how depressed I was getting

So at 14 was the first time I met this person. I didn't start by telling her that I felt I was both female and male because 1) I didn't know what bigender was at the time so at this point I was second guessing myself and thought maybe I was crazy, maybe they really would put me in a hospital, and 2) because my matter was gender related I thought there might be a large stigma on it, you have to realize that Ukraine is super conservative and any matters like this or anything related to LGBT is usually hidden out of sight because it's not easily accepted at all

Instead I talked about how I was bullied for half my life at that point and that my father used to abuse me. I was clinically depressed then and put on medication for the first time. It helped a bit with some of my sadness but I was still putting on a mask of sorts to try and get by at school and that took it's tole on me, being Katriel some days and having to walk and talk and dress like a girl was very upsetting and made my skin crawl. The other days were fine, but other wise if you feel and you know that you are a boy but your acting like your a girl, that's all it really is in the end isn't it? An act...and i felt like I was loosing myself

At 15 I had a very scary experience, I had my first boyfriend. I was still presenting female so for all purposes this was a heterosexual relationship. Things began to feel wrong very fast, he would do something I didn't like and when I said to stop he wouldn't, it probably would have ended in rape if I hadn't been able to stop it. But I fought back, at this point I probably instinctively shifted to guy mode since I tend to be better at dealing with confrontation that way. And I was able to keep him on the ground with a few kicks and get some help

I went back to school the next day as Katriel as I was too upset with trying to be a girl all the time, partly it was a sort of defense thing too after what had happened. This is one of the only times in my life I can remember choosing to be one gender or another for that situation. It spread all around that I wouldn't sleep with that guy, people came up with different reasons why. That I was a "дамба" (or translated, similar to "dyke"), or when I started showing up as a boy again, that I wasn't really a girl

There was an incident a little after this time which is what was so close to making me drop out of school and very close to me being suicidal, at my first year of upper secondary. It was a day that I was presenting male and the bathroom was empty so I felt okay to go in. Only when I got out thee were a whole bunch of students waiting like they knew I was there. There were too many to fight back and some of them held me down to the ground, the others pushed up my shirt and saw I had no breasts (they never really developed so I never had to bind them, this is also why some people had a problem figuring out if I was a boy or girl since I had no "womanly curves" anywhere). Then pushed down my pants and saw I had female parts but I was also wearing a prosthetic which I got online when I was 13. They started laughing like mad and they removed my prosthetic and put it in my mouth. They took out a razor and carved slurs into my torso, my sounds were muffled. The cuts weren't deep so the bleeding wasn't as much and the marks would fade in time

My mother found out of course and she told my psychiatrist, though I never said the names. But I decided to finally tell my psychiatrist about why it was the people at school were always abusing me. I explained to her about how I knew I was a girl but that ever since I could remember, I also knew I was a boy. I tried to relate to her how it is she knew she was a female, that it was both a mental and physical feeling. And that I had this same mental and physical feeling for both genders. I said that I lived as both female and male because that's what I was and that I was aware of being either gender at any time but that at the same time, it wasn't a choice for me

It's a hard thing to explain as I'm sure you know. She asked me a number of things. if I had ever had blackouts, a period of time where I couldn't remember, and other questions like this. She had me see 2 different specialists and they later told me they were looking for mental conditions including a split personality and only told me that after they were confidant I wasn't sick like that. My psychiatrist also talked to me about being male full time and if I wanted that and I said no, then I would still feel like I wasn't in the right skin because ic ouldn't live as female

In the summer before my last year of school my aunt had moved to Canada so my family went to visit. I hadn't been out of the country previously. I spoke no English but I had a nice time, I thought to look at schools there for after I graduated because I always wanted to travel and I wanted to see if there was a place to live with more acceptence and not so much struggle. I told my mother and she agreed that we could move there as a family after school was done, we were well enough off that we could afford it

Leaving school was easy since I didn't have really any friends, I wouldn't miss anyone. But it was still hard to leave Ukraine. I had been teaching myself English to prepare for moving. It was not easy and found that my dyslexia was a problem with the new letters that weren't cyrillic, I also had to learn to speak English as both a female and as a male just as I did in Ukrainian

It was very nervous and exciting to be in a new country and I noticed that there was a large LGBT community in my new city, including meetings at the college I would go to school at and a pride parade every year. I first started with the ESL "English As A Second Language" at the college and signed up for the LGBT meetings. I wanted to try and find out about the different people and if there were any people like me

I felt right away like I was safer to be myself then I had felt before. There were lots of people who walked around being open and themselves and none of them seemed to be having as many problems

I met for the first time with the LGBT individuals at school and they were very friendly, I found some friendships with some of them right away. They asked about me and I told them about being both genders. A few of them asked about me being transgender, or some asked about me being androgyn or genderqueer (which I hadn't heard of before and they had to explain). I said that I wasn't either of those but I wasn't sure if there was a "term" for what I was or if there was anyone else out there

For awhile no one had an answer but we bonded anyway. It was probably about a year later and there was a young woman who I hadn't seen before and we introduced each other like members did at the meeting if we hadn't met. She was 1 year younger then me and from Russia but had been in Canada for some years, and that she was pansexual. Then I introduced myself and told her about me and something seemed to click because she said, "oh, your bigender?"

She told me about a friend that she had known and then showed me some information online about people talking about being both genders, and even though there still was not a large amount of information, some of them were saying they were "bigender." Immediately that seemed to make sense because when I thought about it bisexual is the attraction of both sexes (I am bisexual). Bigender would be a person who is identifying as both genders. It felt really good to finally know I was not so odd and that there were others who were out there and like me. So as of about 4 years ago, now for anyone who asks I can say "I'm bigender"

I'm not going to pretend that things have been perfect since moving to Canada almost 6 years ago. I don't feel really in danger of being hurt physically where I live but I still get hurt mentally some times from people who tell me and insist I have psychological problems that make me the way that I am. I can only keep on living my life and educate people who want to learn and walk by the ones who don't and still treat them with my kindness and respect because they are still human beings and who am I to treat them less

Still while I would not say things are "perfect" I will say they've been alot better and I can say honestly that I am very happy. My English isn't perfect obviously (I speak it better then I write it though I have an accent of course) but I finished the ESL course and was able to study in a program I was really interested in, "Hospitality And Tourism" as I'm interested in travel

I've been working at a hotel at the front desk for 2 years now and really enjoy it. For the most part it there isn't too much trouble for me to present as a female or male because the uniforms are the same for anyone (black pants and white shirt) and almost all employees have been good to me. If there are ever any problems my boss makes it easy to say so and work it out openly

I have been living on my own for 3 years now. Until last April I was living with 2 young women from England, friends who were studying and working in acting all around Ontario here. I remember I went to the interview to move in with them and we got along really well, there really vibrant people I guess is the word. And at the end they ask if there is anything else they need to know which effects a decision. I told them I was bigender and they kind of looked to each other for a minute before admitting that they didn't know what that was. I told them that I'm also male and live that way too. I was expecting them to say about how it was odd or something like that but instead they just said it was interesting and that as long as I was as nice a person when I was a man as I was when I was a woman then when could I move in. Sadly they both moved back home last year but we are great friends and don't go long without talking to each other

I now live in the same house with my partner Nakita, she is the one from the LGBT meeting who first mentioned the term bigender to me. We have been together for a little over 2 1/2 years. She is a beautiful person inside and out and I can only hope everyone is lucky to find someone as lovely as her

For a few years my father has attempted to reconsile with me, his way of doing this is to send me a big check every month. In the beginning I used to tear it up and throw it out but then I decided, I won't use his money (I just can't) but I will put it towards causes I believe in and he doesn't. So an example is I put some of it to help my friend who wants a sex reassignment surgery, some more will go to The Trevor Project which is against gay bullying, to show that these people deserve the money whether he thinks so or not. I also donate part of my paycheck each month to other things like Red Cross and research for things like Cancer and chronic pain

Also since moving I'm able to have a psychiatrist who has a specialty in gender issues, something we didn't have where I grew up. I know my psychiatrist in Ukraine was trying to help but she didn't have much knowledge in this area so it's nice to have someone who already knows so many different things I'm going through

I know this is probably too long for alot of people to read but if anyone did I appreciate it and if there is anything to take away from it, you can face adversity and still come out and have a happy life. It's also not a good thing to deny who you are because it only hurts you so self acceptance is something we all need to work on!

Love Kat :)

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