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QUESTIONS for the LGBTQ community, OR GENDER ISSUES please. Young brother issues.

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  • QUESTIONS for the LGBTQ community, OR GENDER ISSUES please. Young brother issues.

    Hope someone can help. My younger brother is 14, almost 15. He recently told me he was 'gender fluid, non binary' I got him to explain that, and I tried searching the internet. I learned a bit, but not truly. He's now telling me he's just, I think he said 'non-binary' (hope I got that the correct way) Where instead of being fluid, going back between boy and non gender, he no longer feels like a boy or girl at all. I just don't understand. I'm 13 years older than him, and this wasn't anything we knew of at school, being gay/lesbian yes totally got it, not even an issue to not get, but not feeling a gender? I struggle to understand. I'm being supportive of course, I don't want him to ever feel he has no one to turn to, our parents - mum more than dad surprisingly - is struggling to accept another thing he's into at the moment - make up. My mum flat out refuses to get him any. My brother says it's just for creativity, he wouldn't wear it out, but again, because of how they are, I will support him, and try to understand it all. If you have personal experience with any of these issues, please respond, no matter how insignificant, I need all the help right now . Thank you.

  • #2
    The best you can do when you're dealing with people in a situation you don't understand, is just to have an open attitude, listen and ask questions.

    This is the same when dealing with any kind of people who differ from you, be it in cultural habits, religion, sexuality or gender identity.
    No one can blame you for not understanding what you haven't lived through or come across yourself. So if you don't get it, ask about it.

    At the same time, keep a critical mind. A 14/15 year old is still very young and has an immature way of looking at the world. They don't always have the capacity to make the correct decisions in the long run, so they need someone with more life experience and more wisdom to be critical and hold a mirror in front of them to confront them with reality.

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    • #3
      What a mixed up world we are living in. *sighs*
      "First off, welcome to the Relationship Forums, You'll come to understand that I don't pull any punches when giving my opinion/advice and I hope you're not so sensitive to what I see as the truth of the matter." Me!

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      • #4
        Identity is personal and it is never anyone's place to tell someone else what their identity is, no matter how well someone knows them. Stand by them and ensure that if you don't understand it, you ask non-judgementally. There is plenty of information about being gender fluid/non-binary.

        Judith Butler is a particularly interesting figure who discusses gender performance theory, the idea that gender is performative and is not innate. It's really important to understand that people who do not conform to their assigned gender are experiencing real feelings, regardless of what everyone else thinks gender is. Focus on that rather than leading the conversation with your parents with labels, because I think that is likely to isolate them further. Do your homework and stay supportive and ask them questions! I'm really glad you're able to be there for support.

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        • #5
          I agree with the previous advice that you should talk to your brother and ask him questions in order to understand the situation better.



          Originally posted by Reese View Post
          There is plenty of information about being gender fluid/non-binary.

          ... the idea that gender is performative and is not innate.
          *sigh*, I'll bite my tongue on this one to avoid derailing the thread.



          Originally posted by phasesofthemoon View Post
          What a mixed up world we are living in. *sighs*
          Tell me about it!
          Just because someone's by your side, it doesn't mean they're on your side.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by whatshappeningreg View Post
            *sigh*, I'll bite my tongue on this one to avoid derailing the thread.
            I always suggest that anyone who wants to try to understand gender identities to look into the research done by academics. It doesn't mean you have to agree with it by the time you're done reading, but if you care about someone going through this journey, you can both benefit from widening your reading and broadening your knowledge. Look at the history of sexuality and gender in different cultures. You have nothing to gain by thinking only from your own perspective and refusing to consider other people's experiences.

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            • #7
              I have spent a fair amount of time researching into this as I'm often interested in current affairs, and the whole gender issue is becoming evermore prevalent in society.

              We can boot this debate up in another thread if you're interested in talking about it, but for now we'll save it, so as to keep on track with our OP.
              Just because someone's by your side, it doesn't mean they're on your side.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by whatshappeningreg View Post
                I have spent a fair amount of time researching into this as I'm often interested in current affairs, and the whole gender issue is becoming evermore prevalent in society.

                We can boot this debate up in another thread if you're interested in talking about it, but for now we'll save it, so as to keep on track with our OP.
                I wrote my post in a way I felt would also be of benefit to the OP but I agree it's best left there. I'll be happy to contribute to any future discussion on gender studies

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                • #9
                  If gender is fluid, rather than fixed, that implies that there is a degree of choice and/or it can be influenced.

                  Therefore, in addition to being supportive and giving the impression that all will be okay whatever his leanings, you can also point out the downsides, struggles, consequences and sacrifices that come with stepping far outside the
                  "norms." As tolerant as some cultures are, in the real world being different has significant costs and your brother needs to be aware of those.

                  At his age, his passions, ideas, and feelings are in flux. It would be absolutely tragic to make irreversible decisions now based on transitory and immature feelings. Use your wisdom and experience (and support your parents wisdom and experience) to guide him toward mature and reasoned decisions rather than letting his momentary feelings lead the way.

                  Good luck

                  PS: When reading articles and studies, keep in mind that everyone (scientists and scholars alike) has an agenda they are promoting or a bias. That doesn't necessarily mean there is nothing to be gained from their work. However, you should always be asking what it their agenda/bias and what they might be leaving out (the other side) as a result of it. Then go find out more about the other side.

                  The only agenda you should have is the best interest of your brother in the LONG-TERM.
                  Last edited by Pollon; July 5th, 2018, 01:29 PM.

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                  • #10
                    I'd just hear him out and be there for him. Let him do the talking. If he wants make up he can get a job and support his own hobby like anyone else under any other circumstances and finance himself. Make up isn't necessary for him to stay alive and it's an accessory so he can fund himself. Treat him like a regular human being and not an attention-seeking doll. Don't make a big deal out of it and remember he is the same brother you have always known deep down.

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                    • #11
                      My ex fianc is bisexual. My girlfriend after her is bi and my wife of 46 years is bi as is the girlfriend we shared for most of our marriage. Many of our friends were all over the map as far as sexuality goes. There are new terms out there that even confuse me. My wife says that she is attracted to the person and not their gender. However she has never met a gender fluid person so she cannot say if she would be attracted to one. I had a good friend who was a cross dresser and we knew many lesbians, bisexual and gay guys. Even a few drag queens. To tell the truth we seldom talked about our sexuality. I identify as hetero but since I am not repulsed by man on man sex, under the right circumstances I can and have sex with men. In my case two gay friends decades ago. Not attracted to men so never happened again. However if my wife wanted a MMF threesome after having over a thousand FFM ones with our girlfriend, and I had a few drinks and she got me all aroused, I could physically perform if she would get aroused by watching. She has done a lot worse to please me so fair is fair.

                      Look at sexuality as a long line with gay on one side and lesbian on another. We can fall anywhere on that line and where we fall can change from day to day. Some people have the sexual organs of one gender but the mind of another. Others are in-between and fluid depending on how they feel at the time. We are from NYC and lived a alternative marriage and sex life so we came into contact with all kinds of people and in the end, we deal with the person and not what they are wearing, what gender they feel like that day or who they are attracted to sexually. It becomes normal when you are exposed to it a lot.

                      All you need to do is accept him as he is and what he feels like on any particular day. His brain is not wired to feel masculine or feminine all the time. It can vary just as it does when we feel sad or happy at different times. My wife is still grateful that I accepted her sexuality and let her explore it. To this day 46 years later she is still free to date whomever she wants but she is a one man, one woman kind of girl. However if I should die before her, she is done with men and lets me know that.

                      One other thing to know is that sexuality is not black or white. For instance my wife wants a man for romance and dating. She wants women for companionship and sex. If you dig deeper you find that she needs a man for certain other areas of her life that are no sexual, and women for others. Those needs can change as well as the intensity of them. Her bisexuality is fluid. After loving bi girls since I was 15 I know that they are not all alike. They need each gender for different parts of their life and they focus more on the person than just their sexual organs. As far as personal gender identity that too changes for some people depending on circumstances and how they feel at the time. Just as some are born sexually attracted to their own gender, some are born sexually attracted to both genders. Some are born knowing that they are males while others are born who can fluctuate between the two genders. Non binary simply means that they are not just attracted to a male or female. They may be attracted to a transsexual or someone who sometimes feels like a girl and at other times a man. In other words, gender does not matter, the person they are interested does.

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by VinnyFL View Post
                        Some are born knowing that they are males while others are born who can fluctuate between the two genders.
                        I disagree. I think it's only due to social influences that this occurs.
                        Just because someone's by your side, it doesn't mean they're on your side.

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                        • #13
                          I just saw your 'chicken-brained westerner'.......lol
                          "What lips my lips have kissed and where and why I have forgotten." ~Edna St. Vincent Millay

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                          • #14
                            *Wondering if childhood sexual abuse or otherwise is in vinny or his wife's past? Not judging, just wondering.
                            "First off, welcome to the Relationship Forums, You'll come to understand that I don't pull any punches when giving my opinion/advice and I hope you're not so sensitive to what I see as the truth of the matter." Me!

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