I have written here about being agendered. I am working on an extended piece for my next book. In doing that, I have been speaking with others to help develop the ideas around the concept of agendered.
One question several trans friends have asked is about body dismorphia. For many trans folks, they express the feeling that they were “born in the wrong body.” They undergo various treatments and procedures to try and make their external bodies match with how they feel they should look. The disconnect with their body and what they want to look like is both persistent and consistent.
The Root of the Mr. Potato Head Fantasy
For me, there is occasional body dismorphia. There are plenty of days I look in the mirror and look nothing like I want to look. Its not just that I am unhappy that I am heavier then I want to be, that I have no thigh gap, or that I look older than I feel in my head. There are days, plenty of them, where the female parts I have don’t match up with what I want to look like in my head and what my body should feel like.
However, unlike the trans folks I have talked to, the disconnect I feel is not persistent and overwhelming. It comes and goes. There are days I love the body parts I have. When I was younger, I spent a lot of time trying to figure out if I was actually trans. There were enough days that I did not feel comfortable in a female body that I did a lot of work to figure out if what was going on was a level of body disconnect that would justify exploring transitioning to being a man.
Ultimately, I figured out that I did not want to be a man, or really a woman. What I have is something I have called my “Mr. Potato Head” fantasy. I want interchangeable body parts. I want to be able to take off my DD breast and strap on the hairy chest of a gay bear. I want to be able to have butt options. I like a big curvy girl butt some days, but some days, I want a cute gay gym boy butt and others that of a big daddy bear. There are days I love having a pussy. There are days I want to swap it out for a penis. Some days I want a smooth Barbie crotch because I have no gender identity. Some days I could really go for a genital multi-tool.
This fantasy about interchangeable body parts has been with me since I was about 16. It is my most persistent recurring fantasy. Some times I take a few steps to alter the way I appear to the world. I have worn breast binders under tank tops with men’s jeans and short hair and appeared more masculine. Sometimes I strap into a corset and heels to play up the high femme parts of me. Sometimes I try to appear genderless as possible.
I have come to realize that this is why I generally hate full body shots of myself. I have shots of isolated body parts that I love. I have some great photos of my butt and my breasts. I have some face shots I love. However, when I see the whole package in a full body shot, it doesn’t feel like I am seeing me. I can see the isolated part shots and look at them as I would any other shot of a breast on someone else. When I see a full body shot, I only see someone in costume fronting as a cis-gendered woman and it feels very odd.
Unlike trans folks there is no permanent solution for altering my body in way that will bring it into permanent alignment with how I feel in my head. My gender identity flexes too often to make any one body a permanent “correct” home. Most of the time the disconnect is not overwhelming, but there are days I just don’t feel right in my body.
I am not sure what the solution is for people who have the Mr. Potato Head fantasy. For me, I live with it and accept it for what it is. However, that still does not change the fact that some days I want to unscrew the DDs on my chest so I would feel more like “me.”