An Update – Charlie Murphy


My Name Is Charlie Murphy

Let’s break it down.

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Sex

As far as I’m aware I was born with zero abnormalities as “male.” I know for certain that I was assigned male at birth so that is what is on my birth certificate and that’s the way I was socialized growing up.

I have since partially come out as Transgender and soon I will come out fully. I intend to take hormones sometime soon and maybe have surgery. I’m not sure yet. As it stands though, my sex has not changed from my birth sex.

Gender

Despite being raised male in the United States I was exposed to very little toxic masculinity within my family and my friendships. My mother is a very powerful and independent person. My parents’ control over the family is very egalitarian. They both have equal voice but my mom makes more plans so she’s generally in charge more often, but she always listens to my dad and vice versa. Nonetheless I was raised as a boy and believed I was one until I realized very quickly I wasn’t.

As soon as I witnessed Non-Binary representation I felt a very intense connection to how I’ve felt for a long time. I now realize that I had been questioning my gender long before that without even realizing it. It was the summer after my freshman year of college that I had that experience and came out to many people close to me, but I stayed closeted for a while. In fact, I’m still technically closeted now but not for long. (More on that later)

It’s been two years of privately identifying as Non-Binary, but now I’ve been questioning my gender again. I had a moment a week or so ago when I really opened myself up and allowed myself to re-question my gender. I’d been scared to do this because I thought I might find that I relate more to my old masculinity than I’d like to.

Actually, the opposite happened. I realized I’m more comfortable with the idea of living as a woman using she/her pronouns than living as a guy with he/him pronouns.

I’m still not sure if I feel more She than They though. I want to try She. It scares me. A lot.

I think I’m actually going to try it with my aunt and maybe my sister first. My aunt is a textbook cool aunt, and I’m going to a few concerts with her this summer break. Maybe I can test it out there. Also Pride!!!!! My sister has been really cool with everything too.

I don’t want to change my name though. I love my name. It works both ways. Though I might go back to Charles if I pass really well because I like the genderf*cky idea of a high femme woman going by Charles.

Like I said, I’m still questioning this one, but with a lack of labels, non-binary still feels like it fits.

Gender Expression

Yikes. This one is still kind of up in the air. As of right now I’m still fronting as a guy, so my expression is very traditional male. It’s also very inauthentic.

I know what kinds of aesthetics I like, but I haven’t done much experimenting on my own body.

I know that a lot of times you can see a garment you really love on a hanger but you try it on and it just doesn’t look good on your body. I’m going to have to “try on” many different types of expression and aesthetic to see what looks good on me, not just what I like to look at.

I do know some things I like for sure though. I like being clean shaven and shaving my legs, chest, and underarms. I also like long hair that I can style and well groomed eyebrows. I like wearing mascara and winged eyeliner. I love the look of eyeshadow, but I’ve yet to try it. I love wearing heels!

Most of my inspiration comes from femmes of some form or other. I follow a few men, but most of my heroes are trans/GNC/non-binary (I know there’s some crossover to those terms, but not everyone that identifies with one identifies with all of them.) or women. I follow so many confident and powerful women. They’re not powerful because people gave them power though. They’re powerful because they fully realize their innate power as a human being. I strive to have the confidence, vulnerability, courage, and humility of Amanda Palmer and many others that I follow.

I put these influences under expression because they inform the way I carry myself and interact with the world.

Sexual orientation and Romantic orientation

Note: These are certainly not the same thing for everyone. Many people have differing sexual and romantic attractions for many different reasons. The reason I put them together for me is because I haven’t had much experience figuring out my romantic orientation so I don’t have enough to write about it to make it it’s own category. Also, they happen to be quite similar for me personally.

I’ve considered myself pansexual for three years now. It’s always seemed like the best option (especially considering a non-binary gender identity). But it’s never been completely accurate for me.

When I think of myself as a woman, I’m exclusively attracted to women, trans women included, as well as femme non-binary people. (I’ll acknowledge that most femme non-binary people don’t identify as women, I meant that I am attracted to them as well). It’s not about parts or about gender titles, It’s about a shared identity with femininity. I don’t know why specifically, but men scare me when I think of myself as a woman. Trans men scare me less than Cis men. Trans men are just as much men as any Cis man, but they scare me less because they are far less likely to be cruel or violent towards trans women.

When I think of myself as a man…I don’t. I don’t ever think of myself as a man anymore. It makes me super uncomfortable and dysphoric.

When I think of myself as a Non-binary person, I’ve found that I’m still sexually attracted to nearly exclusively feminine people, but I’d flirt with anyone, and I’d try anything, provided I felt safe. I feel like I would only ever have sex with someone queer though, because everything about being with me would be queer, I’m non-binary. I guess my point being I don’t think a straight girl would ever go for me, which is fine, and I would not want to be some curious straight guy’s experiment. So I guess I’m maybe a trans lesbian or maybe I’m queersexual?

That’s why pansexual feels like it fits, but it really doesn’t tell you what my actual sexuality is.

As far as romantic orientation, I know I’ve been romantically attracted to women before, but anything else is just theorizing. I feel like I could flirt with anyone like I said before, but I would only date someone that respects me and I have a deep connection with. So I guess Panromantic?

To be honest I’m kind of of new to categorizing sexual and romantic orientation separately so I’m still figuring it out, but it totally makes sense because I do experience them slightly differently.

Outro notes

I’m still in the closet for the next few months because I’m a part of an organization that relies heavily on the binary model of gender to teach performing arts to kids all around the world. It is restricting and I know that repressing my gender is not healthy for extended periods of time, but it has been an amazing opportunity and I have met so many people, stayed so many places, and touched so many lives that it has all been worth it.

That being said, I can’t continue with it any longer. It’s slowly been grinding down my soul. That’s why I’m leaving. I intend to come out publicly sometime this summer and I will be attending an incredibly trans affirming college this fall. Things are starting to look up. I just need to get through these last few months of boy mode.

Thank you so much for reading. This is a bit messier than my previous posts, but it was a long time coming and I had to get it out.

p.s. At times in this post I implied that the terms non-binary and pansexual may be transitory terms for me as I transition into something else. I want to take a moment to recognize that these are completely valid terms for an unchanging gender and sexual orientation and are the terms that many people use to describe their gender and sexual orientation. Though I may be using them during a transitory period in my life, that doesn’t necessarily mean that people using these terms are going through a transitory period. Many of them know who they are and are proud.

Thanks Again

Charlie Murphy.

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