This video appeared in my YouTube subscriptions a couple of weeks ago and I’ve been thinking about it a lot, wanting to write about it but not knowing what to say.
In this video Ashley Wylde makes the distinction between Social and Personal ease- with social ease defined as acceptance and personal ease as authenticity. This difference is something I’d never considered before when thinking about my identity so I thought it was pretty interesting.
For me, social acceptance right now is being seen as female by the people that I know because I am really not ready to come out to anybody yet. But around strangers, I feel more comfortable when I’m seen as male as opposed to a masculine woman. People (moreso strangers than my family) react in really mixed ways if there’s any combination of masculinity and femininity in my presentation, so in order to be accepted I feel like I have to tone down parts of myself and present as one or the other.
Authenticity, for me, is wanting to present myself as masculine. I want to have a flat chest, to have a more square jawline and a deeper voice, to maybe have a bit of facial hair- but I don’t want to give up the ‘feminine’ parts of me. Living authentically would be tweaking my body slightly whilst allowing myself to still enjoy these things.
The balance that Ashley talks about makes sense to me: I sometimes feel like in order to be taken seriously I’m going to have to lose (or at least hide) the parts of me that don’t match up with society’s idea of masculine- my hobbies and even some parts of my personality- which may make my life easier socially but not personally.
This video made some of what I’ve been feeling make more sense to me, so even if this post doesn’t mean anything to anybody else it’s given me a deeper understanding of myself.