You know how there's the famous saying that there's no girls on the Internet?
To what extent do you think this is true? How likely is it if you point at a self-proclaimed girl, and they're actually a guy? Is one out ten girls a trap? One out of three? Half? Majority?
I have no idea.
All I can say is that I'm part of that statistic. (・∧‐)ゞ
And truthfully there's probably a lot more of us secretly lurking here and there.
For the past six, seven(?) years and the majority of my time on the Internet, I've been an otokonoko.
Otokonoko in Japanese (男の娘 Otoko no ko) a word pun that means "male daughter" or "male girl", and refers to men who crossdress as women, or in the context of the Internet, men who act as women online.
It takes a lot of commitment to be a full-time otokonoko, and it's not the kind of thing people can do halfheartedly or jokingly. When all of your most important online friendships and social activities are tied to your otokonoko identity, it's not something that people are willing to joke around lightly about anymore. Most of the people who I know who are otokonokos are serious, and have special reasons for why they do the things that they do.
For instance, I know several people who are transgender, or wish they were transgender, or have some kind of gender dysphoria. I know some more people who are exploring their identity and trying to figure out how to express themselves more freely without being constrained by societal expectations.
And I know others who simply find it more convenient to pose as the other gender, because they want to get along with community of people who share their interests (e.g. a fudanshi who likes yaoi/BL).
In fact, I actually once knew a girl who was a full-time reverse-trap because she always liked the stereotypical trashy harem/ecchi anime, and she liked joking around with the guys, and wanted to be interact with them as "one of the bros" rather than being seen as a girl by them.
There are many reasons why people choose to become an full-time otokonoko.
I am always surprised when I meet another one, because it feels like there are a lot more of us than I ever imagined in the beginning. And lots of unexpected people turn out to be the sex I didn't expect (but definitely not necessarily in a bad way though! and it's often the people whom who you'd least suspect!)
To some extent, it makes me wonder if we might be considered a third gender online.
We're not exactly female, and a lot of us would probably say we're not really all that "male" either -- at least, in the sense that we lack many of qualities that might characterize a stereotypical or conventional guy. For instance, I have never met an otokonoko that was "thirsty" for women, and most of us have girls as our best friends simply because we spend most of our time with that side of the gender spectrum. Unsurprisingly, a good number of us are bi or gay.
Most otokonoko like being called cute.
What else? I think I'm starting to ramble at this point because I'm running out of things to say.
Sometimes I feel like I don't understand men well, which is odd coming me who is a man.
But I suppose that's just the way I grew up -- as a quiet otokonoko who spent most of her youth on the Internet lurking through shoujo novels, fanfiction forums, HP slash fics, art communities, tumblr, and generally spaces that are dominated by women. Sooner or later, I was bound to get addicted to boys love...........
Is it too late to say I'm a fudanshi?
Or would it be a lie to say I'm a fujoshi?