I had a lovely conversation with Moss while we were out on a date last night regarding gender, which as a fluid thing for me, can be a bit complicated to talk about, partially because it changes on each given day (roughly), our language lacks words to describe it some days, and some days I just don’t know.
He wanted to know more about my relationship with my gender and seemed to be in the place I often am – where do I start with the questions?
But the question that struck me was “why?”. Probably because “why?” is always my favorite question and is, I’ve found in most cases, the hardest question to answer – possibly because it involves digging into motivations that aren’t always clear. I love it because it digs in to what makes people tick, which has always been fascinating to me, both from a physiological and psychological perspective.
I identify as non-binary trans because it fits right, like “queer” fits right. I am bisexual and I am genderfluid – these identify facts about me. Non-binary and queer, in a way, demonstrate my attitude about my identity: I don’t care what people think about them, I am who I am, and anyone who doesn’t like it, can just go hush themselves. The trans part is difficult for me – I have just recently embraced that part of the non-binary thing – I don’t identify as the gender I was assigned at birth, that’s a basic definition of trans. Sometime my gender does round or slide to one or the other – more often to female than male, by quite a long shot – but much more often it just hangs nebulously in the middle. I also do occasionally experience bouts of gender dysphoria – more often when I am depressed and/or restricted in my presentation options.
But why? I’ve never felt comfortable in boxes. It took me a long time to learn to color within the lines. I was a major tomboy growing up. I was never the good hostess that my mother wanted me to be. Grace has been a learned skill for me – it’s not an inherent thing, either physically or socially. I spent most of my time growing up in the outdoors, wandering around, or in my room with a book. Exploring comes naturally and easily to me, even if the unpredictability can occasionally set off my anxiety. I am ok with being the weird kid who never quite fit in, but was close enough to normal that I was never shunned.
As an adult I learned to become comfortable with the more feminine aspects of my personality and style that I had rejected early on, for a number of reasons:
- Feminine clothing is not often designed for comfort or practicality (dresses with pockets are a major win for me – I wish I could afford more of them),
- Foundation makes the patchy bits of my skin which are normally pretty unnoticeable super obvious (just don’t wear foundation, you can wear whatever makeup you like),
- Femininity is often read as weakness (I still struggle with this one),
- Long hair gets in my face and that drives me mad (so cut it)
- Breasts get in the way – I did not like having them at all until midway through high school (having properly fitting bras and clothing that either accentuates or hides them based on my gender presentation feels is super helpful)
- Femininity is often read as submissiveness (meeting strong, no-nonsense femmes has really helped with this)
So, here I am. A genderfluid (non-binary) tomboy femme. It fits comfortably enough to not be restrictive, but gives me a few labels that help me figure out my place in this world and in the queer community.