I struggle with the concept of gender often. I’m not agender, I know that for sure. I have an attachment to some manifestations of gender identity and expression (like “bi-dyke”, as the most accurate description of the intersection of my gender expression and sexual identity), but no resonation with the concept of identifying as a gender. Gender is too much work.
I latched onto the word demigender as the most accurate single word representation of my gender, in the big picture. It doesn’t convey the nuance, or the day to day feeling, but it works overall.
Maureen or Joanne? (Or your favorite LGBTQ show or queer-positive show).
I don’t even have any idea what this is in reference to, so I’m glad that they included that last little bit in the prompt.
Sense8. Without question. It’s probably pretty cliched to say that, but it is my current favorite. I love Queer as Folk (both US and UK) and The L Word, but they each had their problematic aspects or concepts they had difficulty portraying well, and I have become less in love with each of them over time.
Your first experience with an LGBT organization or event (Day of Silence, Pride, etc)
It was probably Day of Silence that came first. I remember participating in it wholeheartedly my freshman year in college. I really appreciate(d) the symbolism of it – silence to highlight the silenced. These days my job requires me to speak more than I can comfortably excuse under the necessary speaking exception, so I no longer participate – it doesn’t feel right, for that reason alone. I still support the idea behind it 100%.
A picture from your first LGBT relationship or of your first LGBT crush
This particular “relationship” ended poorly, but I am not up for outing them in a public forum, by posting a picture. They don’t have any importance in my life anymore, but I still respect that desire for privacy.
Instead, I’ll tell you about the picture.
There are three of us – for about a year we did an amazing number of social things together. This picture is me, her, and him. I am decked out in my typical university attire – jeans and a pullover hoodie (I assume I’m wearing a t-shirt underneath, given the time of year and what I typically did). We are coming back from some event on campus at night – the flash lights up all our faces, but the background is dark. I think she and are starting to split at about this point in time – we never quite had the chemistry, but this was my first dip into that pool, so it’s worth something.
This picture still comes up for me occasionally in my Facebook pictures – I look at it, sigh at what happened after that, and pass on.
My first serious girl crush was also during college (I say serious, because I had a fancy for a moment for a gal in high school, but couldn’t quite admit that I was bi yet) – she was the same year as I was, super smart, and involved with one of the student politics clubs on campus – I want to say environmentalism, socialism, or atheists. Or maybe a combination of the three over the years. I had a crush on her for all of my college years and I don’t even know if she was queer – I know she participated in some events through the school’s LGBTQ center, but so did a lot of straight people. Oddly enough, given my tastes since, my first girl crush was not very femme. She had dark brown straight hair and pale skin and I admired her dedication to her social justice work.
Your favorite LGBT role model/celebrity.
The people who organize queer inclusive events, who are inclusive of the wide spectrum of queer and trans/non-binary identities.
I find that a lot of the people I used to idolize in the queer community have either fallen by the wayside or have some problematic views on gender binaries.
Your favorite LGBT movie (or one you’d like to see).
Better Than Chocolate. Or Breakfast on Pluto. Depends on what I’m in the mood for – camp or romance.
How old were you when you knew? What was that like for you?
Being bi: For sure? I was 18.
It had occurred to me that I was different in that regard about midway into my teens.
It was no great revelation, just a bit of an opening up of my options and a realization of attractions.
Being non-binary? Probably about a year ago or so. I’ve more or less been a tomboy forever. It didn’t occur to me that this was “abnormal” until middle school, so I quickly feminized when I decided I wanted to attract guys, because that was the only acceptable look.
But when I went back to college, I reverted to what was comfortable to me: teeshirts, hoodies, and jeans. The tomboy thing. But over time, I learned how to adjust my clothing to account for my sensory processing issues, but with the bits of femininity I liked.
I had some feelings of gender dysphoria early on, I suspect, but didn’t have the language to describe my in-between state.