For some time now, I’ve been considering and challenging my gender identity. I first questioned this element of myself when I was 19. I struggled to find others who felt like I did – I didn’t feel completely female, or completely male, and I didn’t feel gender-neutral either. My relationship at the time, and a myriad of other factors resulted in me essentially burying these thoughts, unable to find the words or thoughts to express myself. More recently, thanks in no small part to the trans* people I found and followed, listened to and talked with on twitter, I found the term genderqueer.
For a while I’ve been circling around this word, this identity, trying to work out who I am, whilst being frightfully afraid of misappropriating a term. I am a long way away from being clear on my own gender, largely because – I suspect – my gender is fluid. My recognition of this fluidity has made me feel more confident that this is the right term, the right way for me to express my gender identity, at least for now. Realising that it is not a life-long decision, and that in being fluid it may not always be me – it’s not a lifelong committment, but a way for me to convey myself, my feelings of who I am; a platform for exploration; a means for me find my voice.
Sometimes my biological AFAB gender describes me perfectly well. I am at times completely at ease with this; I am a woman. At other times, I have a male facet – something I’ve described as my ‘boy self’. My boy self feels at times just a tiny part of my overall gender, and at others (sometimes just for hours at a time) so overwhelmingly who I am that I want badly to express myself and be seen as a boy. I am unsure right now if these identities can/will become coherant, or if I am bigendered – swinging between two distinct gender identities, or again if this will remain fluid. My lack of clarity and my inability to express my boy self (and present him to the world) are sources of intense frustration for me, but I am trying to be patient with myself. I remind myself that it’s ok not to have all the answers right now, and as long as I listen to myself, remain open and explore, I’m doing everything I can to arrive at a place I’m comfortable and happy with.
For now, this much I am sure of: I am genderqueer.
I’m comfortable with female pronouns (she, her etc), & am happy to assert that I am genderquestioning (not really sure this is even a term widely used, but it fits). Whether I am non-binary, or my gender falls under the trans* umbrella… frankly I’m not sure. I’m not nearly as well read on gender theory as I wish to be, and I don’t have the spoons to put the work into this at any decent rate whilst battling my way through depression. What I’ve learned is mostly from bite-size tweets and conversations online, because that’s the level of learning I’m capable of at the moment. There’s probably a lot more work I’m going to need to put into this journey of self-discovery, but I feel like this post sees me firmly taking my first step. For everyone who’s helped, educated, and listened to me worrying and tearing my hair out over this so far, I’m truly grateful… and don’t go anywhere, I’m going to need you some more!