To most people their gender identity is a simply multiple choice question, but for others, like myself, it can become a lot more complicated. I identify as genderfluid, where my gender changes randomly, and sometimes can be a mix of two or more genders. I can even feel genderless at times.
Most people identify with whatever their biological sex indicates, but being born a female and feeling more like a guy a lot of the time can be difficult. I just want people to perceive me as I perceive myself. I prefer the pronouns they/them.
A good analogy for not fitting in the binary is beverages. Someone can be apple juice, while another person is orange juice, but there may also be the few individuals that are grape juice. There are others that are mixes of the juices and get hit with different flavors at different times. There are also people who are water. Some people are juices that are watered down to different amounts. None of the juices are better than others. Every beverage is different and has a different amount of calories and ingredients.
Gender isn’t black and white, or should I say blue and pink. Gender is this gigantic sphere, or at least that’s how I imagine my gender. There are blues and pinks and greens and oranges all mixed together and spread throughout my sphere in different intensities. The less intense the color, the more I feel agender, and the opposite is true too. I feel like a lot of people expect gender to be a simple yes or no question, while others feel it is a spectrum. I’ve tried the yes or no question, it didn’t fit me. I’ve tried the spectrum, but even with a wider range of gender, I still felt like I was missing something a lot of the time. Most people are happy with simplicity, but sometimes simple is not always the best option.
Most people that know about my gender identity don’t really understand what I mean, but a lot of them are still accepting. To me, my gender doesn’t change who I am at all, it only changes the name I prefer and the way I try to present myself. On most days, I will try to look as androgynous as possible, while still trying not to seem ‘too masculine’ for my parents. If my parents had their wish, I’m sure they would want a straight, cis child which, in their minds, would create a higher chance for success. I will still have a high chance of success, and still be able to be happy, as myself. If someone doesn’t want to hire me because of my gender identity, I wouldn’t want to work for them anyway. If someone doesn’t want me to try to help cure diseases such as allergies and cancer, then they will be missing out on an opportunity for someone with a brilliant mind to help them in their research. If people keep thinking the way my parents do, nothing will ever change. It took years for women and people of colour to receive their rights, and hopefully I will be able to see transgender and gender nonconforming individuals gain their rights too.
I am genderfluid and pansexual, meaning I have the ability to feel like any combination of genders, or lack thereof and loves personalities over gender. I know it can be a hard concept for people to grasp, but for me, understand how most people are limited loving one gender is just confusing to me. How can you not be attracted to someone with an amazing personality and a lovely face, just because of their gender. To me, my options are limitless and no one can tell me that I am the ‘wrong’ gender or that I’m with the ‘wrong’ gendered person. I am who I am and I love who I love. When I feel a specific gender, the way I sit, the way I talk, and the way I walk can all change slightly. It can be subtle, but it can help me feel like I’m presenting myself more as the gender I feel I am.
Maybe I’ll just put my hands in my pockets, maybe I’ll cross my legs a bit less, or maybe I’ll just simply hold my head a little higher. My gender doesn’t control who I am, it just tells me what I feel comfortable presenting myself as.
Now I know the transgender bathroom laws are being talked about a lot this year. In most cases, I would just use the woman’s bathroom as that is where I feel safest, even if I don’t necessarily identify as a woman all of the time. I’m worried that people who identify as transgender will have to check the bathroom laws in different states before using the bathroom, which would be an enormous hassle. With the transgender bathroom laws stating that people have the use what is on their birth certificate people can be outed and I’m sure the percentage of transgender people being abused in the bathroom will increase dramatically. These laws being put into place create a sense that people who are transgender or gender nonconforming are not equal to cis individuals (people who identify with what their biological sex indicates). It can also make the bathroom environment uncomfortable for all users and can be hostile at times too. We are all just people who need to use the bathrooms and it shouldn’t be a matter of what body anyone was born with.
Gender is constantly evolving and so is the concept. Years ago, no one would have guessed we would be as accepting as we are today. I just hope that gender makes it onto the list of widely accepted topics so that I, and many others, can live without fear of being ourselves.