I have, until the last few months, identified as Genderqueer for a few years. I have considered whether or not I should transition into a man. There’s a whole whirlwind of feelings I could go into here, but this post would be very long.
I don’t know where it started. I suppose there have always been “gender norms,” things that some people are supposed to do and others aren’t. Like, working with steel, and playing videogames. We always had game consoles in my home and we always played them, my parents never made that a gender thing, even though people outside the home did. There were people in infant school that I could not get along with because they said I acted like a boy, but there were plenty of boys that said I didn’t belong with them, either. I have incredibly vague memories of a boy named Declan in junior school who would actually discuss Resident Evil with me.
I don’t think this would happen to anyone today, I think most people, even children, have realised that interests and the kind of games you like are not defined by your genitals. But this was the 1990s and I was a kid and my only understanding of what was and wasn’t proper, was whatever people told me. (And years later it turns out I was Autistic the whole time, oyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy).
So I think even then, I had this weird feeling of not belonging and of not being allowed to be any gender, if that makes sense.
It went away for a while, I had some moments of being a proud woman. As I got older the feeling resurfaced, mainly due to circumstances I don’t really want to go into, but I felt weird about my body, my brain within it, and where the hell my place in the world was. Still not entirely sure I know where it is now, in all honesty. But anyway.
I thought very seriously about transitioning into a man. I thought it would be easier than being a genderless blob, and easier than staying in the body that had already bummed me out so much. Medication and illness-induced chest and face hair would be taken much better by random members of the public if I was a man. I did discuss it with Will. I researched phalloplasties very seriously.
Will did say, ultimately, that he couldn’t stay with me if I actually transitioned. And that had to be the bigger concern for me.
So I mentally remained a genderless blob.
Until those applicants I previously wrote about. The ones who lied about being disabled and had horrendous Tumblr accounts they used to orchestrate as many special and alternative identities as they could, including being Genderqueer/ Nonbinary/ Transgender, you name it and they probably made a claim to it.
When I saw the things that they posted, aside from being enraged about the fake disabilities and the Assistance Dog faking, I felt ashamed.
I thought, “is this what people think of me, when I explain that I’m Genderqueer? Is this how I come across? As somebody desperate to be special and to flaunt themselves?”
Honestly, the whole thing shook me quite a lot. Not only in terms of how stressful their application was to deal with, but in terms of who I was as a person, and people I did not want to be like. I realised I didn’t want to be like them, not at all. I explained to a friend, that I actively didn’t want to feel Genderqueer, that I hated it, that I wished I could just feel like a woman and like I belonged in my body.
As of today, I think I’m starting to get there. I’ve been thinking about it every day since late last year. I think I am sorting myself out.
It’s hard to find online communities of people who feel like I do, who became Genderqueer but would, in fact, just like to accept their genitals. I did eventually find this site and am slowly reading through it.
I’m not 100% with everything there but honestly, a lot of it makes sense to me. My whole life I thought that my genitals and my personality had to have some sort of connection, and if my personality didn’t match, then my genitals needed fixing.
But now I realise, there is no “match.” I am just me, I just like what I like, me having a clit has shit-all to do with anything. And I’m quite embarrassed that it took me getting to 27 years of age to realise that.
I am just me. I like dinosaurs and dogs and soda and space and gardening and Halloween and sunfish, I like so many things, and they are nothing to do with my genitals.
MY PERSONALITY IS NOT MY GENITALS!
I think that’s what’s been happening recently, people have been making genders out of their personalities. I came across “otherkin” people a while ago, people who describe their pronouns as things like merself and starself, because they like mermaids and space, so they think their gender has to BE mermaids and space!
But it doesn’t. You can just like that stuff.
Obviously, Intersex people do exist. They are real. They have combinations of genitals and reproductive systems and chromosomes that cannot entirely be classified as male or female. Which is kind of all the more reason to just enjoy what you enjoy and not be put into a box of what you should and should not do because of your organs.
There is a fair bit of transphobia among people advocating that personality ≠ gender, and I definitely don’t want to get involved in that. Just as before, I don’t care what anybody identifies as (as long as they don’t want me to die or be harmed for anything that I am, or that anybody else is). People can do what they want, people can have whatever surgery they want.
The fact that I now don’t think that transgenderism is the right way to go about it, is neither here nor there for other people.
I have found some pretty horrifying shit from the trans community, and I don’t want to be involved in that, either.
It’s a weird feeling right now, to LET myself be a woman. To realise that I can just be female and not hate myself for it, not come up with an alternative identity to excuse myself. I still wouldn’t be welcome in feminism (apparently disabled women need to “come up with their own movement” according to that girl on Twitter, plus excess body hair isn’t allowed apparently).
But I can be a girl and still be me, I can let myself BE HAPPY with the things I enjoy.
I just don’t know why this didn’t occur to me before now. If my daughter played with trucks, I wouldn’t say, “Oh babe, you’d better transition! WRONG BODY ALERT!”
Likewise I wouldn’t dream of saying the same thing to my son if he liked dolls or anything else that society has traditionally perceived as a female-only thing. But I’ve been saying it to myself for years.
People can just do whatever they enjoy, regardless of what is between their legs.
I’m sorry if I sound hyped about this, but this concept has genuinely only just seeped into my brain.
I am a woman, and it’s OK.