I’ve never had an understanding of my own gender identity within the binary standards of male vs. female. As a child, I said that I was a girl because that’s what they told me to be. Since I had heard that girls grew up to be women, that was what I thought I was going to be. I’d grow breasts and start understanding how to dress myself and get a husband and have sex and have kids. Bam, woman.
Yet, in my self-reflective writings, I talked about how I went from kid to pre-teen to teen to young adult to adult, not girl to woman. Not even in my journal entries about getting my period did I talk about becoming a woman. I talked about giving up on childish things, about puberty, about my sexuality, but never about girlhood or womanhood.
Feeling like a woman was something that simply never happened for me. When I realized that was the case, I did quite a lot to try to feel like a woman without consciously admitting to myself what all was going on. None of it worked. Continue reading “Girl Grows Up to Be Not-a-Woman: On Non-Binary Gender”
First in a series on my non-binary gender identity.
Late last year, rather abruptly, I came out as non-binary. It was National Coming Out Day and I decided I was going to tell everyone, just like that. I IMed my partner and told him first; he was as unwaveringly and lovingly supportive and understanding as he always is. Ten minutes later, I’d posted it to my Facebook wall. Thankfully, due to the self-selection and curation I’ve cultivated online for years now, I was met with congratulations and love and support. Outside of carefully-created spaces (or at least ones where I can block people), however, I’ve mostly kept my mouth shut about it. I don’t have enough fight in me to deal with yet another Othering aspect to my person.
It wasn’t something that I’d consciously thought a lot about or planned to do. It was more a slow and lurching realization, backburnered to everything else I’ve always thought and talked and written about. In a lot of ways, it resembled the way that I “became” an atheist: I didn’t talk or think too much directly about it, not even with those close to me, and didn’t want it to be true, but stopped fighting it and eventually submitted to the truth.
While the act of coming out was a surrender to what I’d known was true on some level for a while, a building up to a realization of something about me, there were markers along the way.
Continue reading “Coming Out About My Non-Binary Gender”