So I’ve been thinking a lot lately about what my genderqueer identity means to me. I don’t identify as male, but I don’t identify as female either. Currently I have a beard and present in a way that, while not screaming hegemonic masculinity, pretty much marks me as unambiguously male in the eyes of anyone I meet (albeit not necessarily as heterosexual). But despite that I have (and sometimes still do) experience a painful dissatisfaction with my assigned at birth gender that I suppose could pretty accurately be called gender dysphoria.
And yet, I’m not really all that “feminine”. I feel like if I were assigned female at birth, I would be a tomboy. Sure, I like brightly coloured clothes, I have consistently loved Taylor Swift more than any other music source, I absolutely adore sitting with my legs crossed and making myself as small as possible and so on and so forth. But I also like cartoons and punk music and I conflate wearing formal wear of any kind with wearing bees very easily. There’s obviously a lot more to this than I can get across in one paragraph, but I hope that conveys the basic idea.
I guess that’s all pretty irrelevant though, because none of that makes you a man or a woman. I wouldn’t question a person’s gender identity if they had all of my traits and they were a trans man, a cis woman, an agender person or a genderfluid possum. So while my mind might occasionally have thoughts that suggest I’m just cisgender and don’t notice because it causes no problems, I give the same allowances to myself that I would give to anyone else and don’t try to deny the fact that I just don’t identify as male (or female for that matter).
So I’m a big old genderqueer. What does this mean for my body? Not much, I guess. I trim my body hair. That’s about it. I’ve no desire to modify my body permanently, although I think it’s great that we live in a world where people can. Do I want to transition at all? A little. I didn’t for years, despite the fact that I know I would love to wear a skirt, and I have no idea why. Why the hell did I type that? I do know why really… Presenting as male is a heteronormative bargain. I present the way I’m asked to and I get the “privileges” of a cis person. It’s a trade off I’ve made most of my life.
If I present the way I want to and I put my career, my relationships with others and maybe even my safety at risk sometimes. But I also get the chance to get to know myself more.
As such, I think I’m going to try transitioning. To what end, I have no idea. I don’t dislike my male presentation. But I know I want to better incorporate the female side of myself into it. I already have been to an extent. I like tight t-shirts and and bracelets and zip hoodies that have fallen off one shoulder. I might not be brave enough to shop for a skirt yet, but I’m currently typing with nail polish on my left hand, smudged and uneven because my right hand has never applied it before. I’ve no plans to cut my hair in the near future and I’m going to take care of it once it’s grown long again. And I’m thinking about the next few steps, and what they might be.
I’m keeping the beard though. Beards fucking rock.