Wednesday, January 4, 2012

I am

Submitted by sometimescoherent

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I tell people I’m genderqueer, but I also tell people I’m trans*. I get people saying I can’t be both or just silently raising an eyebrow. I’m trying to gather my thoughts on what it is “to be” these things and explain what they mean to me and so it’s a bit stream of consciousness.

In my gender journey I first identified as genderqueer, but would not say I have moved on or it was a placeholder identity. Bisexual was a placeholder identity. Never really attached and tossed away just as quickly as it was found. But no, genderqueer sticks. It’s an identity for me in some respects, but more than that it is a part of my story.

Genderqueer opened up so much for me. It was a lightbulb, an electric bolt, and also a brick to the face. It hurt for a bit, I struggled with the shock, but it was, in the end, enlightening. Genderqueer allowed me to question so much and come into my trans* identity with much more force and confidence. Though it made it by no means easy or perfect, but it gave me perspective. It shattered the images of what a trans person was and replaced it with a vast blank canvas.

I don’t want it to sound like genderqueer was just a tool or a road I used. It is those things of course. But rather, genderqueer is me. It is my possibility unrestrained.

I’m trans, I’m taking hormones, I often struggle with painful dysphoria, and surgery has crossed my mind on more than one occasion. These things are my truth. Genderqueer is also my truth. And I’ll admit I have had and continue to have my own struggle reconciling these two truths. It’s an ongoing process, much like myself. So often what I desire, from friends, family, partners, and from myself is a source of conflict and anxiety. I hope those around me understand, but I know I’m difficult and unstable. I break down crying with almost no discernible reason to those around me and eat a entire box of cookies. I dig my nails deep into my skin to give myself a proper distraction, a pain that is familiar and nameable. So I distract myself. I struggle with these truths and sometimes they overwhelm me.

All these truths, as awkward as they may be, add up. Though I’m not sure exactly to what. Genderqueer sticks because it gives me comfort in not knowing the answer. Above all it tells me there really is no one answer and that it’s fine. But, I can value the pursuit of that answer all the same. If genderqueer is anything to me, it is a method. It is how I cope.

So I’ll always “be” genderqueer, no matter how I identify or express myself. If I want to use binary pronouns, if I want to “pass,” if I want to have surgery, it does not take away from that journey. I am gender queer. I am gender weird, because gender is weird. It is a route we all wander and it does not matter where we may end up. That is if we ever can end.

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