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Everyday Feminism’s Top Ten Questions About Being Genderqueer … My Answers!

Everyday Feminism published an article about being genderqueer and some of the frequently asked questions we get asked. I recommend reading the original first. Here are my answers.

1. So Are You a Boy Or a Girl?

boygirlno

2. No, But What Are You Really?

ummm Genderqueer. Non-Binary. I’m AFAB (assigned female at birth) but its not an excuse to treat me as female or as a woman. It’s unrelated to my gender. I have this way of thinking, If you wouldn’t treat a guy the way you treat me don’t treat me that way. If you would call a guy ‘love’ or ‘babe’ or hug them for a really long time then you can do that with me, and I know that differs from person to person. But I catch people using gendered ways to relate to me, that seem to be excused because what they are looking at looks like a woman sometimes. Another way of doing it which I also like is using both options. Like my partner will flip back and forward between calling me handsome and pretty. So do both, or do neither.

3. But What About Biology?

I really don’t want to talk about my … biology.

4. Which Bathroom Do You Use?

Woman’s/Female. Sometimes I will use the disabled if it’s a viable option. I hate having to use the woman’s bathroom but I feel even more uncomfortable with the idea of using the men’s. Ideally I would use a neutral one.

5. Are You Gonna Get ‘The Surgery’?

Next question. They say this in the article but really, don’t ask people this. They’ll volunteer the information themselves if they are keen to talk about it.

6. ‘They’ for a Singular Person Is Grammatically Incorrect!

  1. No it isn’t.
  2. You use it all the time when you don’t know the gender of someone. Example – ‘I have a meeting with my new boss today. I haven’t met them before, I’m a bit nervous, I hope they’re friendly’.
  3. I don’t care, please just respect my pronoun choice.
  4. You are not the first person to inform me of this opinion, I have done my arguing about this. So forgive me if I’m short with you but it’s a discussion I’m done with having.

7. Why Do You Have Boobs One Day and a Flat Chest Another?

Because I own one binder (because they are expensive) and the cut doesn’t go with all the clothes I own.

Because they are very hot.

And most importantly because some days I want to have a flat chest and others I don’t.

8. Are You Dysphoric?

Yes.

9. Am I Gay If I Think You’re Hot?

Well, I would say if your a man and your attracted to my male-ness or a woman and attracted to my female-ness, you might have some pansexual/bisexual feelings going on. But really , no. You can be straight and find one person of the same gender you like and still identify as straight if you want to, you just like that ONE person (same with gay people). Technically because I’m not of a gender you can be opposite to you can’t be binary and be straight/gay with me. But it’s not a term I get picky about. I’m in a relationship with a woman and sometimes we say we are lesbians and it’s not a huge issue to me. I call it a ‘queer relationship’ most of the time.

10. What Kind of Sex Do You Have?

Sexy sex.

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Very Short Stories

I’m practising writing some VERY short stories (about 13 words long). I might submit them for an anthology. I’m giving them titles here, but I’m not allowed to submit them with titles.

Lesbian Problems

'She’s not my friend, she’s my girlfriend. Back off.'

Anticlimax

Filled with excitement from her picture I type ‘hi’.
Send.
Now we wait.


Sneak Preview

I ordered mussels. She saw my tongue in action. Second dates’ tomorrow.

Love Wins

Jonathan would have asked him regardless. But was relieved they could call it marriage.

Co-habiting

I had things, you had things.
We have things.
Where’s my stuff gone?

FML

I didn’t remember there being sex in this show when I wasn’t watching it with family.

Empath

I know you're sad. I won't tell anyone.

 

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Queer Life/I Am A Genderqueer Balloon

http://www.pinknews.co.uk/2014/12/15/a-9-year-old-girl-gave-this-hearfelt-letter-to-her-teacher-after-he-came-out-as-gay/

I recommend reading the entire article for context. I think its interesting because when I was a kid, if some one asked me if I thought people who ‘were gay or lesbian were bad or wrong in some way’ I would have probably said yes, but if you asked me why I wouldn’t have known (bear in mind section 28 was repealed in 2003 and I was at junior school between 1994 – 2005 so school wasn’t going to tell me jack all). I sort of never thought about it much until when I was older and just sort of realised its all fine (which is bloody lucky!)

Kids don’t really think about it, thats why they are so accepting, but on the flip side, they don’t think about it much so they believe anything they are told from family, other children, the media ect … Parents need to talk about these things to their kids, or it will be left to playground insults of calling each other gay to shape there perception of sexuality. I think if I had been educated a bit earlier about this (or at all actually) I would have know more about myself. I never knew I had the feelings I did because I never thought it was something I could have. Of course I knew about LGBTQ people but I never thought that could be ME.

Over the years everything became more confusing and it wasn’t until I went to university that I even started to really engaged in what it meant to be bi-sexual (a label I no longer identify with), I had the attraction but I never spoke about it much unless in flippant terms, or got involved in the LGBTQ community. My life has changed because of engaging with these people, not just because I’ve made a lot of friends, but because I started to learn about things. The more I knew there were names and explanations for how I felt, something many other people felt, the more I felt them. Maybe thats sounds odd but it was like I was being given permission to be me.

I found out the label ‘Queer’ was a thing and looked into it’s meaning and took it as my own. I felt bi-sexual wasn’t really accurate and although queer can refer to a number of things I find it better to be vague then explain than use a term that isn’t quite right and have people assume the wrong thing.

Back to about feeling like I was being given permission to be me. At some point I realised I really started missing wearing jeans. I think I was watching some of Arielle’s videos, and looking at her style and jokes about how lesbians dress and I was like ‘I wouldn’t mind trying that’. I had owned a shirt for a while and loved wearing it but never thought to buy any more. I got more. And more. And irritated when I didn’t have any to wear, like I used to feel when I had to wear school uniform. At the same time my undercut expanded and my hair got ‘accidentally’ cut short. I thought about how when I talked about ‘women’ in contexts like feminism I never really felt like I was talking about me, but some other group. I never worried I was manly, I never have been and never will be. I have traits some might consider male, but I don’t really by that way of thinking.

I knew a few people who didn’t identify with gender, and the more I thought about who they were, the more I saw that was who I was.

So no I have to leave past tense behind. I’ve felt this way for a few months but didn’t want to say. I know there are harder things to share with the world. But I’m still scared. I’m worried that people won’t get it, will ask me to explain constantly. What do I say to strangers who mis-gender me? What if I realise in a years time of whatever this is not the case and have to go ‘sorry guys I’m not actually genderqueer’. What if men or queer women don’t like me in a romantic way because they don’t see me as a woman?

But thats what I’m trying to say now in this really round about way. That I don’t identify as a man or a woman. I’m just this floating thing. Like a balloon. A genderqueer balloon. This started as a Facebook status and after about 200 words I knew now was the time just to bloody get it out there.

I like girly stuff, I do love a good skirt and heals. And I like shirts, and guys hats. And it’s not all about aesthetic. I wonder why I didn’t know sooner, but then I look about my red, vaguely gendered bedroom thats been this way since I was 13 and think maybe it was pretty obvious I just had no words.

And that brings me back to the point I made at the beginning. Educate young people so they have the words, so if they have these feelings they know what they are and don’t have to wait as long as I did to figure out who they are.

Some days I’ll look girly, some days I won’t. Some days i’ll pull a face at heavily gendered things and others I’ll love them. I don’t know, I just take each day at a time.

So would you mind they/them for me as a pro-noun?

I can’t keep just doing it my head anymore, its a real thing of me now, it seems so silly to keep it inside.

And I totally reserve the right to realise I was incorrect, although I can’t see that really happening.

Thanks.

10405585_10152795823851265_3973017913607460474_n

First picture I took of me in my newly expanded non-binary gender wardrobe.

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‘In the business’ and stuff

English: David Sedaris at WBUR studios in June...

English: David Sedaris at WBUR studios in June 2008. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

‘In the business’ and stuff

David Sedaris is a cracking writer. I discovered him through the BBC series ‘Meet David Sedaris’ which is currently on BBC iplayer. I was listening to the end of ‘Another case of Milton Jones’ very late at night, to help me sleep. Much to the annoyance of anyone sharing a bed/room with me this is a must to sleep at night. When it finished and ran into the next program (iplayer rarely edit what you are listening to properly) I found I really couldn’t sleep, because I kept hearing this odd American accent saying really funny shit, which was making me laugh out loud, which makes it hard to sleep.

His books cover stories from his childhood to present day, about him, his family and his boyfriend. He’s lived a life I can identify with and I like hearing him read (he reads his audiobooks himself) as there is no tone of shame for things he has done that I myself have done similar things to and am still coming to terms with. He’s proud, I can be to.

I recommend you listen to his audiobooks so you get his tone, but reading the physical books will bring you joy as well.

One of my favorite stories of his is from ‘Me Talk Pretty One Day’ about his friend who is trying to work out if another guy he knows fancies him. He asks David and his boyfriend because he knows they are ‘in the business’.

Also check this out, the story of how David learnt the Netherlands version of the Christmas story.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NYdpte1W0vk

Many of David’s readings can be found on youtube. I recommend you buy them, but I guess youtube is better than not hearing his work at all!

I like that David Sedaris is ‘In the business’. His writing doesn’t really make a big deal of him being gay, his sexuality comes up with the same weight as i’d say it would in anyone’s memoirs. What I mean is he isn’t writing them as a GAY man, he’s just being him. And I think that makes the whole thing even more awesome.