26 December 2010

My Identity Is Not About Gender Liberation

It’s not about smashing binaries.
It’s not about eliminating oppression.
It’s not about politics.
It’s not about feminism.
It’s not about anarchy.
It’s not about activism.
It’s not about you.
It’s about me.

My gender is non-binary, because that’s what it is.

My gender is not all that unique or special. My gender is not all that queer or all that different. My gender is not rebellious. My gender is not something you should be jealous of. It’s really not all that cool to be genderqueer.  You get ungendered all time, erased in language (“brothers and sisters”, “he or she”), no one knows your gender exists. Coming out requires a bit of a lecture, and everyone starts conflating all sorts of things when you do tell them you are genderqueer.  You really don’t wish you were genderqueer, I promise.  And you really don’t think it’s all that cool, I guarantee you, any more than your binary gender is cool.  Oh, but don’t feel sorry for me. It sucks to be a woman, too, and in some ways it even sucks to be a man, and it sucks to be black or disabled or neuroatypical or lower class or any number of things that you might be that I am not. It really just sucks to be in this world, and I don’t want to play oppression olympics here, but I sure as hell don’t want you to feel sorry for my gender. Get over it, and make it better. Perhaps start by not telling me how cool you think my gender is.

My gender is not about hating binaries. Really, the binaries are hating my gender. My gender is not about how limiting the binary is, and it’s not about liberating myself or anyone else from any binary.  Nor is it about taking anything away from men or women. Men and women can present however they want, relate to their bodies however they want, do to their bodies whatever they want, describe their identities however they want. Really, I don’t care. My identity is not about men or women. It’s about me, about how I understand myself, how I live my life, how others understand me, and what makes sense. Have I ever wondered if I am actually binary-gendered? Yes, all the time. Maybe I am just a binary-gendered guy way pre-transition, who chooses to present in a very femme female way for the time being? Maybe. Maybe I am just a binary-gendered girl with a unique relationship to my body? Maybe. But you know what really makes sense? That I am genderqueer. Not binary-gendered.
and that’s not about you.

(x-posted on Tumblr and FetLife)