During the holidays, a friend asked me how my marriage was going. I gave the regular answer (I mean normal, not in a dismissive tone. I love my wife, and we are very happy, but I don’t want to bore anyone with it) and continued talking about the weather and clothes. She admired my ensemble and was very curious about how it was that I always managed to do stuff in high heels. At the same time, she is a total blob, like Bambi, every time she wears a pair of 3″ (I usually wear anything between 4″ and 5″ for everyday stuff, except walking, which is a no-go and my trusty flats are in charge of that task when I am commuting on the train or subway), this seems a recurrent topic when a cis-woman finds out that I am a transwoman, other topics go to makeup (they are always surprised that I am good at it) or clothes (how I manage to get my size or where they can get my size.)
It’s that low-key surprise that a “not” girl can do “girl stuff” better than “they would do.” *Here is where yours truly takes a deep breath and says: “Yeah, it’s just practice. makeup, walking in heels, putting together a look, hundreds of mag flipping, YouTube/TT/Insta beauty tutorials and the will -and enough dysphoria LOL- to put on the hours)*
Disclaimer: End of the rant. Back to the topic.
Then the conversation turned a little more into more curious topics, and she asked me if I had ever been interested in marrying a guy, or at least someone who identified as such. And THAT sent me down a rabbit hole of why am I like this? As a transwoman, we are very good at doing it. I mean, how many of you have not spent an entire afternoon at work, commuting, or in the middle of a meeting lost in those thoughts only to find out that the thing has ended, and we have no idea what anything was about.
Of course, that inner turmoil also triggered my second fear: Is my wife happy? Is she OK with me? Has she ever had second thoughts about us? Is there anything I should change? Yes, I must take more care of… The fear was put to rest when my wife answered in her incredible practical way: “Yes, I love you, and we are together. The only time I don’t feel comfortable is when I see our bathroom cupboard and a new box of eyeshadow alongside the other four that are still quite new,” and laughed about it.
This conversation gave me insight into why I was with her, why I have always gravitated towards female friends more than males, and later with self-identified women. And that is the ease with which I find myself in a peaceful, pleasant conversation with zero drama. Hollywood and soap operas usually portray women as drama-prone. But believe me; however, I have always found talking to males and male-oriented folks an easy type of conversation. Only with female-identifying people have I always felt fulfilled, like the interaction and the emotions always get in sync. There is an inner form of communication underneath all the blah, blah, blah that happens outside.
And there, my dearest readers, is where all this train of thought began. Do I identify myself in a fluid way or more in a binary way?
Non-binary, queer, and gender-fluid have a different conversation to which I don’t think I am informed or identified enough to talk about knowledgeably, despite being friends with many people that identify as such, and that is because my own journey has landed me on a kind of binary situation.
When I started my transition process, I had zero idea where I was going to land, so I embraced my fluidity and the fact that I was not part of the binary world; I know, in reality, I am and will never be binary, but hear me out, please. After struggling with becoming a woman, I put all my effort into going all the way to the other side, and I ended in a “most of the time” convincing and “few times questioning” female-presenting form.
I know that female passing is a privilege and that living in an accepting society plays a significant role in that. If the country or city that you are living in is relaxed with queer folk, you get more chances of practising, training, and accessing resources that cater to women, and that is an advantage. Stana, from the world-renowned “Femulate” website, frequently mentions that the state where she lives (on top of her fabulous wife) is so friendly she has been able to go shop “en femme” and the people are OK.
Disclaimer: If you haven’t poured a nice cuppa or some wine, I don’t know what we are doing here because this is a girl talking, and I am spending a nice moment with my friends.
So, back to the topic. The fact that I identify as a woman (transwoman) and that I have a visible lesbian relationship puts me in a very well-known box according to societal standards, and I would not like it otherwise. The changes I have gone through have pushed me so much that after starting as a fluid person, I ended up in an established box where people can see and understand me in a way that makes our lives easier.
Let’s tie the loose ends: Have I ever wanted to date a male/male-identifying person? No. As I was going through the process of understanding who I was, I could identify my attraction to women; I mean, I like women so much that I became one, right?
Did I date guys? As someone on the search journey, I would say the answer is yes. But that was not entirely OK. It was kind of awkward for me, hence the previous “I would.” I needed to understand if I was in a different place regarding preferences, and then I found that, no, guys were not my thing. So my journey became two thousand percent more difficult (Also, it is very awkward when the blue prince asks what shoe size you are and if he can try your heels.)
It is not easy to explain the difference between Identity and Expression to a binary world, so I usually use my Gender Unicorn to put it in a way that is easier for somebody else to understand themselves or other people: I Identify as Female. My Expression is Feminine. I was Assigned Male at birth. I am Physically Attracted to Women and also Emotionally Attracted to Women.
So, in a nutshell, Would I say I fall into the binary definition? As you can see, probably yes, but nobody in our little corner of the Gender spectrum can be 100%.
*This is when we keep the convo going and pour another glass of… well you choose*
More Articles by (((Marianne))) ✡️ 🌈
- I have always been Wrong
- My Spirit Animal
- The case for “Passing”
- A more detailed response to a Forum question