- This topic has 1 reply, 2 voices, and was last updated 2 months ago by .
Below is a draft of a letter that I wrote for telling people, including select friends on facebook, about my gender journey. Constructive feedback is appreciated.
(This is a long post, but it’s important to me.)
Gender Reveal parties became all the rage. A huge celebration and anticipation.. Which would it be? Pink or Blue? Before the child is even born, there’s a mad dash to put the child in a box of one destiny or the other, where expectations of conforming grew and multiplied with the birth of this unsuspecting soul. For the most part, this works out just fine.
But what if the kid doesn’t fit in the box? Can you really tell? As we’re finding out, the usual signs are not the only indicator. Oh, it would be so easy if it were.
For the child who doesn’t fit into the “original equipment” box, it’s a life of compromise, confusion, and, quite often, shame.
We’ve learned over the years that sexual orientation (to whom one is attracted) is a spectrum that is like a bell curve. Not everyone is at one end or the other.
The same is true of gender (not associated with sexual orientation). As science has evolved its study of gender, they’ve come to a point of discarding the term “disorder” when referring to transgender and gender non-conforming (TGNC) persons. As most indigenous cultures across the globe acknowledged for eons, science has recognized that TGNC is not a problem; It’s healthy and natural, unique to each individual.
What does TGNC mean for a person on their discovery journey when first questioning gender identity? Well, for young people it can be a time of shame; or it could be a time of affirmation. It could be a time of ridicule, or a time of love and support. It could be a time of judgment or a time of celebration.
For those whose discovery journey starts later in life, it’s often a time of judgment(self-) and shame, ingrained from repeated applications of transphobia. All the public signs, movies, and off-hand remarks of ridicule toward TGNC as the butt of so many jokes over decades have left a flashing red light in the brain that screams “HIDE!”
Some would say it’s not rational to feel that way. But the evidence in the world doesn’t seem to align with reason.
Some will go to their grave with the sign still flashing. Some will find moments where they can cover the HIDE sign, block it out for a few precious moments. Some will dare to turn the sign off for a select few friends or family, sharing this deepest secret, risking rejection or finding acceptance.
This is the point when my heart is pounding, my hands are sweating, and my eyes are leaking. I’m scared. But I‘m tired. I am tired of Hiding. I am tired of caring so much about what people think of me.
I started this with the gender reveal party because I want to celebrate my own: I’m trans/gender non-conforming. I’m on the spectrum. I’m still figuring it out. I’ve found that, even in the world of TGNC, there are some who still need to put me in a box. After 4 years of honestly exploring my gender identity, I don’t feel I fit in a box.
You may know my friend Kim Belew. Two years ago (June 15 actually – you can look it up) she offered her own gender-reveal party on Facebook with a “Confession Friday.” Some of what she says in that post is true for me. I most identify with “genderfluid.” Or nonbinary. There are times when I am male, but more often I’m female. And times that I’m both. And times that I’m neither. Confused yet? Yeah, me too. For about the last 50 years.
So, for most of my life, my conclusion; I’m just weird. That’s when the red sign flashes HIDE.
I’ve shared this with a few people, all of them supportive and accepting. But maybe this aspect of me makes some people uncomfortable. Can’t say I blame them. I’ve had to deal with my own transphobia through this discovery journey. Just know that you don’t have to “get it.” Please message me if you’d like to chat about it.
Why am I celebrating with you? Because I am not the “shock and awe” type when it comes to expressing myself. Now, if you see me presenting in a non-traditional way (feminine or androgynous in clothing or makeup), it’s just me being me. I’m still the same person.
Like Kim, I’ve eventually taken this as a gift to be able to experience both genders. Some of our greatest gifts in life are unfolding mysteries, gradual steps like fractals, until true beauty of the whole is revealed.
I’m so grateful that I discovered my authentic self, grateful for the acceptance, grateful that I’ve been given a chance to be who I really am. Thank you for being part of my gender-reveal celebration!
- You must be logged in to reply to this topic.