The Flow of Gender Fluidity

It is with a sheepish expression that I return to this blog, one year after my last post. It seemed that in April of 2015 I suddenly ran out of things to say (or that’s what I told myself). In actuality, the subject about which I write started to pierce my shield and my words hit my own heart and mind, causing extreme amounts of discomfort. It was easy to write about gender from my closet, but when I realized I needed to fully come out of that confined space and own my own non-binary gender identity, I found I couldn’t pontificate on the subject any further. So I took 12 months to let people in my life know that I’m not actually a woman and waited to see what the impact of this revelation would be. Here are some of the reactions I have heard from various peoples:

“Makes sense.”

“Are you sure?”

“I don’t know what you mean, but I know I love you.”

“This seems like it’s just another one of your phases.”

“Are you sure this isn’t just related to your body image issues?”

“That identity isn’t real to me.”

“Your pronouns are grammatically incorrect.”

“You just look too much like a woman to be trans.”

It was a long year. I didn’t really think about the discrimination and hate I would inevitably face as an OUT trans person, I just knew I couldn’t pretend to be a cis woman any longer. At first I thought I might be agender. Then I tried out gender queer. Then I switched to pan-gender. For a couple of months I identified as apangenderqueerfluid (that was fun to explain to people), but after all of these explorations I finally realized that I am GENDER FLUID and how on earth did it take me so long to see that?

I am aware that I have lived a thousand lives in my twenties and thirties. My friend who questioned whether or not this was “just another one of my phases” had good reason. I have embodied everything from baby dyke to raver girl to Hollywood starlet to tomboy… to whatever I am now. As I reflected on my life and all of these identities it suddenly made so much sense that my entire being is fluid (not just my gender!). My sexuality has been fluid, my career path has been fluid, my spirituality has been fluid, of course my gender is fluid…I’m a fluid package! I am learning to embrace and love this aspect of my identity, though it is challenging to be such a watery creature in a world that really loves stability.

Several people have asked if I want surgery or hormones and I have been thinking about it. Having a lower voice would be super rad and I suspect that a lot of my past body hate is correlated with my gender questions, but I also recognize that having a fluid identity makes permanent changes more scary. I’m not able to move towards something stable that will feel better than where I’m at now. If I have surgery or take hormones, what happens in five years when I’m feeling uber feminine again? I can already feel myself flowing in a new direction these days; there is a back-and-forth and up-and-down and skirting of masculine, feminine, gender queer, and all sorts of configurations of those things.

I don’t really expect non-fluid people to remotely understand that concept… it’s hard to understand from inside the flow! All I know is that my identity flows; it is a dance. It’s a dance with myself, with my environment, within relationships, and within spirit. I flow like a stream or a current of air and even I’m not sure where I will end up. There is nothing wrong with this. It has taken three decades, but I know now that the flow is OK.

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