Can I ask everyone to do me a favor?
Stop. Freaking. Out. About. Labels.
As in stop trying to put yourself in a box. As in be yourself and let that self speak for itself. The fact that you are a queer minded and bodied person means that you can literally be anything gender wise and sexuality wise. To some that is totally comforting because it then gives them the space to be whomever they want, to not have to worry about explaining why they are dating a transgender person or another gender queer individual. But to some being queer is only the beginning of their “who am I” chart. Under that umbrella falls well, a whole lot. A whole lot of gender and a whole lot of sexuality.
A few days ago a good friend of mine posted this status on Facebook:
Can someone be both gender queer and trans?
What followed was a gay gaggle of thoughts ranging from yes of course, to no; why would you want to say that you’re both? The one thing that everyone did seem to agree on was, that at the end of the day whatever it is that you are comfortable calling yourself should be exactly what you do call yourself.
Let us repeat that sentiment:
WHATEVER IT IS THAT YOU ARE COMFORTABLE CALLING YOURSELF IS EXACTLY WHAT YOU SHOULD CALL YOURSELF.
But back to that question.
I classify myself as gender queer. My gender is not defined. I am neither M or F. When I think of my friends who consider themselves trans they are saying so because to them they were born in a body that doesn’t match their brain chemistry. I personally have no qualms with my body I just choose to dress it in a more masculine nature and prefer male pronouns or my name said in their place. To me, my lack of gender preference has nothing I repeat NOTHING to do with my sexuality. It has to do with just that MY GENDER. When someone tells me that they are transgender my only thought is of their gender, not of who they sleep with. So sticking with that same line of thinking, someone saying that they are trans and gender queer confuses me. So being the curious kitten I am I hit the interwebs.
“Transgender is the state of one’s gender identity (self-identification as woman, man, neither or both) not matching one’s assigned sex (identification by others as male, female or intersex based on physical/genetic sex). Transgender does not imply any specific form of sexual orientation; transgender people may identify as heterosexual, homosexual, bisexual, pansexual, polysexual, or asexual; some may consider conventional sexual orientation labels inadequate or inapplicable to them. The precise definition for transgender remains in flux, but includes:
1. Of, relating to, or designating a person whose identity does not conform unambiguously to conventional notions of male or female gender roles, but combines or moves between these.
2. People who were assigned a sex, usually at birth and based on their genitals, but who feel that this is a false or incomplete description of themselves.
3.Non-identification with, or non-presentation as, the sex (and assumed gender) one was assigned at birth.”
So. Is a gender queer person than under the umbrella of a trans person? Or are the two, two different identities?
This. Is. My. Head. Exploding.
I go out a lot and have a lot of different friends who identify as a whole crock pot of things. Through these people I have come to understand how differently everyone sees gender and sexuality. I have noticed that to some a clear label and description is extremely important, while to others the fluidity of being whatever at whatever moment in time is more comforting to them. SO maybe there is no answer to that question. What makes perfect sense to one person makes none to another. But I am here trying to understand it all, because I think it is important. I think that as an LGBTQ culture we are at an all time high of media representation, of government attention, of general acceptance, and I want to make sure that no one feels left out or left behind. What I do want however is for everyone to take a deep breath. You are you. If you put on your clothes in the morning (or in my case the late afternoon JUDGE ME) look in the mirror and say “yes” that is all that matters. Labels are good for explaining yourself to strangers but to those who really matter you will find more often than not that they are only really concerned with the descriptive adjectives that make you, you. Don’t sweat the small stuff.
And here is your weekend anthem: