my gender has always been non-binary (i think)

so i commented on does identifying as outside the gender binary help eliminate gender? at feminism: the liberation movement of womyn.  all quotes are from that post.  here’s my comment (with some revision and much addition):

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my gender is non-binary.  i have always known my gender to be non-binary.  when i started kindergarten, i didn’t use the bathroom for the first few months because i knew i didn’t belong in the girls’ bathroom or in the boys’ bathroom.

i did not take stock of my attributes, hobbies, feelings etc., classify each of them as “female” or “male”, and tally them up.  i am incapable of such tallying because i don’t believe that such traits etc. belong to specific genders.  i didn’t say to myself, “well, i have these “unwomanly” traits– so i must not be a woman!”  that would be ludicrous because women can be anything and there are no such things as “unwomanly” traits (the same is true for all genders).  i know that i’m neither female nor male– and it feels very simple, very natural to me.

“…when [they are] raped, [they] will still be raped as a woman.”  yes, their rapist will no doubt consider them a woman.  i’m not going to argue with that.  however, i don’t think misperception changes reality.  real life story: one time, while raping me, the guy told me i wasn’t human.  that i was “garbage”.  so, really, he raped me “as inhuman garbage.”  allow me to assure you that i am, in fact, a valuable human being; my rapist’s opinion of me has no bearing whatsoever on who/what i actually am.  perception can be very powerful, but the truth is still valuable.  [edit: i now understand the author's point better than i did when i wrote this post.  she was writing about gender being composed entirely of power relations, so i kinda missed the point.]

“does identifying as outside the gender binary help eliminate gender?”  i don’t really think so.  to begin with, i don’t “identify” as non-binary any more than a cis man “identifies” as a man.  i no longer use the word “identify” to describe gender because it undermines the validity of said gender.

furthermore, nobody is their gender in order to accomplish something.  gender is not a means to an end, but a simple (ok, a complex) fact.  being open about non-binary gender is not going to change the world by itself.  i think it’s important to actually fight gender-based oppression; this leaves room for non-binary gender, relieves people of all genders from gender stereotypes and expectations, and combats gender-based power relations.

this is not a fad and this is not speshul snowflake syndrome; this is my life.  being open about my non-binary gender doesn’t get me “out of the position of fuck-object”; it certainly doesn’t protect me from rape.  that’s ok because i’m open about my gender in order to be honest– not in order to “get out of the position of fuck-object”.  being open about my gender doesn’t make me “feel empowered”; it makes me feel like i’m not lying.  it makes me feel like i can form real, truth-based connections with other people.

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i didn’t know what to call this post.  at first, i called it “come one people, be people now!”  you know.  in reference to south park.  now i’m renaming it several days later because i don’t like the original title– not because i have a better idea.  is that weird of me?

lemme know if you can one-up this new title, please.  cuz i’m funny about titles.

3 responses to “my gender has always been non-binary (i think)

  1. Pingback: Gender Identity – Stereotypes and Gender « Reneta Xian

  2. Pingback: belonging-ful | rainbowgenderpunk

  3. Pingback: how do you know your gender is non-binary? | Queering the Church

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