I’ve tried writing this intro over and over, to the point that it became tedious. This is version four and it comes with a realisation.The words I feel, experience and breathe cannot be magically transformed into an eloquent paragraph. The truth of the matter is, being genderqueer isn’t eloquent, it’s a fuckfest of emotions. It’s a canvas painted with self-loathing, constant ‘what-if’s’, and social anxiety. It’s perceived as immature behaviour, when in fact it is the blood flowing through your veins, making you… you.
The anguish of being genderqueer is the awareness that wider society is not ready to accept a genderless state. Society is a monster with the power of metamorphosis; a creature of many shapes. One of its favourite forms is the dodgy looks from the wonderful users of public transport – the scathing stares that pierce through your superficial self-confidence. You tell yourself that this is me, the make-up on my face is who I am. Then why is it so much more comfortable to suppress it?
I’ve recognised my lack of belonging to the male gender for the past seven years, yet suppressed every ounce of it. Growing up in a Jewish secondary school with a few male friends didn’t leave much room for coming out. Especially seeing as the school’s views of LGTBQ+ took the form of very strong stereotypes.
A few months ago, I came to terms with the fact I’m not male. My close friends know of me now as non-binary, yet a small part of me says I am a trans woman. We can credit our cis-centric society for that voice; a world that detests grey areas. The world sees a grey area, I view it as colourful. It deconstructs gender, allowing me a fluid freedom to express myself as I please – something much more vibrant than a simple inbetween.
The three months since I came out to my bisexual girlfriend was a lifetime ago. Since then, I have taken the most daunting steps of my life. I’ve worn dresses in public and had face to face encounters with hostility – another form of the corrupt societal creature. It adores the shape of a teenage boy shouting “what the fuck are you wearing?”. He slashes your self esteem like a misogynistic knight slaughtering the last dragon.
The reason I can escape the grasp of this villain is through the positive reception of my gender. This come in all sorts of shapes and sizes: being addressed with ‘they/them’ pronouns, fashion advice from my girlfriend, or drunk compliments from friends. This is what gives me life.
Life as a genderqueer is a nightmare filled to the brim with adrenaline. This lifelong hallucination is overflowing with dysphoria, yet there are moments where time ceases and euphoria starts driving.