Though I enjoy the good fortune that my mother is generally accepting of my being gender fluid, I do hit the occasional snag. For many trans* and other LGBT people, they face disapproving family and even the threat of abuse and neglect.
The circumstances life has given me as far as family goes ensures my safety and I could not even imagine the horrors others go through. There are many “what ifs” in life, like “what if I still lived with my father?”, in which I know I would never have been able to come out as gender fluid in fear of abuse. But seeing as how I only have my mother left, I face little chance of being in harm’s way.
That aside, I have come into the presence of the inevitable teasing. Though this in no way compares to the fate of others, the things my family has called me since I came out as gender fluid can be a huge set back for me at times. The mocking I have received from my family, and even a stranger, sets me into questioning whether I really am gender fluid or not and if others simply see this as a phase for me. Though we continuously grow throughout life and perhaps this will be just a phase in the end, I have felt this way for years and the important thing is that I am going through this now.
Obviously there are some hurtful names out there, especially when coupled with the tone of voice. “Hermaphrodite” and “broster” don’t sound good when someone is sneering it at you.
If you are teased at school/work for how you dress because you’re gender fluid, tell a teacher/manager. Don’t just sit there and let the words make you feel bad about yourself. Its usually advisable for an authority figure to have knowledge of what’s going on and know to stop such teasing.
When I am teased by a stranger on the off chance, I usually take it as a compliment. One day I dressed as more masculine but with red ballet flats, so someone called me a “faggot”. Females aren’t usually called that so I’m going to assume they thought I was an effeminate guy, which is what I was going for. If the situation isn’t like that, just ignore them, they don’t know you and what a wonderful person you actually are.
Family and friends can be very different. Though I take the teasing by my family, it’d probably hurt just as much as from a friend. When I do get teased, which is happening a lot more since my older brother comes around more often, I don’t comment or show that I’ve heard them. They’ll joke for a few seconds every once in a while about my gender but usually stop once they realize I’m not doing anything. When they actually start making me doubt who I am, that’s when I wait a couple of minutes and then slip away so I can just think and ask myself again, “do you really switch between male and female?” Since past experience says hell yes, I leave it at that and ignore whatever anyone else says, since I am at least I am gender fluid.
For some odd reason my pronouns don’t consume my entire life, even though they’re a big part of one’s identity. It has probably dropped from my mind recently because of my tiring of the subject/other things happening but a couple of things have caught my attention that walk down the same road as pronouns and switching them.
Since I came out on Facebook, I haven’t exactly seen any of my friends I came out to, which is sad, but I’ve been a bit preoccupied and its been difficult scheduling any good times to meet with others. As such, I have not had the fortune to be referred to as a “he” or “Cam” when I’m having a male or neutral day. Though I remain firm in the decision to have “he” as my default pronoun, as of yet I have not been able to tell my mother about this decision, mostly due to her also being a bit preoccupied with my brother.
This means I’ve been just sitting here waiting for a chance to try out “he” while thinking about how odd that might just be. Our world really is binary, and just because you choose to be known as a “he”, you will also have to deal with a string of other masculine slang and addresses, such as “sir”, “young man”, and hopefully to my mother someday, “son”. Though I’m not so excited by some terms, I have been thrilled by the prospect of being called “young man” someday, and the day I do gain that term would be a proud one indeed.
But as it stands, I also realize I have A LOT of feminine features, not just in appearance but also in style and personality. I love fancy clothing (even though usually I’m too lazy to do much of anything) and other effeminate features, but I cannot bring myself to wearing a dress or growing my hair long, it wouldn’t be me. I am still considering getting a wig for my female days, but in the meantime I have kept my hair very short and do not plan on growing it out. I would be a very feminine guy indeed, and though that suits me, society is not exactly accepting of blurred gender lines.
So my decision? Be a dandy.
I’ve always been a dandy at heart, but now I know better how to go about it and that yes, it fits my gender perfectly. I can be very feminine in clothing and yet retain the masculine status, a person skating in between, and that’s perfect.
There are other things I’m still trying to work out, primarily how I’m going to go about my name change and telling my mum I’m more son than daughter. But at least I know how to present myself a bit more correctly now and hopefully live up to who I am on the inside.