My gender journey so far

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It has now been around half a year since I came out as non-binary genderqueer, and I feel like it’s time for a little update. I’ve learned a whole lot after I allowed myself to be who I am, without hiding anything or suppressing a part of my identity.

When I first came out as NB I decided to keep my she/her pronouns. I have later discovered that I’m actually just as comfortable with he/him or they/them. I think the reason I chose to hold on to my old pronouns earlier was to not make anyone uncomfortable with having to readjust. This is still something that is important to me, because making other people uncomfortable makes me uncomfortable, which really doesn’t serve anyone. That’s why I decided to let other people choose what pronouns they use for me, because I like all of them. Most people use she/her out of habit, while a few uses they/them, and I’m comfortable with that.

When it comes to other words used to describe me, I have discovered that I’m ok with some of the feminine terms, while others – not so much. Words that describe my relationship to someone in my family, like daughter or sister feels ok to me, while words that directly describes my gender (wrongly), like lady, girl, female or woman I’m not so comfortable with.

Another thing that has changed since I first came out is that I no longer feel a need to prove my gender to anyone through the way I dress or present. In the beginning I was overcompensating for my feminine sides and constantly worrying that people wouldn’t take me seriously if I didn’t present androgynous. Now I am getting more confident in myself and I know that my gender is valid no matter how I’m presenting on any given day, and I do not have to prove myself to anyone. Gender is not so much about how I look as it is about my internal feelings and experiences.

Girls don’t have to wear pink dresses, boys don’t have to be tough as fuck and genderqueer people don’t have to present androgynous to have their gender be valid. To challenge this norm is to move the world forward and expand people’s acceptance of diversity. I know that I’m far from the only person that has another experience of gender than the binary male or female, and I know how important representation of gender diversity has been for me.  I realize that I can be myself fearlessly in all my colors, and at the same time contribute to making other people feel represented, validated and less alone. And that my dear friends, is reason enough to love and be proud of myself. 🌈❤️

 

The offensive bodies

IMG_7348I celebrated pride this weekend with my friends and I had the best off times! But when I wanted to share pictures from the celebration on Instagram, my post got deleted. Why you may ask? Because it contained female nipples.

Nothing sexual about the picture, just some people with breasts posing for a picture, some with nipple covers, one without. All looking proud and happy.

Apparently Instagrams policy says “for a variety of reasons, we don’t allow nudity on Instagram. […] It also includes some photos of female nipples, but photos of post-mastectomy scarring and women actively breastfeeding are allowed.”

Even if there exist loopholes in instagrams policy for female individuals to post their nipples on instagram (like wearing a see-through top), that is not the point. It’s the signal that is sent by setting these rules and restrictions based on gender that is the problem. And what that does to people’s feelings about their own bodies.

Today I feel like women are constantly being told to love their bodies, and I think self-love is an amazingly positive focus in this current time. But at the same time women are told to hide their bodies from the same social media platforms that guys can freely post pictures of themselves topless. How is that NOT gender discrimination?

Hide all the female breast like it was not what fed us and kept us alive when we were all so vulnerable and new in the world. Like breast where nothing more than something to look at and get aroused.

I cannot help to see this as just another way women are oppressed and discriminated against by a patriarchal society. An oppression that has lasted for way to long and that we as a modern society should have been way beyond by now. I hope and believe that I get to experience in my lifetime a world that could not give two flying fucks about female nipples on instagram. Maybe one day when I’m 90 years old I will tell my granddaughter about this and she will be just as baffled as I was when I first heard about a time when women couldn’t vote.

Also, I am wondering if these rules instagram has made about who gets to show their nipples and who doesn’t, affects me as a non-binary identifying individual. If anyone has any experience with that I would like to hear from you.

Lots on non-discriminating love and hugs to all of you ❤️🏳️‍🌈

If everyone had a Julie – A Poem

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If everyone had a Julie

Their life would be more bright

Cause she turns your perspective

When you can’t see the light

 

If everyone had a Julie

They would get their shit together

Cause she tells you when you fuck up

And knows you can do better

 

If everyone had a Julie

There would be no point in lying

Cause she don’t believe “I’m fine”

If inside you’re really dying

 

If everyone had a Julie

They would try to be more daring

Cause she encourage you to be yourself

And accepts without comparing

 

If everyone had a Julie

They’d go against the stream

Cause she does what she thinks is right

And fiercely follows her dream

 

If everyone had a Julie

They’d make their enemies their friends

Cause her compassion continues

Where other people’s ends

 

If everyone had a Julie

There could be no wars at all

Cause she choose to build bridges

When others build a wall

 

If everyone had a Julie

They’d feel the way I do

Cause it’s like winning the jackpot

To have a bestfriend just like you

❤️

Not a girl

IMG_7422You know how sometimes life just hits you in the face with a brick? Well that is kinda what has happened in my life lately and I’m just working on holding my head above water in the middle of a stormy ocean of thoughts.

I find it easier to talk about hard things when I get some distance to the issue, and not while I’m in the middle of it. It’s easier to see the complete picture once the fog clears up a bit and time passing offers me a new perspective.

Experiencing some traumatic events recently has brought up a lot of stuff that I had put the lid on, which in turn have caused me a lot on anxiety. I’m currently working on sorting through everything and helping myself by talking about my feelings and experiences with close friends and family. And while I do not feel ready to open up about everything to the whole world quite yet, there is something that I feel it’s time to share.

I’m non-binary.

Which for those of you that are not familiar with the term means that your gender identity is not exclusively feminine or masculine, but a combination (or for some people: neither). In my case my experience of gender can vary from day to day, but generally I tend to be a little more on the masculine side.

IMG_6545 (2)I find it difficult to change my pronouns right now and have decided to continue using she/her for the current time being. That might change in the future, but it might also just remain the same. I just know that this is how I feel now and have been feeling for some years. I have struggled with dysphoria on and of since around the time I became a teenager, but never really been able to grasp what that feeling of something “not being right” was. Now I know, and I will no longer let it consume me.

This doesn’t really affect anything about what you have to call me. My name will still be Jeanett and my pronouns remains the same for now. I just needed to come clear about this to have one less thing to think about. I want to embrace this part of myself and not have it be a source of anxiety. And what better time to do so than right now as the Pride week kicks off here in Bergen?

If anyone is left feeling confused after reading this or is curious to know more, please do not hesitate to ask questions. I will not get offended by your questions – just happy to share and have interesting conversations that we all can learn something from.

Lots of love ❤️🌈

Be the best 8 versions of yourself

“Be the best version of yourself”. I have found the words appealing for quite some time, but it has been too elusive or vague for me to grasp their true meaning. It would perhaps be easier to wrap my head around it if the concept were a little more concrete.

As I went for a walk the other day, I could not help but wonder how I was gonna embark on the journey of becoming “the best version of myself” if I couldn’t even understand what that meant.

For as long as I can remember, I have been a person that largely has let myself be controlled by my emotions. I still am. And I seem to become a different person depending on which emotions is “in charge”. I’m always me, I’m just different versions of me.

That was when it hit me. Different versions of myself! Who were they, and which one was the best? If i could just identify them all and create some kind of overview I would be able to point at the one with the best traits and make sure that was the one I would let be in charge. So that is exactly what I spent the past couple of days doing: some REAL self-examination. After going through all of them, I have found that there are 8 main versions:

TheRationalThinkerThis one knows how to act and react rationally and solve the everyday struggles of life. She knows that if someone says “sorry, I don’t have time to hang out with you today” that doesn’t mean “I don’t like you”, it simply means that this particular day is not a good time. She also knows that if a store is out of beer, she can go to another store to buy the beer, but that the best choice for her health would probably be to skip the beer all together.

TheZenGoddessThis version is the one I have identified as my favorite. She loves every human and animal on the planet and care deeply about solving issues about the environment, animal- and human rights. The Zen Goddess accepts and loves herself and feel good in her own body, and knows how to respond calmly and lovingly to every person she meet no matter their differences. She is a good friend and can listen to others talk without interrupting with her own stories.

TheEgoAssholeThis one wants to have stuff for herself and gets cranky if she has to share with others. It’s hard for her to be happy for others if they have something she wants desperately but can’t get. The Ego Asshole will interrupt other people’s stories to tell them about how she experienced the same thing, only her story is more exciting because she is in it.

TheSelfCriticAka “my own worst critic”. She loves standing in the way of every goddamn good thing she wants to do, and make sure to constantly remind herself that her attempts of spreading love and wisdom is awkward and pretentious. She is the one that put of making this blog for so long because it felt too shameful.

TheRageMonsterThis one is pretty much the opposite of the rational thinker. She snaps at every little thing and lashes out on people, sometimes for no reason. The Rage Monster has absolutely no ability to keep calm in a discussion and ends up screaming in people’s faces. If someone disagree with her political views she will make them feel unwelcome and attacked.

ThePartyAnimalThis girl right here is the most fun person to hang out with if you too are completely shitfaced on a night out. If you’re not though, the feelings might be a little bit different. She drinks uncontrollably, sings loudly and does inappropriate stuff in public. The Party Animal takes zero responsibility for her actions and does not care about anything else than enjoying herself – at any cost.

ThePoliticallyIncorrectThis version naturally does not sit well with the queens and kings of political correctness. She only comes out of her dark-humor-cave when accompanied by certain people as sick and twisted as herself. She tells jokes about the things you shall not joke about and feels no shame about it.

TheDepressedThis one is the version that sometimes takes control over all the other versions and washes over them with total darkness so that there is no space left for anything else. It’s the only version that I have found to be completely uncontrollable and all-consuming. Luckily The Depressed have kept her distance for a while now and rarely comes around during spring- and summertime.

So that’s it then. End of my self-examination project. I found out that I like “The Zen Goddess” version of myself the best, so that is the one I’m gonna try to be all the time, right?

The thing I realized is: All of these versions live inside of me, and I don’t think I can completely get rid of any of them. I don’t even know if I want to. I can have them talk to each other, work it out and hopefully one day be able to live peacefully together, accepting that some of them have to step back and take less space while others blossom and grow.

This is the palette of my personality, but I can choose how much of each color to paint my life with. I think that is what being the best version of myself means.

🌈After all, what would the rainbow be without all of its colors? A really fucking lame rainbow.

A better way to be body positive!

Yes, I do actually believe that you can do “body positivity” in a not-so-positive way. But it does not have to be like that. Let me show you!

As I talked about a little in my previous blog post, the extreme focus on looks in today’s society is damaging to all of us. The body positive movement going on right now is awesome and much needed to repair (or at least begin to repair) the damaged body images of the worlds media influenced population aka everyone. But we have to do this in a way that does not alienate or degrade people with other body types than our own.

Let me give you some examples of what I mean is the wrong way to be “body positive” (if we can even call it that):

I understand where the people that post things like this are coming from. They are probably sick and tired of their bodies not being as respected and celebrated as people with slimer bodies traditionally has been. Or maybe they just want to show that their proud of their curvy bodies and does not think much more about what they are posting. I understand that people are angry. I am too. We should be.

But we can’t direct the anger we have towards society’s unattainable beauty standards towards the people that have the type of body portrayed as more ideal in the mainstream media. It is just as ok to have a smaller figure that is is to have a large figure. We all suffer under the same strict beauty regime and we are better of fighting to change society’s attitude at large than fighting each other. It’s more than ok to express pride and love towards your own body type. It’s not ok to do it at expense of other people feeling good about themselves. There is nothing body positive in that.

A better and more inclusive way to be body positive or create attention around body image could be like this:

It’s also ok to celebrate YOUR body’s specific traits, as long as you don’t talk shit about other bodies in the process.

All bodies are beautiful, and all bodies deserves to be accepted. My body is ok, so are everyone else’s bodies. The diversity in bodies existing in the world should be celebrated. Luckily I see that this is the direction we are heading in. It makes me happy to see what the past couple of years has brought in terms of representing diversity; in the model industry, social media and in the public at large. It gives me hope for a future that can hold space and acceptance for all of us ❤

*Images and Illustrations are created by me, but are mostly based on quotes written by others*