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. 🌈❤️