confessions of a gender fluid woman


One thing about me: I am (mostly) a very fluid person, one who slips easily between one world and another. One who enjoys slipping between worlds.

I have for many, many years considered myself more androgynous than male or female. I slip between worlds, though: gender-fluid.

That said, I am lucky in that I have no body dysphoria - I am happy to be sexed female. (The World Health Organization has a very concise definition of the difference between sex and gender here, if you think of them as the same thing - they aren't!) I am whole in my body: happy and at home.

And I am happy in my gender fluidity. There were a few years when I was a teenager that I had a harder time with my fluidity (since I got ridiculed for it - especially when I cut all my hair off in 9th grade) but having gotten past that age, I know deeply how wrong it was to be teased for who I am. I do not have to accept that teasing and agree with it by being ashamed of myself.

I got such a huge kick out of shaving my dreadlocks off in May. I loved my dreadlocks. (I still love them. And I am still fairly certain that I will have a second set at some point in my life.) Having shaved hair is a very, very masculine-gendered trait in our culture. And I identify with that side of myself. I like that I can finally present that side of myself and not give a flying fuck if someone has to ask if I am a girl or a boy! (Yes, that's already happened.)

My clothing is still "feminine" (since I like bright colors and skirts and dresses and flowing fabrics and those things are - stupidly, imo - gendered feminine in American culture).

I don't wear makeup, though (unless I'm performing). And now my hair screams butch.

My outward presentation is finally balanced, just like I am.

I am balanced, naturally and by intention.

Butch/ femme? Both. Left brain/ right brain? Both. Extrovert/ Introvert? Both. Male/ Female? Both. Hetero/ Homo? Both. Skeptical/mystical? Both. I do not like or agree with duality and never have. It just doesn't make sense to me. I choose all (or none).

I am fluid. Except when I am not.

I am monogamous. (I have many, many polygamous friends, but it is not something I am personally interested in.)

I am not ambidextrous, though I have always wanted to be.

When I was in college, I practiced writing with my left hand and my feet for awhile, just because. But no, I am right handed.

I studied (and performed) a dance form that is intentionally one sided (in American Tribal Style or ATS, because of the line of sight in group improv, the right side of the body is emphasized more than the left - several prominent teachers have changed that, but at the time I was taught, it was still the norm to use one side in practice and performance). That did not suit me, so I started practicing on both sides on my own (even though I would not be able to perform that way). As a solo artist, I perform symmetrically.

Speaking of symmetry: it has taken me years and years to get used to asymmetrical fashion. Even looking at one shouldered dresses used to make me so uncomfortable! I still wouldn't wear one, but now I can see the attraction.

(Ditto with tattoos - I would only ever consider getting symmetrical tattoos for myself.)