2017 · Life: Mind Palace

On gender identity

I’ve been thinking a lot about gender identity during the last couple of years. I’ve never had a strong feeling either which way about whether or not I’m male or female or neither, not even when I was a kid, but lately I’ve gotten more trans and non-binary friends. It comes up and eventually you find yourself wanting more of a definition than you currently have, which in my case was an uninterested shrug.

You see, I’ve never felt particularly rooted in a gender identity. Maybe some of this has to do with being the only girl in my class until 4th grade (I went to a very small school) but I never really remember it being a big deal even outside of school. Sure, I wore dresses, but most of my clothes were distinctly non-gendered and I played equal amounts with dolls as I did toy tractors. As far as I can remember this wasn’t some grand scheme of my parents to keep me free of societies gender norms or anything, they just didn’t care so much about dressing me in pink or only buying me dolls. I got to wear what I liked and play with what I wanted and for me, that meant everything.

I do remember feeling different in dresses. Not wrong per se, though perhaps a little wrong. Dresses made me feel more fragile and perhaps more feminine – I grew up in the countryside and so I preferred pants. My first romance was with a boy in my class but thinking back, I’ve realised that I had a crush on Gene Wilder and Madeline Kahn after watching Sherlock Holmes Smarter Brother about once a week for several years. There was never any question about having to choose and gay slurs didn’t really enter my conscience until I was in my teens, but the less said about that the better.

I digress. The point of this is that I have a very weak connection to either gender. Some days I feel more feminine, others more masculine and a lot of the days I feel like nothing at all. If I woke up with a penis tomorrow, that would change nothing. If anything I’d like to get a mastectomy, because boobs are ridiculous and heavy and in the way and I have no use for them. It wouldn’t make me feel less feminine or more like a man, and I think that’s what gender fluidity is for me. My personality, what makes up the individual that I am, goes so far outside of masculine and feminine stereotypes that it becomes entirely irrelevant what my body looks like.

Most days I wear pants. Some days I wear dresses and feel fine – not fragile, but perhaps feminine, though I always feel better if my hair is short or at least partially shaved. I don’t consider myself trans but also, maybe? I certainly had a period in my life where I desperately wanted to be a man, but that passed and now I’m fine with whatever. My pronouns remain feminine, but if someone would address me with he or they that’s cool too.

This is long and rambly and mostly not very interesting. Here are two photos I took last year, one day apart, that I think illustrates my point better than the paragraphs above. This is who I am. Nothing else matters.

How you doin'? #selfie

A post shared by Rica (@captain_mallard) on

#selfie

A post shared by Rica (@captain_mallard) on

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3 thoughts on “On gender identity

  1. I had never thought about gender identity until relatively recently, when I have come to understand that I am gender fluid. It is really hard to explain, really hard to convey using words, so I really liked your “picture translation”. Your post really speaks to me, thanks for sharing 🙂

    Like

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