Living Between Genders

What is it like to live between genders? To wake on a daily basis, get dressed, yet remain unsure of how the world will perceive you?  Do perceptions matter? How does one perceive oneself?

In my case, I claim both genders and none. Each day is its own journey, adding to self realization and further attempts to reconcile my own perceptions with those around me. There are days when I long to embrace my female form, choosing clothes that accentuate my curves. Other days I prefer to dress as a ‘tomboy’ where my gender is neutral. On still other days, my dress is focused on embracing my masculine side – hiding my curves and presenting as male. Usually, I simply grab whatever is clean (or only worn one day – why wash jeans that aren’t dirty?). External perceptions are confused. Children look at me questioningly, I hear them ask their parents, “is that a boy or a girl?”. Parental replies can vary from “I don’t know” to choosing a sex category to “I don’t want to know” as one parental unit so eloquently told their young child.

A simple trip to the store is all it takes to know that those external perceptions can both validate and cut to the quick. Imagine for a moment paying for purchases and being thanked for your patronage. When you reply “thanks” and that feminine voice escapes, the checker’s face flinches for just a moment before professionalism attempts to mask it – if they bother. Lowering my voice and speaking with ‘male’ speech patterns which are relatively monotone, short, and even clipped, is possible and sometimes beneficial. Is it important enough to do it? At what point does meeting others expectations make one fake?

As stated earlier, this is my journey. It’s a journey of attempting to coming to grips (I think) with myself while navigating all the ‘labels’ associated with identity. It’s about finding peace and balance while challenging societal norms and mores – usually subtly, sometimes not. Shall we begin?