Monday, September 29, 2014

When No Gender Fits

There are a large number of people who identify as genderqueer or genderfluid, they do not want to be pinned down to a gender but want to either be able to flow between genders or by androgynous.
When no gender fits: A quest to be seen as just a person
Washington Post
By Monica Hesse
September 20

Kelsey’s gender identity is “non-binary.” Or, “agender.” It’s what Kelsey feels comfortable with, even though the world keeps insisting, in a million little ways, that Kelsey has to choose. Like the OkCupid profile some friends are always suggesting Kelsey create online. When Kelsey looked at the matchmaking site’s opening screen, it presented an immediate problem: “I am a [male/female].”

Which box do you check when you don’t belong in any box? How do you navigate the world when the world is built on identifying with one group or another group, male or female, and the place that feels most right to you is neither?
[…]
For Kelsey, identifying as agender wasn’t an immediate realization but a gradual awakening, a recognition that what applied to other girls didn’t seem to apply to Kelsey. People would say Kelsey was pretty, and it made Kelsey squirm — not because Kelsey felt unattractive but because other people’s definitions of pretty, or handsome for that matter, didn’t work. Dresses and makeup only made Kelsey feel uglier, but boy clothes weren’t right either. It wasn’t about being a tomboy. It wasn’t a personality trait. It wasn’t even about the clothes, although those were an immediate shorthand for Kelsey’s discomfort. It was something different and deeper.
The first thing that is asked when a baby is born is whether it is a boy or girl. From that day forward that label puts them in a box with certain expectations and some people don’t want to be put in a box, they don’t want to be tied down to life goals that is tied to what is between their legs.

What is wrong with wanting to live in a non-gendered world where people see you as a person and not as a male or female?

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