gender retrospective

from evy's notebook

It's been about two years since I decided to start using they pronouns and the label genderqueer. A lot of things have changed about how I interact with the world around me, but it's hard to know which of them are because of gender. Around the time I changed my gender situation, two other things happened: I shaved my head, and I started wearing baggier clothes. These didn't really have anything to do with gender. I shaved my head because I was in a phase of my life of doing scary shit, and I wore baggier clothing because I got a nerve injury and tight clothing was too uncomfortable. But having short hair and wearing looser clothing definitely contributed to presenting less femme, which impacted the way people perceive me and even how I perceive myself.

There are some changes I've made intentionally because of gender. One is that I'm more interested in trying multiple roles in partnered activities -- leading and following in dance, top/Dom and bottom/sub in kink, and being both big and little spoon when cuddling. Though the new roles felt a bit unnatural at first, I've grown to really enjoy them for the diversity of ways I can relate to others and myself. Through switching more, I've developed empathy for whatever role is opposite to me at any time, which I think has greatly improved my skills on both sides. Masculine-coded roles have also helped me develop confidence in how I carry myself, which I really like.

There are some changes in my life I've enjoyed less. One is that flirting has become harder. A lot of the flirty situations I end up in are with straight men, and now I'm less likely to want to flirt with straight men, because I don't want to be perceived as a woman. I also feel like I've become a bit more emotionally hardened, and have more trouble being vulnerable with people. Is this from trauma or gender? I have no idea.

I've really enjoyed how much easier it is to feel at home in queer spaces now. I've been dressing more conventionally queer, partly due to the previously-mentioned unintentional queer-coded fashion changes, but also from deliberate things like how I style my hair as it grows out, the patches I put on things, wearing funky colorful clothes, and whatnot. It's been easier for me to feel queer in sexuality, where before I felt more in the cis-straight box and now I feel closer to person-who-fucks-with-gender attracted to people-who-fuck-with-gender. It's easier for me to consider relationships with femme people, especially since I started dating someone bigender who presents femme pretty often.

Sometimes I miss aspects of womanhood, and as an example I've been trying to dress more femme now that I can wear tighter clothes and my hair is longer. But overall I'm really glad to be challenging gender in the ways I have, and using they pronouns has also resulted in a lot of nice conversations with people where I've helped them question gender roles more too. I'm curious to see what the next several years of gendered experiences (or lack thereof) will look like for me!