I’ve never been much of a writer so I hope you’ll pardon any mistakes and infrequency in posts. But I believe in the power of seeing people like you and feeling like you’re not alone. So I’m putting myself out there to share a bit about my nonbinary “transition” such as is is and my thoughts as I seek to become more fully myself every day.
When I search things like genderqueer fashion or androgyny I usually don’t see myself or anyone like me in the results. We’re in a new frontier when it comes to gender identity – not that there weren’t people like us before, we just didn’t have the wealth of language to describe it or the visibility. But as has happened with homonormativity, it seems to me that the AFAB dandy has become the fashionable icon of androgyny and masculine-of-center presentation is the default assumption. Not that there is anything wrong with that look, in fact I think it is very attractive on many people. But I don’t see myself represented and I don’t see many AMAB femmes visible in mainstream queer culture. That’s part of why it took me until I was 26 to realize that I could be genderqueer and that my beard and my body didn’t exclude me from being nonbinary.
There are a few notable exceptions and visible figures who I look up to and admire -people like Jacob Tobia, Jeffrey Marsh, and Alex Drummond. I appreciate them being the pioneers of fashion and making the world a safer place for me through their openness and vulnerability. I don’t want to become a public figure like them but I do want to share in that vulnerability by putting myself outside my comfort zone and showing a bit more of what my daily life is like as a bearded genderqueer.
So that’s why I’m here and starting this blog. I’m not special and I’m certainly not as confident as most people think I am. I often struggle with not feeling queer enough or trans enough. It takes a lot of bravery to walk out the door into non-queer spaces wearing a dress and a beard. I am pretty much guaranteed to garner stares wherever I go, even in Seattle where we have a high density of trans people. And that attention, even when it’s not malicious, is exhausting. Simply going to the grocery store dressed as myself takes a lot of energy and I don’t always have what it takes to do it in every space.
So to everyone else out there who struggle with the same things I want you to know you are not alone. We are here and we are genderqueer. But that isn’t easy and it’s ok to be kind to yourself and it’s ok to hide your gender in unsafe spaces or even because you don’t have the energy that day. You are trans enough, even when you’re not presenting how you feel like you should.
8 thoughts on “What I’m doing here”
You are beautiful and I love you. I’m so glad I get to walk this path with you. ❤
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It takes strength and bravery to put yourself out there in such a public forum, but like you said it can inspire and change lives! Even if just one person finds the courage to explore their true identity after reading your blog, it will be well worth it! Not to mention the education that the general public can get from seeing gender identities that go beyond the binary. We need blogs like this 🙂 thanks for sharing your life with us. X
There are a few of us around … though admittedly nowhere near enough!
I came through the trans world via organised crossdresser UK-based support networks, but I couldn’t accept (psychologically or politically) the mandatory pretence of being “a woman when dressed”, and after asking a lot of trans-philosophical questions that no-one wanted to think about, and generally stirring things up, I got kicked out of two of the major groups. So I went my own way – I dumped the wig, make-up, body padding, and female identity, and since early 2000 have worn so-called women’s clothes 24/7 as a man (including 9 years in full-time employment, and 16 years part-time as a theatre musician). I’m rather more “femme” than most men-in-skirts, but to me gender is a collection of artefacts, and I’ve picked the ones I like – they’re mostly from the box labelled “feminine” (e.g. I have long purple hair which I tie up in a scrunchie), but I’m still happy to identify as a man.
TBH, it’s kind-of fun challenging conventional stereotypes, traditions, and beliefs, but I don’t do it for the shock value (although it occasionally has that effect …). I also find it empowering, and the more I push myself, the more confident I become. And it is all about self-confidence … as you know.
Check me out on FB if you wish – I’d be honoured for have you as a contact, and to share experiences.
I am very bearded and Hairy currently masculine presenting. I want to present more in the middle of the road as I enjoy my masculine energy and my feminine energy thank you for your blog as I am hoping to learn from you a bit on how to go about this.
Great post! Always happy to find other AMAB non-binary people. Like the beard and shaved legs. Neat way to be fem and masc at the same time.
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