If everyone else jumped off a cliff, would you?

All my friends are writing gender-identity blogs, so why don’t I?

Neither here nor there, neither straight nor gay, neither butch nor femme, neither masculine nor feminine, I don’t know what to make of my place in the world. I thought I did, but these days I’m not so sure. For years and years, I’ve called myself queer. And bi. Bisexual, bigendered, happily existing in the intersection. Except that’s not really a place, is it? It’s sort of lukewarm, a little wishy-washy. Why don’t you make up your mind? Do you like girls or boys? Are you a girl or a boy?

I liked queer because it covered all the bases. Yes, I like girls. Yes, I like boys. Yes, I’m masculine. Yes, I’m feminine.  Okay, maybe not so much that latter. I’m a fairly masculine soul in a painfully female body, who doesn’t shave, wears men’s clothing and has long, bright blue hair. I love boots and earrings, and I’d love boots and earrings and still want long blue hair even if I woke up tomorrow with a penis and no breasts. No one ever mistakes me for male except online where they can’t see me. No one ever quite mistakes me for female, either, not once they know me.

I’m emotionally empathic. I’m open-minded. I’m kind. These are gender-neutral traits. I think.

I’ve never, not even for a little while, felt like a girl. When I wear a skirt and makeup, I feel like I’m in drag. But I’ve never felt like a boy, really, either. And maybe sometimes I kind of like going out in drag.

I have always known I was neither. Or both. Lesbian worked as an identity only for as long as I was exclusively dating girls. Straight never worked for a second, but I masqueraded as one just the same, while I was married to a man. I’ve known since forever that I was not exactly standard-issue.

I’ve never known, even for a little while, where I fit in.

Some friends of mine (JB and DK) have recently discovered butch and femme, leading me to re-examine the concepts as well. I knew butch and femme as old-school lesbian code words left over from the pulp-fiction days of she-devils and bulldaggers. Except it seems a lot of people are reclaiming those terms and turning them to new uses. I’d have said I was butch, except butch seems to have evolved into this almost transgender identity, and well, I’m not that. Not really. Although DearDiaspora posted this fascinating gender identity quiz, which I found frighteningly easy to answer. Boy, boy, boy, right down the line. But I’m not that person who is in danger of being evicted from the ladies room. No one ever accidentally calls me sir.

So… what am I? I’m so uncomfortable with the whole gender issue, I don’t even know where to begin. To the straight world I’m a rather poor example of a woman, to my gay male friends, I’m a dyke. To my gay female friends, I’m some flavor of butch. To myself I’m just me. Queer, but definitely falling on the butch side of the line if you insist on dichotomizing the world. I’m starting to think about cutting my hair short, so I could fit in at least a little.

Although it would still have to be blue.

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~ by Nezu on 31 January 2010.

3 Responses to “If everyone else jumped off a cliff, would you?”

  1. if you insist on dichotomizing the world … then, you have immediatly mislabled most everyone, I think. Most of us are ‘in between’ and that’s just the truth of it, few are just brave enough to admit it. Thanks Nezu!

  2. […] thing that would never happen to me no matter how I wore my hair. In fact, I think I predicted it in this very blog. I remember a conversation with my friend Manny around December, when I was edging closer and […]

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