10 out of 10
Would recommend for anyone having questions about themselves.
So, you may or may not have figured out that I have a vagina and boobs. I do talk about those anatomical traits a fair bit. I have been frustrated with these body parts for most of my life. When I turned 12, my uterus suddenly started spewing bits of it’s lining violently from my vagina. When I was 15, I got my first breast exam. At age 15, I was also diagnosed with Poly-Cystic Ovarian Syndrome, which explained why I was simultaneously anemic AND about 80 pounds overweight.
Being female threw me many curve balls that my male friends did not have to deal with. As such, I have been converted firmly into a rather frustrated feminist. I see that there is very little gender equality, and this needs to be fixed. My boyfriend (and dare I say, life partner) thinks the same way.
However, I must confess this: I am not always a female. Sometimes, I feel very feminine and I insist that my boyfriend call me Mistress. But sometimes, I feel very male, and I want him to call me Wolf-sama. Always, I want him to call me his cookie. It took me 23 years on this earth to realize my gender. It also took at lot of exploring others’ stories and getting to know myself.
In middle school, I looked at other girls and thought “They are pretty. I hope they date someone awesome.” But I kept my focus on men because I felt that it was right. At the time, maybe it was. I didn’t actually have sex until I was 20. My first time was with a cis-male. It really blew my mind how great it was having another human being to explore my body (until then, it had been me and a crappy toy). When I broke up with that boyfriend, I missed sex so much. I toyed with “just being a lesbian” because “boys suck.” (The memory of these thoughts make me laugh and also revolt me a little now.)
And then I met my current boyfriend. He’s amazing. He’s open-minded and he sometimes knows more about the internet than I do. He asked me if I had a preferred pronoun on our first date. At that time, I confidently answered “she/her.” And that was pretty okay.
It all changed one day when I woke up and something felt wrong. I had many days like this before, but I never stopped to think about it. I assumed it was weather or clothing sitting weird. I blamed it on periods, food I ate the night before and anything I could find that wasn’t the real reason. And then I saw it. In the mirror, when I combed my hair a certain way, I looked extremely masculine. I wore it that way for a few days.
I felt like I saw something new on those days. I was right in my own skin. But that next week, masculine hair felt weird. So I let it go. And a friend of mine, Otto, texted me to say hello. Otto is a non-binary person who uses exclusively they/them. I just looked at that name on my phone and realized something: Sometimes they/them was better than she/her OR he/him.
And it occurred to me to look up styles. Because when I want to present as a gender, I really want to be that gender. I looked up “Gender fluid” for google images and I saw a reflection of myself. One picture in a dress, then in cargo shorts, and a last one in a button-up. One person with a headband and curls, then with spiky hair, and then with a side-part. All of these are me. I cannot be placed into one facet or another and expected to stay there. I want the freedom to explore who I am, whenever that changes.
So I sat with my boyfriend and I had a talk. I now like the word “partner.” I don’t overly prefer or dislike any pronouns. I’ll answer to Indigo, or my given name, or many other pseudonyms chosen in my life. Before sex, he asks “What are you feeling today?” From there, I become Puppy, Bitch, or in some fine cases, Cabin Boy. When I’m feeling feminine, he calls me beautiful. When I’m feeling masculine, he calls me handsome. When I don’t know (which is often), he calls me both because it doesn’t really matter anyway.
I always want to be my boyfriend’s partner. And he’s been more accepting of me than I thought anyone would. I have a right to be accepted, but he also had a right to leave me (his life is his, and that’s okay). Instead, he embraces it with a “hey, pick up a strap-on,” or a “hey, what are you feeling like today?” I have many thanks to the people in my life who support my choices, and my chosen name of Indigo. I hope my (condensed) story brings some good into a world where people have a hard time finding it.
My best friend is a very analytical person. She has many questions about life and she was very open-minded with me. But she sat me down and asked me a big question: “If society didn’t place norms on genders, would you still feel gender-fluid?”
I honestly don’t know. A lot of my “not feeling right” is based on how society perceives me. It’s only sometimes attached to my physical body and parts I lack. Unfortunately, since I will never have lived in a world where gender was not associated with personality traits, I will never know what “makes me gender-neutral” or doesn’t.
I wish I had more story to tell. I’m not out to my family yet, because it really isn’t worth it. I’m not out to a few workplaces for the same reason (although I know I would be accepted, it’s a lot to remember). I don’t feel strongly about everyone knowing what I’m feeling like on a particular day. The people I care about most know and accept it without question.
I found my gender, and I’ll re-find it every day.