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[personal profile] ishyface
The fun thing about being genderqueer is that you just can't win for losing sometimes.

Lately I've been trying out a different aesthetic. Girl-cut shirts, eyeliner, skinny jeans, femmey stuff like that. And while I like it, and while I think it looks fucking nifty, I don't like the baggage that goes along with it.

Part of the reason why I've always gone for baggier clothes is because it hides my shape. I'm a pretty curvy person and a lot of times that bothers me- it's harder to pass when you've got child-bearing hips, and even though a lot of the time I don't pass anyway it's still nice to have that extra bit of security. For the past few years I've mostly bought things a couple of sizes too big for me because of that. Now that I'm getting into more form-fitting stuff that's not really an option. People can tell what my assigned sex is, and they treat me differently because of it.

It's the little things you notice. When you pass for a guy- or even just for a very butch girl- people do not maintain eye contact as long. They do not hold doors open or try to strike up conversations on the bus as often. They don't call you by pet names, and they don't ask if you need to be walked to your car. Masculinity gives you a kind of impenetrability, and I mean that in as many senses of the word as you like. Masculinity means that people assume you can take care of yourself, that no one will fuck (with) you. It means that you can move freely and that people won't ask as many questions. This, I suppose, is part of what they call male privilege.

The first time I noticed a difference was in the summer. I'd been playing around with eye makeup that morning and was wearing a pink shirt, and I went downtown for some reason or other. After an hour or two I went into a pizza place to get some lunch, and the guy at the counter smiled at me and called me "sweetie."

I'd been going to that pizza place for about four years, and that guy had been working there the whole time. He'd never "sweetie'd" me before. Never smiled. It was weird.

It's the little things you notice. People rushing to hold a door for you. A casual "honey" from someone who's known you five minutes. Profs passing you over in class. Questions about boys- which ones are cute, which ones are nice, which ones you're dating (and if not, why not?). People telling you that you "look nice"- not because you actually do, but because you look more like what they think you should look like. People assuming that you want to talk to them, or sit with them, or fuck them, because it's not like you're doing anything better with your time, right? People explaining things to you. Femininity opens you up in that way- or, rather, it lets people assume that you are opened up. Emotionally, physically, sexually, whatever, you're available and convenient and you'd damn well better be grateful, too.

It's all because of a few pieces of clothing and a stick of fucking kohl, and it pisses me off.

My biology is incidental to my personhood. I'm not a different person because I've got two X chromosomes instead of a Y; wearing eyeliner and skinny jeans doesn't make me a girl, any more than it makes fucking Pete Wentz a girl. It shouldn't carry so many gendered connotations. There's nothing female about makeup (the Celts agree) or tight pants (hey there, Shakespeare) or the colour pink (the "proper" colour for boy's clothing until very recently). There's nothing male about them, either. They're just things. That's all.

But people pounce on them and make judgments and decide based on their own preconceptions and insecurities whether you're a boy or a girl (and God help you if they can't decide). And THEN they decide how they should react to you, not in spite of gender but because of it. It's stupid, and it's fucked up, and I don't like it.

My identity's complicated. I'm not a boy (except for when I am), I'm not a girl (except for when I am), I'm not really both or a mixture or something in between (except for when I am). I'm Gerald.

I wish there was some way I could get that across without having to conform to a fucking dress code.
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the creature from the blog lagoon

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