So, I’ve been thinking about non-binary gender identities. I was hanging out with some friends recently and one of them mentioned she was gender queer, but preferred female pronouns for the sake of convenience. That’s cool. I didn’t think much of it. But as the night went on, I began to get annoyed by this person’s assertion. I just didn’t see one scrap of masculinity about her. I just don’t see why she bothered to take the label. It was a little galling because my fiancé is trans and really has to suffer some serious social consequences for going out and being a man everyday when he was assigned female at birth. I wasn’t really mad at our friend. I actually think she’s pretty cool. The idea sticks in my craw, though.
Now, I know it’s popular to say “I am what I say I am”. I think maybe that sentiment could stand to be changed to “I am what I do”. If you say you are something, you should back it up. Now I’m not talking about wearing pink or liking football or things like that. I’m talking about broad behavior trends that exist across cultures within the spheres of masculinity and femininity.
I could write for a long time about what it means to be masculine and feminine, but that’s not really my point. My point is that folks should not take on the label of gender queer unless it really means something. If you were assigned female and use female pronouns and you live your day to day life as a girl/woman, you’re not gender queer and you aren’t the same as people who have to deal with the consequences of their identity and to assert that you are in the same boat is to undermine the meaning of gender identity.
Whatever happened to “being in touch with your feminine/masculine side”? Since when did people need a whole new gender because they could function well with people of a different gender.
Now, I know people who are non-binary. They present as both, neither, one or the other as they feel and they walk the walk. They are what they are. They don’t simply say what they are. I’m not saying we should police people for their gender identity. Just be who you are, don’t just say who you are with nothing to back that.