This last weekend, Bridgie and I were talking, and decided that I probably fall under the label 'gender fluid'. Of course I also fall under the bigger heading 'lesbian' but I knew that one already, because it gets more press.
On the one hand, I am certainly no different a person than I was last week. for as long as I can remember, I've struggled a little to figure out where I fit, in gender. I've repeatedly been voted 'one of the guys', I'm often more comfortable hanging out with men, in some ways I think 'like a man', and there are a lot of stereotypical girl things I'm uncomfortable with. I don't just mean the color pink, and giggling over cute guys (see above: lesbian). In groups of women only, the conversation often drifts to topics I feel utterly lost and awkward with, and ways of thinking I cannot comprehend. On the other end of the spectrum, I think male genitals are ridiculous, and I understand the male role in our culture enough to know there are some aspects of what's expected that I wouldn't want to get into. I like being able to be a part of that female mystery and feminine power. I like being the 'one of the guys' that is, in fact, a chick. If I were male, being one of the guys wouldn't even be a thing, just a default. I think being a lesbian, and in the relationship I'm in, works so well for me in part because Bridgie allows me to take on a lot of traditionally male roles and behaviors, without compromising my access to the feminine. (and those of you who don't know me well enough, don't try to tell me I don't know better because I've been on the other side, with a man for 5 years, at least 2 of them sexually. It just didn't fit me.)
So, gender fluid, this is a thing.
Now on the other hand, the fact that I looked for and found a label for this is, in a strange way, bugging me a little. I am the same person I was yesterday, and will be tomorrow. The only reason I went looking for and applied this label to myself was because I was discussing with Bridgie about just how many labels there are out there now. Transgender. Transexual. Gay, lesbian, bi. Asexual, polysexual, and the list goes on. Now I understand that it's a very human thing to seek to code and classify our world. We apply taxonomy to understand the world around us and ourselves, coming up with newer labels every time we discover the limitations of the old ones. As a person of non-standard gender/sexuality, I feel this obligation to be on the lowdown with all the new and ever-evolving terminology to describe it, but instead, I feel... even more lost. I don't know what half of these terms mean. Even when I go try to research and educate myself, I just end up floundering.
When I was younger, before I was through puberty even, I once approached my mother and told her I thought I was attracted to girls (she told me that I didn't know what I was talking about, of course). As a little kid I liked Transformers and He-Man, and took ballet. In my games I emulated male heroes, and as I grew and learned this was not just because female heroes were in short supply, but because I recognized that male and female heroes/heroines were perceived differently. My mother even tells the story of a moment on the kindergarten playground, where I informed my teacher that I was being a boy t-rex. When she asked why a boy, I informed her 'I don't lay eggs'. I haven't changed (much to my mother's disappointment, as being an only child, I have dashed her hopes for grandchildren).
I am still that person, the difference is, before I knew all these labels for who I am existed, I was in fact still okay with who I am. Maybe I'm just lucky or unusual for that, and maybe I'm missing the point, but the thing is all that mattered to me before was who I was, and what I liked. These things didn't put me into any category or box or group, they were just... who I am, and what I like.
I'm not trying to diss anybody who wants a label for themselves, and maybe some people need that to figure themselves out or feel accepted for who they are, and that's fine. I guess just a part of me wishes we could get past a point of applying all these terms- too many even for somebody who supposedly should fit into them to comprehend, and just call everybody what they are.
People who like what they like, and are who they are, and don't need to answer to anybody else for it.