After watching “Straightlaced: How Gender’s Got Us All Tied Up,” a documentary about gender identity and expression from the perspective of high school students across the United States, in class, my instructor asked us to talk with a partner about a character we identified with and a character we did not. I turned to the persyn on my left and we began talking.
There was a young persyn in the film who talked about their genderqueer identity, stating, “I don’t identify as being one gender and transitioning to the opposite.” That struck close to home with me. I’m a guy, yes. A transman, definitely. Going from one gender to the opposite: never. My body, my gender(s), my identity is disrupted space. No one can tell me that a cunt and breasts makes me more of a women that anyone else. Hormones, surgery, pronoun choice all disrupts that. I am still femme, sometimes identified as a fag, most of the time a woman, possibly a dyke due to my hair cut short to the shape of my head.
A man with painted nails, glittery shoes, a love of stuffed animals, boxer briefs, and coloring late into the night. I identify as male but so many parts of me, my femme boyishness, disrupts that as well.
I could have explained this to my classmate; we had two minutes.
Instead, I opted for the short but sweet answer, “I totally identified with the genderqueer persyn in the film. I am not a woman transitioning into the opposite sex, a man. I don’t live up to the constructed expectations of man or woman.”
My classmate, looked puzzled, pondering what I could be saying, questioned “What are you then, a beast?”
I can only hope. A beast, queering and disrupting the world around me, creating my own spaces, forging my own identities.
I smiled, “Yeah. A beast. Sometimes a pony. A ponyboy.”