Written by T. Manu
What does this mean exactly? Well let’s get in to it
Gender: either of two sexes, male and female
Fluidity: easy to flow, changeability
It is very easy to think that gender begins and ends at our assignment at birth. Well, it doesn’t. Sexuality is more than what’s between your legs. A person’s gender identity can correspond to or differ from the sex they were assigned at birth. And for a world that doesn’t adjust to anything outside of their fixed normality it can be hard to grasp the ideology that not everyone identifies as male or female or either. Just like hate, we are taught gender and we are brought into a world of gender roles and gender norms to abide by. When you don’t, you are separated, questioned, disliked and degraded as a human. Trying to explain to a close minded individual that you glide in and out of two genders is like telling someone to solve a puzzle and giving them the wrong pieces… the picture won’t add up. Everyone is bound to have a slightly or entirely different perspective on gender. That is life. What can you do about it? Educate them by being you. It seems as if there are always new boxes society creates for the human race to scribble new check marks into and stay in. These check marks can mean many things to many different beings. It may mean validity, home, seen, excitement or to some it may bring confusion and suffocation.
Social Pressure Is A Thing?
That may sound silly right off the back, right? It’s like how can you possibly feel pressured to exist? JUST EXIST. JUST BE. We are all human at the end of the day, so what does it matter if you are straight, lesbian, trans, bi or gender fluid. Who cares. That’s the funny part. Strangers who don’t even know you, will do whatever they can to control the spaces of unknown where there is potential you “might ” exist. Society will market self-love and equality but be the first to strip you away of anything that makes you feel accepted for being the way you are in this world. You were lesbian two years ago now you are trans? You were just dating a man, now you are a lesbian? You don’t have a sexual preference? So you’re telling me you are a man right now but your assigned sex was not a man? You don’t identify with male or female? So much curiosity, judgement, boundaries and boxes and not enough open platforms of love for humans to explore their existence unapologetically. So yes, pressure very much so exists when you’re in the midst of exploring your identity in the LGBTQ+ community.
Gender = Sexual Orientation
False, very false. Sexual orientation is emotional, romantic or sexual attraction to other people. Gender Identity is how/what humans perceive themselves as and call themselves. Someones gender identity can be the same or different from their assigned sex at birth. Then we got Gender Expression. Key word, expression. This is expressed in many ways like behaviors, voice, hair, clothing and more which is typically classified as either masculinity or femininity. Differences make all the difference, literally.
Everyone expresses their gender fluidity in their own ways. Personally, I like to use energies as an example. Some days I wake up and I am feeling super bold. Not italic but bold, fionneeeee print. Underlined and an exclamation point greeting me at the end of each of my sentences. I feel solid, more upfront, more initiative ready, more certain, more stern and straight forward. More controlled in my mindset and body language. I don’t want to be touched sexually, fuc* me mentally. Turn my mind on and fill my emotional capacity up with risky behavior. Test me. My words are strong and assertive. I am wanting to design the table, own the table, pull my own seat out and sit alone, unbothered.
Then other days I wake up feeling like cursive and colored pencils made out and vomited flowers of love on my body. I feel like a leaf drifting peacefully on calm waves of the ocean seas. I feel like painting my nails a sparkly pink, leaving the first four buttons of my top untouched and smiling at every passing face. I feel like I want to be showered in affection and sweet melodies that make my eyes see my cheekbones rising. I feel like I dont want to have sex today. I want to be loved and cuddle. I feel like soft kisses, long hugs and a lot of sunshine. And some days I feel all of these energies momentarily,casually, and periodically.
My gender fluidity is always shifting and I kind of just move with it. I love it. How I feel sometimes fluctuates more based on the environment I am in and or persons and sometimes it fluctuates simply alone. I am always learning and feeling something about me and it has been my biggest insecurity to accept that this is okay. This does not make me indifferent or odd. I am fluid, free and 100% me. And I wish to extend those words to whoever is reading this that may have some unsureness residing on their mental. Your exploration of uncertainty or certainty is validated with love, entirely.
Sex + Gender Fluidity
When you are going to be having a sexual relationship with someone who is gender fluid it is important to have open communication as you would with anyone else about what’s expected in the bedroom. You need to know how they are feeling so both parties can smoothly intertwine under the sheets. Are they presenting more masuline right now? Do they want to call the initial play? Do they want to wear a strap-on? Do they want you to strap them? Are they presenting more feminine? Do they want more of a slow paced sex? Do they just want foreplay with no penetration? You can easily have the best of every world you can possibly think of if comfort is invited into the room as well. Talk about it, ask questions, find common grounds of understanding both wants and needs. During my sexual experiences I always found myself delivering and not very open in receiving because outside of the bedroom I wasn’t comfortable with myself. I did not know of gender fluidity. This cemented a mentality in me that I had to give and please and so that’s exactly what was expected in me by others in all aspects. It took me a very long time to learn, feel, and accept my body. To want to be touched and not feel judged by my reactions and tone of my moans. To want to receive a strap-on and not feel like I am less of my masculine or femine energies or discredited of my fluidity. To simply be without drowning myself in these expectations and images society places on gender. To know however I feel that day I can express to whoever I am with and know it will be respected. And if it isn’t, byeeeeeee. Anyone not willing to hear me out on how I feel does not deserve to experience my fluidity in bed. Or yours. So let that be known.
Over these last couple months since the pandemic, now more than ever people are uncovering the visibility of pronouns. Don’t get me wrong, I understand it fully but if you’re in a weird place of exploration in your gender this can be very stressful. It may create more confusion and pressure to decide on your pronouns and if you say she/her today and want he/him next week but they/them one day in between then that will be hard to explain. Right? That’s the type of pressure someone can feel by not knowing and not wanting to choose pronouns but feeling like it is a must. It is not a must and if you don’t know what pronouns you want at the moment that’s okay. Your fluidity flows through pronouns too.
Definitely real and can be super mind boggling when you are exploring and not sure if you identify as gender fluid or something else. For me, my body dysphoria has always existed. The only difference is now I understand it. Now I know how to navigate through it in healthy manners without belittling my emotions. I was always really thankful growing up that I was pretty flat chested. I loved that I could throw a sports bra on and all of a sudden my womxnly features were completely invisible to society. As I grew up and my body grew up too, I gained fat, I gained muscle, I lost both, I gained both, I was always changing. I hated change. With change came bigger breasts, more curves and all around more size to my frame. I despised all of it. Until, I grew into comfortability by shaving my hair and discovering my gender fluidity. I had no choice but to face myself and shed all the false standards I set that only led me to an image that wasn’t who I was. Finding home in gender fluidity has helped me tremendously in working through my complexes and dysphoria. I am not saying some days it is not still hard but I am more emotionally and mentally aware of who I am which brings peace in my chaos of fluidity. Some days when I am feeling more masucline, I wish I was flat chested and very muscular. The days I am feeling more feminine I love my curves and my breasts. Changeability, find love in the ability to change and you will find confidence and bliss in your existence.
Exploration Of My Gender Fluidity
We grow up in this world with a lot of fixed mentalities and rules. You should act one way, refer to yourself as one way, dress one way, speak one way, and love one way. So whenever you walk outside of these lines you might feel judged, discriminated against and betrayed. It doesn’t necessarily feel all that great and it can make vulnerability hard or non existent. Your body is always going to be changing, the second you are born you are forever unraveling. How we learn comfort can differ from the comfort we find in our skin and this will not always remain the same as we experience our life and life. For a lot of my upbringing, I never knew it was possible to be a womxn and be with a womxn. So take a wild guess what I wished to be since I literally thought I had no chance at this fantasy of mine. You guessed it, I wanted to be a boy JUST SO I COULD LOVE A WOMXN. Ugh, the things I would do to love a womxn. To the extent of chopping my hair to a horrible bob and telling my girl crush in 5th grade during recess that I indeed was Paul. I was obsessed with The Beatles by the way so thank you Paul McCartney for inspiring my first fake name. An entire mess. I literally thought I had to lie about my sexuality and gender because two same sexes in one world was NOT OKAY and NOT A THING. One day Google told me that if I was a womxn, I in fact could be with another womxn which would identify me as a lesbian. Honestly, the word lesbian made me cringe and I was not a fan. It didn’t feel right. But I accepted it because that was all I knew and if that meant I can still be a womxn and be with a womxn, sold. I started to grow up and so did my body and my mentality. I wasn’t attached to my name because it ended in “na” and it sounded too “girly” to me and so when I found out I couldn’t lie about my name I introduced myself as T. Simple and not entirely a lie. I struggled to love my body and fixated over every other human being but myself. I didn’t know who I was or wanted to be because I always felt I had to choose. I loved being a womxn but I felt super masculine majority of my moments. I was so confused so I just ignored it and coasted without feeling like I belonged anywhere. Time passed and 25 years later I discovered gender fluidity. As cliche as it sounds… when I started educating myself and having conversations with other educated queers I was like THIS IS IT. I was so thrilled to know more. Everything made sense. All my questions, curiosity and confusion and things I didn’t even have awareness on until that moment, made sense. I was completely invested in myself. After that moment of discovery the love in myself flooded every crevice I never got to know. For the first time in my life I was spending my days meeting new versions of me and loving every beat. I felt myself freely expressing every emotion to surface and finding home in both my masculinity and femininity. Since then, each day I learn to love all that I am growing into and out of. I love being gender fluid. I love the experiences and teachings it brings.
I hope a couple loose ends in your lovely mind have found understanding to hold onto. If you are uncertain what and or how you identify, it is okay and human. Regardless, you are not restricted to a time limit to explain to the world how you identify and you surely don’t need approval from anyone else to validate your identity. Take your time. It took me 25 years and I’m not mad about it because the uncertainty molded me into my realities and I have sprouted new knowledge of love and understanding in my own body. Fall in love and find grounding in humanity. Be raw in your journey. Be unapologetic in creating and finding a safe space in your identity. Never forget that there is no time span in becoming. The more we feel as a human, we learn we and life are intertwined and to live is to be both the caterpillar and butterfly.