First, a MASSIVE caveat. These lists should really be titled: “Five Things I Love (and Five Things I Don’t Love) About Being a Genderqueer Non-Binary Woman Who Prefers to Present Masculine of Center, Doesn’t Wear Makeup, Dislikes Dresses, and Who Wants Everyone to Know That This is Just my Own personal Perspective and is NOT Representative of Everyone who Identifies as Non-Binary.”
Five Things I Don’t Love About Being a Genderqueer/Non-Binary Woman:
- Thinking I was just really crummy at knowing how to be a grown up woman and feeling lonely and left out in conversations that should be bonding, like about makeup/skincare routines, dresses/skirts/scoop-necked t-shirts, etc.
- Not finding much in the way of “community.” There are more and more people identifying as non-binary, but it seems (from this GenX-er’s perspective) that most of them are quite young. Nothing wrong with that – I owe a big thank you to the millenials who are coming out as non-binary and being vocal and visible about it – but it’s a bit lonely when even online there just aren’t many “older” non-binary people to be found. This feeling is also, no doubt, exacerbated by the fact that I live in Orange County, California. It’s pretty darn cookie cutter and, well, “basic” (it’s one of the original planned communities! Stucco everywhere!). I imagine that if I lived in Portland (for example), I might have co-workers, neighbors, supermarket cashiers, etc. who were visible as non-binary. Here in Irvine… it feels like it’s just me. (I’m sure I’ll do another post on community, seeing as I have a fair amount to say on the matter, even in a list like this!)
- Not knowing what to wear to fancy occasions and then having to really search for where to find the items I finally decide on.
- Having people start to say, “Oh! This is the women’s room!” when in (or entering/exiting) public restrooms.
- Arguing with a little kiddo about whether or not I’m a girl and who gets to decide my gender identity
Five Things I Love About Being a Genderqueer/Non-Binary Woman:
- Figuring out that the experiences I’ve had and hunches I’ve felt about my gender identity are legit and that there are other people out there like me! Validation!
- Being confident in dressing like myself in almost all situations (see above about fancy events – though I LOVED my kickass outfit from my niece’s wedding!)
- Being able to own my identity and the confidence that engenders that, in turn, trickles down and out into many parts of my life.
- The thought that maybe I can be a role model for others. Maybe some kid has seen me and had a “Ring of Keys” moment (that’d be a dream come true)!
- Being supported by family and friends.