What It’s Like to be Gender Non-Binary
January 17, 2018
I wake up every morning and stare at the body of someone I’m not. The way my chest is too big or how my hair is too long. I am confused and lost in this female body.
If you saw me as a child, you would probably question whether I was a boy or a girl. I specifically remember one time at summer camp when a girl came up to me and asked me that exact question. My face flushed red and after a couple seconds of panicking, I shrugged my shoulders and fled the conversation. What if I had answered that I was a boy? Would she have cared? If I said that I was a girl would she have made fun of the way I dressed or cut my hair? Looking back I feel a little envious of the situation, because if someone could ask me that exact question, I would tell them the truth, I am neither.
There are four parts that you should consider when thinking about gender. There is the easiest to understand, biological sex, or whatever is written on your birth certificate . Since gender is a social construct, the rest gets a little tricky. There’s gender identity, gender expression, and gender presentation. For me, my gender identity is non-binary, which means that I neither identify with the female or male gender, I am somewhere in between. A lot of the time my gender expression will lean toward the masculine side of things but I have yet to cut my hair (which is on my bucket list). And finally, there’s my gender presentation, which to most everyone is female because that’s how they see me. I live in a female dorm, I use the female locker room, and I use female bathrooms. If I had a choice, I wouldn’t.
During Christmas break, I had gone to American Eagle with my friend at the mall. We did our usual split as I went to the “boys” section and she went to the “girls”. I was approached by a man that was working there. He asked if I was shopping for anyone in particular. After replying that I was shopping for myself, he pointed to the other side of the store and said, “Our women’s section is having a big sale.” I stood there for a second, laughed, and walked toward the mens sweaters.