Like so many, I am misgendered on a daily basis. I go into the streets, plastered in buttons and laced with necklaces that declare my pronouns to be they/them and my ID as genderqueer. My armor, meant to protect, fails me. The voices echo, chanting, “Ma’am,” “Miss,” “she/her,” like bells I cannot silence.
My brain screams for me to correct them. Tell them who you are. That comes at the high cost of possibly being assaulted or having to give an entire lecture on what the f— I am. A person. I want to be a person, devoid of your gender biases, your expectations wrapped up in pink and blue ribbons. I am purple, white, and green. I am a muffled cry, begging to be released.
I am neither.
I am the in between.
I can be nothing other than me.
I let it cut me down, let it add to the hurt, the doubt, the pain, the insecurity and dysphoria. My identity is ignored because people take things for face value. They see femme features and immediately equate that to being a woman. I’m not. I was assigned the incorrect gender at birth and raised to believe there was no other choice but to be allocishet. I will spend the rest of my life dealing with these mistakes.
Being trans* and nonbinary is like living in this nightmare where people are constantly trying to convince you that you are the wrong gender. Imagine you were a man, but people automatically address you as “she” and insist you’re a woman based on your long hair or delicate features. “I’m a man,” you’d insist, knowing they were wrong. “Many men have long hair.” No matter how many times you said it, the facts wouldn’t be good enough, not valid enough for them, those afflicted with the cisgaze.
I’ve never felt comfortable being called “she” and knew “he” wasn’t right, either. Until recently, I didn’t have the terminology to express myself fully. Language is ever-changing. It’s part of my job as an author to keep up with appropriate queer terminology. Before that, I was a Safe Zone partner who did the same thing. I’m lucky to live in a time where my identity is readily available to me.
No one will take that away or police who I am. They can’t. Only I know how I feel inside. I am a trans* genderqueer, demisexual-panromantic individual. I am the in between of the in between, everything gray and undefined.
And I am perfect just the way I am.