If you want the laundry list, I identify as a genderqueer pansexual, demisexual. What does all of that mean? Gender-wise, I neither identify as male or female. I’m a combination of both and yet don’t want to be defined as either. While male and female are considered to be binary genders, my gender is non-binary, one that’s very individual to me. Some people are going to object and say this isn't a real thing or that I'm just being "weird." *clears throat*
I. Do. Not. Care.
I don't care if you don't agree. I've seen it and heard it all before. Keep your negativity to yourself. Or, if you prefer, we can go our separate ways. That's fine, too. I will still be happy and genderqueer. Now, moving on.
Pansexuality is a sexual identity that occurs when a person is attracted all gender identities along the gender spectrum. For me, gender isn’t a factor when it comes to attraction. If you think I’ll be sexually attracted to you, slow down. That’s where demisexual comes in. Being demi means my sexual orientation falls somewhere between asexual and sexual. I feel sexual attraction but not in the same way sexual people do. Demis need a deep, emotional bond in order to experience sexual attraction toward another person. This can happen in an instant, a month, years, or not at all. Sometimes, we only get a handful of these connections, which makes dating very difficult. I found my person and knew right away. Before, I also knew right away that other people were NOT going to work out.
Questions you may have:
Does this mean you’re going to start dressing differently?
No. My style is an expression of who I am. Don’t expect me to wear heels or southern belle accessories anytime soon.
Does this mean you’re going to start acting differently?
No. I’ve always been this way.
Does this mean I have to call you by a different name?
No. My name is Dill. Any other name *shifty eyes* is dead to me. Accepting Dill as my name is a part of my transition and I will not go by anything else. Thank you. Okay, okay, you can still call me Dillchen, Dillie Mae, and Dillia. Only because I love you so daggum much.
Does this mean your relationship status will change?
No. We’ve been in a genderless union from day one because it made me more comfortable. We’re super supportive of one another, no matter what.
Does this mean I have to refer to you by different pronouns?
Yes. The partner and I have talked it over and she/her doesn’t fit me anymore. After I came out as genderqueer in the writing community, referring to myself by female pronouns gave me too much anxiety. I wasn’t being true to who I was. So, we’re going to try they/their and see how it works. You can use they plural. I’m not going to be picky. As in, they have an awesome gender. Get it? Cool. Check out this gender neutral pronoun blog for an example of Alice in Wonderland from a they/them perspective.
Does this mean the kids have to call you something different?
No. They can still call me Auntie Dill. I want to make this as easy on them as possible. At the same time, I don’t believe in keeping secrets. And my gender/sexuality is not a dark secret. I’m not ashamed. Eventually, the kids will find out what I do for a living, which is a very public career, and that will lead to more questions. I’m prepared to answer these questions in a kosher manner, going only as far as the parents want. Let me reiterate that I have not changed as a person. I’m publicly identifying as my true gender and sexualities, which means I no longer have to force myself to conform to social norms. That was painful and exhausting. I’m here. I’m queer. You’re pretty much used to it. I have my straight friends and my queer community. One day, I hope to bring them together THROUGH THE POWER OF BOOKS. See what I did there? We’ll work on this together. Communication is a big part of this journey, but keep in mind that some things are private.
That’s both an easy and complex answer. It’s harder to transition after you’ve been published and the writing world knows you by a certain name and pronoun. At that point, an author has to see their dead name over and over again. They’ll be referred to as [New Name] FKA (formerly known as) [Dead Name], which is like a stab in the heart. This is a huge step for me since I know that I’ll always be correcting people. I’m never going to pass as the cisgender idea of what a genderqueer person is. Google genderqueer fashion. You won’t see anyone like me pop up. I’m some lady-shaped thing in a retro dress and combat boots. How I present doesn’t change how I feel inside. I know who I am. I know what’s right for me, which is why I couldn’t stay closeted. I couldn’t keep telling people of the trans community to do what felt right to them and to be themselves when I was living a lie. I’m involved in the queer community, cheerleading people through their much harder transitions while staying silent when it came to my own. I was a huge hypocrite. No more.
It took a long time to find labels that fit me and now I want to shout them to everyone. Yo, I’m genderqueer and I’m amazing!