I’ll be honest, I really wasn’t sure whether I wanted to write this or not. When I first came up with the idea to start writing a blog about six months ago it was so I would have a place to organise and compartmentalize my thoughts as well as giving me something routine that I could focus on. One rule I had was that as much as possible I would try to keep my personal issues away from this but I have something I need to get off my chest.
I’ve hinted in the past about some inner turmoil and troubles that I’ve had in the last few years and one thing in particular that caused me a great deal of grief was my gender identity.
I’ve stated before in a previous post that I am a man and I stand by that but the truth is I wasn’t always so sure. And it made me very insecure.
As a child I loved Sailor Moon (still do ❤ ). I’ve always been fascinated by the idea of skirts and dresses. I liked to play with my cousin’s My Little Ponies. One of the things that originally attracted me to the goth and punk subcultures was that having long hair and wearing make up was still considered masculine. That and the kick ass guitar riffs. Socially, I’ve always preferred the company of females, both in a romantic and platonic sense.
All of this, combined with the bullying I received for my behaviour, made me feel like I was some kind of freak. Something shameful, subhuman, just for daring to have some feminine tendencies.
I’ll admit that I overcompensated. I was never an out-and-out homophobe or misogynist but I cracked jokes, shouted louder, acted “tougher”, denied my impulses all in the name of burying the idea that I wasn’t man enough. It depressed me to a point where eventually I couldn’t function.
And that’s when it hit me: I didn’t think there was anything shameful about being transgender. I would never shame someone else for it, so why was I giving myself such a hard time? So about 2 years ago I finally plucked up the courage to embrace this part of myself, started experimenting with clothes, makeup and dropped my hyper-masculine act in favour of what felt natural to me.
The end result? Ultimately realising that I’m not trans. Having a beard is awesome and I rather enjoy having a willy. I’m just a dude with a prominent feminine side who likes being friends with girls. Really wish I could have figured this out without all the kerfuffle but c’est la vie.
My feminine side has now made it quite clear that she will not be suppressed or ignored and all in all I’ve been able to find a good balance for it in my life now. I wear nail polish and eyeliner most days, I’ve grown out my hair (and my beard), I still occasionally wear the clothes and I do other little things like using “Maisie” as my online hook and picking female in video games with a character generator. It works for me and I feel no shame or depression about it.
So what does that make me? Cross dresser? Third gender? Gender queer? To be honest, I don’t really care anymore. If you need to attach a label to me then go ahead, I am what I am and if you don’t like it then fuck you and goodbye.
As a side note, how great is it that queer is an okay word now? I love how it rolls off the tongue.
Tangents aside, the reason I’m sharing this with you today is that it has been a little over a week since the Latinx LGBTQ+ shootings in Orlando and I’ve only just been able to wrap my head around it really.
49 dead. 53 wounded.
And for what?
Because a self-hating (allegedly) gay man wanted to hide from himself and impress a bunch of fuck-witted extremists. I can understand self-hatred but I will never understand violence. There’s not much I can that hasn’t been put more eloquently by others so it will have to suffice to say that this was an event that shook me to my very foundation.
What has caused me to re-evaluate myself this week is seeing the online reaction, with many people seeming to essentially claim that if you aren’t part of the LGBTQ+ community (some going as far as saying specifically Latinx LGBTQ+) then you have no right to comment or feel any form of upset or outrage.
Is this true and do I have the right to be this upset?
I guess an argument could be made (a very weak argument, I concede) that I exist sort of on the fringe of LGBTQ+ but really it’s not about me. I do, however, have close friends who identify as such and the thought that it could easily be one of them who is subjected to this kind of violence makes me hotter than Hell. But when it comes down to the bottom line I don’t think it matters what ethnicity, gender or sexuality a person is. This kind of violence is just every single, fucking kind of wrong. Yes we are all different and we should acknowledge it but it should also be celebrated, not used to segregate and separate.
Whichever part of the queer spectrum you fall on it does not change the fact that we are all brothers and sisters on this floating rock we call home. Like my favourite lyric line of all time says; “we are all strangers but we’re all in this together”. This event, tragic as it is, could be a catalyst to bring people together. I implore you, please don’t cut your noses off to spite your faces.
If that offends you, well, I don’t really care. I welcome healthy, reasonable debate. If you think I’m wrong then by all means tell me, I’d love to hear your side, but for now this is how I see it and I’m sure this determination by some to stay separated will be of no comfort to the 102 people that were shot or their loved ones.
That’s all I have to say really, so let’s finish on a song. I thought Aerosmith was a bit too on the nose so here’s my other favourite gender-bending/blending music video Girlfriend by Zebrahead.
See you next time.