Quick side note: I still identify as gender fluid. However, the minute the barriers were lifted, most of my fluidity immediately flowed to the feminine side of the scale and is sloshing about there. After taking some time to evaluate, I’ve decided to initiate medical and legal measures to affirm it.
Summary: gender-fluid, yes. Woman, yes. Female, yes. Transgender, yes. Lesbian… I know I said I didn’t want to irritate other lesbians who can get a little proprietary about the terminology, but I can’t deny it. Yes, I’m a lesbian.
I can throw in more labels that may or may not fit, but I’ll need a few glasses of wine first.
So I’m out and about in the world, having spent an inordinate amount of time to get my new bangs just right, my dangling earrings swaying in the breeze, a hint of lipgloss and an ambiguously femme shirt on… maybe not presenting all-out female but certainly strongly hinting in that direction. And I’ve got that little extra sway in my step and arch to my eyebrow because it’s a nice day and I’m a happy girl.
Then I step into the drugstore to grab a Coke or something. I walk up to the counter, looking at all the colorful geegaws, waiting my turn, then I set my bounty down and reach for my wallet. The clerk locks eyes with me, and in a voice as cold as a winter night in Fairbanks says, “Can I help you, sir?”
I wilt. Behind the polite words of that simple phrase is judgement, and contempt, and constrained rage. I mutter and duck my head, pay for my purchases, and scurry out into a day whose magic has been rudely dispersed. (more…)
I am gender fluid.
Gender fluidity is the state of not having a fixed gender identity. At any given time, I may identify as male, female, both or neither.
Gender fluidity falls under the broad definition of transgender, the one that encompasses any person misaligned with the gender assigned to them at birth.
I originally told this story at a storytelling event in Ultima Online, but I didn’t write it down. It’s been a few years since then, and I just had an itch to put it in a less ephemeral format. So, as best I remember it, and perhaps a bit more embellishment:
I’m hearing that phrase a lot lately. A Google search on it turns up over half a million hits. And the irony is that much of the time it’s coming out of the mouth of a woman running for public office.
“I’m not a feminist, but I believe in equal rights for women”. Hello? That’s like saying, “I rob banks, but I’m not a bank robber”.
I submit that any woman running for the Senate or the Presidency is extremely unlikely NOT to be a feminist. The term has been loaded up over the decades with negative stereotypes. Enough is enough. There are male and female feminists. There are conservative and liberal feminists. There are feminists that are pro-porn and anti-porn. There are feminists that are anti-abortion and pro-choice. There are black, white, yellow, red and brown feminists.
Disclaiming “I’m not a feminist” before uttering anything vaguely pro-woman just serves to reinforce the view that there’s something wrong with being a feminist. I can understand why people want to distance themselves from the stereotype, but the only way to dispel it is for the entire spectrum of feminists to stop running away from it.
I am a feminist. And if a candidate says she’s not a feminist, I’m going to take her at her word. If you’re not a feminist, then do us all a favor: drop out of the race, put your apron back on, go fetch me and the girls a beer, and let a real woman have the nomination.
I have of late been reminded, quite convincingly, that there is more to autumn than the impending long slumber of winter. Autumn can also be a season of joy and contentment. As the heat of summer abates, so does the lazy wandering and languor of the season. We are drawn back to home and family, to the warm arms of those who love us best. Autumn is a time to scoop old ashes from the fireplace, to lay in new fuel and rekindle the flames. The oncoming chill of winter is well-warded by a lover’s embrace, and the solitary expeditions of summer pale to the explorations and adventures to be had together in the comfort and warmth of home.