Not so long back, when I still tried so very hard to be a Real Woman – albeit a real butch lesbian – I thought that binary was something to do with computers. Programming. Ones and zeros. That kind of stuff. And I was never very interested in binary coding.
Then I realised that I’m actually transgender and started looking for answers to the many questions that popped up in my head, one after another.
First and foremost, I wanted to know if all this transgender stuff wasn’t just a figment of my imagination. Cause let’s be honest, fiction writers tend to have a fertile imagination. I could just be making this shit up, right? And if I did, then I could just go back to real life and stop worrying about this gender stuff. Case closed.
But I wasn’t making it up. Being transgender turned out to be my real life.
I soon found out about the many faces of transgender. There was transgender, bi-gendered, genderqueer, genderneutral, genderfluid and what have you. Great. As if things weren’t confusing enough already, I now had to figure out where in the binary bin I should drop myself. And that’s where things get complicated.
You see, gender isn’t a binary thing, as we’ve been taught to believe. Gender is more something of a continuum. Many people never really think about this and just live their lives according to the gender they were assigned at birth. Male or female. This, I guess, is OK for them as they are probably quite comfortable in their gender roles.
However, when you are transgender, you experience discomfort in the role you’ve been assigned to play in the show called life. This discomfort can range from mild to huge and overwhelming. In my case, I think my discomfort has mostly been relatively mild.
I do not fit the gender binary. I feel neither completely male, nor completely female. In fact, I think for most of my life I’ve felt pretty much neutral. I mostly thought of myself as being like Ken, from Barbie and Ken. Definitely more male than female, but without the dangly bits. I never fancied those. Just like I never fancied having boobs.
So why do I call myself a transguy? Why not genderneutral? Or genderfluid, or even just transgender?
The answer is really simple: because I chose so. Even though I do not fit the binary, I do feel more male than female. And have felt like this for as long as I can remember – denial notwithstanding.
I dress like a man. I have a male haircut. I chose a male name for myself. I never passed up the opportunity to tell people that “I’m a strong guy”. This is who I am. A genderneutral transguy.
Good luck placing that in a binary bin.