There is something to be said for having such a handle on who you are that you can take a glance in the mirror and say “There I am. I am _____.” Personally I don’t know what it’s like. I’ve never fit neatly into a little box. Life is messy, and so am I. I’ve tried to stuff my vast and varied parts into an easily labeled box… I tried for many, many years to stuff myself into one. But there were always parts hanging out, keeping the lid only half covering the contents. I’ve come to be grateful for it though, as I’ve come to accept myself. That unclosing lid is what kept me breathing. I think I’d likely have smothered if I’d managed to get it on tightly.
There is this drive, this need in our society, to define ourselves. Like I said, I suffered from it myself for many years. Now though? I really don’t get it.
The minute we can slap a label on that box (whether the box represents others or ourselves) we can put it up on a shelf and forget about it. When a box has a label on it, we don’t need to dig any deeper. We don’t need to slowly discover it’s contents. We rob ourselves of that joy. Discovery, let’s be honest, really is a joy. And self discovery? It’s even more so.
Accept yourself as you are, and if you need a label, there are many out there. Take which one fits when you need it, and discard it when it no longer does. Allow yourself the discovery, and allow those around you the same. You are worth the time it takes to really get to know you. You are worth the joy of a slow reveal, the slow clap, the slow motion entrance. Grab that 80’s teen flick moment and just run with it! Be pretty in pink!
LMAO Okay, yes, super eye-roll-causing segway… but I HAD to get in this photo of the kid and I – all dressed in our matching duds – as we headed out for the walk to school. 🙂 And while it was a seriously dorky way to lead into the photo that doesn’t take away from the truth of it.
The minute you accept yourself as you are, and stop searching for a way to squish yourself into a nice neat box you’ll find your world will open up in ways you didn’t expect. You really are worth the joy that comes from slowly discovering all the glorious mysteries that make up that amazing package – don’t deny yourself that pleasure. Don’t slap on the first definition that seems like it just might fit okay. There is no rush. You have your entire lifetime to discover yourself, and those who are worthwhile in your life? They’ll happily take that time too.
For many people, gender is something that is in constant flux. Changing and evolving – just as we ourselves change, grow, and evolve. This changing is one of the reasons I am not in favour of gender labels (amoungst the many other labels I also disapprove of).
When we are young, or still coming to terms with who we are, gender labels can be useful. But they are just as likely to be binding, and constrictive, and not really indicative of who we are as individuals. What I do find interesting is how our label for the “gender variant” community has grown and changed.
A quick aside here? I don’t like the term gender variant either – at least not as I’ve had to use it above. After all… we are ALL variants. There is no “normal” gender except to be comfortable in who you are, regardless of your sex/gender identity.
All which can appear with or without the “A” at the end. And who knows where we will evolve from here.
Gender is about knowing oneself. And for those who insist, with fervor, that they are only two genders and that they themselves are clearly one or another… How many of you “ladies” wear blue? How many of you “guys” take care of children? Gender is a social construct insisting that traits fall into one category or another. Any variant from those traditional roles is gender variant. So, I insist, gender is about knowing oneself, and being comfortable within your self.
Labels are only useful so you know what’s in a closed box without having to open it. Labels don’t belong on people.