Got the ‘look’ today…As I walked into the woman’s bathroom. In all honesty, the sign should not have held a, woman in a skirt image. It should have had caution tape around the door knob! But that is a discussion for another time.
I’ve written about the…’look’ before. A sideways glance or, perhaps a, out and out, sizing up of my ‘persona.’
In my younger days, after a few too many drinks, I have actually stated…
“Yes, I have a vagina!”
To the lurker dressed in polyester, slightly turned inward, scowl and judgmental manner upon her well lined face.
However, today, I really had to take a piss!
Long story, not made short, I am prompted to write…yet again, about the silliness. Yes, I am old enough to have fought in some initial wars. HIV, AIDS, physical assaults (which are now called, HATE CRIMES.) Smack dab in the trenches of watching my friends die, witnessing my friends decide to leave their ‘truth’ behind…in order to appease their family. Walking in ‘Gay Pride’ marches and being hit with bigot signs. Knowing, Bob wanted to finish transferring to Lindsay…yet, stuck in the middle because the money ran out.
As the diminishing gay male friends fell to the side of the road around me. Trying my best as an out ‘sister’ to offer a form of peace…I knew in the heart of my deepest recovering catholic heart…there was no turning back!
Below, I offer the following list of terms (most of which, at the age of 51.) I did not know.
Agender Somebody who either feels they have no gender identity, or who identify not as male or female but ‘neutral.’
Aporagender A fairly new word stemming from the Greek ‘apor’, meaning ‘separate’. Aporagender is an umbrella term meaning “a gender separate from male, female and anything in between while still having a very strong and specific gendered feeling.” That latter part is key, then, distinguishing it from Agender.
Bigender Relatively straightforward: a bigender person sees themselves as having two gender identities. The separate genders could both be male, or female, mixed or other – and may be felt at the same time or entirely distinctly.
Butch Used as both a noun and an adjective, this refers to a person who identifies as masculine (either physically, mentally or emotionally). The term is occasionally used as a lesbian slur, but has been reclaimed by some gay women and turned into a affirmative label.
Cisgender Pronounced “siss-gender”, this refers to anybody who identifies with the same biological gender they were born with. Tentatively, then, it could be seen as the opposite of transgender.
Demigender A catchall term for all identities that only have a partial connection to a certain gender. Demiboy and demigirl are also frequently used.
Femme Used by and for anybody who identifies as feminine, but more commonly associated with feminine-identifying gay women.
Genderfluid A term describing individuals for whom gender is unfixed: they fluctuate between different identities aside from their biological assignment.
Gender neutral A synonym for ‘agender’: somebody who identifies with no gender.
Gender queer An umbrella term covering any feelings about gender alternative to society’s traditional expectations.
Intergender One of the oldest (and thus often deemed outdated) terms, this is used by anybody whose gender identity is between male and female. Some believe intergender should only refer to those born with different genitals to the norm, though this is more commonly known as ‘intersex’.
Nonbinary Fairly simply, anybody who doesn’t identify as simply female or male.
Polygender Identifying with several different genders either at the same time or different times. Normally the term is given to those with four or more.
Transgender/Trans An umbrella term for any individual whose gender identity is different from what is typically associated with their assigned biological sex at birth. It should be noted that transgenderism is a gender identity and not a sexual orientation, therefore no assumptions should be made as a result.
Not really sure how to express my confusion. However, I’m gonna give it a shot. By per-curing a label (or, many labels) are we not forgetting everything in our soul?
Back in the late 70’s: I didn’t want this or that title. I wanted to be me. Now, I understand, to stand up for legal rights, a term must be allotted. But I hope to holy hell that in the pit of a young person’s soul…There is a movement to categorize who they truly are.
Did I want to be know as, gay? Did I want to be known as, straight? No! I just wanted to be known as, me. Someone who wanted to love. Someone who wanted to give…love. To the right person. Regardless of their identity!