Sunday, June 16, 2013

Humanizing Genderqueer 6: Lola

Humanizing Genderqueer: Lived experiences of non-binary people.

Gender Wins: Recall a happy memory of when you felt most comfortable in your gender or most accepted as your gender by those around you.

One of the most recent and happier events was during my appointment with my new endocrinologist. I had expected that I would not be able to be seen at a gender identity clinic (GIC) because I wasn't "fully transitioning" or trying to "live as male" (whatever that means), but my endocrinologist, who works at one of the best GICs in the UK, said that yes, they would not only see me but there might be funding for top surgery. He asked me about my pronouns and used them correctly and even wrote a letter to my GP asking me to begin the process of being referred to a GIC. :)

Gender Struggles: Tell about a time when circumstances would not allow, or you had to make sacrifices, to remain true to your gender.

As sad as it is, sometimes I feel not quite taken seriously by people  within the trans* community. I've actually had to defend being non-binary identified more to other trans* people than to cis people. While I'm aware that cis people have more power over my life and my situation than trans* people do, it's disheartening to feel like your own people don't take you seriously. I've had comments made towards me that basically suggest that I'm not trans* enough to speak about any trans* experience because I am "non-operative" (which is irrelevant but also untrue) or because I'm "just an AFAB genderqueer". I've been outright told that I'm just a "silly little genderqueer" during a debate. I understand and fully admit that I do have a relatively large amount of cis passing privilege and that I am stealth in a lot of situations which means that people don't often know I'm trans*. I face little actual harassment because of the choices I choose to make in how I present myself. But I do feel like I'm quite often taken less seriously because I'm not binary identified or am not purposefully trying to shove myself into an androgynous gender presenting box.

Humanist Involvement: Suggest something the humanist community could do to make a positive impact on your personal quality of life.

Support organisations that do well for trans* people, I suppose. Provide spaces for trans* events. I run a clothing swap that's hosted in a Unitarian church that's very open and inclusive. Churches aren't known welcoming spaces for trans* people, but this space really is and it's given me a lot. So definitely providing space, time, funding, or anything you can to currently operating trans* groups is ideal.

How You Identify (optional): Name, age, gender, location, ethnicity, anything you deem relevant.

Lola, genderqueer, 25, white, disabled

Survey results shared with permission.

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