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Would this genderqueer marry?

20 Aug

Relationship challenge no. 220 of being genderqueer/non-binary (and in a poly relationship). Somewhere in the last few weeks the discussion about long-term, committed and monogamous relationships have come up in conversation with friends.

Unbeknownst to me some people think that because I am (a) genderqueer/non-binary, and (b) in a poly relationship, that I would not want to marry. I suppose the dilemma might be how do I fit into the current “Mr. & Mrs” title, or that because I am in a relationship with a (technically) married man that I couldn’t, or wouldn’t want to “walk down the aisle”. This lead me to asking myself the question of, if I could get married would I want to? If the answer is yes then I can start to find what term I would use instead of “Mrs”. What I dislike, what triggered me, is the assumption that genderqueer/non-binary equals not wanting to marry. Those closest to me were basically trying to tell me that getting married/weddings look one way, and one way only—completely conformed to traditional gender expectations. It would be a challenge to negotiate issues of gender expectations while navigating the wedding world, and/or trying to plan a wedding that felt authentic and unique to me.

So, this got me questioning that tired old argument that “marriage is between a man and a woman”. Do people who believe that, believe that those who identify as genderqueer/non-binary in any fashion should not be allowed to marry at all? Is that what I am actually dealing with? It feels really hard now to be vulnerable and open myself and my relationship to possible criticism, exclusion, or just confusion, regarding gender role assumptions or heteronormative expectations; let alone when it comes from friends and family. No one should have to feel uncomfortable and outside of a range of ‘normal’ in order to celebrate their (legal!!!) marriage and loving relationship, especially when all someone might need and want is to feel represented and celebrated for their uniqueness and beauty. Keep in mind, these were all good-intentioned friends and family (they just weren’t educated on what it means to be genderqueer/non-binary), who understood my gender and relationship status, but also had some presumptions as to how “weddings work” (and trying to put me/my experience into a box), thanks to the very gendered wedding industry.

Then two days ago I was reminded of these latest conversations while driving home from work and hearing the following lyrics of Missy Higgins’ “The Special Two”:

When you’re young you have this image of your life
That you’ll be scrupulous and one day even make a wife
And you make boundaries you’d never dream to cross
And if you happen to you wake completely lost 

When I was a small child, being raised as a little girl (although tomboyish) I too dreamed of marriage and a wedding. Playing pretend in kindergarten involved white sheets to make up a dress, and creating a circle of teddy bears and dolls to represent the guests. I felt okay marrying my best female friends, boys I had crushes on, and daydreaming about one day being a “Mrs” to my favorite superstar. In adolescence when I accepted my attraction as queer I still fantasied about two wedding dresses / going in drag and wearing a suit, while attending rallies for same-sex marriage. I still have an old notebook full of my collages from magazines, which included pages of wedding images and ideas. The bridal wear section in op shops as an adult was often a must just so I could try on meringue-looking dresses while laughing at the hilarity of it all, sometimes even joking that I would one day walk in the Zombie Shuffle with a blood-spattered dress because “even zombies deserve the right to get married”.

Now with everything that’s been said I am just not sure anymore…

30 Day Genderqueer Challenge Day 21

9 Jan

Your first queer crush or relationship?

I cannot remember exactly who my first queer crush was, but the following names come to mind:

– a queer person I met online who I later met and now know personally
– Hilary Swank in “Boys Don’t Cry”
– Veronica who used to catch the school bus with me in Rome ( I have no idea if she was queer but it was her androgynous look that I liked)

As for my first queer relationship, that would have been someone who I met online through a website called Mogenic. It was a brief relationship, solely due to my own stupidity, but it was one that taught me a lot about myself and who I wanted to be.

My first queer crush was probably on a few drag kings that would perform at the Star Hotel on Hoddle Street on Friday nights back in the day. In those days there were many drag kings that would then become men and genderqueers, making me wonder if it was a crush or a secret knowledge that I wanted to be like them in some way.

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30 Day Genderqueer Challenge Day 18

25 Nov

What is your sexual and romantic orientations? Are they affected by your gender?

Pre-genderqueer and T I identified as a lesbian/dyke and found myself sexually and romantically oriented to cis-women mostly, and the few trans* guys I happened to glimpse upon.

Pre-testosterone I identified as queer and was sexually and romantically oriented to other genderqueers, trans* and non-binary folk.

Currently my sexual orientation is non-existant, however it has returned back to lesbians, as well as encompassing ‘guys’, genderqueers, trans* and non-binary folk. Romantically however I am not quite sure…

I don’t think my gender affected my sexual and/or romantic orientations – apart from confusing how I identify and what it would make me if I liked ‘a’, ‘b’ or ‘c’. I feel T has affected my sexual orientation, or who I am sexually attracted to, with the most obvious change being cis-guys.

Adapted from the 30 day Trans challenge and the 30 day [GSM] challenge

30 Day Genderqueer Challenge Day 17

6 Nov

How has your relationship with yourself been affected since you realized you were Genderqueer?

I was actually just thinking about this before I started work today. A few months ago I verbally removed myself from the lesbian community, saying I didn’t consider myself a lesbian or wanting anything to do with this part of the community. I think in part I felt abandoned by some of my dyke friends and also felt myself becoming neither one thing or the other, so how could I fit it. In hidsight I wish I hadn’t jumped to conclusions and sat with what had been going on for me internally.

Since realizing I was genderqueer I’ve felt a sense of relief, like it was ok to feel like this and want to start homones but not necessarily have surgery or want to be seen an exclusively male. This however is a difficult path and one I am still exploring and battling against.

I thought after starting T  I would begin to feel more comfortable with myself. In a way I have and a lot of it is about positive changes I was wanting – not having a menstrual cycle, my voice dropping, facial hair and an increase in libido. On the other hand I’ve had moments where I panicked about my voice changing/having changed, being turned off by body hair increasing, seeing my libido turning me away from sex with others, and feeling at times confused with where I am going with all of this (T). I guess you could say that my relationship with myself since strating hormones has been a rollercoaster.

Adapted from the 30 day Trans challenge and the 30 day [GSM] challenge

30 Day Genderqueer Challenge Day 11

14 May

How has your family taken it or how might they take it?

I’ve only told one member of my family and that’s my gran, and that’s only because we live together. I’ve not told my parents or siblings and I am definitely about to tell my cousins or aunts and uncles. I think my gran told one of my younger cousins and I am not quite sure what his reaction was – I was shocked she told him and a little upset it was done without asking my permission.

I feel that many family members wouldn’t ‘get it’ or they might not like it and end up dropping contact with me. I think my siblings would probably act all cool like they are supportive, but I think that’s because we are not close to begin with and it wouldn’t be a big deal for them anyhow.

I would really like to explain it to my Dad, but at the same time our relationship is fragile and I am not sure he would understand what genderqueer is or what my own “transition” means.

I do have a very close family friend who is more like a brother to me. I would like to tell him but I am scared – I don’t want to loose him. He always refers to me as his lil sister, and in a way I still am, but the question is would he accept me with all the changes?

Adapted from the 30 day Trans challenge and the 30 day [GSM] challenge

4 Weeks on T

3 Jul

Four weeks have passed with one week since my last T shot, which hurt a little. I didn’t feel as crap this time around and haven’t sprained any muscles playing sport, which is good. I don’t feel any different but I am feeling a little tired, unsure if this is T or work related.

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Friendships and Sex

19 Apr

A couple of weeks ago I put a entry into an FTM group on Livejournal about feeling isolated and not knowing anyone who identifies as genderqueer to talk to. I received quite a few replies and from them I found someone online who sounds like they have had similar experiences around their genderqueerness. I also met two other people locally who offered to catch-up, one of which I got to have coffee with in the city last week. The coffee catch-up made me feel a lot less alone in my transness and I really felt that someone else was out there who didn’t quite fit into the FTM label. I don’t feel I fot into trans* men who want to pass as men – I know that I will always be queer and don’t envision myself growing up into a manly man. Yay!!! This person, M, reassured me that I can do what feels comfortable for me as well as stopping when I want – if I am unhappy with hair growth I could always have electrolysis… (more…)