How do you deal with gendered things? Clothes shopping, bathrooms, forms, etc.
Once upon a time I was ignorant, it was bliss, or was it? Now I deal with gendered things on a day-to-day basis – some days are good and some days they aren’t.
Clothes – I buy clothes where I want, and lucky for me I manage to avoid the whole gender thing in-between the racks of fashion. I still struggle to walk into a men’s/women’s only store on my own ( I wear clothes irrespective of their gender – do clothes actually have a gender?) as I either feel I don’t fit or that people will wonder what on earth I am doing. Women’s clothes sometimes fits better but a lot of the time I don’t want to wear it because it is for ‘women’. Men’s clothes are more appealing because it gives me more of an androgynous look, but alas they are either too big, doesn’t fit that well or just don’t appeal to me. As for shoes I stick to basics and am usually seen wearing my red Globe high-tops. I’d like a pair of men’s shoes but I have ‘issues’ with shoes fitting me and being comfortable so I’ve not bothered yet.
Bathrooms – I’ve rarely gone into men’s toilets unless a) I’ve desperately needed to pee and it’s a queer venue, or b) I’ve gone in with a male friend and I’ve kept my head low. I don’t mind going into the female toilets if I have to, but I much prefer accessible/unisex toilets.
Forms – I have most of my documentation saying ‘female’ as that’s what I am biologically. If I come across current forms, that aren’t legal documents, I will usually tick both male and female or the ‘other’ option if it’s available. I rarely select ‘male’ as I am not and don’t want to deceive or lie, trouble is ticking ‘female’ doesn’t make me feel any batter! I now actively choose to not select any gender if my only two options are ‘male’ or ‘female’, something that often either causes issues or get filled-in my HR without my permission.
Language – I prefer gender-neutral pronouns for myself and try to respect other people’s preferences. I rarely correct people using female pronouns for me at work, weather it’s a staff member or client, simply because I am not ‘out’ as genderqueer and can’t deal with having to explain it to everyone. In the end however I don’t mind ‘female’ pronouns if someone has asked me my preference first – I think it is all about asking instead of assuming.