Every time I sit down at my computer to write this, I break into an emotional mess. Incapable of moving my fingers at the fear of being judged, forever secluded to a corner of the Internet where none might care for whatever happens to me, like a lost treasure, has many stories to tell, but none it could.
What my recent Twitter bio change around the beginning of this year tells is simply the truth. I’m trans, agender to be specific. Coming to this realization has changed many things in my life, not the least of which is how I look at my history of gender experiences and how they nurtured this newly discovered reality I’m in. I’m not agender because I became such, I always had lurking residue of my mental being resenting the bits of masculinity that I thought made up the entirety of my gender identity.
When I was a kid, I used to do things which our collective society had come to acknowledge as being ‘traditionally feminine’. That consists of playing with dolls, catering to a very ambiguous style of clothing, enjoying talking to my mom and sister about experiences they’d only describe as “unfit for a man to talk about”, and loving to hang out more with girls and identifying with their everyday-isms than their male counterparts — part of me still to this day wonders what things had been had I succumbed fully to the pressures of society and grew a figurative beard prematurely, and perhaps, never shaving it. Boys are told from a very young age to act like the proto-men that they eventually become, and it’s already excluding a very important aspect of gender identity that often gets overlooked by cis-parented families, which is that more often than not, our experiences as being male, female, or anything other, really do reflect on who we eventually become, or realize we were the whole time as the whims of life takes us whichever way. I never felt as though I was a man, but never felt disconnected enough from my masculine roots enough to claim a binary female identity. That would more often than not lead to being non-binary of some sort, but that never quite sat down that well with me.
My experiences as a man didn’t really carry much of who I was into who I am today, and my attachment to feminine mannerisms since I was a little kid and well into my late teen years wasn’t pining for grasping at something I could become and simply wasn’t, but it felt more like a magic wand looking for the owner it never had. My soul grim, empty, rife with conflict, imbued with hints of uncertainty, the sole cause of my banes, sealed with the recent discovery of a great boon: the collective of trans people on the Internet.
I’ve never in my whole entire life, interfaced with a more level-headed, nice, accepting, passionate, respectful, set of individuals. It stands to reason that people whose entire lives were riddled with resentment, rejection, disillusion, disrespect, and outright dismissal from the minute they decide to deviate from society norms regarding gender are better at handling it than I was.
I am not a man, nor a woman, I’m the sum of my experiences. Long gone are the days where you water a flower knowing exactly what it’ll bloom into. I’m my own being, and my experiences not only set the trajectory for what I identify as, but they inform my decision to latch onto whatever feels like the closest denomination for whichever my gender could be. People need to come to the conclusion that gender is about as complicated as a socially-bound concept is can get. Take money for example — you’re not either rich or poor, you can be a wide multitude of things in-between, and many at once depending on how we denominate the states that exist in and out of the spectrum. Gender acts in a remotely similar way where being one of two gender binary ends is an apt description but is rarely the right one. Gender, as we try to make sense of it is approximative, messy, and not an exact procedure such as writing a line of code and expecting it to perform the task it was supposed and conceived to do.
I lived my entire childhood afraid. Under the sweet mercy of my abusive father. Afraid to explore, ashamed of trying, repulsed from the outside world getting to know the abused-me rather than the outgoing, liberated, stubborn piece of work I am. I don’t give two flying fucks about what everyone expects of me anymore, and any semblance of that I made sure to iron out as the years passed. Conforming seems like the easiest answer to what most shit life gives you, but it turned out to be the most painful to me.
As I traverse the troubled waters of life, I need to remind myself, and everyone else to be ultimately content with who you are and take out your stock from cisnormativity and cis acceptance well into the pool of self-satisfaction and self-sufficiency. Being yourself not only matters, but it’s enough. Who you are is not a question someone who’s not you can answer, it’s one that only you can answer.
I knew as I approached my coming out as doubly trans and bisexual that some internal processes in how I approach character judgement of myself and others had to change. My experiences didn’t reflect on me being the man I thought I was or the woman I acted as for the better part of a dozen years. To zoom back from the microscopic approach I’ve taken at evaluating my singular behaviors and stacking them into an incomprehensible puzzle, I decided to take a look back at everything that has happened with my own naked eyes, simply to realize I wasn’t a man, or a woman. Claiming I’m either of these two simply doesn’t accurately depict who I am, what I aspire to be, or even what I used to be when I still identified as cis. It simply is intellectually and morally dishonest of me to claim so.
Now to interact with everything I’ve been conditioned prior to necessarily adore as a man no longer stimulates the same reaction in me as it did prior. I’m no longer skewed to like something because it aligns of what the identity of my gender was, or feel repulsed against something because I deemed myself masculine for the majority of my lived years. Frankly, I think labeling something as inherently “feminine” or “masculine” is a huge mistake, but for the sake of the argument, it’s safe to say I’ve outgrown my mentality of doing traditionally thought of things as masculine because I thought of myself as a man, or removed myself from feminine things because I wasn’t a woman. I can appreciate them both fully on a scale I couldn’t before. That has been life-changing for me. I mean it to the fullest extent — my taste in media, and most things artistic has drastically changed, and it only reaffirmed my comfort in the newly born identity I took on. Almost as if I forged a new ID, underwent plastic surgery, and flocked off to a whole other country… Except that none of it happened, and the disconnect was that I had been living as an imposteur in the skin of an agender the whole entire time. I was just too aloof for it to hit me over the head that I have been living as someone I don’t know that I can make sense of anymore right now.
It doesn’t reflect badly on any of you if you decided that shrouding your identity in a veil of self-reassurance for the time being was the best course of action. For me, it has been almost like a rain cloud, unforgiving as it pours, wetting me inside out, reminding me that a piece of my soul I had kept secret and never let out, was not going to see the light of day lest I didn’t possess the courage at that moment, at that instant, to finally go ahead and say “To hell with it”, embrace who I am, to the disappointment of many, and gratitude of my own self and those closest to me — it’s when I knew what true happiness meant, as cheesy as it sounds. This is the opening chapter for many great things to come. I hope that if and when you realize who you truly are, dear reader, it will be yours as well.