Why is this so important to me? That’s what my close friend D asked me today, as we sat around at Denny’s discussing my gender-things, and it’s a question I’ve been asking myself a lot too.
Earlier in the day, we had had a texting-conversation wherein I told him that I wish I was invisible so I could wear and look like whatever I wanted to, without worrying about what people thought of me. He replied that I could always be myself around him, and invited me to wear whatever my gender issues desired. So instead of my usual half-assed attempts at attractiveness, I wore cargo shorts and a tie-dye t-shirt and a sports bra and skate shoes and a chain wallet. He asked me if that was what I’d dress like if no one could see me, and I replied, “Pretty much, but plus a cape.” Sitting in our booth, I had explained to him the two-spirit thing (which I was delighted to find he had already learned about in anthropology class), and why sports bras are so confining that they are freeing, and why I’d rather be inside of someone than have someone inside of me.
He took the logical position and asked why I label myself when I can just be myself instead. Why do I worry about making my outside match my inside, when outsides don’t really matter at all? All great questions, D, and all very logical. But somehow this isn’t logical. It’s not a matter of stone cold fact, or checking symptoms off a checklist, or a Freudian misunderstanding of what it means to be a woman. It’s somehow more visceral than that. And even as a writer, I am at a loss for words. Continue reading