I believe that people are made up of multiple instances of conscious and subconscious awareness that merge together to form the illusion of a cohesive, indivisible self. I could elaborate at length (about microbiota, different brain regions, epilepsy, conjoined twins, environmental influence, interpersonal influence, epigenetics, temporality, inner conflicts, cognitive dissonance, etc.) but this isn’t really my main point right now. The reason I bring it up is because it’s integral to my understanding of myself, and, as it turns out, my relationship with gender.
I have come to realize that there are parts of me that accord with the gender I was assigned at birth, and parts that don’t. This isn’t something I want to make a big deal of, and I’m in the privileged position where it doesn’t have to be a particularly big deal for me, but I’ve been thinking about it a lot lately so I felt like I should share what I have figured out. (Mostly I’m sharing it because I needed to decide what to answer when asked about pronouns.)
For the record, I’m fine with either she/her or they/them pronouns (I prefer consistency within a given utterance). I’m fine if someone always uses the same pronoun for me. I generally prefer neutral catch-all terms like “person”, but I’m also fine with gendered terms and sometimes use them myself (especially when they highlight my queerness; for example, I love being my wife’s wife).
Above all, I wish to be seen as a person first, for gender to matter as little as the fact that I have freckles. And the thing is, I know that’s true for a whole a lot of other people too – and I know that I’m in close enough proximity to cis (partly cis? mostly cis?) that I have the privilege of not having to be affected by this too deeply. I am very conscious of this, and will try not to take up space that isn’t mine.
I’m also polyamorous. I’ve been feeling extremely anxious about how to come out about this for ages, much more so than I ever did about being queer, so there you go, bandaid pulled. Cait and I are non-monogamous, and we have been so since the beginning of our relationship. If you’re making any assumptions about what that means, they’re probably wrong. (“Multitudes” is definitely an exaggeration here, especially right now in covid times.) I may or may not choose to elaborate further in future posts, but if you have (respectful and well-intentioned) questions please feel free to ask them.
I’m sharing this information because increasingly, there are other related topics I want to be able to write about, and I’ve felt like I’ve had to hold myself back, so now that I have that out of the way I can write them. Eventually. Probably.
And that is all. If you’re wondering, the ideal response to both these pieces of news would be to file them into your mental catalogue and return to whatever else you were doing today. Thanks for reading!
Cover Photo by Josh Millgate / Unsplash