It’s not the easiest thing to explain to most people. I guess that’s what I’m going to use this space for: to try to explain what it means to not fit neatly into a category.
I remember, from plenty of locker rooms, the verbal strutting. The bragging. The bravado. And this is going back to middle school, when most don’t even know what half the words they’re shouting mean, let alone having done it all.
One in particular sticks in my head. The one that would get thrown out as a childish half-joke about either getting to be in the girls locker room or as an all-purpose appeal to tradition when it comes to sexual orientation and/or gender identity.
“I’m a lesbian trapped in a man’s body.”
A comment wrapped up in heteronormative culture. A kind of minimizing of identity. It’s all of those things, and juvenile on top of it.
But here’s the thing. I never said it out loud. And it’s how I’ve long felt.
I’m in my 30s, biologically male, and I don’t fit into the gender binary. I’m fine with being biologically male. But my identity? I feel like I’m somewhere in between. I’m not male on the inside. I’m not completely female, either, but I feel more on that side of things a lot of the time.
Being somewhat hybrid presents some challenges for me, ones I want to explore on this blog. I live in a blue-collar, rather macho community, a place where I’m not only not comfortable displaying some signs of being feminine, but I don’t feel safe doing so.
I would paint my nails where I used to live. I wore some light eye makeup sometimes. I don’t want to dress completely as a woman—I don’t think I’d look good that way anyhow. But yesterday I came home from work, put on a long-sleeve top and something I can only describe as a deep-necked halter sweater. It’s light blue. I really like it. And some light blue eyeshadow to match.
I liked how I looked when I saw myself in the mirror. I didn’t look male, but I wasn’t female either. It was one of the few times I looked in the mirror and saw me.
That’s a rather liberating feeling. Now I’ll see where I can go from here.