I didn’t sign no contact that states that I wanted to do everything that society labels as “appropriate” for my gender – or even what they assume my gender is.
After my uncle staged a family intervention when I reached the 6 months on testosterone mark, my family flipped a switch and started respecting who I was. But it all came at a price: now it feels like my perceived gender is now a mask I need to wear to make them and other people comfortable. I was expected to do the heavy lifting, know the answers to people’s questions, hold back my feelings, not be scared of insects and get a haircut when my hair gets longer than 2 inches.
All this gender policing, aimed to get me to adjust to navigating the world as a man, drove me to be more fed up about the gender binary and just do away with it.
If you really think about it, you take away the social construct and what are you left with? Hobbies. Personality. Strengths. Weaknesses. Things that should NOT have a gender.
Now identifying as a non-binary transmasculine person, specifically neutrois, the days of wearing a mask has greatly increased. I would find myself being forced into the cage people would call a binder – not because it alleviates my dysphoria but because not binding would be considered indirect exposure and would provoke people to be violent towards me. Oh, that’s right – who cares about my comfort in the New York City heat when there’s other people (who don’t seem to notice) to be considerate about? However, their fears are unfounded – everywhere I go, whether it’s the gym or the grocery store, no one has referred to me as she/her/hers. Most of the people who interact with me see the facial hair and use he/him/his (which isn’t 100% right but not wrong either) out of habit and never look for further gender cues.
While I do plan to have top surgery in the foreseeable future, my chest dysphoria isn’t persistent enough to where I’m racing against time to schedule a date with a surgeon to have it before 2016 ends. I’ll do things at my own pace and what’s comfortable for me – without labels or peer pressure. I don’t have to conform. I don’t even have to look a certain way to be “non-binary”. I am just a human being named Gabriel.