I’m pretty new at tumblr, but now that I’ve been around for a couple days I’ve started to notice some patterns. In the genderqueer/genderfluid tags, there are a lot of people saying they aren’t sure about their gender or don’t understand it. This seems really strange to me, but I’ve been there myself and it felt strange then, too. So, what would it take for us to be sure and be able to communicate our sureness?
I think a large part of it is the privileging of binary genders, and how that normativity infects us, making us convince ourselves that our genders cannot be what we know or want them to be. The more we can make spaces where we can just be who we are, the more we can draw strength from those experiences to counter the normativity. Making cultural space for non-binary genders will take a long time, but making small safe spaces is doable, if sometimes difficult.
We certainly need better words for non-binary genders. Genderqueer is a wonderful umbrella term, but I’ve never heard of any more specific words that I feel fit me. I have at least one gender, so agender and neutrois don’t fit. I don’t have more than one gender, so bigender doesn’t fit, and genderfluid also seems not right. Even if they did fit, they aren’t very precise and can apply to people that have very different genders, especially once you get away from the gender binary. For example, if you consider there being just 5 genders, bigender could refer to 10 different combinations!
Maybe we should just make up words for our genders. The more the merrier. A lot of them will be terrible (I know mine will), but given enough of us making shit up, some of it will make sense and work for us.