I am Genderfluid

I am Genderfluid

They, Them Theirs
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First things first, this isn’t a coming out article. I’m kind of already out to most people accept maybe some of my coworkers. I’m out to my friends. I’m out to my parents. So, don’t worry about that and if you didn’t know, well now you know. Second thing is explaining what exactly gender fluid means. Is it one of those weird, wacky identities millennials have these days to seem special? No. Is it a mental disorder that can be fixed with a little help? I think it’s cool that you care about mental health, but no, this gender identity is not a mental disorder. By definition, genderfluid means “denoting or relating to a person who does not identify themselves as having a fixed gender.” That definition can be found through a quick google search. And that’s pretty much me.

In general, I’m still working out the odds and ends of my gender identity, something that’s been a lengthy process. Gender is something I’ve always thought about but it was only recently I began thinking about it outside the bounds of the gender binary and around that time is when I started questioning my gender. My identity is complicated and through pressure of feeling like I need to know right now every nuance of my identity and feeling like a fraud in my own definition of self, it can be difficult to pin it down. But luckily, I’ve been told that’s okay. The issue is that genderfluid people and those who don’t identify as “just a man” or “just a woman” live in a world where we haven’t quite developed the language to describe our gender. We don’t teach it in schools, we’ve only started teaching about it in liberal arts schools and even so a lot of it is just theory. So, really when it comes to figuring it all out, you kind of have to wing it and ignore people who doubt you because you don’t one hundred percent understand it yourself. You don’t have to be an expert on your gender identity to identify with it. A cis woman doesn’t have to be an expert on every single thing about women and what it means to be a cis woman to identify as one, why should I know every single thing about being a genderfluid person?

Right now, I’m in the phase of figuring out how I want to present myself and what does my gender identity say about my style. There aren’t a lot of great examples of fashion outside of the gender binary, from agender fashion looking like it came out of a weird sci-fi film where no one has emotions to genderfluid fashion basically trying to be both masculine and feminine and that’s barely a fraction of the complicated identity. Heck, not even sliver as everyone presents differently. So, not only do we have to figure out the language ourselves, but we have to figure out the style.

At first, I used to be really aware and scared of the levels of femininity and masculinity I was presenting at a time. I would wear something and feel weird about it being too feminine or not feminine enough or too masculine or not masculine enough. I would get weird about my hair being long because I was afraid that I looked too much like a girl but if I wore it up, I looked too much like a guy. I would have it down and feel like I’m a fraud because I could never pass as a guy but I’m not pretty enough to be a girl. But now, I wear my hair really short and I feel a lot better about my appearance. It’s a lot easier for me to feel confidently masculine or to present more feminine if I want to. For the first time in recent, I took a selfie without make up on snapchat and actually felt attractive and masculine when for years I felt that only my feminine side could be attractive. And don’t think for a second that you have to cut your hair to feel attractive as a genderfluid person. But just know that in discovering and understanding your identity, it helps to experiment, whether it means trying on clothes you normally wouldn’t try or trying a hairstyle or makeup style that is new to you. You might find you like it or that you hate it.

In discovering my identity, I was in a bad place with friends and relationships, but finding new friends who accept me, no questions asked and a significant other who supports me and my identity means the world to me and has really helped me find myself. So if you’re someone questioning their gender identity or if you feel lost in your discovery, know that you aren’t alone and that it’s okay if you don’t know everything. You don’t have to know everything right away, but you’ll get there

Cover Image Credit: Deviant Art

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17 Signs You Grew Up Irish

Irish and proud!
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With a name like Shannon Elizabeth Ryan many people right away sarcastically ask the question "you're not Irish are you?" I always laugh and jokingly say nope not at all. I'm extremely proud of my Irish heritage, but what does it mean to be Irish?

Here are 17 signs you grew up Irish:

1. You have a distinct Irish name: first or last

Shannon, Elizabeth, Michael, Patrick, Sean, James, Ryan, Riley, Mahony, Murphy. Extra points if your last name begins with O', Mac or Mc.

2. You have been called a "potato head" or towhead as a child

Shannon Ryan

"What a bunch or potato heads!" Meaning you were really Irish or really blonde or both.

3. You were raised Catholic

Shannon Ryan

Catholic school, mass every Sunday. Oh and you were most likely an alter server or in the choir and can say the mass forward and backwards.

4. You have a love for potatoes of any kind.

Also, you may have read this book about a potato as a child.

5. You've been told, "Oh, you're Irish, you can hold your drinks."

Giphy

I mean it's in your blood, right?

6. Funeral, wedding, birthday you really can't tell the difference

Wedding? Get the whiskey. Oh, you said funeral?

... get the whiskey.

7. You know old Irish Songs and sing along with every note

"The Streets of New York," "Black Velvet Band," "Wild Rover," "Molly Malone," "Galway Girl," "Danny Boy," tell me ma all songs I remember being singing along with as a kid.

8. Your favorite holiday is St. Patrick's Day and you go all out

A day to show the world that there are only two types of people in the world: those who are Irish and those that wish they were.

9. You own a Celtic cross, Claddagh ring or any Irish knot jewelry and wear it often

You were most likely given that Celtic cross when you were born and got one for your First Holy Communion. The Claddagh was given by someone who loves you and Irish knots you can never go wrong with.

10. Two words: "soda" and "bread"

Some don't know that the cross made on the top of bread is to keep the devil away and protect the house.

11. You have a HUGE family and the parties and reunions that go along with it are just as big

My family is enormous and this is only half of it and I still don't know everyone.

12. There is no such thing as tanning

Unless you ware one of the blessed ones who do tan I'm extremely jealous. For the rest of us, we have two options pale or red there is no in-between.

13. You may not have the cleanest mouth or quietest voice

But you would never dare say a bad word in front of someone older than you. As for an indoor voice, it's non-existent.

14. You can successfully pull off an “Irish Exit" and then have to explain to your friends the next day what exactly that is when they ask where you went

Basically means you leave the party without anyone knowing.

15. At one point in your life, you've said, “Jesus, Mary, and Joseph" if something went wrong

I heard this a lot growing up and I catch myself saying it every now and again.

16. The only college football team you root for is Notre Dame

I mean is there any other, Let's Go Fighting Irish!

17. Lastly, you are extremely proud of your Irish heritage

We are Irish. We are taught to be strong, have faith in God and learn how to party and have fun. Erin Go Bragh!

Cover Image Credit: kingofwallpapers.com

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Remaining Optimistic In A Cloudy World Is Difficult, Yet So Imporant

We tend to take the biggest hits at ourselves rather than those who may be slandering us much worse.

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We are all constantly going through something and we can hide it all we want, but it's present. There are so many difficulties that life brings to the table and we try to push those away and focus on the things that we can control. With those trials and tribulations, we are presented with challenges that test us on multiple levels. It's so simple to beat yourself up about the things that may be negatively occurring in your life over and over. We tend to take the biggest hits at ourselves rather than those who may be slandering us much worse. We cloud our minds and our bodies with the negativity that we take from the world rather than the great things that we accomplish daily.

As life is difficult and situations may bring out the best and the worst in us, we need to see more of the positivity in the world and allow ourselves to bring that light into the world. At the moment there is so much darkness but the light that we project is so crucial in order to create the world that we aspire to see. It's so simple to think of what's wrong the world and what needs to be changed but it truly does start with the way that we think as well as how we perceive the world ourselves. There is a truth with the reality of the space around us, but there is a perception that comes with it.

Even just changing the way that we think about one thing during the day from negative to positive, we could allow so much more light into our lives. By lightening a perspective or thinking of a way to see something different, a simple decision could leave so much more of a positive impact on someone's life. We are all here for each other at the end of the day, and the more kindness that we let out, the more that we can gain from one another. At a younger age hearing "What you put out into the world is what you receive" was a foreign phrase to me, but over time I realized the importance of the full circle that we live in.

Everything goes around in a circle, relationships, friendships, thoughts, and perspectives. We allow these to frame our thoughts and lives due to the importance that they hold in the world. The more that we care and listen to others, it'll become simpler to adjust our own framework to personalize and emphasize our feelings and what we want to personally put in the world. It's so difficult to see such a negative world and wanting to create a light yet not know how. So remember that it starts with you and everything you say and do will always have the ability to create happiness and kindness around the world. As life gets hard, keep holding on to what you believe in and you'll see that it'll frame the world around you.

"Keep your face to the sunshine and you cannot see a shadow."
— Helen Keller

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