The world is more complicated now than when I was your age. Sexual orientation/gender identity was not something we needed to go around flashing like a business card. I knew at an early age who I was and that I was not like people around me. I didn’t fit in to the binary definition of gender. I suspect neither do you.
Sure, I was assigned a gender at birth as you were; but deep down, what am I? I still do not know for certain. What I do know is that it does not matter to anyone else but me. I do not need to tell people what my orientation is or what my self identified gender is. Never in the workplace, or in a social setting. It is personal to me.
That said, some people have to disclose because their identity is so different from their assignment that it makes it hard to get along in a binary-centric world. Imagine identifying as female in a gender assigned male body having to shower with cis-males in a gym. Feeling wholly uncomfortable. I could seriously empathize. Being forced to live along a gender stereotype they just did not align? When all they want to do is be who they know themselves to be without criticism, condemnations or harassments.
I hated my first year at college, because I neither identified as male or female and felt really out of place and crawl-out-of-my-skin uncomfortable when having to shower in the women’s dormitory where it was a large open space with a bunch of shower heads lining the perimeter. I would wait until the weirdest time of day to shower so I could do so in peace. I simply never felt aligned with other women. But I never felt all the way male either. If there was a gender in between, I could see that’s where I fell. I think I was fluid, though I thought I might be genderless in High School. Depending on the day I could tap into a feminine or masculine sensibility, but I never felt that I needed to pick a side. Except that society expected it of me.
We now live in an age where that expectation is being confronted with the words
I am excited for the time when gender identity does not have to be part of the conversation. That people are accepted no matter how they identify or what their orientation is. There is no difficult decision in a changing room, or restroom, gym or dormitory setting as to what door to enter. That people are not discriminated against for living their truth. Nor are they excluded, disowned, attacked, murdered because an ignorant fuck feels threatened. That they don’t have to decide to exit this earth to get relief from a persecuted life.
That just because I marry a man does not mean I am turning in my queer card. It just means that I loved him enough to want to spend the rest of my life with him and bear his child because my body is wired to do so. If I had met a woman who I fell for in the same way I would have married her. That I should not have to justify who I am or my choices to any group. And finally, that I need not grab a label to slap on my chest to inform everyone else what/who I am. I don’t care to share my pronouns because they are mine and not yours. And I am not offended if you choose to use a pronoun that matches my physical gender because you don’t know.
I recognize that the journey to this freedom has been paved by warriors and martyrs alike who paid difficult prices to get to that extraordinary time in the future. I know and respect that they need these pronouns to teach tolerance and acceptance.
Some day I will be able to go into a clothing store and not see a segregation by blue or pink and cringe. That I will see a time where restrooms are private and inclusive for all to use without pausing to look at signage to decide how to proceed.