November 17, 2012

Agender at Duke

Hello, everybody. I’m the second person who’ll be writing a post for the lead up to Transgender Day of Remembrance. I don’t identify as Transgender, but I do identify as gender nonconforming. Agender, to be specific. The point of this blog post is to try to give a slight peek into how that affects my daily life.

So I’ll start with the bad parts. First things first, the reason I feel that I have to post this anonymously. Gender variance is far less accepted than sexuality, so though I identify as queer also, I feel the need to keep this part of my identity private. Simply put, I do not feel that I have the desire or strength to put up with an endless stream of questions that pry into some of my most personal feelings and attempt to make me justify my identity. It’s something I’ve observed from the outside many times, that though many people feel entitled to ask deeply personal questions of all LGBTQ people, this holds true to a greater extent for those of us who identify as gender noncomforming.

Of course, my decision to keep my identity private has its downsides too. For example, just because I avoid referring to myself with gender specific pronouns doesn’t mean that everyone else does. As much as like to ignore it, one of the first things people assume about a person is their gender. So, as long as I choose to not tell everyone how I identify, I will simply have to cope with the reality that people will type me incorrectly. That said, I don’t want to give off the impression that my life is terrible, as I have a lot of good going for me as well.

On the plus side, I am out to a decent group of my close friends. They have made every effort to acknowledge my identity and have accepted it without feeling the need or entitlement to pry more information from me than I’m willing to give. It’s thanks to these friends that I’m becoming increasingly secure and comfortable in my own skin, and for that I’m very thankful.

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