The LGBT rainbow drawn in chalk

LGBT History Month – ‘Genderqueer’ does not mean ‘gender dysphoria’

This LGBT History Month, I’m taking take some posts to discuss my gender identity. It’s my hope that sharing my thoughts, feelings and experiences will help people to see not only beyond the gender binary, but that each gender identity can be split into as many different ‘types’ as there are people who assume that identity to describe themselves.

I mentioned in my introductory LGBT History Month post that identifying as genderqueer does not mean that I experience gender dysphoria. That identifying as genderqueer does not make me trans*, although I do recognise it has its place on the trans* spectrum. That identifying as genderqueer does not mean that I ‘reject’ my sex, nor does it mean that I have a negative body image or that I experience body dysmorphic disorder. That identifying as genderqueer means, for me, that I am indifferent to my sex.

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A rainbow of cotton yarn in front of a row of plants

LGBT History Month – Genderqueer is who I am and who I choose to be

This LGBT History Month, I’m taking take some posts to discuss my gender identity. It’s my hope that sharing my thoughts, feelings and experiences will help people to see not only beyond the gender binary, but that each gender identity can be split into as many different ‘types’ as there are people who assume that identity to describe themselves.

I mentioned in my introductory LGBT History Month post that ‘genderqueer’ is both who I am and who I choose to be. That identifying as genderqueer means that I identify as neither man nor woman. That identifying as genderqueer is not a phase, nor does it mean that I’ve not yet decided whether I’m a man or woman. That identifying as genderqueer permits my gender identity and expression a great degree of flexibility, fluidity and freedom.

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Colouring pencils in the colours of the LGBT rainbow flag

LGBT History Month – What does being genderqueer mean to me?

This LGBT History Month, I’m going to take some posts to discuss my gender identity. It’s my hope that sharing my thoughts, feelings and experiences will help people to see not only beyond the gender binary, but that each gender identity can be split into as many different ‘types’ as there are people who assume that identity to describe themselves.

I identify as a genderqueer person. I have a positive and proud relationship with my gender identity, but I often find that my ‘performance’ of this is often not the one ‘expected’ of me, something that can lead to circumstances and incidents in which I experience, at varying levels, abuse, bullying, discrimination and victimisation.

When you identify outside the structure of the gender binary, people will typically attempt to find another structure into which they can fit you that gives your gender identity a meaning they’ll understand, or they may take experiences you have in common and create tenuous links between these to try and find a way to relate to you on their terms. It rarely works, and it’s possible to find yourself on the receiving end of annoyance and frustration because you’re either something they fail to understand, or you don’t fit in with their idea of your gender identity.

Typically, they’ll ‘blame’ you for their inability to see past their socialisation and cultural conditioning, and may even expect you to change in order to be closer to the ideal they have in mind for you and your gender identity. That’s pretty much where I am right now.

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A Southsea sunset, December 2016

New Year, Same Old Me, Same Old You

Well, the first full week of the new year is over. Good. We’re one step closer to things being ‘back to normal’. By that, I mean that we’re one step closer to being rid of the cloying artifice that immediately follows the new year fireworks; the manufactured and synthetic hope, inspiration and motivation with which we record over the reality of the past year and then broadcast, with a cult-like positivity, like some kind of saccharine gospel to whoever’s within earshot. We’re one step closer to acknowledging that the only truly new thing about the new year is the calendar you bought to cross off its days.

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December 2016 calendar

Metablog – December 2016

I started the last day of the year furiously typing out notes for a blog post on my phone, the harsh backlight of the display illuminating a maniacal grin and some significant bags under my eyes as the clock ticked on past 1:05am. ‘This is who I am’, I thought. Although I knew I’d be tired in the morning and have a fitful sleep from staring at my phone last thing before pulling the covers up and tucking myself in, it felt good. Ideas were coming to me, and I was taking the time to react to them. I felt passionate about what I could do with what I was typing out. Finally, I felt as though it were all coming back.

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November 2016 calendar

Metablog – November 2016

(I’m playing catch-up with this post, one I’d fully intended to have up almost a month ago. You’re lucky I remember the month so well, otherwise I’d have to make things up like alien invasions to pad it out.)

As with last year, November was spent in fitful preparations for the Portsmouth and Southsea Consortium’s Etsy Made Local market, as well as those for my birthday in early December, Yule, Christmas and the new year. I like to get in there early. It’s one of the busiest months of the year and, as with last year’s, I looked forward to it being over – not because I disliked what I was doing, nor how much work everything was, but because it meant I’d be able to rest.

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October 2016 calendar

Metablog – October 2016

(I thought I’d posted this in the first week of November; I guess I’ve been more distracted than I thought these last few months…)

You know, I think I’ve figured it out. It came to me not too long ago after writing last month’s metablog post, and I’ve spent the last few weeks exploring it through notes and scribbles to myself in a big ol’ sketchbook I’ve carried with me absolutely everywhere. I think I know what’s stopped my creativity in its tracks.

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August 2016 calendar

Metablog – August 2016

I’ve always thought of August as a good month to take off. Literally, if you fancy it and can afford to fly somewhere on holiday, but it’s a good month to just set as much aside as you can and enjoy the last full summer month (and the best one, in my opinion). However, this proves a little difficult to do if you’ve not been up to much and don’t feel as though you’ve earned a break. How can you have a month off from nothing?

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July 2016 calendar

Metablog – July 2016

Again, I’ve left it very late in the current month to look back on the previous month, but I’ve not been able to stop thinking about it for the last couple of weeks. After finishing up with all my collaborative projects, I was left pretty much to my own devices but, despite the free time, I didn’t accomplish nearly anywhere near as I thought I would last time I wrote.

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