May 13, 2011

Queer Issue: Defining Oneself

Man or woman, male or female, these are the choices that have been presented to individuals since the beginning. One was born, slapped on the rear by a doctor, allowed a good cry, and then either "It's a Girl!" or "It's a Boy!" or if one was an intersex individual "It needs surgery!"

Once this declaration was made, one was shepherded through life with this label emblazoned on every pink dress and blue bib. There was never any chance for any sort of grey. If one was a man, one was supposed to work to support your family, know how to fix a car, enjoy sports, and be better at things like math and science. If one was a woman, one was supposed to stay home to raise the kids, know how to cook and clean, enjoy knitting, and be better at things like writing and artistic endeavors.

While gender roles have slowly become eroded, women are entering the workplace and stay at home dads are not as uncommon as they once used to be, there still remains another issue. We still tend to think in terms of binary classification. The possibility that one is something other than male nor female, still tends to be ignored.

The reason I wanted to talk about this is because I never felt comfortable saying "I am a man". I also felt a little twitch whenever someone else described me as such. There are implications to go along with that suit and label that do not fit me at all.

So then I can that I am not a man. Fine, but what am I? What identity shall I choose instead? This question has arguably been bothering me for some time, nagging at the back of my head whenever I could not sleep at night.

Here's what I have come up with instead. I am not a man, but I am biologically male and see no reason to change that. I also do not want to identify as a woman either.

Unfortunately, that leaves me with a bit of a quandary, philosophically speaking. I know what I am not, but have a harder time figuring out what I am. I do not like the idea of defining oneself in negative terms. I can use the term gender-queer, and that fits me well enough that it will have to do for the time being.

So while I intend to continue to explore this issue, consider this my coming out as a gay gender queer.

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