Coming Out All Over Again
I’m coming out.
I am gender non-binary.
I was born and assigned the sex of female. My body is female- hips and breasts and all. But my actual gender identity is something more amorphous and less binary than that. I don’t really identify as a woman or a man. Pronouns are complicated for me. Both he and she, sir or ma’am- they just feel like putting on a jacket with too-tight shoulders. None of it fits. I am just me. They as a pronoun works best of all, but I get caught up in the grammar of it. I don’t even know what the other gender neutral pronouns are, nor does the world at large, so I don’t bother.
The last person I came out to, after asking me my preferred pronouns, asked me if calling me by my given name was ok. And it is. It may be very feminine, but it’s rare. I don’t know a zillion women named Melody. I’ve met two others in my whole 31 years. So I don’t have this idea in my head of what a Melody SHOULD be. It’s also a noun, so it isn’t even necessarily gendered. I would love to have my wife’s gender-neutral name, or be named Alex or something, but then I’d be afraid it would be a whole “It’s Pat!” situation all the time. At least when I tell people my name, they can fit me into whatever box they need to move forward and not feel awkward. So, just repeat my name a million times when you’re talking about me. “Melody told me that Melody thinks this.” It’s more work, I know it is. I appreciate your effort.
Let’s get this out there: being in sex-segregated spaces is… uncomfortable for me. I don’t like making people double-take in bathrooms and locker rooms. Yes, my hair is short and I’m wearing men’s clothing. But I have to pee. I’ve been using the women’s room my entire life and can’t pee standing up, so it’s just where I gotta go. I’ll use a unisex or single stall bathroom if there’s one available to me, but that’s not always an option.
So that’s me. Don’t worry about being polite and using a gendered greeting. No need for ma’am. Just look me in the eye and treat me like a person. If I make you uncomfortable, ask yourself why. Gender is a social construction. I am just a human being.