Is Gender Confirmation as Fluid as Gender Itself?

Some thoughts on the liberation and dysphoria that can come with gender confirmation

Max Micallef
Feb 15 · 4 min read
Image for post
Image for post
IMAGE: The LGBTQ+ Experiment

Being a genderqueer identifying person (They/He/She), AMAB, and falling under the nonbinary umbrella, the topic of gender confirmation has crossed my mind around once or twice a week as of late. I currently have no desire to undergo gender confirmation surgery. For the most part, I see my body and its organs as genderless, while my identity is multi-faceted. However, if there is one thing that I could permanently do with the wave of a wand, it would be the removal of my facial hair. Though I’m naturally smooth as is *said in an annoying twink voice* the little body hair I have can go too.

Not necessarily strong in emotion, I feel the minor self-disdain towards my facial hair is a combination of the “inconvenience” of shaving, and because it does not correlate with my sense of who I am as a person. Considering this, is hair removal and hair removal alone enough to be considered a part of gender confirmation healthcare?

I feel slight guilt writing the above. This slight guilt, though valid in feeling, stemming from my personal ties to nonbinary imposter syndrome. Many transgender and gender nonbinary people have to endure a long and difficult process to undergo a more extensive gender confirmation; hair removal not even being a surgery. Is my possible desire to see if hair removal is covered under TGNCNB financial assistance programs, without any other gender confirmation procedures, selfish or even offensive? Is that privilege?

I would like to think it’s not. I can not feel guilty about who I inherently am. Eventually, I’ll get to a point where I can confidently believe that it’s not selfish at all because that is the truth. Gender expression and gender identity are intertwined but hold no synonymous connections. I am genderqueer “enough.” I am nonbinary “enough.” My identity is not outlandish or “extra.” It simply is. The point of the Queer liberation movement is education and inclusion. If I did decide to remove my facial hair, it would not be a want, it would be a need. Yes, a need. A need because it would be directly tied to my sense of self. To better align my physical body with my internal gender identity. The concept of “enough”, a hierarchy of Queer persons, is a heteronormative construct, and therefore incorrect and false.

As I explore this process of gender confirmation, my confirmation that is “more” than just about hair, not knowing how extensive it will be, I hope fellow LGBTQ+ people would understand that it would be exactly that. Mine. So yes, of course gender confirmation is just as fluid as gender itself. There is no standard with gender confirmation because gender is an individual experience and individual sense of identity. The fluidity of these aspects of who we are is at its core who we are as a community. The individual Queer collective.

I recently purchased a Kenzzi laser hair removal handset and I think it’s just great. I’m already seeing the results. However, as soon as I opened it and read the instructions that stated, “Don’t use on any part of your body above your upper lip” I felt a deep sadness. Then immediately after, a feeling of identity solidification. My innate reaction to this disclaimer was in itself an internal confirmation of my genderqueer identity. It was a disappointment that was more than just dissatisfaction with a product. It was a disappointment directly tied to an avenue “closing” in accomplishing a closer version of my true gendered sense of self. This in itself, further confirmation self-created.

So I’m going to do more hair removal research, and I’m sure I’ll have my dysphoric ups and downs along the way as I already have. Some moments will be painful and confusing, but overall, the process will continue to be beautiful. I write this after playing with some cute face glitter from Trixie Cosmetics and put on some heavy mascara. Simple, yet stunning. I feel good about myself, and I’m not going to let others let alone my self-destructive flares get in the way of immersing deeper into the human experience.

That alone I owe to myself.

Genderchic

For anyone willing to own their genderqueerness.

Max Micallef

Written by

(They/He/She) Queer rights, progressive politics, sex, mental health, contemplative thought, and more. Shoot me an email: mthm100@gmail.com

Genderchic

Bring your own brick (BYOB) to throw at the walls of the gender binary, and make yourself at home.

Max Micallef

Written by

(They/He/She) Queer rights, progressive politics, sex, mental health, contemplative thought, and more. Shoot me an email: mthm100@gmail.com

Genderchic

Bring your own brick (BYOB) to throw at the walls of the gender binary, and make yourself at home.

Medium is an open platform where 170 million readers come to find insightful and dynamic thinking. Here, expert and undiscovered voices alike dive into the heart of any topic and bring new ideas to the surface. Learn more

Follow the writers, publications, and topics that matter to you, and you’ll see them on your homepage and in your inbox. Explore

If you have a story to tell, knowledge to share, or a perspective to offer — welcome home. It’s easy and free to post your thinking on any topic. Write on Medium

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store