I am a gender non-conforming demisexual. I have known that I don’t fit into the category of “girl” or “woman” for as long as I can remember. It never felt right. When I was younger I even wanted to be a boy. I hated being female. But I grew up in a family with strong beliefs about traditional gender roles. It didn’t take me very long to figure out that my feelings would have been seen as a problem, so I never told anyone. I also was never given the vocabulary necessary to express how and what I felt. It made my life very difficult. Luckily I was able to live my life as a tomboy with little pushback from my parents. I could live my life comfortably, and do the things that I wanted to do, so long as everybody perceived me as a tomboy. But that hasn’t really made things less difficult. It took me until I reached university to gain the vocabulary necessary to begin exploring my gender and learning about the various options out there. As such, I still have no clue what my gender is. This isn’t a problem because I feel that I need a label. It’s a problem because I am surrounded by people who have already given themselves labels, or accepted the label given to them by society. It is very lonely being the only person you know still searching for that label. Everybody else seems to have determined who they are, at least as far as gender is concerned, but all I know is what I am not.
I never really thought much about this until recently. I had no problem being the only one without a label. But getting pregnant made me think about the fact that I am a biological female. It had never really been so in my face before. The reproductive cycle is a sore spot for many gender non-conforming individuals, and I find myself in the position of wanting to actually give birth to children. As such, I am now thinking about how difficult it could be for me. Especially since pregnancy is so gendered in and of itself. Our society holds strong views on pregnancy and pregnant women. They will all be shoved in my face when I decide that I am ready to have my first child. It has me feeling a little weary.
Gender has been my biggest concern, but I have also been thinking about my sexuality. Demisexuality is generally considered a subset of asexuality. However, where asexuals have no sex drive, demisexuals do have a sex drive, but it is low and can be easily ignored. That is a simplistic explanation. Demisexuality is more complicated than that, but is not really the point of my post. It has been concerning me because Demisexuality is almost never discussed. Even in classes or workshops that are focusing on sexuality. Homosexuality and heterosexuality are usually the main focus. Bisexuality is almost always brought up. Pansexuality and omnisexuality are usually passing mentions. Even asexuality will be mentioned. But I have only heard Demisexuality brought up in one workshop that I have been to. This bothers me. It makes me feel as though I don’t have a place at the sexuality table. My partner volunteers at our university’s queer center, and I fit into the category of queer, but I don’t feel as though I belong there because my sexuality is largely ignored. I don’t feel as though I can actually call myself queer. My partner openly talks about how he is amused that he can say that he is in a queer relationship despite being a heterosexual cis man. I, however, view our relationship as completely heteronormative. Personally, I find that to be quite amusing.
I find that my personality is such that, with every judgement that society holds over my actions, I do the opposite of what is expected of me. I am female so I should like fashion and makeup. I couldn’t care less about my clothes: I wear what’s comfortable and rarely buy anything new. And I don’t wear makeup. I am masculine and like predominantly male activities so I should be a lesbian. Instead I don’t really care for sex, as a demisexual, and am equally attracted to men and women. I should be cis or trans. Instead I find myself somewhere in the middle. If I’m going to be gender non-conforming, then I should want to change my sex, and I should definitely prefer women. Instead I want to use my female body to produce babies and I intend to do so with the man that I plan to marry. I have long since come to the conclusion that societal expectations are largely just silly, but my inability to conform to them makes me frustrated. This is because I am at a higher risk of being mistreated by so obviously not conforming. I wish society would see these expectations as being as silly as I do. Maybe then we could create a more equal society where people are able to be themselves without fear.