I came across this video today: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ADPr247G1hs. I think there is a certain amount of self-hate felt by anyone who does not see themselves as normal. Unfortunately, society teaches us that there is something wrong with who we are and we should be normal. It is society that tells us we should hate ourselves. It has taken me a long time to be comfortable talking about my own gender nonconformity. I’ve written posts on it before, including posts about how society views those of us who don’t conform to gender stereotypes, but I thought that this would be a good project too. So these are my reasons for hating that I’m gender nonconforming.
I hate that I’m gender nonconforming because I know that it is not something my family will ever full understand or accept. When they make comments about how I should dress better, or care more about my appearance, or do my hair and wear make-up, it hurts. They don’t care about who I am. They don’t care about what makes me comfortable. They just care about who they think I should be. My family should be the people who support me for who I am, they shouldn’t be the ones who judge me because of who I’m not.
I hate that I’m gender nonconforming because a woman once stopped me at my university to tell me that I “can’t wear track pants at a university.” I had never met this woman before. Why did she care what I wore? Yet she felt that it was her right to tell me what I can and cannot wear. My own opinion about what I prefer on my body didn’t matter to her. She only cared about her own preferences.
I hate being gender nonconforming because two years ago when I took my partner out to dinner on his birthday, I had to go to the bathroom. When I walked through the bathroom door, I overheard two waitresses laughing about “the boy who just walked into the woman’s bathroom.” I was glad that the waiter who was serving my partner and I corrected the waitresses before I had to leave the bathroom. The waitresses cared more about which room I went in to pee than they did about who I actually was. A room with walls that prevents me from seeing what anyone else is doing and that prevents everyone else from seeing what I’m doing. And the scary thing is it could have been much worse.
I hate being gender nonconforming because of the looks I get. People scan my chest carefully before addressing me, they look at me twice just to be sure they saw correctly the first time. They avoid talking to me because they don’t know how to address me. I worked in retail for seven years. I dealt with it all a lot.
I hate being gender nonconforming because I’ve experienced first hand people treating me better when they assume I’m male than when they assume I’m female. I’ve had people see my name tag with my obviously female name, ask me a question, and then assume I’m wrong and ask the same thing to my male co-workers. That got old very fast. But I’ve also had people avoid asking my female coworkers questions and come over to me, assuming I’m male, to ask me questions. They felt that I was due more respect as a male than as a female. I’d even had people forget who they dealt with and take me for male on one trip and for female on the next. Those were the people who made it the most clear to me that they respected me more for my assumed maleness than for my assumed femaleness.
I hate being gender nonconforming because my co-workers were more offended by the people who assumed that I was male (even the nice ones) than they were about the people who treated me like shit because I’m female. In their minds, it was more important that people acknowledge my femaleness than it was that they acknowledge my ability to do my job (which wasn’t that difficult). Personally, I’ve always been more pissed off by the people who assumed I’m too dumb to know what a PS3 is because I have boobs.
I hate being gender nonconforming because I want to have kids. Between the horror stories I’ve heard from other gender non-conforming people who have kids and the physical changes that I will be forced to experience, the prospect is terrifying. I don’t want to deal with the stares while I’m sitting in the doctors office, I don’t want to deal with the “pregnant man” comments. I don’t want to feel like I need to be kept a secret. But I also don’t want to deal with the feminization of my body. I don’t want to look more female. I’m already self-conscious about how female I look.
I could go on all day, but I think I’ll end it here. I hate being gender nonconforming for many reasons, but not because I actually hate being gender nonconforming. What I hate is how society treats me because I’m gender non-conforming, and how I’m made to feel about being gender nonconforming. Everything is gendered. I can’t shop for clothes without feeling uncomfortable, I can’t use a public bathroom without feeling like I’m breaking some rule. At times I’ve even felt like I can’t hold my partners hand without wearing a sign that says “female.” I wish people would stop labelling everything for boys or girls. Why can’t we just like what we like? Why can’t we wear what we want to wear? Why can’t we pee without being segregated? Why does society even care?