Do you guys ever start talking with people and just KEEP talking for days only to realize you never really asked each other’s names? I do this a lot. In fact, when I went to a job fair last month I walked up to a table and started asking questions and then got super flustered because the person interrupted me to tell me her name and shake my hand. And being the biggest derp out there I forgot what my name was and mumbled…something? Yes, not one of the brightest moments of my life
The reason I bring this up is that it kind of relates to something else I’ve been thinking about a lot lately – pronouns and gender identity (and sexuality but that’s for another day). Now, I’m not super versed on this subject so if I botch something up, please let me know!
Something that has been very prominent in the society I live in lately is the acceptance of things like pronouns and gender identity. At my school the Women’s and Gender Studies department made pronoun pins for students to take, they made tiny fliers with the different pronouns and why they are important, and during exhibits, I’ve noticed that pronouns are now placed next to artists names (along with the use of gender-neutral terms like Latinx and womxn). In one of my classes, my professor actually asked us to give our pronouns in our introduction, which I thought was super cool!
All of these things got me thinking about my own pronouns and how I don’t really know a lot of people’s pronouns online.
This one is a little complicated and we’re going to get a little personal here. Now then, my pronouns are she/they. What does this mean in regards to me?
It means that I am okay being referred to as she/her and as they/them.
The reason that I am open to using both of these pronouns is that they are convenient and true. Convenient in the sense that I grew up as a girl and have used the pronoun “she” for many years, and in the sense that I find it inconvenient to have people change a pronoun I am okay with; however, I will admit that I identify more with they/them. In fact, in my artist bio, I only mention my pronoun as they/them. The story behind why I identify more with this pronoun is a wee bit less clear cut.
You see, when I was growing up I was always jealous of the fact that my brother was a boy. I wanted to be a boy but alas, I was stuck being a girl. I felt this the most during my high school days but in general, it’s a feeling that hasn’t changed. I don’t feel like I’m a boy in a girls body, but there’s a big part of me that thinks I would be much happier if I were a guy. I like to dress in guys clothing because they’re so much more comfortable, which drives my parents crazy (especially my mom). I’ve also noticed that when I’m comfortable I also sit “like a guy” (I recently learned this is called manspreading), something I attribute to the fact that I have always lived in a male dominant household and a bit to the fact that I want to be a guy. I also have mannerisms that people generally wouldn’t consider ladylike (who else burps super loud, what am I the only one?)
In fact, there was a time when I completely rejected anything feminine like girly clothing and makeup because I felt this way (my feelings might also have been influenced by feelings of misogyny, which I am now working through)
This brings me to gender identity. What is gender identity? Gender identity is what gender we feel is appropriate to us and is independent of our biological sex. It can be male or female, or it can be nonbinary, which is outside of the male and female spectrum. Some people call this genderqueer, agender, third-gender, bigender, etc. I probably fall somewhere in the genderqueer area and move between “male” and female depending on circumstances and mood.
I know, I feel like I’ve just complicated things but let me attempt to explain (although even I’m not sure what this means or how it works – I’m still exploring)
There’s a reason I placed male in quotations. You see, there are times when I want people to see me as female. I want to express myself as feminine, wear a skirt, and attempt to wear some makeup (these feelings are usually followed by shame and pridefulness because I rejected this form of expression for so long). Then there are other times when I feel more masculine and I want to be viewed as a guy but not to the point where I would adopt the he/him pronoun. In those moments I identify more as they/them with a masculine expression. But on a neutral day, I tend to fall in the they/them identity with an androgynous gender expression (according to the genderbread person).
I suppose the simplest way to describe myself would be genderqueer or genderfluid (or, as I like to say, just Crimson). Are categories things I think about often? Not really but it is something I’ve thought about recently and it’s something that I want to learn more about
Gender Expression Online
When people talk about the internet it’s usually to say it’s a bad place for 1,000 reasons or it’s a good place because we can communicate with people around the world. I also found that it was (and is) a good place to express myself “correctly”. I’m not sure if you guys have noticed but I often use gifs and pictures with male characters on them. Yes, they tend to be my husbands and I love them, but also, I tend to associate myself more closely to them than I would female characters
In videogames, I would often switch profiles between male and female characters. I like to think that even my name (Crimson) is gender neutral, which is why it’s a name that has lasted with me as long as it has.
Oh my! This post got a little longer than I expected. Now that I’ve wrapped up my pronouns and gender identity, feel free to let me know yours! I feel like I’ve been really good about referring to new people as “they” (my gender neutral go to) both IRL and online, but I also think it’s important to start normalizing pronouns. I think bio sections on social media are a great place to add this information, but even IRL it’s something that should be talked about more often.
While I don’t consider myself an advocate, I do carry my they/them pin on my bag whenever I go out~