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(If there’s nothing specifically on your mind today, I wonder if you maybe want to talk about your gender identity a little bit?)

Yeah, actually I do. I didn’t even realize it, but I actually have been thinking about this a lot lately. So, yeah, let’s talk about it. 

Here’s where I’m at with the whole gender thing: One of the reasons I first wanted to go to therapy was because of some new gender dysphoria I started feeling a year or so ago. And after a lot of struggling and wrestling with the concept and the feelings, I feel like this semester I was finally more confident in where I landed. Which is why we haven’t talked about it yet. But lately, I have been questioning again.

Basically, I thought I was nonbinary, like yeah for sure I don’t feel super like a woman but I also don’t have a penis, so like, what do I do with that? And this semester I finally just bit the bullet and started introducing myself with they/she pronouns. And that felt fine, I suppose.

But the problem is there are not a ton of places halfway through a school year where it makes sense to introduce yourself with your pronouns. And just the whole concept of sharing and defining pronouns, in general, makes me squeamish. And I was not about to announce my “new” identity to the world. Because I still was not sure that those were good words to use for me. So yeah, everyone was basically still using she/her pronouns for me because, unfortunately (?), that is the most obvious assumption. 

(Well, I actually think you look pretty androgynous in my opinion.) 

Thank you! Thank you! And it always feels like such a compliment when people don’t assume my gender! Which I suppose is a confirmation of these nonbinary feelings. 

But back to the problem at hand. These they/she pronouns: No one knows about them. So I’m still a woman in most spaces. And at the beginning of the semester, I was kind of annoyed by it. But recently, I’ve been like HMMM … Maybe I AM a woman? I like when people say “hey, lady!” or when I’m grouped in as one of the “girlies!” But do I like it, or have I maybe just gotten used to it?

So I don’t really know what to do with that. Am I nonbinary? Or do I want to be a woman again?


I don’t want to choose.

And why are we letting these short words define who we are?! We are all just individual people, how can we define anyone as anything?! 

(Yeah, it’s a pretty dumb concept to use these words to describe people.)

And what does it mean to be a woman, even? That’s why I even started questioning my gender in the first place. Because I started thinking about what that word meant and then realized that it is literally impossible to define because every so-called woman is so different. So how can we clump a group of people together like that? How can anyone be one thing?

(I get it, but some people really do align themselves with one of the binary genders or the other.)

Yeah, I know, so I was just kinda confounded by this whole concept of gender and why people assign themselves to that. And these questions were making me think like, oh, well, if I’m having these thoughts maybe I also fit beyond the binary? But then am I actually nonbinary or do I just understand that gender is a construct? Also, what does it mean to be nonbinary?

(Well, I think the fact that you are asking these questions is indicative of something?)

Oh, yeah. Yeah. Definitely. You’re right. I’m like definitely nonbinary. 

But now we’re back at the pronouns thing! Because, okay yeah, let’s say I’m nonbinary. How do I let people know that? I have to use “nonbinary pronouns” now, right? Because that’s the newest way people can understand gender fluidity? Yeah, I hate that. I’m not binary, but I’m also not just ONE gender option in between. And like when people use she/her pronouns for me, it makes me feel uncomfortable, but when they use they/them pronouns I ALSO feel uncomfortable. So what do I do? Just be uncomfortable for the rest of my life?!

Yeah, I guess that’s really the only option.

UGH! Why can’t people just use my name! I’m just a person, I’m not a pronoun!

(You know, I have been hearing some people using “third-person” pronouns, where they have people use their name or try to avoid pronouns. You don’t have to define yourself with standard pronouns, people are innovating in all kinds of ways with gender.)

… What? I did not know this was a thing. Hmm. I like that. Yeah, that could feel cool. 

Okay but like sometimes I feel very nonbinary and I’m like yeah they/them could be fine, it would be easy. And then other days I stand naked in the mirror and smash down my boobs, trying to imagine a flat-chested body, and I think, maybe I’m a boy? 

Woah there! Hold on. I do think that if someone used he/him pronouns for me it would feel weird. It would be AWESOME to be mistaken as a male-presenting person, but I don’t know if it would be a preference? So, okay yeah, maybe it’s just anything but he?

But here’s another layer! Sometimes (like recently maybe) I’ve kiiiinda been feeling like a woman. And with this warmer weather, I look into my closet and I’m like, hmm maybe I’ll wear a skirt today! But then, I’m like, no I won’t do that because then people will get confused, they’ll think I’m a woman. And it’s like, I wish I could act/present in a feminine way but still have people see me as nonbinary. But that will literally never happen. People are gonna mistake me for a lady my entire life, that’s just a fact, so I can’t get too uncomfortable with she/her pronouns. 

Also, I know that I will never tell my parents or grandparents about my gender identity. So I will always have to hear them call me she/her/daughter for the rest of our lives. So, I just have to be okay with she/her. For a while. 

And sometimes they are preferable! But sometimes they/them is preferable! And sometimes nothing is preferable! It changes weekly, daily, hourly? How could I decide my gender identity RIGHT NOW! It just changed a year ago, it’s subject to change again in the near future! 

And that like really sucks for me. My gender identity is never going to be one thing, it can’t be. And that is really annoying for me. I wish it wasn’t the case. I wish I could just land on something and have it feel perfect and amazing and just oh so right. But that hasn’t happened yet. Maybe it never will happen. Maybe it shouldn’t be an ideal I work toward. Maybe I should just accept that my gender and personal identity are always in motion. Yeah, that’s right! In two years I’m gonna be a different person regardless of my gender! So why do I have to decide on my gender right now?

Why do I have to decide on my gender PERIOD?

(Well you don’t, really. Society is telling you to, so that’s hard, but it’s your life and your identity and you don’t need to rush it.)

Wow okay, yeah. That actually feels right. The ultra super-duper fluidity of my gender. Liquid, in ever-changing motion. I like that. Yeah, I can work with that.