This is my story of gender Identity.
I hadn’t given gender much thought until puberty and the societal pressures of womanhood pressed femininity down my throat. I was between a longing for masculinity and an expectation of femininity.
Still, in rebellious fashion I did away with the concept of gender all together. 17-18 I preferred to see myself as an androgynous being, unrestricted by the labels of man or woman. At the time ‘non-binary’ wasn’t a word known to me. I longed to be male but knew it was impossible so I misdirected my feelings into fantasy: writing novels, creating characters and entertaining the notion of my alter ego: ‘Quinn’.
Emerging into the adult world I felt pressures to conform and thus dismissed my gender confusion as a mere adolescent phase perpetrated by my inability to fully love myself. I villainised ‘Quinn’ as my ego or ‘demon’. A tumultuous relationship with myself took hold. I did my best to forget.
I hyperfeminised for 3 years. Presenting as what I perceived to be the ideal woman. Cue the nude self portraiture and hyper sexuality phase. (Good for art, bad for brain!) Ofcourse, it was never enough. Quinn lurked in the back of my mind, with quiet criticism and I kicked him down. Eventually my feelings came back up and I decided to confront them.
The questions that plagued me:
Have I just internalised misogyny, unable to cope with societal depictions of femininity and the pressures of womanhood?
What does it mean to be human? Are the definitions of sex and gender important? Am I just broken?
And chief among them:
What/who am I?
Followed by the choice between express or repress.
With much ado... I decided to express.
1st day of spring I made the commitment to myself that I would be brave, stop doubting and learn how to properly love myself.
I decided to be who I was rather than who I ought to be.
The journey was a long windy one, writhe with many misadventures and profound insights.
I made this song ‘Break Free’ and music video to give an emotional glimpse of the feelings and concepts I experienced along the way. From disphoria, to euphoria and some grey rainbow in between. It was, and is, a colorful life.
I hope that it helps grant an insight into what it feels like to experience gender in such a way. The battle, bravery, confusion and courage. The heartache, hope and healing. The being human.
I hope that for those who do not know, you may begin to understand with compassion.
And for those of you who experience similar things, may you find reassurance that you are not alone in this and what you’re going through is ok.