So I know my last blog post all about me coming to the realization that I am not gay and that I have learned I am in fact agender. I also realize that there is a difference between sexuality and gender and in my last piece I went into fairly specific details about how I have come to the conclusion that I am not gay. I want to dive more into the “gender” side of things to clear up any confusion for you and for me.
Agender is a term which can be literally translated as 'without gender'. It can be seen either as a non-binary gender identity or as a statement of not having a gender identity. People who identify as agender may describe themselves as one or more of the following:
▪ Genderless or lacking gender.
▪ Gender neutral. This may be meant in the sense of being neither man nor woman yet still having a gender.
▪ Having an unknown or undefinable gender; not aligning with any gender.
▪ Having no words that fit their gender identity.
▪ Not knowing or not caring about gender, either as an internal identity or as an external label or in both senses.
▪ Deciding not to label their gender.
▪ Identifying more as a person than any gender at all.
OK so now that you have read that definition, if we have met than you this clearly makes sense. For those of you who don’t, here is how it all went down.
I was in Portland this past week because the The Tin Man Project, documentary surrounding my 8th open-heart surgery, was being screened at a film festival. I stayed with my friends Kristen and Frank at their cute apartment just a few miles outside of downtown in Beaverton. Kristen and I go way back to about 12 years or so. Each time we are together we reminisce a bit about all the things. One of the memories that she likes to bring up is this time we were together at My Sister’s Room in Atlanta when the bar was still located in Decatur. This was probably about 10 or so years ago. We had gone to karaoke there one night and I wound up meeting, if I remember correctly, the manager who I was immediately attracted to. She was wearing a red and black flannel shirt along with well fitted jeans and the cutest hair of my life. She was super androgynous and I was, in that moment, so confused why I found her to be attractive. Kristen watched the interaction go down and forever remembers the exchange. Fast forward 10 years in the future we went to this bar in Portland and she happened to know a girl that worked there. The following day I had to head to the airport but Kristen and I wanted to squeeze in another hour so we drove towards the airport to grab tea in two separate cars and all the while were on the phone with each other, very Cher and Dionne I know. Anyway, as we are talking to one another we somehow got on the topic of her friend that works at the bar. All I remember is her literally saying…
“Well she identifies as androgynous.”
“What? That doesn’t make sense. So like she dates guys and girls? So like she’s bi then.”
“No. She says she sometimes is in relationships with gay guys or sometimes straight guys or sometimes women. She says she’s neither.”
“Neither? What do you mean neither. You can’t just be neither. You are like born one or the other. Oh my God, I’m neither.”
Neither? I know. It sounds crazy. But it’s pretty simple actually. I was always able to connect with my girlfriends beyond the comprehension of my gay and straight male friends. I don’t just hear what they are saying when they say things but I really get it. I understand the thought process and train of thought as if I share a brain. I am also able to really and truly understand my gay and straight male friends and their perspectives on things. It’s actually beyond understanding because I am an extreme empath as well so though that may have something to do with it it’s something that is a bit difficult to express. The only way I can really elaborate on the topic is that I have a huge portion of female inside of me. I have always felt more female in my heart than male. My instincts tend to be much more in line with my female friends. When it comes to how I live my day to day life I feel more male. I am pretty care free and live life in a very “no day but today” kind of way. Not to imply that women don’t lead those kinds of lives but generally speaking, at least with everyone I know, the more care free lackadaisical mindset tends to lean more the way of male identity. I dress in both men’s and women’s clothing and I have been for a long time. 90% of my blazers are women’s while my t-shirts tend to be unisex. I mistily wear men’s jeans though I wear very short denim shorts. Oversized baggy non sexualized clothing is usually what I am attracted to.
I am neither male nor female. Those were the words that it took for me to suddenly have years of flashbacks where I realized that I have never identified as either gender but I just never knew that was a thing. I was born biologically male and I have always been attracted to men therefore I was confusing my sexuality with my gender. I have both genders inside of me but I feel genderless. All of those years of trying to explain who I was and how I felt seemed impossible. I was convinced that no one understood me. But how could they? I didn’t understand me. I didn’t know how to verbalize something that in retrospect seems so simple. I am genderless and it’s as simple as that.
Care to read part 1? Click here