It’s June, so that means that it’s Pride Month. For those who may not be in the know, Pride Month is when anyone who identifies with or any allies of the LGBTQ+ community celebrate their uniqueness and progress we’ve made. However, this is the time we take to highlight the changes that still need to be made.
Pride in how I love is something that I’ve been at peace with for a long time now. However, Pride in how I identify is something that I’ve been having trouble with lately. As of late, I identify as non-binary or gender non-conforming. And I’ll be honest, it took me awhile to get to this point.
It took me awhile to identify that way because growing up, that didn’t exist. Society sees gender as this binary thing, and over the last couple of years, I’ve learned that gender isn’t binary – it’s a spectrum.
I’ll be honest again, when I first learned this, I was very dense to this. When I think about why that was now, I think it’s because I was scared. Growing up where I grew up and where I went to school, the worse thing and insult was if someone called you “Gay.” I knew from the time I was like five that I liked girls, but I also knew from that time that it was “wrong” of me to like girls. So when I started learning that I didn’t fall under the gender binary, I got scared. I was scared because my anatomy says I’m female. Society says I’m female. My birth certificate says I’m female. I grew up female, so how could I not be female?
It was hard enough growing up gay, but then to realize that I fell on yet another different spectrum, I knew I was going to face other hardships. I was tired of always being worried and scared of who I am. And because of that, I suppressed that part of me.
Thing is, no matter what anyone says, it’s too hard to suppress something that is who you are.
Only within this last year did I start identifying as non-binary or gender non-conforming. And it’s been the scariest and most freeing feeling that I’ve felt. Though, I’ve been taking baby steps with this. Coming out was one thing with my family, but feeling like I need to come out again with my gender identity seems a bit much. Yes, identifying as non-binary is freeing, but it doesn’t mean that I don’t get scared anymore. I haven’t felt the need to because they all love me just the same, and they don’t exactly point out that I was born female.
Yes, they call me little sister or daughter or auntie, but though those are normally gendered terms, I’ve been accustomed to those and I’m okay with that. The only terms I’m usually not okay with is “girl,” “woman,” “female,” “lady,” (I’m sure you get the gist). When it comes to pronouns, I’m not bothered by any pronoun as long as people aren’t rude about it. Despite not identifying as any gender, I present more masculine so most of the time people will say “he.”
Though, as I’ve come to terms with being non-binary, I still feel like I’m figuring things out because I feel like I’m starting to lean towards one side, which isn’t the side I was born as, and which is all kinds of scary because I’m older and it feels weird to me to have identified one way for twenty plus years and now to not. Yes, it feels weird, but it feels right for the most part.
Some days, I feel great and on top of the world because I think, “This is me. I’m Lian. I love who I am.” But then, other days, I think, “Is this really how I feel. I’m not a kid anymore so is it too late for me to identify this way?”
I guess like I said before, I’m still figuring things out. But since it is Pride Month – I’m very proud of the person I am. Many people may not understand me, or my gender identity, but that’s okay. They can’t change this Qutie (Queer Cutie).