I have a strange gender, an alien gender, a feral gender. My gender has not been domesticated, cannot be domesticated. Not by a culture that does not recognize its existence. Not in a language that has no words to describe it.

If they do not acknowledge us, they will never have words for us. If they never have words for us, they will never know us and if they never know us, then they cannot assimilate us.

And there lies the danger in articulation. The clearer we become to ourselves, the clearer we become to them.

I have no desire to give them the  few, precious words we have, to see them used to co-opt the selves and identities so many of us have struggled long and hard to carve out, but there is also danger in remaining unarticulated. Without words, we remain forever intangible and unknowable, even to ourselves.

To me my gender feels stormy, chaotic, restless, roiling like its just itching to burst out of me, or like a seedling, new, young and full of potential, but  not fully formed, not whole, not grown. it feels like a tangled ball of yarn or a small, empty room with blank white walls. I want my gender to feel whole one day, I want to be able to feel whole living as my gender and I want the words to find that wholeness.

I wish we had a secret language, only for our ears, one in which we could define and come to know ourselves, but that they could never use to hold us. Maybe, and perhaps more realistically, what I mean is that I wish for adjectives and not nouns. The dominant culture here (white, western, capitalist culture) puts so much emphasis on labels and naming and so we seem to fixate on those things in our exploration of our genders as well, but what good does it do you to name a thing that you cannot describe? Trying to name myself didn’t do me any good, so I stopped trying. But I still need language to explore my gender, just language developed with different priorities in mind. Language that is intended to facilitate communication and understanding of what it feels like to be non-binary/genderqueer amongst genderqueer and non-binary people. language for talking to us about us in a way that de-centers labels and bodies and focuses more on exploring the depth and complexity of our genders as we experience them internally.


One thought on “Thoughts

  1. This is beautifully written. The way you describe how you feel about your gender is similar to how I feel. It is nice to read this. I wish that everyone could feel complete/accepted/happy…etc. It is nice to know someone shares my sentiments. Keep it up. 🙂


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