30 Day Gender Queer Challenge: Day 30!!!

Phew~! This is the last day of the Gender Queer Challenge, yay! I’ll post my thoughts of how I felt I did tomorrow, but for now:

What does Genderqueer mean to you?

While I’m not a huge fan of using genderqueer as a term for myself I see it’s importance to the community. Queer used to be a slur, and in many ways is still a slur, but it’s awesome that people have been able to turn the tables and show pride in who they are. A more historical example that comes to mind is the song “Yankee Doodle”. My history is a little rusty, but I believe the British used the song to mock American Colonists and the colonists basically responded with “You say it like it’s an insult” and adopted “Yankee Doodle” as a song of pride during the American Revolution. I respond in much of the same way when people call me a “nerd”. I mean, really? How is that an insult? I’m glad many people see the term genderqueer the same way, but I’m much, much more comfortable with “agender” as my label.

Genderqueer to me is a source of pride, a source of fear because of how it’s accepted or not accepted, but it’s part of who I am and I’ve accepted it. I’m already settled and comfortable with who I am that I wouldn’t change it for the world. However, I think the world is ready for a change so that it can be a safer place for people like me.


30 Day Gender Queer Challenge: Day 29

Some positive Genderqueer experiences:

I think I’m still very new to the identity that I haven’t really got to experience genderqueerness in any  great capacity. I’m still treating it as a very personal and private thing. I think the best experience, even though it was mostly annoying, was telling people about my identity. When I told my coworker they did their best to understand and asked questions, but didn’t flip out or anything. My gender identity and asexuality are still pretty private at work and I have a lot of fun dancing around the questions. A lot of my coworkers are still of the mind set of either or; either boy or girl, either gay or straight, that they never really consider that there might be an in-between or an outside.

I suppose I could use the opportunity in it’s fullest to be an advocate for my identities, I’d be advocating myself mostly, but I still have to live my life. I still have to show up at work everyday and I don’t want it to be awkward. My job is stressful enough just dealing with people and clock watching. I would rather use stories and literature to spread the word. As I mentioned in a previous post, before even learning the terminology I explored the ideas of asexuality and agender though story telling first. When I put the thoughts on paper it made them seem more real and more human. I want to put the lesser known identities on paper and on screen. I can’t do it, but maybe someday someone in middle school or high school will be able to point to a book cover and say, “This character is just like me!” and use it as a way to explain to others that we’re here, we’re queer, and we’re human too.

I’d like to think that my most positive genderqueer experiences are yet to come.

30 Day Gender Queer Challenge: Day 26

Discuss how your clothes do or don’t reflect your gender.

In my version of an ideal world we’d all be wearing hanfu, a traditional style of Chinese clothing that looks AM~AZ~ING! and has very little variation between what men and women wear. Of course “hanfu” describes several styles of various historical periods and you can be as fancy as you want, but the basics of what I have in mind are like this:


It looks so loose and comfy and if I wanted to be feminine I would just throw on a skirt under it or pants if I wanted to be more masculine. If I could sew I would wear this ALL THE TIME. But because I lack the craftiness needed to make this (and I have tried) I’m stuck wearing jeans and a t-shirt. It’s not as awesome or flowy as I would like, but it gets the job done.

Jeans and a t-shirt aren’t bad. They’re basically my “casual uniform”. I’m used to wearing uniforms for work and the uniform sizes are unisex. My uniform is no different from my male or female coworkers. No matter what gender we are we all wear the same clothes for work. With that in mind I’ve sort of adopted several “off duty” uniforms. My off-duty clothes are a t-shir, jeans, and flip-flops. It’s different enough from my work uniform that I can relax, but it’s basically just another uniform. There’s no gender involved.

30 Day Gender Queer Challenge: Day 25

Your first queer crush or relationship

Well, this is going to be short. Since I’m aromantic and asexual, what relationship?

I distinctly recall many, many years ago in elementary school a classmate asked me if I had a crush on anyone (it was an assembly of some sort so we were bored) and I said “no”. I had friends and that was it. I now know I had “platonic” crushes on people where I wanted us to be best friends (Frodo/Sam style), but the feelings weren’t ever reciprocated. There was another time when my friends and I were talking about crushes (elementary school again) and one of my friends (of the opposite biological sex) wanted to assure me that their crush wasn’t on me. My answer at the time was “And this matters to me because….?” I stand by that answer to this day. Crushes didn’t matter.

In middle school things didn’t really change. I had friends and that was it. I didn’t even notice other people outside of my social circle. I never dated anyone in high school. There wasn’t anyone I wanted to date in high school which was, again, in a small town. I thought the reason I never dated anyone was because it was a small town. Occasionally I’ll see couples made of people that I went to elementary school with shopping or something and it just wigs me out, which is completely unfair and prejudice on my part. I know it’s supposed to be romantic or something to have known a person your whole life and for them to be “the one”, but I’m like “There are 7 billion people in the world. Branch out.”

I spent 4 years in college and then another two years traveling around the country for a job and I STILL haven’t dated. If I had ever wanted to go on a date at any point during that time, I would have found a way. If romance in general had been a goal of mine at any point during those years, I would have found a way. It’s not that hard to grab dinner and a movie. Everybody loves free food and it is cool to be a nerd again thanks to DC and Marvel’s cinematic universes. Same for sex, but I have a little more experience with that.

My one true love is writing. I’m married to my work and it’s more thrilling and satisfying than any encounter I’ve ever had.

30 Day Gender Queer Challenge: Day 24

How has your relationship with the cisgender people in your life changed?

I didn’t find out “cisgender” was even a word until I found out agender was a thing and that I was agender. I’m actually really grateful to the cis folks I talked to because the “you just know” thing actually was what pointed me in the right direction. I don’t hate or feel hostility towards cisgender people. I feel hostility towards my cis friend and brother who I actually talked to about my gender and they kinda brushed it off. It wasn’t the cis gender thing that annoyed me, it’s their white male privilege that kind of irked me because they would have to actively, with great effort, try to understand my point of view (kind of like I would have trouble seeing their point of view without really trying) and there was no active participation on their part. I feel like I have to go further than half way to talk to them about the issue and I just don’t have the energy to do that. I need some active participation on their part if we’re going to have a conversation. They’re both younger than me so I’m hoping a little world experience will help with that.

Another consideration is I don’t really think about gender all the time. My gender is what it’s always been, even if I didn’t have a name for it. I’ll cringe when somebody misgenders me, but gender comes up so rarely in any conversation. Since I don’t think about my own gender that much I think about other people’s gender even less. I actively try to avoid pronouns, but that’s more from a writer’s habit than any consideration. Why use a pronoun when most people have a nifty one or two syllable name? Pronoun confusion is a writer’s petpeeve of mine. So, the short answer to the prompt would be that my relationships have changed very little because I’m only out to a few and don’t bother with pronouns. My name IS my pronoun.

30 Day Gender Queer Challenge: Day 23

Do you feel comfortable answering questions about your gender to friends? Acquaintances? Strangers?

I feel like this is going to turn into a drinking game every time I mention I’m from a “conservative small town”, but that has a lot of impact on how open I am about these things. Seriously, people in my community talk about homosexuality in hushed whispers and euphemisms like it’s still something to be ashamed of. The concept of genderqueer doesn’t even cross peoples minds. We just don’t talk about these things. Until I feel like I can have an open conversation without dancing around the subject and sidestepping LGBT+ jargon, I’m not going to be comfortable at all about explaining my gender without at least a PowerPoint and some charts. I’ve talked about my gender to two people and it was worse than having teeth pulled and I have had four teeth pulled in one sitting and the lidocaine was wearing off on the last one. To say sitting through that torture session was easier should say something about how opened minded the people around me are. So the short answer to the prompt is, No, I don’t feel comfortable at all unless it’s an online setting because the charts and graphs are only a click away.

30 Day Gender Queer Challenge: Day 22

[Somehow I forgot to hit the submit button yesterday. Oops!]

What is your sexual and romantic orientations? Are they affected by your gender?

I am asexual and aromantic! Hence the name of the blog. The aromantic part is the big one because I’m not romantically attracted to anyone (or at least attracted enough to act on it). I really don’t focus on any non-platonic relationship possibilities. On the one hand it sucks because people say “Friendzone” like it’s Mordor or something. I want to be someone’s Samwise to their Frodo really, really badly. I just want to be someone’s best friend, but I haven’t found “the one” in that respect either. People place so much emphasis on romantic relationships. I wish Hollywood would make a “Falling in best friends” story. I’ve heard other ace/aros talk about the same feelings of wanting to be someone’s number one, but not in a romantic sense and they feel shoved aside when their besty finds a significant other.

But since I’m not attracted to anyone romantically or sexually my gender doesn’t really affect my orientation.

30 Day Gender Queer Challenge: Day 21

How has your relationship with yourself been affected since you realized you were Genderqueer?

Actually my relationship with myself has been awesome. I’ve been toying with the idea of genderlessness in writing for a long time before I even knew agender was a thing. In college I was part of a writing club and we had a group story going for almost 5 years before we all scattered and went our separate ways. My absolutely favorite character was a biromantic/asexual/agender character and this was a character I created just out of curiosity before I even knew the terminology. I created this character because I wanted to ask the question “can you have a genderless character in a story and make it work”? Well, it turns out my writer’s subconscious knew me better than I knew myself because I ended up finding this character the most relatable out of all my character creations. The character went by an alias “Liberty Jones”, or “Lib” for short and since then I’ve adopted the name Lib as one of my online monikers. I use “Kit” for more serious stuff, but I use “Lib” when I want to be myself.

Creating the Lib character was the first step in finding myself and I hope to reuse the character someday to inspire other non-binary and agender individuals someday. It’ll be a while before I can free up the energy to give the character the justice they deserve, but it’s definitely on the short list for passion projects. I look forward to playing with the character again because usually it’s the author who gives life to the character, but this time it was the character who helped me really come to life as a person.


30 Day Gender Queer Challenge: Day 20

Have you faced any problems or gone through any changes regarding religion?

One summer my parents gathered all my siblings and I together and gave us an overview of all the religions from A to Z, Amish to Zoroastrianism, and basically said “Pick one”. I eventually started leaning more towards Buddhism with splashes of Hinduism sneaking its way in, but I never committed fully to one religious practice. Since discovering my gender queerness I am even less motivated to join an organized religion because religions are so male dominated, even Buddhism, that I wouldn’t feel welcome or identify completely with the teachings. I feel like I’m basically starting from scratch like one day I’m going to climb a mountain and yell at the top of my lungs “Is anybody out there?!”

I would say that I’m spiritual, not religious. There’s no religion community that I’ve found that meets my needs as a person. There’s too much “man and woman” talk in most religions. I dabbled in Eastern thought because some of the gods have both a male and female (and sometimes neither) form. That’s comforting for me to think about, but it’s not enough to make me fully commit to the religions.

30 Day Gender Queer Challenge: Day 19

What terms in the cisgender, GSM, or trans* community are problematic?

You can’t please everyone and attempting to be politically correct isn’t always an effective means of communicating a point. A good example is GSM, which is a new terminology for me. I see the point that “LGBT+” isn’t inclusive enough, but I’m not comfortable calling myself a “minority” since it’s a word that people in power use to describe people of less power. Politicians only talk about minority groups when there’s an election coming up and the word itself is ruined for me because it’s treated as a buzzword.

Unfortunately you can’t force language. Language and words have to evolve organically if they are to be accepted by language users. If GSM is the term that is taken seriously and inspires action then I will readily adopt it, but right now it feels like a forced alternative and inorganic. I appreciate that cisgender is an alternative word to “normal”. I want words like cis and trans to become commonly accepted. I want these terms to seem less alien to society at large so I can freely talk about them an not have to explain myself so forcefully. Words exist for a reason and that is to communicate. The three rules of effective communication are clear, concise, and consistent. If our words are not, then the message is lost.