I want to explode gender stereotypes.
In my limited experience, most who identify as gender-queer are AFAB. How is it possible to live, objectively gender-queer- that is, not fitting gender stereotypes? What boxes, what categorisations, are people comfortable with, and what can they imagine?
The possibilities are different depending on sexuality, but I feel the possibilities expand. First there was Butch, with a particular hair style, footwear, and all dress in between; now I hear jocular complaints of straights “dressing like lesbians”. A Butch friend complained in the 1990s that no stylist would give her a man’s haircut. She could get very close, but not quite there. I see people on buses indicating this may not still be true. Long after “Unisex” hair stylists (How my parents complained! Ridiculous idea, to have women cutting men’s hair! What is the world coming to!) there may be unisex hair styles.
There is also RadFem: do they all dress in black? Groups organising against Trans must look like funerals. A pity that they don’t see trans are fighting gender stereotypes, far more effectively than they are.
Gender-queer, pronouns “They”- you can have a man’s haircut, but don’t need to bind your breasts like a trans man! Breast binding is painful. To be accepted, I thought I had to alter my body. I am delighted that some people do not feel the need, now.
I want the boxes to expand. I see more possibilities. There is that man who wears a very feminine scarf: it indicates to people that they should let go of their usual expectations of what a “man” is. Being gynaephile, I want straights to adopt gay expression of themselves, to indicate escape from stereotypes of gender.
There was I, keeping control, following the rules, staying safe, though it cost me so much to do it, and indeed it did let me be myself more than ever before: and one pretty scarf was all I needed? It all takes courage; it should not involve any pressure for physical alteration as well. We should only physically alter ourselves if that is our complete free choice.
I blog, rather than write, because I am thinking these things through. But some will say, removal of gonads can never be free choice. There are social pressures against as well as for- the idea that transition involves having the operation, and the idea that removing gonads is repugnant. How to maintain freedom for those who do, and those who don’t? Round and round I go, trying to get my head round it.
If we explode concepts of masculine and feminine, all people benefit, for no-one fits the stereotypes. We could all be gender queer. It’s not about being “Metrosexual”, in love with appearance, it’s about being able to be onesself. Other people are only uncomfortable with you being yourself insofar as they are uncomfortable with aspects of themselves.