In the state of the world we live in it is very hard to navigate within the norms of gender, sex and identity. A lot of times we end up assimilating to or finding comfort within those strict codes in order to survive and exist within a community that supports and loves us. Just like so many, I have also been battling with how I want to express and present myself to the world. This stems all the way from the gender norms and rules that were presented to me as a child. Expressing feminine traits and behaviors because of the essence and love within femininity really appealed to me and my nature at the time. It was the best for me, given the limited options within our society, however I was never concrete about it. These tropes and norms stayed with me until now and it has been hard to let them go, but also hard to hold onto all of them. I had found peace within the heteronormative idea of presenting and accepted my role within that game. Even though it is my expression, I molded myself in certain ways to be the other half of relationships. It was easy to navigate and explain to others when I was questioned about my likes and dislikes pertaining to the same or opposite sex. Molding those behaviors gave me a reason to build with communities but in turn blurred the lines between dysphoria and dissatisfaction of being. I wanted to be wanted.
So I clung to the feminine ideals and presented the young gay male image when I first came out. It was a blessing mimicking the qualities of a woman but a privilege not having to face the struggle of actually being one. It was a layer of skin that protected me in the dark with my thoughts that again were not very concrete when it came to my existence. Fastwording to actually living as a woman and trying really hard to fit inside the systematic ideas of what, who, and how a woman should look, act, speak and interact in this forever changing world. I assimilated to this because on stage I had gotten gratification and enjoyed the little ounce of fame it brought in my forever struggling battle with myself. I was truly existing in this world with what I adopted as my narrative. My focus is to be human and exist in the pockets of what I enjoy about myself whether that be behaviors associated with male or female. I’m comfortable with my identity being a mixture. I’m happy with how my mind exists in the world; as just a mind with thoughts and beliefs without following the exhaustive list of norms that I am not internally attached to. Previously I met every checklist that was presented to me as I grew and wanted to be validated as somebody. Gay male - flamboyant, flirtatious, stylish, life of the party - check. Woman - Nurse, nails, hair, makeup, caretaker, check. I played the game but felt like a game piece instead of feeling whole.
Here I sat for exhaustive lengths of time pondering thoughts of “Who am I?” and “What am I?”. I felt like a fine-tuned social construct and went to work dismantling my own existence and relating throughout the course of time my intersectionality of made up components that were the foundation for how I interact with the world, and how I got to where I am and my privilege within those compartments. It can be a horrible thing when you really start thinking about your existence and the relationship or relationships you’ve had with many of the systems of power, but there I was attacking it head on. This labor was draining and fucked with trauma, pain and understanding but here I am ready again to share my experience to a world that doesn’t always return the love I provide. The binary is a construct that doesn’t offer benefits for many people trying and struggling to find some peace in the between.
By re-exploring my gender and ideas of the norms I’ve rose above, I am ready to share that I am a Non-Binary person walking this world within the realm of exisiting for myself and no one else. My focus is to live, to teach, and experience it all but my narrative is to do it genderless. I don’t find fullness in the male or female ideas of existing, though I do find comfort in the middle ground of it. I’m an androgynous being that enjoys my high femme days, but I also like my male appeareance, and everything in between. I like my radical behavior. It’s finally a place I have found some peace and love for myself that is actually healing. I see and feel gender in a way that everyone else does but I finally let it unravel.
Tygra T. Slarii
They, Them, Pickle