Re Gender, part II
by, 09-Jan-2011 at 01:39 (530 Views)
So, back to that gender business:
The other day I was addressed as a woman by a sommelier. It made me giggle, as if I had accomplished something. I've also gotten the, "r u a fag?" question more times than I can count, which makes sense because the only archetype in the mainstream American consciousness that fits a male presenting feminine traits is the flamboyant gay bottom. But I'm not gay. Or straight, either. I'm asexual, heteroromantic.
I'm not sure how it works for other gender-fluid folks, but being asexual, my primary concern regarding the sex of my partner is: I want me some babies one day, so I need someone with working ovaries. It's about as simple as that. Granted, having non-working ovaries isn't an immediate deal-breaker, but it would be something of a let down. Beyond that, I like all people, but I'm most drawn to people in a romantic sense when I orient my gender opposite theirs. That's where the hetero part in heteroromantic comes into play.
As far as romance is concerned, I've not real problem. I haven't told my girlfriend I'm gender-fluid, but she knows my gender expression is unusual, and she likes that I have a strong feminine side. Personally, I think it does wonders for our sense of camaraderie.
The only thing that really concerns me is my future in the church. Considering I'm going into the profession, I could totally see it becoming a huge issue that would threaten not only my membership in a congregation, but my job as well. On the other hand, if I end up working in a denomination like the MCC, UCC, or Episcopal Church, it might not be an issue at all. But I really don't like the idea of prioritizing my gender identity when it comes to something as weighty as settling in with a denomination, not when there are so many other things to consider.
Of course, I don't have to make it public knowledge. I could hide it and suffer little more than the groundless accusation that I'm secretly gay. But I don't know if I can call myself honest while pretending to be a run-of-the-mill cis man, especially when it comes to the gendered components of ministry, like men's ministry. How on earth am I supposed to understand the struggles of the average man when I can't rightly call myself one? I've always felt a bit estranged when among guys, anyway, not that I've felt particularly welcomed among girls, either.
So, in short, there are a lot of things to consider. But I suppose the point of all this is to make a semi-public admission of something I've been avoiding for a long, long time. Hehe, maybe I'll even make a part III and talk about just how long I've been avoiding it for :P
P.S. As promised, I want to mention of the "sex" field on my profile. It seems as though that field is a conflation of both sex and gender, since "transgender" is an option. Although it feels somewhat disingenuous to claim that I am not male, it feels better to have "other" selected, as I presently do, to avoid the tacit assumption that I am masculine.
Thanks for taking the time to read.