Editorial note: published retroactively July 6, 2020, with only very minor edits.
Fluidity is fucking bullshit. It sucks. It feels profoundly, terribly, hopelessly out of control. Beyond control. Beyond predictability, beyond hope of sense.
But it isn't just arbitrary; it feels outright cruel. Gender fluidity don't give a fuck. You wanted to feel like a girl tonight? Too bad, don't give a fuck. Oh, now is a super inconvenient time to exhibit a massively feminine behavior? Don't. Give. A. Fuck. Need to act like an actual operational human being for five seconds instead of being paralyzed with anxiety about what you'll sound like if you're dumb enough to try to speak?
DON'T. GIVE. A. FUCK.
It isn't even the sort of cruel that simply always does the worst possible thing. I can fight what I can see; this fucker is... just chaos.
I don't actually know if I hate being a boy or if I've just associated it with three decades of bad experiences. Being enby I can sort of be OK with most of the time, because I think that had settled into being "normal" for a long time. There are weird, non-geometrical realms of enby space that seem somehow oddly proximate to being a boy, and those are gross and I don't like them as much. Being an enby with really pretty long hair and some nice boobs seems pretty good, although honestly I don't know, having never experienced that configuration first-hand.
Sometimes I do not, in fact, hate looking boyish or
whatever. That tiny fraction of days, I kind of like it. But so much of my time
is spent in a mode where I just don't want it at all... and even on the rare
occasion when I feel something that isn't total hatred for being a man, I feel
guilty or something. Like I shouldn't be a guy because – even though at that exact moment I am fine with it – so much of the
time I just want to not be.
I have this picture saved separately but I wanted to copy it. It's striking and important and I want to gain that strange sort of possessive investment one gets over things that we have copied down.
The woman you are becoming
will cost you
and material things.
Choose her over everything.
Gender can't be coerced or convinced. Even defiance is risky; go too femme on a boy day, and shit gets unpleasant real fast. Small crimes.
As I look back on my life, I bring back a sort of pattern-memory – not specific events in any real detail, but a recurring feeling, a sort of emotional theme that feels familiar and frequent even if the clarity of particular occurrences has faded.
I remember a sequence of emotions. First, something would happen, and draw attention to my "insufficient manliness" or whatever the fuck. There would be a requisite moment of shame, of course. But after that... something subtle, something subversive, something so defiant of the dominant brainwashing that it took many years to even realize I had been quietly burying it as soon as it appeared.
Sure, I wasn't very masculine, and whatever stupid moment had brought that into the spotlight one more goddamn time. But like an echo, hiding behind the loudness of the shame, there was a guilty sneer: "I didn't want to be anyhow." And of course that was such a forbidden concept that the neural programming just unobtrusively "dealt with it" and stuffed the dead body out in whatever metaphorical swamp.
I lacked the tools for most of my life to actually understand that this was a legitimate idea – it wasn't an unimpeachable law of the universe that I had to be a man and like it. In fact once it actually got into my skull that I might not have to be a guy that thought process became unstoppable.
I knew that "being trans" was a thing for a while; I had a really shitty half-idea about it even from childhood, and that concept slowly took on shape and significance over time. It didn't actually quite become real until late 2018 I think, despite me personally knowing a few trans people and being sort of peripherally aware of the idea for much longer.
I think the key was [questioning if I was bisexual] in early 2018. That pushed me into a few queer and queer-friendly spaces that I probably never would have engaged with otherwise. And in those venues I started seeing things I didn't quite understand; a chunk of terms and such were familiar because of general accretion of mental stuff, but there were new ones. At first I did some really lazy-ass web searches and decided I didn't really know what "non-binary" meant but whatever. Not my shit to appropriate, right?
I remember running across the Non-Binary Wiki somewhere in the rat's nest of Mastodon instances. The timeline is fuzzy but it wasn't long after that I spent a couple of hours just poking around the wiki, and came away from the experience feeling a profoundly important sensation.
It took a while before I could articulate what I felt, but I knew it was a Big Fucking Deal. It turns out I know that particular feeling a lot better than I might like.
I felt it when I learned about Third Culture. I felt it when I de-converted and recognized my own atheism. I felt it when I learned about bipolar disorder. I felt it when I learned about Left Coast Politics and the marked contrast they bear to deep-south culture. I felt it when I learned about [queer sexuality]. I felt it when I learned about complex-PTSD, and in the wake of that, religious trauma syndrome.
Holy fuck. This shit is my life. How can someone I have never met write my experiences so perfectly?
There's that weird moment of confusion where you have to carefully convince yourself that you aren't somehow reading your own words. And then the real beautiful part hits:
Jesus fucking shit, I think they actually... get it? Wait. Maybe I belong here!
Going through the non-binary wiki I hit the page on gender fluidity, and everything simultaneously clicked into perfect place, and also exploded into an amazing spectacle that will never really go back into the bottle.
I have refined my understanding a lot since then, obviously, although I think a lot of that has been accelerated by me also meddling with shit a whole lot more than I ever knew I could before. I think I've had clearly Girl Days (Hours?) more over the past couple of months than the entirety of my life prior. I can't tell how much of that is because I actually know what to look for, and how much is because I'm doing my damnedest to coax that out. I also don't know if it matters, or if I even really care. (See adjacent entries waxing verbose on the matter of I WANNA BE A FUCKING GIRL FOREVER YOU MOTHER FUCKERS.)
Anyways. There was a moment of catalyzed comprehension that opened the door to an entirely new approach to reality for me. So much shit makes more sense now.
There is a particular feeling I get about certain ideas. It generally only pops up in domains where I feel a certain level of expertise and confidence. To feel it in regards to a major life discovery is unexpected; and maybe I would normally be dubious of the feeling because of that, but in this case it seems to just reinforce the certainty and conviction of it all.
This answer is right, in a way that singular English adjectives are fucking powerless to capture properly. This is correct, it is supposed to be correct, the framing of the universe almost tautologically demands that it be correct – there can be no conceived reality in which it is not correct.
It's an incorruptible rightness that transcends even elegance or universality. It's fucking axiomatic.
I'm a girl.