The challenges of genderqueer love
From thescavenger.net – Do genderqueers date those in the lesbian, gay and bisexual community who fetishize us? Are we relegated only to each other when it comes to romantic or sexual relationships? Toi S. ponders the difficulties of relating to those people who are outside the gender binary.
14 August 2011
So maybe you’re attracted to people outside of the gender binary. Maybe you’re wondering how you go about loving a person who categorizes themself as genderqueer, gender non-conforming, transgender, transmasculine or transfeminine, agender, androgynous, bigendered, or perhaps no category at all.
I wish it was as easy as just loving the person for who they are … I really do. But I truly believe that the way that we have been conditioned in this society really informs our relationships and our interactions within romantic relationships, especially.
When a lesbian wants to date a trans man, many times there are expectations for the behavior of that trans man. I have heard many times from trans men that they don’t want to be seen as a butch lesbian or a stud by their lesbian or queer women partners. They are men. But many haven’t been socialized as men all their lives, yet their habits are similar … so what does one do with that?
It’s difficult to navigate. All I ask for from my partner is that they acknowledge how I see myself and check their expectations for me. I haven’t been socialized as a man, so much of our interactions will not be the same as you and your past boyfriend.
I identified as a lesbian for 10 years so, in some ways I have been socialized as a lesbian. I understand that scene, even though I fit like a round peg in a square hole there now. I’ve spent some time thinking, fretting, and overanalyzing about this…
In some past relationships I didn’t even bring the genderqueer thing up. I was processing it myself and whatever I mentioned was just shrugged off so as with most of my life I just kept a lot of things to myself.
Or maybe I was just expecting my exes to “accept me for who I am”…that old queer motto. Because I was the “same” as I ever was. But…you know…that’s really not true. As I’ve come to accept my identity and discovered more about myself through all those hidden facets of Me-ness that I had buried under some feigned sense of normalcy (and once queer- queeritude), I’ve come to realize that I have changed quite a bit. I’m not really sure that my exes could have handled who I am today … then. I couldn’t.
All in all, I guess I’m tired of people using that “but you’re the same person” line. I feel like it allows people not to acknowledge who you are becoming. It allows people to stay comfortable with who you were and never fully process the transition you have undergone.
A while back, I would have welcomed this for friends and family in true protective fashion. I would have shielded them from my queerness and would have worried about just being accepted. I would have taken whatever bone anyone would have thrown me.
And I guess you might say that at times I still do when it comes to pronouns. I realize that I’m living in this no-man’s land and it’s really hard to wrap your head around something you haven’t seen. So I allow for the “ma’ams” and the “young ladies” in certain contexts. It still makes me feel torn and creates this state of dissatisfaction …unrest… because that’s not who I am. Read more…