Within the queer community many terms and identities have come out. Language, I feel, is a good thing. I feel it creates inclusion and expression more than anything. Can a person really label themselves and find a neat and tidy box they fit into?
I decided to interview a science student at Trent University to break down their identity and find out how they came about identifying the complexities of who they are.
How do you self-identify your gender?
Non-gendered or agender… neither female nor male, or a mixture of both. Gender does exist, but for me I could have a female or male body and I would identify with neither…
How would you define gender?
Gender to me is simply what someone identifies as, who they are.
LGBT… do you feel like your gender puts you within this community?
I do. I am gender queer, so I associate with these things.
When did you start discovering your gender identity?
A friend a couple of years ago was explaining their identity and I realized I was much more comfortable with their identity than identifying as the sex I was born with.
How do you self identify your sexuality?
Overall pansexual – lover of all. Really thinking about it I guess changes the whole identity to pan-romantic, demi-sexual. People can have romantic feelings for people, but not sexual ones without really, really getting to know them more.
So, you’ve thought about your gender and sexuality quite a bit. Could you explain why you feel the need to break down your self-identity so much?
It’s weird because I personally don’t like labels… but people want an answer for all that, since it’s so complicated I felt the need to figure out an answer. I guess I could just stick with queer if that would be easier, but I don’t know.
But your parents are supportive?
When we were young, nine or ten, my parents told my two brothers and I that we could be queer or bisexual and there is nothing wrong with that. My brother came out and they were nothing but supportive with that.
Funny story – my mom was having a horrible day. She was sitting on her bed crying. And he came into her room all nervous; it was terrible timing because she was having a completely shit day. My brother tells my mom that he has something to say to her and says, “Mom I’m gay.” And she says, “Is that it?” She was really easy going about it.
Why didn’t you come out to your parents?
I haven’t dated people very openly yet. If I did I would probably come out then, but until then what’s the point.
Do you think it’s weird that people feel the need to act on these things before being public about their identity?
It’s a comfort level; you can keep it to yourself until you start dating people.
So, identity to you is more private, less political?
Yes, it’s private to me. I personally never felt the need or duty to let everyone know. It’s not a statement; it’s just something personal to me. I admire people who are more open, but I am more introverted.
The acronym LGBT is quite short. Could you ever fit yourself into one of those four letters, and if so which one?
I guess bisexual would be closest. That would leave out a whole chunk of people… bisexual implies two and it leaves out so many people that I could possibly like.
One of those kinds of people meaning you because you identify with your gender as neither?
Do you feel like it’s easier to date someone in the queer community?
Probably, because there is a higher chance of someone accepting both my gender and sexual identity. I mean, I wouldn’t narrow anyone out, but it would be higher.
Do you truly feel like you fit into the queer community?
Sure… It’s grown past the simple LGBT; it’s become anyone who does not fit within the heteronormative cisgender mold of people. Not that I’m leaving out heterosexual cisgender allies, but you get the idea. I mean, I don’t go to tons of events, but it’s a part of me.