MX Anja’s Story
My gender fluctuates between agender and a woman. Most of the time I feel agender, but as I‘m being treated as a woman and perceived as one by most people, I sometimes find it empowering to identify as a woman politically (of course I insist that I am non-binary overall, especially if people assume I’m a woman because of the sex I’ve been assigned at birth or my gender presentation). Not to mention that often it’s quite handy to enjoy the cis-passing privilege and avoid ‘casual’ transphobia, by embracing my invisibility and keeping fingers crossed my gender dysphoria doesn’t act out too much.
I came out as non-binary in the summer. Really, it’s been a while since I’ve thought about it, but it wasn’t until my friend came out and I asked them how they knew they were non-binary that I first said out loud I might be non-binary too. We’ve had a long chat about how we both feel we’re not trans enough, but concluded that non-binary is the label that is most accurate. It also explained well why, while completely comfortable with people knowing about my partners, I was so uncomfortable with being called a lesbian. Yes, I am usually not interested in men, but I am not a woman either!
Coming out was so truly wonderful and liberating! I finally have words to describe how I feel about my gender that at least some people have heard of. It’s a word describing an experience I have in common with many people, I can read stories about them feeling the same way I do. It makes me super happy whenever anyone refers to me as ‘they,’ when I get a letter addressed to Mx Anja. I have found words to describe why I feel such discomfort with having a uterus some time, I know of people who experience similar body dysmorphia.
Sadly, it comes with a downside as well. I’ve come out to most people I know. Most have been happy for me, but not all. I’ve repeatedly been told that I’m obviously a woman, that singular “they” is not grammatically correct, and even asked when I’m planning on cutting off my boobs. My lack of interest in men implies that I am a lesbian, and wearing a dress implies I am conforming to gender norms. When I question the exclusion of non-binary people from women’s spaces I am told it’s due to men not being welcome, but invited along as long as I’m ok with being misgendered as a woman. And some trans people have confirmed my worries, assuring me that I’m not really trans.
Overall, I wish that people who don’t know me just respected me and didn’t bother telling me about my gender, assuming they know better. And I wish people I know bothered to get to know me and understood what gender means to me. It is possible, and actually many lovely people find it really easy. I’m glad they are around and keen on smashing the white supremacist capitalist patriarchy with me instead clinging to the tradition.