The problem with “spectrum…”

cissexism, dysphoria, misgendering, transgender, Uncategorized

…is that it’s pretty much a straight line. It’s an inadequate term for non-binary people. It’s not only that we fall BETWEEN male/female and masculine/feminine–as some of us do. It’s also that some of us fall completely outside of these categories, or find them nonsensical constructs when discussing our own genders. This, of course, doesn’t mean that they’re nonsensical for everyone. (Binary people need to stop getting the heebie-jeebies about that one.) But they can be nonsensical for us. What happens when you are given a line upon which to mark your gender… and you end up marking an “x” somewhere off in space? Or your gender is fluid, and marking one single spot doesn’t make any sense? Or you simply have no gender at all, and this entire conversation is completely inaccessible for you to be able to describe yourself?

Yes, gender is a spectrum. But it’s also so much more than that. Let’s make room, and make gender a 4-dimensional chart! Oh, wait, even better–let’s stop trying to chart or label gender at all, at least not for everyone. There are so many wonderful ways to describe gender, and, for many of us, those words don’t even begin to work for us. Let’s set about making a new, rich, textured language, where gender can be shades of color and amounts of glitter, sure, and also other abstractions or metaphors: houseplants, mythical creatures, styles of art, you name it, it could be a part of your gender!

Because I’m finding it hard to breathe between those four words: female/male, feminine/masculine. Those four words don’t work for me. It makes me squirm to try to put myself in them. I’m not gonna do it! This is why I am, first and foremost, orange with sparkles.

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