Occupying that space between…

child standing on a hill looking towards sunset with arms outstretchedThis past week, I was on a business trip, and man, oh, man… straight people can be pretty extreme about their gender compliance. And they can be pretty demanding, when it comes to others’ compliance, as well.

I spent four days in a row with my workmates, who are all profoundly straight and gender-norm-conforming. And what a pain in that ass that was. Talk about masking. I mean, seriously… I kept things pretty much under wraps. It wasn’t worth tangling with their fragile sensibilities. Their gender rigidity was intense. And they were definitely not open to any sort of divergence.

The new woman who’s joined our group is friendly and motherly and a long-time engineer. She’s also extremely traditional in terms of male and female roles, and she was quite keen on “the girls” sticking together when we traveled. There were three women in our group of nine, and she was always keen on keeping the women and the men separate. She’s new. We wanted to make her feel welcome. So, we went along with it.

But it was strange not to hang out with the guys. It was definitely a different dynamic, this time. On other trips, I’ve been the only “woman” in the crowd, which has been kind of strange, because the guys always treated me like a woman… although I’ve rarely felt even remotely “female”. Erg. Please. This is definitely not the group to go all-out Queer with. They spook easily, and frankly, I need to work with them.

So, on goes the mask. And I “tone it all down” in the way I do.

People might think I’m capitulating, that I’m not being true to my whole self. Yeah. No kidding. Thing is, I have to make a living. And this job has been the best deal going for me, for pretty much the past 15 years. Maybe longer. So, I make my concessions. At least they’re not assholes, which is more than I can say for most of the other gender norm-compliant people I’ve had the great misfortune to work with in the past.

Well, whatever. It’s all a grand adventure. It just makes me more keenly aware of how queer I really am… and how much I value what freedom I can find to just be myself, as myself, in the privacy of my own home… even if I can’t get it anywhere else.

I don’t consider myself transgender. I’m not sure I consider myself non-binary, per se. I’m just gender non-compliant. Fluid. Just being me, independent of any gender norms.

Whatever specific label and territory people have marked out… I don’t belong anywhere within their boundaries, no matter how queer they may make those boundaries.

Maybe I’m just boundless. Yeah… I’m boundless.

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3 thoughts on “Occupying that space between…

  1. Pingback: Occupying that space between… – Just Under Your Radar – International Badass Activists

  2. I like “boundless,” you can’t be kept in by a label! I am not transgender either, I definitely identify as female, but I have very little in common with typical women. I don’t hang out with enough people all at once to be in the situation of separating by gender, BUT a good example is at family gatherings in my family, after dinner the dudes all sit on the couch in the living room, and the women are all in the kitchen cleaning. I always end up sitting on the couch in the living room, not because I have any interest in football or whatever they’re watching, but because I can’t stand being in my mom’s tiny kitchen with like twelve women bumping around in it talking and laughing! So does that make me not a girl, or does it make me lazy bones, or does it just make me ME? LOL!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. VisualVox

      Ha! That sounds familiar. One of the things that “puts me off women”, is now tactile they tend to be. I hung out with a bunch of old friends, last week, and they were so touchy-feely, it drove me nuts! And when I didn’t reciprocate, they got hurt and (I think) gave me a disappointed look. Like I was rejecting them. Far from it. I just didn’t feel like having the sensation of my skin being peeled off my bones. 😉

      Well, the adventure continues. Clearly.

      Like

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