I like androgyny. I think it’s beautiful.
I am a woman. I will always be a woman. I will always use feminine pronouns, to the best of my knowledge. I like being a woman.
But to be androgynous empowers me.
Every day, I am informed by my gender. The choices I make, the way I conduct myself in the street, how I react to others.
And every once in a while, I like to be androgynous – to be neither gender. Every once in a while, it’s very nice to leave all those prerequisites behind.
I own all the experiences I had as a woman – positive and negative – but sometimes it’s lovely to be neither.
I never minded if someone called me a boy or a male when I was young. Often times, I didn’t even bother to correct them. Why should I mind?
I’ve had short hair for quite some time now – it happens, people make mistakes. It happens a lot when I go overseas. I suspect it has something to do with the timbre of the Australian accent – or the fact that where I go is often cold and I’m wearing a huge coat, one large enough to hide my chest.
Either way, I never minded. There was one time when I was flying from Australia to somewhere in Europe – a marathon 12,13,14 hour flight, or something of the sort. All the flight attendants called me ‘young man’, ‘sir’ and used male pronouns.
When everyone was disembarking, one of the flight attendants looked at me. He scrutinised me. He looked at me for a whole two minutes, and narrowed his eyes, and tilted his head. I said nothing – I just smiled. It was fantastic. I don’t think he knows, to this day, whether I was a boy or a girl.
The difficult part of this realisation came when I realised I might have to tell people. Which is what I’m doing now – telling people.
My wife said I didn’t have to tell anyone – that I don’t owe anyone an explanation. And maybe I don’t.
But I do want to tell people. A huge part of me is afraid that I won’t be accepted by those around me. But I know the important people will.
And if there’s anyone out there in the world who’s in a similar position to me, who’s questioning any part of themselves – know that I’m with you. Remember that no one defines you but you, on any given day, at any given time.
I’m quite new at this whole androgyny thing – I don’t have a method of binding my chest, and I have no idea how to apply make up in a way that would make me look less feminine. But I want to learn.
I want to buy a vest, or tape, and figure out how to darken my eyebrows and add contours where there shouldn’t be – I want to see how far I can go with this.
This is quite scary for me because it’s the first time I’ve really admitted to myself that this is how I feel – and now I’m admitting it to you. This whole thing is quite emotionally charged for me, but I think I can take that charge and turn it into something wonderful.
It will be an adventure.