Trigger warning for cissexism/binarism. If you are looking for actual definitions of the two words, please click here; I did a post defining both.
I’ve been thinking about safe spaces.
I don’t have folks like me around me. Mainly because there’s very few of us. This means that people who have known me for a long time, including before I found the words for who I am, are having to be my ‘safe space.’ They’re people I love and trust, and would find it very difficult to cut out of my life. But they’re having trouble ‘getting’ it. And I know that yeah, I don’t make much sense to them. I’m not asking much. I just want them not to insist I’m my assigned gender, and to call me by my chosen name.
Maybe they feel it is rough on them, but frankly it’s rougher on me. My identity is not me making myself unhappy by trying to be different. My identity is me finally finding something that doesn’t make me want to scream and punch my way out. I don’t care what the world thinks – I want to be human in the eyes of the world, but if the world thinks I’m something I’m not I’ll stick a finger up in its face. It hurts, hearing people tell me I’m something I’m not.
And the subtext to their insistence that I’m something I’m not is them saying, I feel entitled to dictate to you who and what you are, and you don’t have any say in the matter. I was accused of guilt-tripping when I said that by refusing to acknowledge my lack of gender my friend was saying that I, as I am, don’t exist, and betraying a lack of respect for me. That’s not a guilt trip, that’s saying the exact goddamn truth. If you say my lack of gender doesn’t exist, you are saying that I don’t exist. And I’m sitting right in front of you, patently existing. If you are saying these things, you are displaying utterly unchecked cis privilege and binary privilege, not to mention a dash of transphobia.
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In a slightly happier – more amusing – turn of events, one of my grandparents has been informed that I have ‘gender issues’ and am going to an LGBTQ group. The response? As long as I’m not going into the BNP or something, it doesn’t matter. That’s someone who has their priorities straight!