In western culture, conforming to a gender identity is forced upon us since the minute our parents find out if they're having pink or blue. We live our life by these colours, conforming to the constraints of what it means to be male or female or at least we are told to.
If you don't know much about androgyny and what it means to not fit into traditional societal concepts of gender here's a simple explanation from Genderbread.org.
For many cis-gendered people I think gender identity can be difficult to understand and fully wrap our heads around, but it's our job to learn more and do better for all gender non-conforming individuals. Perhaps if the confides of gender were not as strict cis people would also feel less pressure and be happier in their everyday lives?
As it was trans day of visibility recently, I wanted to raise awareness somehow, although I know my voice isn't the right one. I'm a female, born a female, present as a female and haven't experienced the struggles of trans and non-binary people first handedly. I stand with you, but I cannot speak for you.
I wanted to talk with someone who is a part of this community, so I reached out to my friend Robin. I met Robin last year when they were dating a close friend of mine. Robin is 24, a care worker and identifies as both non-binary and homosexual.
I spent a-lot of time with Robin over the summer, I enjoyed getting to know them and Robin was always happy to answer any questions anyone had about sexuality, gender and the LGBTQIA+ community as a whole.
I don't speak to Robin as much as I used to but over recent months I've watched Robin (from a distance) become who they truly are by changing their name, title and documents to reflect themselves and their true identity. When I spoke with Robin, they explained to me their experience of living as non-binary.
"In my non binary identity it is fluid and doesn't fluctuate day by day"
They went on to add that their masc and femme characteristics progress "side to side" as time passes.
Robin admitted, "I know I don't really show it that much, but I still have a lot of discomfort on the idea of presenting as hyperfeminine while also lacking the materials to provide myself in expressing my gender respectively."
Robin made clear that this does not make them any less "enby" (alternate word for non-binary/genderqueer people) and this certainly doesn't make them cisgender.
Robin continued "I'm still self discovering and finding my bearings on who I am and what I do and there are times I look in the mirror and feel like a woman without feeling the need to change my appearance. I see my curls and think how cute and femme I am, I see my curves and love them. While I do want to challenge myself and see about dabbling with full gender bending outside my comfort zones of drag or just being myself."
Robin concluded by saying "Expression of gender isn't me doing it for attention."