I have written blog posts before about being genderqueer – someone who does not fall into either the “woman” or “man” boxes. Someone who falls between the two.
I have also worked with a lot of transgender people and cisgender people, each with different gender expressions. Some trans folks fully embrace the binary, while others do not. Even some cisgender folks won’t fit neatly into the expectations of their gender.
For example, I know a lot of dudes, cis and trans, who bake, crochet, and raise children, and have no lack of masculinity.
I know women, cis or trans, who are furniture makers, interested in cars, run banks and businesses, and have no lack of femininity.
I’m saying this because I still enjoy being nonbinary. I love the gray area between what’s expected of certain genders and what is actually put into practice.
I have noticed that when people say “she,” “her,” or “daughter” in my direction, it feels like they’re talking about someone else. They’re not addressing me, they’re addressing a disguise.
(Honestly, with how many people are declaring war against trans people, a cisgender disguise is making more and more sense.)
At some point, however, I would LOVE to be addressed as who I actually am, not the puppet that I walk around in sometimes.
For a while, I have asked close friends and family to call me “they” or “their.” English lacks a decent third-person gender-neutral word outside of s/he that’s not a plural. And people online can get NEEDLESSLY pedantic about the use of “they” when referring to a single person.
It’s obnoxious and I hate it.
At the same time, I think back to times when I’m called “he” or “sir.” This happened a lot when I wore gender-neutral work uniforms or wore clothes that weren’t coded as feminine.
And any time I got called “he” or “sir,” I realized…that felt right.
So I’m Coming Out
I’m coming out as a transgender man.
Now, I’m not going to be following all the “rules” of masculinity. I’m still going to cook and knit and have a “stereotypically feminine” side. I’m still nonbinary. Because fuck the idea that men and women have to act or behave in certain ways.
However, you might wonder, “Then why are you coming out as a man?”
Because when folks call me “he,” “sir,” or “my dude,” I feel like myself in a way that I haven’t felt in a VERY long time. If at all. It feels like when someone calls me a man, I feel SEEN. Like I don’t have to put on a cisgender disguise to fool the Straights.
So moving forward, I’m going by he/him/his as well as they/them/their.
My name is still the same: Kelci D Crawford. Historically, Kelci is a gender-neutral name. But if you nickname me Kel, that feels right, too.
I’m still the same person as before. The only things that have changed are my pronouns and the feelings I get when they’re used.
And to answer any other questions because I KNOW these will come up:
No, I’m not doing any surgeries. I HAVE been wanting to change hormones for a while, but for reasons outside of “becoming more of a man.” In my case, my hormones are not my gender. But I’m not going into my medical history with the internet unless I get terribly sick and am unable to keep up making comics, videos, etc.
No, I’m not changing my name. Good luck trying to “deadname” me, haters.
No, I’m not changing official documents unless I absolutely have to. Do you Straights have ANY idea how long it takes to get government paperwork to reflect your identity? And this is just on the LOCAL and STATE level, never mind the federal one.
Besides, with SOME politicians being allergic to trans people to the point of banning trans children, the government can think I’m a “cisgender woman” all they want. Not all laws are just or good. Like, just because some places are banning abortion does not mean all abortions have stopped. And historically, people have tried banning people of color from going to the same places as white people. But they still exist. These politicians can try to ban trans people but we will still be here, fighting for our rights.
I’m still going to fight for trans rights. I’m still going to depict trans people in my comics and games. That’s not changing.
Make of this announcement what you will. I’m not changing my mind. I’m here. I’m queer. And I’m here to make stories that matter.
Thanks for reading.
You. Are. Awesome.