• SumoMe
albino squirrel
This albino squirrel, stripped of its color, is still a squirrel.

I was just meditating on this idea, so I thought I would share it.

Yes, I meditate. I’m a big advocate of it because I’m the self-reflective, introverted type of person that meditates to solve problems.

This morning I thought on gender identity and how we, as a culture, place so much importance on material things to validate our identity.

I wrote a blog post before about my life as a genderqueer person, and a lot of that blog post dealt with outside markers to express my gender identity being between masculine and feminine. Outside markers like being interested in traditionally masculine television shows and martial arts while at the same time liking traditionally feminine things like dresses and fairy tales.

But if you strip these outside markers away, what do you have left?

I thought about my own self, and what kind of person I am without these outside markers and interests.

I came to realize that who I am within is a multi-layered human being, full of daydreams and energy and scrapping together ideas and constantly seeking to express them. I am full of emotion and enthusiasm. Left to my own devices, I am my own human being.

My authentic self is me.

And if the outside world looks at my authentic self and decides parts of it are masculine and parts are feminine, then that’s the outside world talking.

My authentic self doesn’t need these outside labels to be me.

But (and this is a big “but”) I would rather be my authentic self than try to force myself into outside markers or labels that don’t feel comfortable to me.

If that makes me genderqueer, then that’s ok.

Part of what gender dysphoria is, is when a person tries to deny their authentic self by trying to fit into a label the outside world provides.

Everyone has dealt with this kind of dysphoria before, even if it doesn’t pertain to their gender identity. We have all tried to deny a part of ourselves to fit in somewhere, to fit a label we don’t like just to avoid being ridiculed or slandered or bullied. It’s a self-preservation tactic.

That self-preservation tactic, while helpful in the short term sometimes, is poisonous when taken too long.

It is better, in the long run, to be yourself regardless of outside labels or markers, than to try to tailor your identity to those outside objects.

You can still be a man even if you wear a skirt one day. You can still be a woman even if you have to change your own vehicle’s oil. You can be genderqueer regardless of your outside presentation.

Your clothes, your objects, your interests, are NOT your gender identity.

Your identity is you, stripped of the outside world.

Thanks for reading.

You. Are. Awesome.