Sex vs Gender … Again

It’s a common thing among trans people, especially genderqueers, to talk about identifying with our natal sexes. Some people seem to think that once you go GQ, you don’t look back on your binary past. Others identify as a male genderqueer. As you may imagine, these two views don’t always play well together, and I? I run the middle ground.

I am a FAABGQ – female assigned at birth genderqueer. While I find it overwhelmingly unnecessary (and indeed, sometimes damaging) to include the first part of that when introducing or describing myself, it’s still an important part of me. I’m not female, but I was raised as a female, and I still face many of the same things that females do.

If someone makes a post advising all women to read some important medical thing, I’m going to go and read that important medical thing, because I can be affected by many of the same medical things – problems and hooray-new-drug both – as many women. If someone makes a post called “Ten Things All Women Should Know Before Walking Alone At Night,” I will read it and (depending on content, of course) recommend it to people regardless of their genders. If my sister needs to know it, then I probably need to know it, and even though my brother is large and muscular and fast, it certainly won’t hurt him to know it. I’ve been socialized to expect that it’s more important for me to know it than him, and most people who would cause problems for a woman walking alone at night wouldn’t stop to ask me if I’m a woman before thinking to themselves “small vulnerable person! target!” And because that’s true, and because I was socialized to expect this to happen to me, I have a lot of the same worries that many women do. So women, I hope you don’t mind a GQMF hanging out in your spaces occasionally, looking out for sy health and well-being beside you. And I hope you don’t think that just because I look at these things, I must be a woman, too; my male cousin sent me the last female health alert I read.

I can understand wanting to leave behind a past full of bad memories and misgendering. I can also understand holding onto a past that wasn’t all bad, if a little misguided, because it made you who you are today. What’s right for you isn’t right for others. Let’s move past one invalidating the other and get to that point where we support each other’s differing needs, shall we?

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On Health and Privacy

Just because I swallow a pill in your presence doesn’t mean that my health is suddenly any of your business. You don’t get to ask me what I took, or why I took it, or what medical conditions do I have that make me need to take it. You don’t get to ask me how often do I take that particular medicine or how strong is it. And you most certainly do not get to become offended when I tell you that’s personal information instead of answering your invasive questions.

This is a situation that arose for me last night. My volunteer supervisor asked me these questions. In this case, it was a mild NSAID – certainly nothing that affected my ability to do my job or was dangerous for anyone. I suppose you could argue that he didn’t know that, but that doesn’t change the facts: Whether or not I tell anyone – and who I tell, and how much detail I give – is my decision entirely. As a casual acquaintance whose name I cannot even reliably remember (and who cannot reliably remember mine, either), he had no business even considering asking these questions. But wait, that implies that someone does!

Yes, a few people have the right to ask me these questions, but it is a right that I gave to them. My healthcare providers. My mother, who is my medical emergency contact, supplies my health insurance, and pays the bulk of my healthcare bills. My queerplatonic partner, who is my primary emergency contact, not to mention my partner and an important part of many of my major decisions.

But the list ends there, so if you’re not on it, keep your curiosities to yourself. It’s one thing to express concern if you have reason to believe I have taken something unsafe. Beyond that? I am not your museum exhibit.