I’d like to introduce to you a concept that is not widely considered, even among the LGBTQ+ community. It is the concept of genderfluidity, and it’s one I hold dearly to my own heart.
To discuss what genderfluidity is, first I have to introduce the concept of non-binary genders. In Western society, we have a gender binary system; we are told that there are men, and there are women.
However, despite indoctrination into this system from birth, there are many people who don’t feel they belong to either of these genders. People who identify as a third gender, or as more than one gender, or as a mix of the two or no gender at all, are non-binary.
“Genderfluid” is a non-binary identity, and one I ascribe to personally. Here’s how I like to describe it. Imagine I have three cups; one is labeled “woman,” another “man” and a third that has no label at all. Now imagine I have a set amount of liquid, the proverbial “gender fluid,” that fills these cups.
Some days, the cup labeled “woman” is full, and all the gender fluid is in that cup. Those days are the days I feel feminine and like a woman, whether that means physically, mentally, emotionally or spiritually. Other days, the cup labeled “man” is full, and on those days I feel like a man. Still other days the gender fluid is split between the “woman” cup and the “man” cup. On those days, I might feel like both genders at once, or like a mix of the two. And some days some or all of my gender fluid might be in the unlabeled cup, such that I perceive of myself as “having gender,” but neither “man” nor “woman” properly describes how I feel.
Sometimes I might want to take all that gender fluid and pour it on the floor, and thus have no gender at all. Whenever I’m ready to have gender again, I’ll simply mop it up with some kind of gender sponge and squeeze it back into my cups.
Gender fluidity is a gender identity that is flexible, nuanced and ever-changing. It in no way sticks rigidly to the binary system of gender, which often is oppressive and doesn’t always allow people to be who they truly are.
Personally, I think my identity, and being a genderfluid person, is a lot of fun. Every moment is a chance to explore gender and to experience gender as an adventure and an exploration of self.
I’d encourage anyone who isn’t certain about their gender to explore as well, even if you come out of your gender journey in the end finding that you’re comfortable with the gender you were assigned at birth. Who knows, you may discover something you never knew before!