“Who cares if you’re genderqueer?”

So I’m genderqueer. So what? Who cares?

When I was lamenting recently about how the odds are pretty stacked against me being able to find a suitable co-parent for my parenting aspirations (someone who wants to be a parent, and isn’t intimidated by the inherent difficulty of forming a family with a genderqueer person, and who shares at least some of my rad queer politics, etc), a (straight, cisgender, married-with-a-kid-already) childhood friend of mine weighed in with “who cares if you’re genderqueer?”, and made the point that obviously anyone who has a problem with that isn’t someone I’m interested in anyway.

Which, this is true, of course. I deliberately put as much of my rad queerness and all of my outlier, potential deal-killer characteristics right out front on dating profiles specifically because I *want* to scare off anyone who’s not on board with that stuff. I am not willing to compromise who I am to seem more palatable.

But, the question itself still rankles me.

Who cares if I’m genderqueer?

Lots of people care, really. The internet and the real world are both full of people who care deeply and work extremely hard to invalidate my identity at every opportunity, to insist that I don’t exist, that I’m really either a boy or a girl, that I am delusional, that I am just seeking attention. I can’t just pretend these people don’t exist or that they don’t matter.

Moreover, lots of people that I would otherwise get along with well and may be compatible with will write me off as a dating partner. Many others might be willing to date me, but won’t want to start a family with me. And I’m not even judging them for this – it’s just true, and it is just a truth that makes my life more difficult.

Ultimately, though, this isn’t even about that. That’s not why the question bothers me so much.

So, once more: Who cares if I’m genderqueer?

I care. I care deeply. I have expended a huge amount of time and effort on finding ways to authentically be who I am, to embrace my identity and my self wholly and truly, and to be comfortable in the world I have no choice but to live in. I’ve written thousands of words on the topic, and sought out the words of others with similar experiences. It’s important to me, and because of that, it’s important to me that others care too.

I don’t want to be with someone who doesn’t care that I’m genderqueer. I don’t want to be liked despite or regardless of who I am. I want my genderqueerness to be valued, and to be cherished.

I’ll be honest with you. If you don’t care that I’m genderqueer, then you probably don’t even see me at all.

6 comments

  1. Thank you for writing this!

    I’m not genderqueer, but a lot of aspects of my identity, including my atheism and my asexuality (and also a few other things) matter to me in this way which you’ve described, and so I really do understand why your genderqueerness matters so much to you.

    When I “come out” I really do want people to care!! It matters a lot to me. I want people to care in the right way, obviously I don’t want them to judge me negatively for any of the things that make me “me”. But if they think it’s irrelevant to who I am, then yeah, it feels like they don’t know me at all. :P

    I really hope you find someone who “gets” how important your genderqueerness is to who you are. ;)

    1. <3 <3 I am pretty sure these kinds of feels cut across a lot of marginal identities!

      And I mean, I am fortunate enough to have people in my life who honestly do get it and make me feel seen.

  2. This I can understand and relate to, I have been sitting on this post for a few days, trying to think just how to respond, then it hit me this morning…. you have said pretty much everything I would have put in my response ….. but at this point in my life I am in a place where it is better to blend in than to stand out and that makes me feel invisible at times.

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