This post is part of my participation in the 30-day genderqueer challenge, which I have modified to a weekly exercise.
Today’s prompt: When did you realize you were Genderqueer?
Content note: there is some discussion here of grammar policing the singular they, and referring to people a ‘it’.
I don’t have story about a sudden moment where I knew for sure I was genderqueer; it was more of a slow percolating of the idea in my head. I was vaguely aware of the concept of non-binary identities starting from about five years ago, I think. And maybe four years ago or so, a friend of mine started going by singular they, which had a distinct impact on me. It was a bit of a revelation to actually fully comprehend that was something a person could just up and do.
I really liked the idea, in a way that, in retrospect, probably most cisgender people wouldn’t feel. Though at the time I didn’t do anything about it or say anything to anyone about how it made me feel.
Until, one day, I found myself in an argument with an acquaintance of mine (part of an important social circle to me), who was being extremely flippant about the grammatical incorrectness of the singular they, who implied that people who use it are too stupid to understand grammar, and who further suggested that all non-binary people should go by ‘it’, because that is the only grammatically correct singular, neutral pronoun in English.
The argument got very, very ugly. I wound up blocked by the other person everywhere (FINE BY ME, obviously), and it shook me up a lot. I was concerned that other people in that social group might have similar views and realized that it was very important to me, now, suddenly, to find out who my friends were and who would accept me if I called myself genderqueer and admitted that I wanted to be a ‘they’. And so I came out pretty much immediately, to that social group and to all of my other friend groups.
And it was great. Everyone was good about it. I felt great about it. And thus was my openly genderqueer self born!