This post is part of my participation in the 30-day genderqueer challenge, which I have modified to a weekly exercise.
Also, this is week 15, y’all, which means I’m halfway there! This has been a productive journey for me so far, and I hope it is being interesting for you as well!
Today’s prompt: How do you deal with gendered things? Clothes shopping, bathrooms, forms, etc.
As with a few of the previous weeks, this is something I have written about some aspects of before:
- A few years back, I wrote about navigating binary-gendered spaces as a non-binary person. I will add here that I am less willing to consider myself welcome in any women-only spaces than I used to, for a variety of reasons including the transmisogyny that is often present in spaces that would include me as an afab person.
- More recently, I wrote about the evolution of my gender presentation as a non-binary person.
These days my wardrobe is an eclectic mix of “men’s” and “women’s” clothes (of course, being mine, they are really all non-binary clothes), and my presentation changes more based on the weather than anything else – I like dresses and skirts for hot weather, and love bulky sweaters layered with flannels and button-downs when it’s colder. I am more likely to bind my chest (which usually involves a simple sports bra these days) when presenting more femme, though that it is really something that is only for my own internal comfort rather than because it has any impact on the fact that everyone reads me a woman on those days.
When I am clothes shopping, I really just look at everything and pick the things I like, without concern for their genderedness.
I use all-gender or gender-neutral washrooms wherever possible, and pretty much exclusively use the women’s when I have to choose.
For official forms, I am way more comfortable choosing a binary option when the form explicitly asks for my sex rather than my gender. Since I don’t have dysphoria around my genitals, it is unproblematic for me to identify which of the binary forms I have (though I would prefer for there to be more options). When the form is asking for “gender”, but pretty much actually means sex (because it is a medical form and I know they actually mean to ask a biological question but don’t know how to word it or whatever), I suck it up and pick the most useful answer to the people who need the form filled out.
When an online form requires me to indicate a binary gender in order to sign up for an account, I almost always decide I don’t want an account on that site any more. Sometimes I send an email to them about it, letting them know they’ve made it impossible for me to sign up, but usually I don’t bother.
I mostly make all of these sorts of calls without thinking super hard about them anymore. Navigating these things has become habitual for me, so I’m sure I’m forgetting about other places where I make judgment calls around binary gendered things that I have to participate in in various ways, but I can’t think of them right now.
If there’s something obvious I’ve missed that you’re curious about, feel free to ask in the comments! Or, y’know, let me know how you navigate these things. Maybe you have better methods than me!