After 6 months of blogging all about gender here at Neutrois Nonsense, I realized I haven’t really bothered to explain my gender – Neutrois. Sure, there are definitions and lists here or there, but I have yet to delve into why that’s me, why this label fits me, and why I found myself when I found this word.
There are differences between being genderqueer, androgynous, bi-gender, tri-gender, two-spirit, neutrois, or other (infinite) variations of genders – differences not just in wording or labels, but in how a person experiences each gender, in the very essence of each concept. Gender neutral is tricky to explain, especially when disentangling the difference between gender neutral and genderless and agender. One pain point is trying to define those differences when everybody uses different definitions of the words in the first place! And it gets more complicated when all definitions are valid, because honestly, they are still under construction, and each person finds themselves described in different words in different ways for different reasons. So, I won’t try to explain the definitions so much as just try to explain me, in hopes that this might clarify things by itself.
I’m going to break it down with some stereotypes, and yeah, I know stereotypes don’t define you or your gender and bla bla, but bear with me.
I have always hated being a girl. Being seen as a girl, being called a girl, doing girl things. I hate dresses, skirts, makeup, long hair, pink, dolls, high heels, (the list could go on…) anything that would be deemed girly. I dislike being called lady or ma’am. I despise being seen as weaker, more fragile, more emotional. It’s awkward when guys open doors for me. Any girly stereotype, I hate it when applied to me. I have no girly attributes in me. (Actually, I probably do – we all do – except, none of them qualify as a defining characteristic of me). But most of all, I hate being seen as having any girl attributes.
While I always wanted to be a boy, as a 3 year old youngster or a 25 year old youngster, I still don’t partake in stereotypical boy things. I like to exercise, to rock climb and go to to yoga and be active, and I’ve probably tried almost every sport you can think of at least once. But boys don’t like to exercise, they like Sports – the ESPN version, that is. And I can’t stand Sports. I hate watching football, or futbol, or baseball, and much less basketball (tall people scare me). Moreover, I really don’t get the whole obsession with cars or motorcycles, or guns or war or first-person shooters. I don’t even jump at being a gentleman – opening doors for girls is awkward. As a kid I didn’t play with trucks or G.I.Joes or run around in the mud, and to this day I am panic-attack-ly scared of any kind of creepy crawly bug. So, I don’t hate having boy attributes, I just don’t have any, and I would hate it if people imposed them on me.
Thus, I am the absence of the stereotypical characeristics of either gender. Instead, I embrace neutral characteristics, which belong to neither side.
Sure, all of my preferred behaviours and expressions can be found in both girls and boys. And at some point if you break it down enough, yes, all girls and boys eat and drink and sleep, which might been seen as neutral. And both girls and boys like to draw and play in the sandbox. Just like both girls and boys play sports.
Yet none of these are particularly girly or particularly boyish. But a girl playing football – now that’s manly; and a boy doing ballet – kinda girly. There are just some things that are deemed to belong very clearly to just one side, and when people cross over, it is seen as a transgression. These are all great, but these are all not me.
Dolls are for girls, trucks are for boys, and puzzles are neutral. And my gender is a puzzle.
Sorry For The Stereotypes – Hopefully You Get It Now
I’m not a femme boy or a butch girl – I am too butch to be femme, too femme to be butch.
It’s not embracing both sides, or one side; it’s embracing neither. It’s not an absence of gender, and it’s not not-caring about my gender. Quite the contrary – I care very strongly about my gender, my gender expression, and my gender perception.
I have a gender, and it’s a neutral gender.