They love to sing, and I love hearing their voice

They love to sing, and I love hearing their voice

Realising that I could no longer live as a trans man was both terrifying and freeing. What next? What would people think? I had never seen anyone transition from a binary trans identity to a non-binary trans identity, so I had no point of reference. I was completely on my own, unaware of how my body or my brain would change post-testosterone.

On my first day off the hormones, I shaved just one of my legs. To me, this symbolised my confusion and made a statement about the current state of my gender identity: in flux. Rather than trying to force myself into any gendered stereotype, I allowed myself the freedom to experiment with how I looked and which pronouns I used. Some days I would sport a beard and bright red lipstick; others, I would shave and wear a beanie with a button-down shirt. I stopped asking myself what it meant to want to do certain things or look a certain way and just let myself follow my desires without analysing them. My journal entry from reads: “I’ll figure it out someday. And then I’ll be confused again someday. Maybe that’s just how the cycle goes.”

Some people use my pronouns correctly, some use them on and off, saying they find it too hard, and some flat-out refuse, which I feel is a way of invalidating my identity

I have been out as an agender, or genderless, person for about a year now. To me, this simply means having the freedom to exist as a person without being confined by the limits of the western gender binary. I wear what I want to wear, and do what I want to do, because it is absurd to limit myself to certain activities, behaviours or expressions based on gender. They see no room for the curve of my hips to coexist with my facial hair; they desperately want me to be someone they can easily categorise mulher japonesa e nativa americana. My existence causes people to question everything they have been taught about gender, which in turn inspires them to question what they know about themselves, and that scares them. Strangers are often desperate to figure out what genitalia I have, in the hope that my body holds the key to some great secret and unavoidable truth about myself and my gender. It doesn’t. My words hold my truth. My body is simply the vehicle that gives me the opportunity to express myself.

The pronouns I use, and that other people use to refer to me, are not “he” or “she” but “they”, “them” and “their”. These pronouns feel as neutral as I do; any others feel like sandpaper against my skin. Friends say, for example, “Tyler? ” Many people tell me that my pronouns are grammatically incorrect; however, they use “they” as a singular pronoun on a daily basis without thinking twice about it. When telling a story, Person A will say, “I met up with a friend from college last night!” Person B will respond, “Oh, cool! What’s their name?” In this scenario, Person B does not know the gender of Person A’s friend, therefore defaults to a gender-neutral pronoun. This is the only appropriate way to refer to me. Upon meeting people for the first time, I typically ask, “What are your pronouns?” and inform them of mine as well so we know how to correctly refer to each other. I also use only neutral terms to describe myself including: person or human (not boy, girl, man or woman), child (not son or daughter) and sibling (not sister or brother).

People don’t know what to make of me when they see me, because they feel my features contradict one another

Reactions are incredibly varied. When Miley Cyrus brought me to the amfAR Inspiration Gala (for Aids research) as her date earlier this summer, posting on Instagram that I was “a queer, biracial, agender person, whose pronouns are they/them/their”, I was pleasantly surprised that the conversation around my gender and appearance was positive overall (though I knew I looked fantastic in my plunging dress). However, I feel as if I am constantly defending my humanity to people who refuse to attempt to understand me, and who perhaps wish I did not exist at all.