“Asking people for their pronouns first is more inclusive,” they say, ‘they’ being a cisgender (cis) person in a cis-dominated space, and I consider for just a moment voicing concern. “What if that ‘outs’ someone or something like that?” But I know that doing so would raise certain ideas. “Just choose one, it's not that hard, right, (fellow cis)”—the last part unsaid but clearly implied: optional doesn’t mean inclusive.
Odd way to come out. A school paper (and a creative nonfiction one at that), “performative,” one might say, “for a grade.” Considering the fear of being outed, this would be a pretty ridiculous move. Being outed means being othered, becoming the “Trans Kid,” the token queer used as an example or being expected to answer questions about being trans.
When someone refers to me as he or him, I don’t wince or frown, I learned how not to, before even I knew I wanted to do so. “They,” I think to myself, feeling as though it works best, at my core still unsure, but it still hurts, the he’s and his, the weight and obligation that comes along with them.
So, hi! Whomever it may concern, I’m Marrion. A name I chose for myself. Feel free to just call me ‘M.’ I use they/them/theirs pronouns. The title or set of words for my identity currently is trans non-binary; put simply, that means I don’t identify with my assigned gender at birth (AGAB), but also that I don’t necessarily identify as male or female.
That weight, the obligation, socially, to fit a norm. No one falls perfectly to the sides of the hegemonic binary, but it’s so often used as a judge of character. These ideas of femininity and masculinity don’t leave or escape from the trans community. Trans women or men showing aspects of their agab are often invalidated or shunned, this of course is getting better with time. Even as a nonbinary person I am occasionally asked which way I “lean” a discreet way of trying to ask which side of the binary i identify with. So much is broken down into the binary that displaying characteristics of masculinity or femininity, be them aesthetic or behavioural, gets you shoved into these “blue” or “pink” boxes.
I talk a lot, which on the surface isn’t that gendered, but in the context of such masculine academics, or this fact that men talk more in academic conversations, may gender me more masculine. These traits, the way people walk, talk or interact, that while not inherently overt in their prescriptive nature give so much to how we view people in the context of gender.
Gender is such an odd thing.