Tonie

I thought I might start with a bit about myself.

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I have “done gender” in a variety of ways.

I never really liked dresses; even when I was pretty little, I preferred jeans and overalls. The older I got, the more pronounced my preferences became.

My mother continued to buy me “girly” clothes–I was so feminized that, when I finally realized I was non-binary, I swung dramatically to the masculine side. Which was ironic, because up until that point I had been dressing happily androgynous for several months. Loose t-shirts, my iconic denim jacket, jeans, and laced shoes.

When I finally realized that my presentation had nothing to do with my gender, that everything I wore was NB because I was NB–it all seemed to fall into place, and I began to present much more naturally and casually.

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I started feeling truly happy about myself and what people saw when they looked at me.

There was a lot of experimenting along the way. To be fair, there still is.

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And I don’t think I’ll ever stop experimenting–for me, that’s part of what gender is. Being flexible and fluid.Dynamic.

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That’s one of the reasons I love the word queer so much. More than any other term I’ve tried on, it encompasses the variability and nuance of gender and sexuality. It’s personal. It’s a way to use a label without being labelled. To define yourself without being able to put that definition into words.

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Sometimes when I post pictures to the queer social media groups I’m a part of, the others in the group comment that they wouldn’t be able to tell what my assigned gender was. I think that’s amazing, because I’m not even trying.

I love being nonbinary. I love being queer.

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I love being me.

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