Let’s call this therapy? Mental relaxation? A vent?
Legally, I must put down that I am female. It has not been until recently where I find that I am struggling coming to terms with this. Yes, physically, I am female; however, emotionally and mentally, I don’t feel this way. Those within my social circle have often said something similar along those lines. While physically unable to really vocalize it, I guess this is my “coming out story.”
As a child, I had always participated in gender specific activities because that was how I fit in for the most part. I did competition dance, played with Barbies, wore dresses, etc. I never found much joy in any of these. I mean, I would pull the heads off of Barbie and friends. I felt more comfortable in the baggiest clothes that my mom could buy for me. Unlike some, I had both my parents never question why I was the way I was. Instead, they both encouraged my psychopathic energy of ripping heads off of Barbie and friends. I did not change until middle school.
Middle school is when I experienced my first crush. It is when I first started to get back into typical girl clothes with skirts and tight fitting shirts. It is also when I experienced my first encounter with a teacher who tried to “help.” This particular teacher had mentioned something about wearing a bra because it would be easier on the boys in the class to focus. I was not the only female student to experience this from this particular teacher. I was friends with some of the others who had a similar issue. I graduated middle school in the baggiest clothes, the most comfortable covering for me.
High school was a bit different. Self discovery, right? Finding out who you truly are. I did not do this self discovery stage correctly, I think. Instead of finding my identity wholly, I found that I suffered from depression! Whoot! Ugh.
I did have some good self discoveries, I guess. I found that I am, in fact, one of the boys. I blew up Mountain Dew cans in a friend’s driveway while his parents were not around. I deeply punctured myself while showing off skateboard tricks to my younger siblings. I found out that I was attracted to both women and men and that my friends were highly supportive when they noticed. I also found that I did not particular care over gender until someone approaches me about it aggressively.
There was a time where I was headed to to the bathroom during class. I heard footsteps coming from down the hall behind me. I tried to quickly enter into a ladies room when my arm was grabbed. I turned to look at who had grabbed me to find it was one of the janitors. He told me that the particular restroom I was heading into was for girls only.
“I am a girl, dimwit.”
I wrenched my arm out of his grasp as he would stand there dumbfounded.
I hate this story, but it happens. It sucks when it does though.
In the couple of years I spent in college, I had a steady boyfriend. He was the first I admitted to as to being bisexual at the time. As far as I know, he was the only one outside of high school I bothered to tell. Unless if he told his friends, which I doubt (he was pretty nonchalant about it for the most part). I never thought about gender in those couple of years.
Skip forward to 2014 when I landed my first job. I do not quite remember exactly what I was doing except filling out something. It asked for my gender. I remember getting irritated about it though. This goes on for several years. Still, I never put much into thinking about gender.
At the beginning of 2020, I went to Ohayocon with my roommates. First convention outside of the local one, Animarathon. If that does not tell you where I am from, I do not know what will. Anyway…I got introduced to a group of con-friends by my roommates. Here I was posed with the question, “What do you prefer?”
I had to stop and think about it for a second. I had never been asked. No one ever really gave me the opportunity to think about it. I never gave myself the opportunity.
“I don’t really care. Whatever you like.”
A simple response? Yes.
A defining response? Definitely.
A few months later, in the middle of a rush at the fast food chain I worked for, I was thinking about what I would prefer. I knew someone who goes by they/them. However, that does not really fit me. I am just me. Nothing in-between.
I don’t really care.
That has stuck with me since. I do not really care what I go by. It took me all the way up until July of 2020 to really confirm that with myself. It does not matter to me in a way that it matters to others. I do not have a preference in the matter. I can go by she/her, they/them, or he/him. It really does not bother me until someone just assumes aggressively and puts their views on it.
I tend to go with the flow easily.
After the convention, my roommates and I had gone back to one of their friend’s house, who offered us a place to stay instead of a hotel. She had introduced (I say that like we have not heard of it) to Hazbin Hotel. She then proceeded to explain the things that she knew about it, much like I can when watching Animaniacs or Invader Zim. Ah, passion over shows that you identify with.
When she got to explaining Alastor, I was brought back to thinking about myself. Particularly my response to the whole “What do you prefer?”
I don’t really care.
Except, that is not true evidently. I do care in a twisted sort of way. I just project that I do not. I get easily irritated over the gender question on surveys. I am easily aggravated when being told about a restroom’s gender usage. I am uncomfortable when talking about easy “distractions” as these are not a thing except for “boys will be boys.” I have walls up around certain people so that I feel like I can respond properly to anything related to gender. I am uncomfortable with me.
I do care. And it depends on those around me.
I am Alex to those who have met me this way. I am hidden in the back among others with the name. I am she/her.
I am Rae. A name given by a good friend and my favorite manager at one point. I am they/them this way.
A recent Facebook post from a good friend asked a very simple question: “What would you choose for your real name, other than [what] was picked for you at birth?”
I hate the name Alex. Too many of them around me all the time. Let someone else have it.
Rae. No. It is a managerial position. That’s not me outside of a 9 to 5. Let me think for a moment.
Nichole. Ugh. Too feminine.
Nick. Too masculine, but also kind of perfect. Could go into Nicky. Pretty unisex.
That is the one. Nick.
I would choose Nick. It has the more masculine form of my middle name. I have always liked my middle name.
It could be the name I use for when I sell art. It could be the name that I would put on the comic book I have in the works. It could be the name for In_Sketched works instead of the username itself. It could be the one.
An answer the questions at the very beginning is needed by now.
That point that I prominently missed in high school as well as college.
Hi. My name is Nick. I am non-binary, demisexual. I am very fluid in the pronouns you may associate with me. For those who will ask, they/them is always welcome as I will not know how to answer in the time most likely. I prefer to be referred to as an artist. Everything else is just an accessory of my identity by now.
I do care.