When I came out as trans on social media, random people were asking me questions. Most of them were transphobic or made me feel bad about myself, but there were a lot of people who were supportive. I had online friends, admins of queer accounts, and the Am I Gay quiz supporting me when I was questioning myself. I don’t think I knew I was genderfluid when I was a kid, and I think I’m still faking it because of that. The dysphoria is real, knowing when you find the right label is real, and I feel so much happier sometimes just thinking about not being female; but there’s still that worry that I just want to be special and I’m making something up because of that. So even with a large support system, it was really hard to accept myself, and I’m still having trouble with it.
Of course, when I realized I wasn’t female, I also knew I wasn’t male, which brought the problem. I found out what nonbinary was, identified with it, then found genderfluid and identified, but I didn’t know if I should label myself as trans, nonbinary, genderfluid, or even gender nonconforming, since I wasn’t really going for the whole androgynous look people associate with being nonbinary. The whole world of labeling made sense, but at the same time, it confused me with how detailed it could get. Transgender, nonbinary, and genderfluid were all labels I could use, but none of them felt more right than the others.
With how specific everything could get I didn’t know if I should even use a label at all. I decided when I was transgender, nonbinary, and genderfluid, to just call myself nonbinary because it was accurate, was something I felt was right, and was rather well-known so I wouldn’t have to explain every time I came out. So, when I came out to my mom, I told her I was nonbinary and used they/them pronouns. She’s been really supportive so far and has even educated herself on queer terminology, and it makes me feel more valid and accepted (of course, only come out when it’s safe for you to do so and when you actually want to).
With the hard part out of the way, I wanted to find a gender neutral name for myself. For about a year, I was stalking baby-name websites, visiting random name generators, and, true to the nonbinary way, considering using nouns as my name (Arson, Frog, Stick, Bin, Lake, etc). I liked a lot of them, and so did my friends, but they still felt wrong compared to my given name, which I’ve had for almost fourteen years.
Just over a week ago, I went back to looking at names and found one I really liked: Frankie. It was gender neutral, kind of cute, and actually was a really popular boys’ name in England and Wales in 1942. Once I had tried it out with some of my friends, I knew I liked it. So, I’ve been trying to get the courage to ask my parents to help me change my name. I want to change my name on my social media accounts too, but I’m afraid I’ll get negative reactions from some of my friends.
Now that I know my gender identity and have an idea of a name, I feel like I’ve kind of become another person that’s more me than I was before (lame, I know). I understand my feelings more, I’ve become more patient from handling transphobic people online, and I like to think I’m more accepting of others. I also have new friends from queer spaces, and it’s helped me connect and talk more with people my age. I do have to deal with chest and voice dysphoria sometimes, but I have voice acting techniques to deepen my voice and a sports bra that helps flatten my chest a bit.
If I’m being honest, I’m sort of like that stereotype where gay people only talk about their sexuality or gender identity. But that’s because my gender identity and experiences because of it have contributed a lot to my personality. Questioning my gender was an interesting journey that brought me more friends, colorful flags, and a 3D printed goose that I’m in love with. And even if I didn’t like being trans, it’s not like I could just exchange it for something else at the store. It’s a core part of me, and it’s really annoying when people try to change it. So kids, the moral of this story is, obviously, to rob the national bank and get funding for your wants and needs, not to ignore people’s bigoted opinions and to be happy with whatever you are (unless you’re queerphobic).
Transgender basically breaks into trans women, trans men, and nonbinary people, and they are all as valid as the others. Nonbinary is all genders other than male or female (demigender, agender, pangender, omnigender, genderfluid, etc), and, depending on each person’s preference, might be considered a subgroup of transgender. Genderfluid is, like the name says, fluidity between genders. My fluctuation is usually between five genders: male, female, demiboy/demigirl (only partially identifying), agender (no gender), and bigender (two at the same time).
There is no one way to look nonbinary, but people do typically expect nonbinary people to look completely androgynous.
List of LGBTQ+ terms
Nonbinary flags and meanings
Examples of questions I was asked when I came out & my responses:
- “Isn’t being trans a mental illness?” No. And even if it was, that’s one of the rudest things to ask someone who just came out.
- “How are you sure you aren’t just gay?” What does sexual orientation have to do with gender? Of course, I am extremely gay, and so is the person I’m dating ❤