Jumat, 09 Oktober 2015

Born (and Nurtured) These Ways

Cisgender: people whose gender are align with the one they're assigned to.
Het: an acronym of heterosexual.
Cishet: cisgender and heterosexual.
LGBTQ+= Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer.
Transgender: a person whose gender identity is opposite of their assigned gender, regardless the shape of their genitals.
Sex: generally, your genital.
Non-binary gender and genderqueer: a gender outside of the binary system (female, male, and imo, transgender)
Disclaimer: This note only provides rough definitions. For more details, please look up google. 

One of the most common arguments that LGBTQ+ activists use is that LGBTQ+ people are born "this" way. It means that no matter what other people do, their sexual orientation/gender identity/gender expression won't change. Well, it's right...and not right. Because, how do you know for sure that you have explored every part of yourself if you never interact with certain people and idea? 

Like most narcissistic writers do, I will tell you a little part of my life.  I will separate it into two parts.

Part I: A Big Enlightenment 
I am raised in a pious Christian family. I loved church, barbie, I hate short hair, and other usual shits. So if I was born this way, then I would certainly be a cishet religious bigot, right? Well, I'm neither of those today. I do not exactly remember what made me becoming sympathetic, accepting, and supporting LGBTQ+ community, nor do I remember when precisely I lost my "femaleness". Heck, I didn't even read Everyday Feminism's stuffs until I'm a senior. But I guess watching Glee (I dislike that show) and Tom Hanks' brilliant performance in Philadelphia forced me to question my opinions. 

I had a long debate with my heart and mind whether LGBT was sinful or not. I'm kinda proud that I made the right choice without consulting with people and reading stuffs on internet or non-internet material. I'm not kidding; my choice to support LGBT(and later Q+) is a result of long-term inner debate. I always split into two sides everytime I debate with myself in my head. Oh, and with a little help from some films. 

Anyway, even after I had decided to support to homosexual relationship, I still struggled with internalized homophobia and misogynistic, like hating on feminine men, two guys kissing in public, slut-shaming on women, etc. This time, I got help from the wonderful Paul Agusta and his husband, Kyo Hayanto, from ask.fm. After that, the second wave of my Enlightenment started and it hasn't finished yet.

Special thanks to Everyday Feminism for widening my horizons.

Part II: To be a girl or not to be a girl

Even before I knew queer/non-binary terms and supporting LGBTQ+, I had stopped feeling 100% girl. Sure, I felt 100% girl when I was in primary school, but that didn't make me a tomboy or a transgender. I also didn't want to change or transform myself as a boy. But there were times when I felt like a boy. It was usually triggered by rock music, wearing jeans while surrounded by pretty dresses, and my disgust for my female peers who stereotyped boys easily. I also sympathized (still so) Tom more than Summer (from 500 Days of Summer).

Yet, the "boy" feeling neither stayed for so long nor significantly deep.

So...I started to feel sad, confused, and angry, because I didn't have label. I wasn't a tomboy, I wasn't a femme, and I wasn't a transgender. I cheered myself up by convincing myself that I was unique because I didn't have any label. However, I always found myself to fall into an urge to have a label, identity, or just some definition about what I felt. 

As time went by, I tried to repress my feeling and accept myself as a "woman". I just realized that I never accepted or saw myself as 100% woman. I never really tried to be more ladylike or master anything that is deemed as necessary for women. It means I was never in war with my gender identity. In fact, the only thing that was in war with me is the term of my gender.  

Then tumblr fell upon me, saving me from the age of darkness. I found new queer/non-binary terms like agender, bigender, etc. For some time, I considered myself as bigender because I couldn't comprehend the feeling of not having a gender. 

A few days later, I became uneasy with bigender. Once again, it was caused by my inability to feel as a man. Then I found a term that definitely settled with me: demigirl. According to gender wikia, demigirl is a gender identity describing someone who partially, but not wholly, identifies as a woman, girl or otherwise feminine, whatever their assigned gender at birth.


F I N A L L Y. 

Epilogue: I wasn't born "this" way

I'm not a non-binary gender model, and my story does not represent all queers and or other demigirls. Anyway, there are times when I do not feel having a gender, or when I feel 100% female, then back to demigirl again. Yet, I never state,"Okay, today I'm a female," or,"Hmm, I don't like having gender today." I just go along with my flow, you know. I just realized that I experience agenderness when I looked back at my life...you know, the activity that is done by people with lots of regret...or when they feel like a narrator in a film. So, I think there's a chance that I'm a genderfluid, but I'm not really sure. For now, I settle with non-binary gender.

Oops, pardon me for lack of focus. Since I looked back to my personal quest, I feel that "born this way" shouldn't be a reason to justify gay marriage and so many other LGBTQ+-related things. Somehow, the statement implies that there's only one way to love people, to express yourself, to feel things, and your sexuality can not change. As a result, people whose sexuality constantly changes are deemed as "unstable" or "LGBTQ+ wannabe", etc. Moreover, it can cause hostility to LGBTQ+ who are deemed "going normal" and as a result, there's a chance that those people are labeled as betrayers, traitors, or wannabes.

I do not deny LGBTQ+ whose gender identity or sexual orientation never change since day 1. Nevertheless, there are people who need other people, information, and idea to realize their identities. That's why I and those people weren't born "that" way. We are nurtured and socialized in so many ways. Therefore, some of us can experience a change on our sexuality.

My suggestion is that perhaps it's time to leave "born this way" as a reason to justify gay marriage and LGBTQ+-related things. Not only it will harm some people, but we haven't found a DNA, gene, or parts of our bodies that make us gay, bi, female, or queer. Instead of focusing on "born this way", we should put focus on the fact that us, LGBTQ+, deserve the same rights and respect with cishet people. Our  "strangeness" do not make us any less human than "normal" people and frankly we do not need any reason to justify our identities.

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