Great thread idea.
I knew forever that I was "different" but didn't encounter the word "genderqueer" until very recently while watching a documentary. I was saying out loud, "Yes, exactly, that's exactly right," the whole time I watched it. I couldn't believe it...I couldn't believe there were other people like me. I felt so weird growing up, so shamed into presenting myself as something I didn't feel comfortable with, only to find that there were others just like me.
I had tried dressing up as a man before and posted that on Facebook...it was widely ignored, though my mother was curious why. This was before I found out about GQ, and I didn't know how to explain how I felt so I just told her to ignore it.
After finding out about GQ, I ended up going out as a man with a friend of mine. We had a few drinks and it was fun. Unlike before, I felt comfortable...I didn't feel like I had to act or sound like a man, I liked being in-between. I posted this picture on Facebook as well and ended up getting some questions about it. That's when I decided (after a couple drinks) to just go for it. So, while sitting at a bar watching a hockey game with a friend and the chick he's trying to impress, I posted that I'm genderqueer on my FB status using my phone. Just right then and there. I'm a bold person and I don't believe in being ashamed of myself. Now that I had a word, a definition that I could share with people, they would understand. I never could put it into words before.
I was so nervous...no one really said anything for hours. It wasn't until the next day that I found a couple likes. It was widely ignored, to be honest. I decided to leave it up for a few days and set the picture of myself with a mustache as my profile picture. A cousin asked on my status what genderqueer means and I explained it. She said that I was still her cousin and she loves me, and that it must have been hard for me growing up feeling this way without knowing what was different.
Then mom messaged me. She said a lot of negative and insulting things that I will only post if other people are scared of coming out and want to hear what their friend/family member might say. Thing is, that's mom. I tried to smooth it over. I honestly thought explaining that I'm genderqueer would make a lightbulb go on over her head because it would explain all the fights we had while I was growing up over clothing, interests/hobbies, behavior and my nickname (Dave). I thought she'd be happy to finally know why her oldest child was the odd man out, so to speak. Instead, after a couple days, she messaged me again angrier than ever, going on about how I'm confusing the little cousins that follow me (I don't know any...they're all at least 15) and more insults, like how I looked ugly and so forth. I replied telling her I thought I looked quite dashing in my mustache.
I was just trying to diffuse the situation but she wouldn't let it go. Eventually, I called her and tried to explain it but she'd have no part in it. Every time I asked, "Why do you think this is so bad? What's the worst that could possibly happen?" she would change the subject about me having gone away from God. I tried to explain to her that a relationship with God would be between God and me, not something for her to criticize or scrutinize, but still, nothing. It was because I went away to college, it was because I stopped living near the family...it wasn't because this is something I felt. I told her that I understand it may come suddenly for her, but that if she thought about me growing up she'd realize it made sense. She kept denying all the fights we had as I was growing up, the accusations of being a lesbian or wanting to be a man, as if they never happened. I asked her if she thought I was crazy, and she said, "No, because I know that when I tell you something, I know that you know I know you know." I repeated that back to her and said, "Only a crazy woman would say this...so, great, a crazy woman tells me I'm not crazy. This is definitely reassuring." I said it with a laugh in my voice and mom started laughing. I told her that I'm still her kid and that I'm excited to visit (we live across the country from each other) and that it'll be really fun and so forth. She agreed, we said, "I love you" and that was that.
She's still not accepting of it, but that's her. The only reason it "bothers" me isn't because of what she says or how she judges me, but that we're still going through this. I'm 27 years old and I figured she'd have grown tired of making fun of things I believe, do or am. I wish I had a better relationship with my mother and it's this petty crap that keeps it from happening.
As for other family members, I had to text one sister because she doesn't use Facebook. She asked me to explain it and at first felt that everyone felt that way, but as I got into it more she said that she didn't realize the extent of it. She said that I'm still her big sister and she'd be fine as long as I don't get surgeries for it. My dad told me he loved me, older sister said the same, and my brother hasn't talked to me since.
I'll respond to anything but am partial to chief.
"Life hands everyone shit. It's what you choose to do with that shit that determines if you're happy."
"Complacency is a shitty reason to be miserable."