Name: Jerry aka Fairy JerBear
Gender Identity: Agender (neither male or female – beyond gender)
Sexual Orientation: Queer
I came out first as a gay man, then Queer many years ago. Then 8 months ago I came out as Agender. I had always felt that I wasn’t really male but I didn’t feel female either. When I came out as gay and later queer their was no real understanding about non-binary gender identities. You were either transsexual or just an effeminate gay man. There was a movement that merged sexual orientation and gender non-conformity called the Radical Faeries which I admired. It’s founder Harry Hay, felt that gay people were set aside as special to serve as a bridge between genders. Unfortunately the majority of gay men went in the direction of insisting that they were just like straight people except for who they loved. Then along came Queer Nation which radicalized gay politics and rebelled against the mainstreaming of gay culture. They are still around but the focus is radical politics now.
Finally a few things happened for me. A former neighbor of mine identified themselves as genderqueer. I still didn’t recognize myself because what I saw, (I know better now), was more a phenomenon restricted to people who were designated female at birth presenting in a masculine way. Then along came a news story that put all the pieces together. You remember the agender teen in Berkley/Oakland, California who was riding a bus when their skirt was set on fire. Another boy, presuming the skirt wearer to be a boy as well acted on impulse. In any case, as I read how this person, Sasha Fleishman, came to his gender identity I finally realized that his identity was also mine. I love the idea of being beyond gender, of behaving and dressing without regard for gender roles. I like the idea of mix and matching your wardrobe from all of the clothing open to people. A shirt from the men’s section here, a skirt from the women’s there and so on. It was a totally liberating feeling.
I was aided in my coming out as Agender by the wealth of information on tumblr from other non-binary identified people. I owe my new life to people decades younger than I am. I sometimes feel like an honorary millennial. :) I was afraid of how I’d be accepted by those who were binary transgender people but I needn’t have worried the response from the Trans community I’ve connected with has been very welcoming. I’m sure there are pockets of prejudice all around but those are in the minority. I am proud to be part of the Trans Community. I love giving back, becoming part of The Trans Sibling Network on tumblr where as a “Big” I am matched with littles in a mentoring online relationship. I intend to become active with the Santa Fe, New Mexico Trans community and march with them in my first LGBTQIA Pride as a part of the community. This is me a chubby, disabled, queer, agender person over (gasp), 50: