Saturday, 4 June 2016

Awkwardly non-binary in a binary world

Sometimes I picture what my life will be like once I'm free of all this medical nonsense that's still going on. I'd finally be able to just be myself, which I guess is a hermaphroditic human being with many interests and hobbies. While I can see how these interests and hobbies will fit into my future, my future as 'just' a hermaphrodite feels far less defined.

It's not really until one stops defining oneself as being part of either side that it becomes so painfully obvious how incredibly binary society is. It's an indoctrination which starts before a child is even more, with the strict subdivision into 'boy' and 'girl', which are then morphed into 'man' and 'woman'. Cases of transsexuality are thereby regarded as a momentary discomfort before the affected person comfortably settles again into either category.

Not so for us hermaphrodites. We're clearly neither male nor female. Never felt like a 'boy' or 'girl', let alone a 'man' or 'woman'. Yet every time we go to a public toilet, swimming pool and so on we have to confront ourselves with the same question of which category we feel we belong the most to.

Admittedly I prefer mostly to stick to the female side in such matters, as evidenced by my general appearance, my classification as 'female' in my passport, as well as a further preference for things which one generally would refer to as 'feminine'. Yet the question I have to ask here is why many of these things are classified as 'feminine' to begin with.

When the 'masculine' side of the fence is mostly characterised by a severe lack in clothing options, a strict dismissal of make-up, the frowning upon of body care and basically only restrictions in comparison with the 'feminine' side, then one is left wondering whether society isn't just completely deluding itself on this matter.


As a hermaphrodite I am decidedly not binary. I have the primary and some secondary sexual characteristics of both 'men' and 'women', even though I am infertile on either side. In daily life I can generally pass for a regular woman, but there are many situations where I am painfully confronted with the fact that I am not part of this society.

The few times that I have shared a dressing room at a pool with others, it was always the women's side. Yet I'm not just a woman, and I do not want to attract attention, or worse have to explain my physical condition to a crowd of half-naked women while trying to squeeze into a bathing suit. It's pretty much the sole reason why I have avoided saunas since forever.

Maybe it would be better if I were to just ignore the binary partitioning of society. Just get changed in a shared women's room at the swimming pool, and share a sauna with a mixed company without a worry in the world. Maybe.

It's just hard to feel welcome in a world where one's existence is virtually never acknowledged, but where this sex binary is blasted at one from every direction, every waking moment.


Where do I see myself, years from now? Happy with my body, I hope. Maybe even sharing my life at that point with a wonderful woman, fellow hermaphrodite or similar.  Maybe society in that time period will have become less binary, or maybe I will have moved to a non-Western country where a binary way of thinking is less ingrained into society.

Here's to feeling less awkward about merely existing.


Maya

1 comment:

Aurelius R said...

&%#* the gender binary.