First published on devgunawidjaja.wordpress.com
One time I made plans to go swim with a friend. Said friend told her mum about it, who then mistook me for a lad called Dave. This then led to an increasing number of male nicknames for me, courtesy of my friends, none of which I minded. It was funnier than it was offensive. Plus I mumble on the daily, so it’s no wonder people mishear me when I introduce myself, anyway.
This was only the first step in my whole gender schpiel.
I’ve expressed a notion on possibly being non-binary sometime in March this year but promptly forgot about it until August when a conversation brought my questions back to life. I knew I wasn’t 100% cis (at least, as a term, it didn’t work), but trans or non-binary didn’t fit me, either. After talking to a friend about it, I pinned it down to simply not caring about gender roles and societal expectations. That was a huge contribution to my overall apathy, anyway.
Between then and now, I’d been trying to come up with an analogy to explain the nonsense that is my gender identity. Because if I’m going to have to come out (again!), the least I could do is have it make sense.
Thus the gender binary pie analogy was born. The way I see it, it’s the opposite of a gender reveal because this actually serves a purpose.
So there are two pies: boy pie and girl pie. Boy pie is not so much pie than it is the tin it came in. A dog ate it. Boy pie doesn’t exist and, honestly, neither does this dog.
I really want a dog. I’d rather have a dog than a gender.
So now we’re left with girl pie. Girl pie is special because it’s the pie that keeps on giving—it never runs out. It’s half a pie most days. I have slightly more pie sometimes and way less on others.
I came up with this analogy on a bus ride home from uni after a long, stressful day of assignments. Forgive me if it seems half-baked.
I had a lot to think about on the bus ride, trying to put the other pieces together. I haven’t found all the answers, but I reached some conclusions.
Physical and mental societal pressure feed into each other like a snake eating its own tail (the eating never ends and the snake is regretting every decision it’s ever made). The stronger the idea of femininity/masculinity is ingrained in you, the more it bleeds into your physicality and you find yourself stressing over how to best present yourself, in my opinion. Despite every intention in my being leaning towards “girl”, the only thing I truly enjoy about femininity is its overall aesthetic. The baggage, not so much. Society enjoys categorising things too much, to the point of obsession. Ironically, they don’t give us gender questioners a box. So what do?
You give yourself a goddamn box, that’s what.
Try breaking arbitrarily gendered things into its most basic form. Clothes are just fabrics you drape over your body. Makeup is variations of liquids and powders you put on your face to make yourself look different. Skincare is just more nourishing liquids for your epidermis so it doesn’t become crusty. Some shoes are simply more uncomfortable than others. Pink razors is a waste of everyone’s goddamn time and money. Why gender any of these?
(It’s sexism, misogyny, the patriarchy, capitalism, and loads of other shit, but I’m not going to get into any of that now.)
Do I feel the need to do myself up in a certain way because society has an agenda to push? Not particularly. I’ll present my delicious, mystical pie of a gender however I please. I prefer practicality and comfort, bonus points if I can make it look aesthetically pleasing and I feel particularly good about myself whilst I’m at it. Everything is gender neutral when you don’t give a fuck.
That being said, will my gender identity change again? Maybe. I’ve only just come round to accepting my panromanticism after identifying as demi-heteroromantic for the past five years, so who’s to say what’s to come? Right now, though, I have other things on my plate that needs attending.
Like getting a dog and training it not to eat my pies.