This weekend my dear friend Samuel sent me a link to an interview with the artist Angel Haze, who said “My gender is an experience.” If that ain’t me! So, I figured I would expand upon why this is my new favorite quote, next to other inspirational tidbits.
As someone queer, with gender confusion, this quote spoke to me. Gender on its own is a label given to people with either the female or male genitalia. With gender, however, comes an overarching label with characteristics and dress associated with them. You know what I say? F%$* that! I dress how I want, when I want and no gender binary should stifle that.
Because gender is most closely linked with color, clothing and perception (or at least that’s what it affects most), people are afraid to travel outside their perceived gender to get creative with their clothing and find their identity. Although one could argue your gender label shouldn’t affect how you dress and express yourself (women are “emotional” and men are “closed”), it definitely does. From birth, male babies are given blue clothing, blankets and even paint on their walls, while female babies are given pink. This adamant push of color onto newborns will undoubtedly cause some confusion if one identifies as gender queer, transgender or non-binary (like myself). Growing up was most confusing when it was time to shop for clothing; my mother would drag me to the girls aisles or take my measurements while I dreamt small skater boy dreams.
Overall, preference is preference, and especially specific to yourself. If you are born with female genitalia and feel like a female, good for you! If you were born with male genitalia and feel like a woman, rock and roll! Life is too short not to accept your identity. Therefore, I say gender is an experience; if your assigned-at-birth gender doesn’t feel right, it probably isn’t.