Am I Still A Lesbian If I'm Not A Woman?
By: Sam (she/they) | SHRIMPTEETH
Hold on to your asses, the story about my queerness is continuing to unfold.
I found out I'm not a woman from a book called, You and Your Gender Identity. It's logical to assume I had some inkling I wasn't cis since I was reading a book about transitions for transgender folks; however, I did not. My qupee had just gotten top surgery and sent me the book to support them through their journey, so I agreed. I got to “Chapter 13: Actively Exploring Your Gender Identity” and it hit me like a brick: I'd been transitioning for two years.
Chapter 13 prompted me to create a list of things I would hypothetically do to better align with my gender. All of a sudden, the missing piece fit into place. I began to understand what had seemed like necessary, but disconnected identity changes. It had started with my name. I always hated it. Catherine. I asked my ex-husband to call me Sam, on a whim, one evening deep into a bowl and he did. Then the girl I was seeing changed my name in her phone. I felt at home for the first time. I couldn't explain it.
Then, my hair had to go. I shaved it short and dyed it- the dykier the better. I stopped wearing a bra because I couldn't breathe... psychologically. Turns out there's a word for that, dysphoria. I pierced my nipples and understood love for my chest for the first time. There's a word for that too, euphoria. I stopped shaving. I got tattoos. I stopped wearing makeup regularly. I had a Marie Kondo-induced panic attack over my clothes, then realized I could choose to wear things that Spark Joy™. I asked my closest friends to use my pronouns, ze/zir. I asked the public to use pronouns they wouldn't fuck up, she/they. And then I had a word for these changes, I had a word for what I am: genderqueer.
If you saw a picture of me four years ago, you wouldn't recognize me. I'm a bisexual woman in those pictures. I'm not now. One could argue that I never was, or that I always am when I choose. That's the hilarious thing about being genderqueer, it's a real mind-fuck. I don't completely understand, but I let myself be guided by what feels true. The truth, though, isn't always simple. Here's my difficult secret: I feel like a woman when I'm with other lesbians. I love when my partner calls me her GIRLfriend. No one else. I find it infantilizing and absurd when cis people call me girl, miss, or lady. But for her, I'll be a girly girl any day.
It would make more sense that I feel the most genderqueer when I'm with my partner, but that's not true. With her, I feel like a girl. And sure, my expression of womanhood wouldn't pass the cisgender test, but why should it? I'm not. I love being a lesbian, and lesbians make me feel empowered in a world where I normally feel at odds with my femininity. Womanhood feels pathetic and ridiculous when it's a social obligation I must conform to according to my genitals. But womanhood feels hot when I'm doing it on top of her. I'm incongruent. It doesn't matter.
Coming out is wonderful when it empowers you to reveal your truth. Here's mine, as of this writing: I refuse to be a woman unless I choose. It's not my job to conform to a binary I never got to opt into just to satisfy someone else's vision of me. Fuck the binary. I'm queer as fuck, I'm gay as fuck. I'm a lesbian for her, I'm her girl, not yours. I wear whatever I want. You can call me by any pronouns. But most of all, call me Sam.
About the Author
Sam (she/they) is a proud queer vulva-owner (a clam parent, if you will). They are polyamorous; she loves many people and allows each relationship to develop in mutually supportive structures. Sam has a Master in Arts from New York University in social psychology with a focus on consumer behavior. They are a sex educator, writer, researcher, avid reader, designer (with a Bachelor in Fine Arts in packaging design from Fashion Institute of Technology), and artist who does social media content creation.
Sam created Shrimp Teeth in 2018 to talk about how we communicate / approach / talk and think about sexxx. Check out their Patreon http://Patreon.com/shrimpteeth, website www.shrimpteeth.com, or email [email protected] for questions and/or collaboration opportunities!