On Being Queer

When I was first coming out, it took me a really long time to find an identity label that felt comfortable for me. Elements of various identities felt like they’d work, but nothing fully felt right or described my attraction to people who do not conform to gender norms. Were there women I found attractive? Of course. Did I find certain men hot? Yep. Did my motor run for some who identify as none of the above? Hell yes! Nothing really felt like home until I discovered the label queer.

To me, queer means deliciously atypical. It’s a celebration of my attraction to people who are gender non-conforming.  It’s a pride parade of my own gender nonconformity. For many, many years, “queer” just felt right.

While I’ve hung onto the label queer like a pair of prized jeans that once made my butt look fab but now kind of sagged, the label hadn’t felt totally right for the past several years. I found myself asking, “What’s queer about K mowing the lawn while I do laundry?” and, “What exactly is queer about this life we’re living or this white dress I’m choosing for our wedding?” Part of these feelings, I’m sure, had to do with being perceived as a heterosexual couple living in suburban, middle-class America. This naturally happened more frequently as K began reliably passing as a guy. That’s not the entirety of it, though. There’s something so inherently novel and exciting about queerness, whereas everything in our picket fence lined lives began to feel routine and expected.

Throughout the process of trying to conceive and now progressing through pregnancy, I’ve been shocked to discover that my queerness started fitting again. Women sat alone in the lobby of our reproductive endocrinologist’s office while we became known as the non-conventional couple who actually attended appointments together. We we reached out to and began building intentional community with other gestational transguys and partners. Suddenly, our gender non-conformity seemed more visible and celebrated.

Those who know us well will attest that our gender non-conformity (or love for it) never waned or disappeared, but it is fascinating and empowering to feel like we’re tapping into that level of uniqueness again in order to blaze this trail and build the family we want. It makes me feel grounded, inspired, and poised to take on the massive challenges I’m certain we are about to encounter as a visibly pregnant dude and his loving, supportive, non-pregnant wife.

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6 thoughts on “On Being Queer

  1. This post is great. Yes, there is something about parenting that kind of re-queers you. It will be less visible for you guys once falco arrives (and may become less visible for us as time goes on), but it will still be there.

  2. Although my relationship and status of participants is different, I have tumbled through very similar steps. Queer has always been my favorite and the most fitting of the labels I could pick up as I felt it had an expansive definition that was more self-assigned than some of the others. And then, as my marriage began and fully developed, I somehow became “straight” (though obviously not). To me, that word became more about traditional gender roles than anything else. I washed, she mowed. I cooked, she lifted heavy things. I cleaned, she killed bugs. I’m not casting generalization on anyone else (except maybe characters in 1950’s films). Surprisingly, this has slightly altered in the two years we’ve had RR – she does laundry but I still cook. She puts the bugs outside but I remove dead things from the yard. She mops and I play video games. She mows and I sew. In the end, we find we fit in more with our traditionally male/female couple friends and less with our female/female or male/male friends. Sadly, single people just find us confusing.

  3. I loved this post! I stumbled across your blog, and couldn’t help reading the NGP labels – I am sucker for them as I am going to be one myself. I can’t imagine how it feels to all of a sudden appear conforming as your partner appears more like a man while at the same time knowing you are queer in your heart. I am glad you have a community of people to support you.

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