Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Intersex Awareness Day

Gender is everything and yet nothing to me. I've explained it few times before, but on Intersex Awareness Day, it's that time to remind myself again that in my heart of hearts:

I'm proud to be intersex.

With my intersex condition, it's a blessing and a curse to have male and female genitals, but I love it.

I love me.

My genitals do not make, dictate, define, or validate my gender.

I'm transgender. And proud of that too.

I've never identified with the gender I was assigned with and raised as. I always knew I was different. People oftentimes still see a dude, even when I am femme. As much as I tried to "pass" as female as much as possible, even with breasts, I never fit in with women, or men. I still did not belong in the binary and with the conformity of it, regardless. And in the masculine, it made no difference: people for the most part weren't sure what they really saw: a man? or a woman? People's perception of my gender based on my appearance, is not that important to me, and it actually means nothing to me. Because of my androgyny, the perceptions will vary so much, from person-to-person. That's my normal. Whether I'm gendered as male, female, or both, I'm not one or the other. I'm not both.

At the heart of me, regardless of what people see, at the end of the day, I'm neither male or female.

I identify as Vanessa, as someone who's intersex and trans, who's non-binary by nature, who doesn't let my genitals, my upbringing, my clothing, and our society define my gender identity. I identify as myself, who's free to be happy, who's free to be self-accepted as the person I am, as simply Vanessa.

This awareness wasn't something that happened overnight. Who I have become from head to toe and inside and out has nothing to do with my looks, my hormones, my gender expression, and so forth. It has everything to do with me, from my soul that I've searched my lifetime for and am at peace with today. What a blessing that I'm alive and living to be at this peace with my intersex body and gender identity all at once, in a lifetime where many may still find me confusing. But I am NOT confused.

I'm just being Vanessa. 

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