This post actually has been in the making for a good two years. But, at first I needed to test the waters how I feel. How I could tell my story, hoping not to be judged whatsoever. Because what I am going to say is basically uncovering the World’s Worst Kept Secret. Or something.
As I have written in an earlier post, or several of those, I have always been different. The way I dress, talk, and look, my hobbies and interests from early childhood on, all that jazz. I have been misgendered a couple of times as well in my past. Strangers mixed me up with a boy or young man in public. It didn’t matter. If anything, I found it amusing. Working in written customer support, I also happened to be called “Mr” instead of “Mrs”, despite my given name being female. I was like, “Oh, COME ON!” in my mind, but never made a fuss about it. Why should I? There are other things to worry about.
Misgendering happened. And it wasn’t the end of the world at all. I shrugged it off a lot, because the majority got it, anyway.
I am not lying when I say that I have always felt the most comfortable in unisex or “boys” clothes, and to this day, I fucking HATE dresses and skirts. Nope. Don’t even go there, fam. Last time I wore a dress? First day of elementary school, and I think once or twice not much later, but nah. Not me. I seriously felt like I was dressed up as someone else. Someone I wasn’t. The problem? My family wasn’t too overly happy most of the time. My choice of clothing got me into arguments time and again, and it was, to be brutally honest, frustrating. I felt comfortable in my skin when I was able to wear what-the-fuck-ever, sweatpants, oversized t-shirt, jersey, you name it. Also, hoodies. And of course basecaps. That? Was my style, has been, and always will be. Nuff said.
My uncle used to comment on the “gorgeous dress” I was wearing when I in reality was rocking jeans and a sweater. This went on until I turned 18. And I still didn’t want to wear a fancy dress whatsoever ever again. Nope. Mom once said, “You need to dress a bit more feminine!” Uhm, how about …NO? I had pretty early already figured out that the binary spectrum isn’t for me when it comes to clothes. And some of my interests weren’t exactly “typically girly” either. Make-up? Fashion? Ugh, NO! Glitz, glamour, gossip? Some, but I wasn’t too overly invested anymore at some point. Ballet dancing, gymnastics, horseback riding? Talk to me about planes, animals, astronomy, por favor! Barbie dolls? Fuck outta here with that sexist toy!
However, the penny simply didn’t drop. I knew I was different, but couldn’t quite put my finger on it.
In the early 2000s, I became more and more aware of LGBTQ+ and how homosexuality was considered a crime, sin whatsoever in certain regions or how gays were treated here in Germany during WWII. How there were not just lesbians or gays, but also bisexuals, trans people, and other Queers. All that. How difficult it is for gay athletes to come out, while with lesbians, there seems to be less of an issue.
Mind, I am straight – most of the time, that is. I shall never ever deny that I have had some lesbian / girl crushes as well, and I STAND BY THAT! But at some point, I became an ally. Because in the end, what it boils down to is LOVE, isn’t it?
As I grew older, I started to be heavily invested in slash fiction. Once I had delved into this very topic (heck, I even once had a short presentation about it at uni, go figure!), the hot, sexy male footie or tennis players, swimmers, NFL players (looking at you, Edelmendola!), musicians, … were everywhere. I know, but trust me – if there was a ship to board, I was willing to go down with it. My ass would go to war for some pairings, if needed. YESSIR!
Taken all that into consideration, me being an ally, and simply feeling that there was something different about me, it’s almost a bit of a surprise that it took me to some lovely day in early 2020 when the lightbulb appeared above my head and I had the most epic D’OH! moment in the history of epic D’OH! moments. All it took was a link to impericon…
…I had seen a pretty decent plaid shirt there and messaged my Mom the link, saying that I thought it looked rather cool. Mom didn’t click on the (safe) link, but was like, “You think?” To and fro, and I sent her the screenshots of the shirt.
Her response? “That’s something for men.”
Yes, it was modeled by a guy, but … those shirts are well liked in the Metalcore scene and worn by both, male and female fans of the genre alike. Soooo …?
And that was …IT. Something clicked. Haven’t I said that I’d always broken the binary when it comes to clothes and behavior? I have. And there it was. Right in front of me. And always has been, I just had to chip away the layers that were hiding it away for all those years.
I started to research, and the more I was digging, the more confident I became. The more I felt that I was ON TO something, that I was about to discover and find my TRUE self, the one I had to hide so often. The one that had been slumbering inside me. The missing piece in the puzzle of who I really am.
Hi. I am Kiwi, and I am non-binary. My pronouns are they/them.
There you have it. And no, this is NOT a mental illness whatsoever. If anything, never being my TRUE self to the fullest was what added to the load which led to my breakdown back in 2010. Having to play roles of someone I wasn’t took its toll on me as well. And only bit by bit did I manage to uncover myself. Yes, it took some years, but once the pieces clicked into place, I knew I was breaking free of the shackles that held me down. I feel comfortable about myself (maybe not my body, but that’s another story for another time). I FINALLY am who I am. And that is something I embrace.
As Lady Gaga sings in “Born This Way” – which is my Coming Out Vibe, tbh:
Don’t hide yourself in regret
Just love yourself, and you’re set
I’m on the right track, baby
I was born this way, yeah
This is who I am. And I hope that y’all will still be with me as I embark on this journey, which has long since begun but which I was never fully aware of until the penny dropped two years ago. And I hope those of you who haven’t known about it yet, that you’re still cool with me and my Coming Out. That you still like hanging with me, talking to me, even though I am not the “old” one anymore that you once came across somewhere in life, but a new, better, improved version of myself. A more contented one, if that makes sense? If not – no hard feelings. But this is who I am.
Thank you for reading.
And an even bigger THANK YOU to those of you who already knew. Who’ve been supportive in this. Who have my back. Who didn’t judge me at all. On the contrary – who were happy for me. It means the world.
postcard by seltmann+söhne