Yesterday I was in the studio at school to record a jazz trio. Piano, drums and accordion, it was pretty weird and wonderful (I still have one of those songs stuck in my head...). I am the only one in my class who's not a cis man. Probably the only one who's queer. So hanging out with and working with these guys can feel kind of lonely, I guess. But after recording, my studio partner and I were packing down the equipment. Third guy had a concert he was mixing, so it was just the two of us, and via Christmas songs ('don we now our gay apparel'*) we got onto the subject of LGBTQ.
I was wearing my binder yesterday and feeling pretty good about myself, and decided, fuck it. And I told him I was gender non-binary, and what that meant, and started talking about being trans masculine and social transition vs. medical transition and why I probably won't do the latter. And he listened, and asked questions, and was curious about how transitioning ftm was different from transitioning mtf, and we had a really nice conversation about it. Later I texted him and apologised for my complete lack of filter and just blurting out all this really personal stuff. He just said, 'Hey, don't worry about it. It was fun talking about something interesting and meaningful rather than just complaining about how other people coil cables.'
I guess I wasn't really expecting any of these cis-het dudes I go to school with to get it, or be interested, or, you know, to not freak out at the whole idea. He surprised me, and honestly, I surprised myself by even talking about it to a person that I honestly don't even know that well.
Later on I went to have dinner at a friend's house, cause my best friend and former flatmate is home from Dubai for a long weekend. I was still wearing my binder, and I felt like a boy, and I told my friends that I felt like a boy. Their acceptance wasn't a surprise; I was sitting around a table with a lesbian, an asexual, a bi dude who once wondered if maybe he was a woman, and a very friendly and accepting straight couple. But what did kind of surprise me was how validated I felt, especially when they asked me which pronoun they should use. I said I wasn't sure, and they said, 'Well, let us know and we'll adjust accordingly.' Aside from one half of the straight couple, these are people I've known since high school. The aforementioned bi dude and I talked a bit more at length while the rest of the party talked about other things. I told him about GA, and coming out to you all and how good that made me feel, especially with all the support I got. And then we all played Nintendo Switch, and that was that. No big drama.
I've been trying to figure out how to talk to my mum about all this. She knows I'm non-binary, but she's never addressed it. She's very LGBTQ friendly, has lots of queer friends, talks at length about how hard it was for her gay best friend in the 70s, how sad it is that her American friend's transgender son can't get his legal gender changed, about name changes and how important it is to respect that, and has identified as bisexual for basically her entire life. (I came out to her as bi when I was fifteen or sixteen and she was like, 'So? I'm bi, too. I think almost everyone is.') But she scoffs at identity politics (which is basically just the notion that people should have the right to define themselves without experiencing prejudice), cause she finds it too individualistic and she's a marxist in everything but name. I've tried at length to explain to her how it's not about individualism, but actually about community and finding somewhere to fit in.
I think if I were a straight up, gender dysphoric, want to definitely medically transition trans man, it would probably be easier for her. That's a box she can tick. But trying to make her accept me as primarily trans-masculine gender fluid is probably gonna be a little more difficult, and I don't even know where to begin. Given how she's never addressed the enby thing, and when I've tried to sort of bring it up she's seemed kind of dismissive, this is a conversation that we need to have. Just not sure how, or when.
I'm gonna stop writing now, cause I'm basically rambling. TL;DR: conversations I had about my gender identity yesterday made me feel very happy and validated, but I don't know how to talk to my mum about it.
* Interestingly, originally this part of Deck the Hall was 'fill the mead cup, drain the barrel'. It was changed during one temperance movement or another. The carroll itself is originally Welsh.