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hetero-like: cis man and gay—burning questions and insecurities of gender expression


Zuri

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When I found out about my own homosexuality, I was thirteen. I didn’t want people to think, I was a certain way because of my attraction to other men. I insisted on being hetero-like (this concept is similar to cis passing for trans people, as far as I know). But as time went on, I realized that I realized that I had to stop worrying about what other people thought of me. Easier said than done, of course, but at least I took tiny steps in the right direction. Maybe, one day, I won't care about it in the slightest. I still call myself “hetero-like”—which is something I’m totally fine with—but I care less about my gender expression. I have always been a nonconformist and don’t want to play by some rules of society, or I at least dislike them (for example: I’m a man with long hair).

When I watched the Vogue interview with Troye Sivan, Troye suddenly grabbed the interviewer’s hand and started polishing their nails. Even though I don’t like nail polish, I admired Troye for being that true to himself. That’s what gives me as well the strength to be my true self. Another milestone in that process was when I learned the difference between gender identity and gender expression. That gave me a better feeling, since I now could sort the former from the latter without the fear to question my own gender identity. I’ve been dealing with people telling me “Only girls have long hair”, “That’s unnatural” and “that behavior is so typical for gay men” straight to my face. That might not be true and just words, but it made me think and question and stir my insecurities.

Interestingly, a friend of mine who happens to be trans and I had a conversation about gender dysphoria the other day, and he asked me if cis people had this feeling, too. Of course, I answered, I didn’t know the exact feeling but some remotely distant ones and that I had my fair share of experiences with body-shaming and lookism.

About a year ago, a heterosexual man named Mark Bryan went viral on Twitter for his love of wearing a skirt and high heels for work, while at the same time rightly see no contradiction with his gender identity. That emphasizes the statement “cloths do not have a gender”.

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