I’m not a woman. But I’m not a man either. It took me 37 years to realize that I’m non-binary. Looking back, I don’t think I ever felt exclusively female or male, but I didn’t have the language to describe it. Today I do. I’m genderqueer. My pronouns are they/them/theirs.
A newer store in downtown Regina carries Red Wing boots in my size. I also bought a bulky winter coat there, a pair of jeans that hide my hips, and burgundy suspenders that I get lots of compliments on from men. When they nod and say “Nice braces,” or ask where they can buy a pair for themselves, it’s the ultimate validation.
These days, I wear work boots, vests with collared shirts, armpit hair, drop crotch pants, and dildos with ease. Sometimes I wear eyeliner and curl my lashes, too. I want to do these things without being labelled male or female. I want to dine in restaurants without servers calling me “ma’am” or “lady.” I want to use washrooms that don’t force me to choose one of two inaccurate categories. I want easy access to a vast selection of masculine shoes in small sizes.
I’m no longer waiting for permission to be me.
I want to feel confident in my body and enjoy being seen. I am grooming myself to reflect how I feel on the inside: utterly and beautifully human.