Pear and I

I haven’t mentioned Pear yet. Before I introduce her though, I thought maybe I should stop putting letters as people’s names and maybe assign them fruit instead so they are less confusing. Pear has nothing in common with a pear by the way; the names are chosen randomly.
Pear and I met at drawing classes. I try to be as outgoing as I can when meeting new people, otherwise I’m most likely to end up alone in a corner of the room, so I got into the habit to talking to everyone in my drawing class (30 people). This means that I have a good relationship with everyone and walk around the room talking to all and none in particular (I think that’s what you call a floater when studying high school girl cliques?). When Pear showed up half way through the year, nervous and solitary, I also presented myself and we soon became great friends. I usually get bothered with people fairly quickly and have an urge to run away after they talk for too long, but she was different. I consider her to be my best friend and I often get an earlier train to see her in the mornings.
One day we were walking to the train station together; we were talking about manga and, somehow, she ended up saying that she loved characters who dressed up as the opposite sex, as well as androgynous Asian singers. I thought that it would be a good enough moment to come out as non-binary, but I cowardly changed my mind. Instead I gave her one of my smirks with hidden meaning and agreed, then proceeded to say a list of characters and gender-bender series that I also loved.
Five minutes later she started complaining about her boyfriend, because he didn’t let her cut her hair. I knew she’d be bothered if I went into feminism mode and told her that her boyfriend had no right to decide which haircut she should have, but I did tell her she should be doing whatever she wanted with her own hair. Anyway, then she said she was sick of relationships and “wished she was asexual”. That definitely caught me off guard as I was incredibly surprised that somebody in the mainstream population (cis-hetero-monogamous-vanilla) would know about the term. Second time that I had a perfect opportunity to come out and stayed quiet.
Another day we were scribbling our names on a piece of paper and drawing flowers around them, when the guy sitting in front of us said to another friend that “all the girls around him turned into lesbians, even Pear”. I don’t think I need to make much of a comment on the nature of this statement, seeing as it basically speaks for itself, but I could’ve taken this (third) opportunity to come out to her. As usual, I didn’t.
Of course later I was ashamed of myself for not saying anything. She is the most accepting person I know and would have no problem whatsoever with me being trans or ace. But if you think that my chances of disclosing my identity were over, you should know that I was given yet another opportunity to do so.
It was last week. I thought I might as well mention that there’s the Barcelona Pride this Saturday, and that I’d be going. She was upset because she couldn’t go, so I said I’d buy her a flag or something. She told me she wanted the pansexual one. I made sure to tell her that I’d be buying an asexual one for me and in response I got “why would you want an ace one, being asexual is so sad!”, as she proceeded to tell me that only 1% of the population is asexual. I wasn’t going to waste this chance so I butted in with a “I’m part of that 1%!”. She was shocked for a second or two but then started squealing and jumping up and down, saying that she finally met an asexual person and that she’d always wanted to know my sexuality (really?).
She’s been very interested and asking a few questions these past few days about asexuality and aromanticism. I also came out as genderqueer. She suspected it and says it’s fine, that she has no problem whatsoever and feels so much closer to me now. Turns out she’s pansexual too (not a lesbian).

Amazing what a key can do

I commented some weeks ago how I used the boys’ bathroom for the first time. After that, I used them four more times, but then arrived to the conclusion that it was nearly as uncomfortable as using the girls’ toilets. Not because I didn’t like it, but because I wasn’t getting used to it. I had made sure nobody had seen me, but there were limited times in the day when the bathrooms are free to use.

I had been wondering about whether I should ask the school for a key to the teachers’ bathroom so I could do my business in peace, and after a couple of weeks of writing and re-writing an appropriate letter in which I could ask such a request, I finally gained enough courage to hand it in to the director. Between mumbling and stuttering I managed to give the letter to the subdirector, who I have as a teacher, as she promised to redirect it to the director (she didn’t seem to notice my nervousness). I tottled off to my next class while I tried to forget about what I had just done, but only an hour later the subdirector came to get me. I followed her into the meeting room meant for parents with troubled children (this is also the place where you phone your parents to come and take you home after you faint or vomit, so I was familiar with the place).

She dangled a key in front of my face, snapping me right out of my thoughts. She said she had no idea I was going through this and, should I have told them earlier, they would have happily given me the key. She also gave the letter back to me since somebody might read it if they kept it. I asked which bathroom door the key worked with. She said any and all bathrooms I wanted, and proceeded to tell me where all the staff toilets were located – I had already done my research though and, analyzing the situation, knew which ones I should use and when. I said thank you and that was the end of it.

I keep the letter under my cushion and re-read it every night before going to bed just to remind myself how great the world is. I fall asleep with a smile on my face, but am sad I can’t share the news with anyone other than my art teacher (“Hey, you wouldn’t guess what happened!”).

I crossed the director in the hallway the next day and thought that it would be good if I gave her a polite thank you smile in return for what she had done. As I did so, I realised the look on her face. Not a rude look, but an uncomfortable one. She knew my secret. I was a strange being in her eyes and she didn’t know what to do about it. Scared that I might ask for more. She had found herself in an unknown situation of which she had not been warned of. I knew that look. I was now the school transsexual in her eyes.

Thoughts from the balcony

After accidently locking myself out on the balcony, I found that I had plenty of time ahead of me to think, since nobody was coming to save me anytime soon. Basically I was wondering about what in the world I’d make a post about, since this is supposed to be my gender/sexuality ranting blog –not that I have any other blogs anyway- but, believe it or not, I really don’t have that much to say about it. Sure, I have the typical bathroom problems (which I wrote about here), or things like my gender suddenly changing halfway through the day; but other than that my life is pretty normal. And then I realised! My drawing teacher is the only one I have come out to in real life as non-binary (though I really don’t know how others haven’t picked up on my gender or sexuality yet, because I don’t really try hard to hide it) and only because he asked me which pronouns I preferred. As you may have guessed by the way he asked the question, he has some knowledge on the subject and so I didn’t really have to give him the whole “you see, gender and sex aren’t the same thing” talk.

My sister found out I liked girls and was trans* while using my computer (note to self: hide what you don’t want others to see), but she said, and I quote, “all of this stuff doesn’t exist. You’re just making it up”. She was actually my gateway to the rest of the family, being the person most open-minded. If I managed to make her understand, my parents would slide right into acceptance. But I soon gave up on her when I saw that she seriously didn’t care in the least. I told my father I was genderqueer, as well as carefully explaining the term and how I felt, but it soon became clear he didn’t believe me and was convinced I’d grow out of it once I got a boyfriend. I haven’t even mentioned anything to my mother because she insists on buying me female clothing every time she goes out to the shops –which is quite often since she works in one. I wear them once a month to keep her happy. My other sister is totally out of the wave. She has no idea of anything that is going on. Or maybe she is a shadow-lurker that knows all my secrets and I am the real clueless one.

I’ve decided to take baby steps and slowly people will catch on to what’s going on with me. I’m going to go to a lesbian meet-up in a few days (which will be totally awkward) and find myself some LGBT friends that will come in handy if I get into one of my dysphoria tantrums or need a shoulder to cry rainbow tears on. I’ll also be sending a letter to my school asking if I can use the disabled toilet as a neutral one.