confessions of a genderqueer

My gender is not a political statement
how I choose to express this is a reflection
on no one but myself –
I have nothing to prove to you
and you have no right to call judgement
on the outcome of a battle you’ve never fought
on a war you never knew existed.

My identity is not a social theory for you to dispute
you have no grounds to tell me
there there is not battle to be fought for the likes of me
Do not tell me I have nothing to fear
when every scrap of polyester-cotton blend
is an expectation a justified assumption
and every mirror is a question of

Do not tell me that labels don’t matter
that the difference between gender and sex
lies only in semantics
that I can’t exist as I am
because the English language does not have
grammatically correct neutral pronouns,

My revelation is not a revolution
I may be a feminist a queer-rights activist
but don’t you dare tell me
that my coming out is all part of some plot
to bring down the cisheteropatriarchy.

Do not tell me to be quiet!
Don’t equate my self-discovery
to political propaganda! To that zealot on the corner
that screams for the redemption of sins
you do not believe yourself guilt of.

I speak up
because I should not have to expect and inquisition
every time I correct someone who calls me “her”
because I am tired of being misgendered
addressed by a name that no longer reflects me
having to choose between “man” or “woman”
every time I go to the bathroom, the gym, the clothing aisle
every time I fill out a form in this country.

I may be female but I am not a woman.

My name is chris.
My preferred pronoun is the singular “they”.
And I will keep repeating myself
until you get this right.

© chris DINGLEY 2013
first performed for Words To Live By, Ottawa


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