I expected it would be a big deal.
I really expected it would be a big deal.
I thought, for the first time in my life, I’d have to officially choose my gender identity. I thought I’d have to explain what it means. I thought I’d have to justify its existence, and prove that it applies to me.
With all that on my mind, I walked into the administrative offices and asked what it would take for the school records to list my gender as non-binary, rather than male. I was pleasantly surprised to learn that the school administration had already been having a conversation about this.
When, a month later, I stopped by to ask for an update, I learned that they were still having a conversation about it. Understandably so; gender identity comes with complex — and rapidly evolving — linguistics, logistics, and politics.
I also learned that my student record had been updated to list my gender as neither male nor female.
My statement about who I am had been taken at a face value. Nobody required me to give a lecture on gender before I would be taken seriously. Nobody asked me to prove my gender identity by answering personal questions.
This was not what I expected.
Later, I looked at my student record online. It says “Gender:”. That’s all it says.
It isn’t wrong. Having a blank box where most other people have a single word reminds me that my gender experience is a story; a story I am not finished writing.