The Gender Most Free


When I first began to understand gender fluidity and gender neutrality I worried more than I learned. I worried about how to adjust my speech and assumptions. I wanted to get it right, or at least not get it wrong. I wanted to be respectful and inclusive but not make a big deal. I worried about how to avoid mindless slips of the tongue. How to retrain my brain to think outside gender roles which confine people to a single standard of living. How to break the rule — the mandate — of my social conditioning.

But as time went by I began to worry less because I saw the freedom of gender neutrality. The miracle of fluidity. The liberation of the soul when the body it inhabits is freed from constructs which hinder and enslave rather than enliven.

We use rhetoric on the daily such as I (We) can be anything and I (We) can do anything but it is the non-binary folks who make these statements feel most profound. Or I guess I mean profound again, because in general we’ve overused them and underlived them. We recite it but we don’t incite it. Non-binary folks have refreshed the relevance for everyone on the gender identity spectrum.

I say relevant because the flip side is relief from the burden of conforming only to one construct, and of course, relief from spending a lifetime chasing the ideal within that singular construct. If we can truly be anything then we don’t have to be the expected/required thing. If we are truly free to do anything we don’t have to do the conventional thing(s). No one is required to be slaves to these constructs, regardless of gender identity.

I am particularly, especially, freshly inspired by the permission granted to all of us to be what we naturally are, not what we are told to be. And the humbling realization that such permission was always there, waiting for us to dare.

And I confess that over the years as I have grappled with the concept of God, the Divine, a spiritual deity, I do much better with one which is not only a male or female authority figure. God the Father is fine as long there is also God the Mother (and vice versa), especially since our human existence is so heavily creation-oriented. A deity of both genders or of no gender (assuming God has no use for or doesn’t need gender) makes much more sense to me. So it’s not at all a stretch to view the human embodiment of non-gender-dependent humans as … well … more god-like.

But, BUT, BUT (huge but) it is not my intention to objectify anyone or any group of people, so I am compelled to curb such language.

What I’ve learned, from my admittedly privileged perspective, is this:

Biology may have dictated I am female. Biology may dictate the function of human procreation. But biology does not dictate gender roles. Only I decide my role(s). Or more to point, only I should decide. I shouldn’t surrender that choice to anyone else and it isn’t automatically forfeited should I identify as cisgender. It is still only up to me. As is yours to you. But credit where it is due, y’all. It took the non-binary and gender-fluid folks to bring this truth into focus for me. And it doesn’t make me feel anxious or dis-oriented or confused; it makes me feel more free.

I want to be the gender most free. I want us all to be.

— Mercy

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