"My identity is not a trend. And neither is yours."
I used to steal my siblings' clothes. Some days walking around in my brothers' old beaten up t-shirts or my sisters' floral cardigans. From a young age I defied cis-normativity in my own small ways. Back then it was cute for me to stuff my long brown hair into beanies, trying to pass as one of the boys. I was ignorant of what I was doing. I thought it was totally normal for my mom to force blush and bikinis on a twelve year old girl. I was assigned lip-gloss and was forced to turn in my cargo shorts for push-up bras. That is if I wanted to coveted attention from adolescent boys. You know, like I was supposed to and I did, but that wasn't all I wanted it from.
See, from a young age, I knew I thought differently. I wasn't educated nor did I even imagine that there could possibly be anyone out there thinking the way I did. Once I finally found a category of humans I thought I could place myself in, I saw how they were treated. They were shunned and their "labels" were used as derogatory terms. Even what was supposed to be a safe place for me, told me I'd burn in hell. I didn't want to be treated like that, I mean, who would? I wanted to be accepted so, naturally, suppress and suppress the emotions, I did.
This lead to a dark path of mental illnesses from depression to body dysmorphia. I tried talking about it to my closest friends but they'd look at me in fear and disgust. I tried talking to my parents, "There's a difference between loving a friend and a boyfriend" they'd say. "This is just a phase, you're just trying to be trendy". Right of course I'm just a good friend. Right of course, my feelings aren't valid. Right, of course, I'm a girl, that's it. I like boys, I'm a girl.
I came out as gender queer/fluid and pansexual about a year ago meaning, sometimes I identity as more masculine, feminine, or androgynous and am attracted to all genders. I go by any pronouns but prefer they/them. So, I guess you could say I am somewhat in the middle of the "queer" spectrum, neutral I suppose, and unfortunately that is not completely accepted, and I'm not just talking about by my conservative family. Not only do straight, cis normative people invalid these other identities but unfortunately fellow members of the LGBTQ+ community do too, the people that're supposed to be a supportive ally for anyone in the community. I've been told that my identity is only to be seen as following a trend or to be different, completely invalidating me. Since I am currently dating a man, I've been told my sexuality doesn't even matter. Why let elitism exist and create even more social constructs in what is supposed to be, if not the most accepting community?
Coming out was one of the hardest things I've ever had to do. I was ostracized by friends and family. Why on earth could someone think I would put my loved ones and myself in pain to be "trendy".
My Identity is not a trend, and neither is yours.