I belayed for a birthday party today and got the usual mix of some parents gendering me male (“Let the nice man help you with your harness.”) and some female (“There’s room in her line over there!”). I usually just let this go and don’t correct anyone since the emphasis should be on making sure the kids have a good time. Anyway, while the birthday girl (turning 8 or 9ish maybe?) was waiting for her complimentary t-shirt, she stood over by me and looked at me funny. I asked what was up and she said, “Nothing.” After a couple seconds, she asked, “Are you a girl?” To which I replied, “Hmm that depends. What do you think?” She said she thought I was a girl. I said, “Hmm. Ok. I’ll be a girl today, but I also like being a boy sometimes.” She thought about this a moment and then asked, “Is it because you have a mohawk?” I just smiled and said yes =;-)
I guess I’ll start off by way of a short introduction and a bit about why I’m starting this blog. I identify as genderqueer/trans/boi/androgynous/ftm-spectrum/etc, but mostly FABULOUS!
As much as we would all hope that gender doesn’t matter, it actually comes up a lot in my case, especially when it comes to sports. Folks go into gyms expecting certain bodies to match certain identities and they expect that there are only two choices. This is true in much of the world, but for sports there is extra attention to how people look and how people move, so it is harder for folks to be properly identified when they don’t look/move the way that would be expected. Basically, it’s harder to me to be called he/him/sir when I go to the gym than in other circumstances, probably because of my wider childbearing hips, lack of facial hair, lack of “package,” and flamboyant mannerisms.
However, I’ve fallen in love with rock climbing this year and am determined to stick with it, even if it means some misgendering over here and some education over there. This blog will mostly be about my rock climbing adventures, but through the lens of my somewhat complicated gender identity. Maybe some other gender-fun folks may come across this and feel better that there’s “people like us” around or maybe some cisgender (non-trans) folks might come across this and learn a bit more about the lives of gender non-conforming folks. Either way, it’s an outlet for my thoughts and experiences as I progress in the world of rock climbing. Enjoy!