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Loving the Genderqueer

24 Dec Posted by in • Genderqueer | Comments Off on Loving the Genderqueer
Loving the Genderqueer

Recently I was browsing some genderqueer forums. I don’t often participate in the conversations, not because I have no opinion, but because I seem to be so much older than most looking for guidance. I feel out of place in a community that seems inundated with much younger people. I wonder had I been exposed to the right people, or had the resources available now, if I would have allowed myself the opportunity to know and accept who I am years ago. And if I had, what would have been different? In my life and my relationships I have always had distinct roles, oftentimes sacrificing parts of me to be what I thought was expected, by both me and my partners. Not quite understanding who I was completely, I had no way to know that my sacrifices were what kept me from successful long term relationships. I had no idea that the ‘little things’ about me that seemed out of place were not out of place at all. They deserved to be nurtured as much as those that I and the rest of the world seemed familiar with.

Most of my life I habitually overlapped relationships. I was the one that always strayed. I believed I was weak and needy. In hindsight I was just seeking someone to complete me. I recall how different each woman was than the other during those times. One made me feel strong and needed the other, needy and vulnerable. As I am growing into my identity, I can now recognize that each role came from a different gender. The women that chose to be with me chose to be with who I presented to them. They were either attracted to me in one way or the other, not both.

As I read the forums online I can remember the anguish that not only I felt, but my partner’s frustrations at feeling they were never enough for me. Having yet to understand myself, there was no way to verbalize what I needed, just that I wasn’t getting everything I did need. My infidelity was not based on my unhappiness with what someone gave to me, but my attempt to feel whole. Unfortunately multiple relationships just couldn’t do that, not for me anyway. In any given day I could switch roles, genders, identities etc in an instant. Trying to juggle people around that to pacify who I was and where I was, just wasn’t realistic or fair to anyone. Many times it was easier to be alone. As painful as loneliness was for me, it seemed simpler.

Someone posted on a message board recently about coming out as genderqueer and losing her girlfriend over it. Her girlfriend had an expectation of their roles and who she thought she loved. I want to say that love should be love, but too many times it is conditional, even when we don’t realize it. I am very lucky. My partner has grown with me through every metamorphosis. My advice to genderqueer people struggling with relationships and finding who you are is to appreciate those that love you how they can. But never sacrifice who you are for that love. Don’t sell yourself short. Someone can and will love you unconditionally when it’s your time. Middle aged woman or not, I think I may go back and respond to those message boards.

Echo Brooks (pseudonym) is a 40+ genderqueer writer. Read her/his/other blog at

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