Note: this article was written before I came out of the closet as gender-non-binary. If I were to re-write this today a number of paragraphs would be entirely different.
While I wear many hats professionally, today I wanted to answer that question on more of a personal level.
I am the child of Polish parents, but was born (and live) in Canada. This dual identity is a core part of the Canadian experience, always living around different cultures and not being sure where you best fit. This maybe why we apologize constantly; it’s hard to know if you’ve accidentally crossed a cultural line and created a misunderstanding. Learning how to live harmoniously in such an environment is a valuable skill in today’s expansive world. We should be able to go one step farther though and not make assumptions.
I am pansexual, which has a similar meaning to being bisexual except without limiting gender-identities to just female and male. There are a number of assumptions attached to both these terms. My current relationship is a monogamous heterosexual one. This would lead many individuals to suggest that I should just identify as straight. However, I do not believe that I should re-define my orientation based on my relationship status. As well, I spent a decade of my life dating women. Calling myself straight now would diminish those memories and that part of my self-identity.
I am a woman, but not because I feel female. Rather, I don’t feel strongly gendered, except in the way that my life experiences and the way people perceive and treat me genders me. I would have felt equally comfortable in my body if I had not been born a female, but I would be a different person than I am now.
I acknowledge that these are my experiences, and how I identify, and that others have different experiences and identities. I think the world is a richer and better place because of all the variation and differences that exist.
I am also a designer, artist, videographer, knitter, martial artist, metal-head, and cat-owner. More on those another week.