Part Six of an interview with: Ren

I have seen in the past two or three years, especially in the last year, humungous progress in the transgender community. Can we say the same for gender variant people who haven’t had the same limelight?


Well...I do think that especially non-binary identities-and non-binary is actually a broader category that a lot of people think it is. Because it includes agender people, third gender, gender neutral, androgynous, genderqueer (which would be my identity and the reason I like that word is because it says something about the community of queerness that I belong to as well), and then there’s gender variant and then there’s all these groups of people who are in the middle that are culturally specific. Like, I live in New Zealand and some people might say, “Takatāpui”, which is a Maori word. There’s Two -Spirit people here in North America. I reference this in my show that there’s all these culturally appropriate things for people who are in the middle and there’s been lots of cultures that have acknowledged more than two genders; So in a historical sense, this is not new ground. There have been times when things were good for them and they were acknowledged and even revered in some cases. In terms of Western society now, I think people are more comfortable with binary gender and becoming more comfortable with transitioning into a binary gender because that still kind of plays-it still sort of playing along the rules of society that’s set up. But you’ll notice that they still have a hard time when a cisgender man, for example, wants to wear a dress and still identify as a man or a transgender woman who feels no need for make up or wearing super femmy (sic) clothes and is maybe kind of a biker chick or whatever, but just doesn’t feel the need to be a femme woman but nonetheless is a trans woman. And people have a bit of a block for that too, because there’s so much overlap in people’s minds between presentation and identity which is your internal experience of who you are. Until we get those two things a little bit more parsed out they don’t need to be completely separated. We just need to look at it more than just a Venn diagram, if you know what that is. Where there’s overlapping circles and there’s places in between but the two don’t negate each other. Then, I think, it will be easier for gender variant people, because we can then just go, “ You know, let’s just be done with it. Let’s just not assume? Let’s just wait.” It’s easy as a trans person because you just listen to people or you wait to hear or you ask them and get over the embarrassment of how they prefer to identify or whatever…and then we’re off to the races. Then we’re doing alright.