What if no one is watching me???

The title is perfect:

How Do I Define My Gender if No One Is Watching Me?

How indeed? But we mustn’t point out that the whole idea of “defining” one’s “gender” is entirely about who is watching the Precious Self.

By Alex Marzano-Lesnevich

Mx. Marzano-Lesnevich writes extensively on transgender issues and is working on a memoir about nonbinary identities.

In other words Mx. Marzano-Lesnevich has nothing in her his their head other than this fiction of trans and non-binary idennninies.

When the lockdown started he she they thought it would be a nice rest from taking the idenniny out on parade.

Alone in my apartment, I imagined that all my difficulties in being seen and recognized as transgender-nonbinary would evaporate. No one would gender me except myself; my pronouns would be right there in the text box on my Zoom screen.

So I was surprised by how much my gender instead seemed to almost evaporate. No longer on the alert for how to signal a restaurant’s waitstaff that neither “he” nor “she” applied to me, or for whether colleagues and neighbors would use the right language — devoid of anyone to signal my gender to — I felt, suddenly, amorphous and undefined.

Lordy. They she he don’t seem to realize how much she he they is revealing.

What if – just spitballing here – what if this whole gender thing is all about signalling one’s magic gender to other people? What if it’s just a novel way to demand extra attention? What if there’s really no more to it than that? What if Mx’s artless confessions are spilling the beans on the pathetic truth?

Where did my own gender reside, then, if not in sending signals of difference? My friends and I had long joked, “Gender is a social construct!” every time one of us needed shoring up after a messy encounter with the expectations of the gender-conforming heterosexual world. But without that world, we now added a rueful punchline: “Too bad there’s no more ‘social’!”

No more social and no more Mean Mommy and Daddy in the shape of the gender-conforming heterosexual world (which of course includes all those evil radical feminists, who are not “gender-conforming” at all but don’t let that slow you down). With no Cis Enemy what is even the point of being gnc?

With the gender binary all but gone, what did it mean to be nonbinary? How do I define my gender when I — accustomed to how visible my gender usually makes me — am no longer being watched?

I know this one. You grow up, that’s what. You realize that nobody actually cares, because people are interested in other things, things that aren’t you. You realize you’re not that special. You realize that thinking of yourself as that special is kind of adolescent and embarrassing, so you stop doing it.

Of course that’s not the lesson Mx Mx learned.

19 Responses to “What if no one is watching me???”