The way an individual understands and experiences gender can be just as informed by other people’s perceptions and assumptions about their presentation and body (also known as gender attribution) as it can be rooted in that individual’s experience of their own body or presentation. What if society did not attach gender and sex-based stereotypes to our physical form and self-expression?
In the (continuous) process of understanding my gender and relationship with my body, I continue to wonder about the roles social and gender norms play. If society hadn’t labeled me and interacted with me in a manner that was incongruent with my internal sense of self, how would I feel? What would I gravitate towards and away from? How would I present? I may never know the answer to those questions as long as I live in a world that unnecessarily and inappropriately projects sex and binary gender-based stereotypes onto people and non-gendered items we use in our daily lives.
"If we look beyond bodies, we will see the common threads that connect each of our experiences, regardless of and including the labels we use, how we express ourselves, and the way we want to be seen by others."
A future that truly celebrates and is inclusive of gender diversity does not restrict or dictate the direction of someone’s gender journey, it creates more tools and opportunities for exploration, self-expression, and affirmation.