I have had the wonderful opportunity to read and listen to Kat Love's perspectives on how psychotherapists can best showcase their practice on the world wide web for several months now and I've loved the empowering way they connect with people, psychotherapists included.
I've long wanted to make space on my blog for other people's stories of their identities. I am so happy that Kat agreed to share their agender identity so openly here on my blog. Thank you, Kat, for letting us learn about your experiences. Please read their bio and their post below.
Kat Love, founder of www.KatLove.com, builds and designs websites to help psychotherapists grow their practice’s online presence. Kat's appreciation of therapists stems from the powerful healing that therapists helped them achieve following childhood sexual abuse and neglect. Kat identifies as agender since 2016.
Kat's Pronouns: They, Them, Their
This Discovery Changed My Gender Identity
By Kat Love
Growing up, I both rejected gender norms and also performed them.
I intentionally chose pink as my favorite color because I knew it would mean I’d be better at being a girl, the gender that I was assigned at birth. It was clear to me that it’s a good thing to be good at being the gender you are assigned. You get all sorts of awesome rewards like social acceptance, parental approval, and all else that’s included in the cis-privilege knapsack.
At the same time, I knew that if someone was a girl and their actual favorite color was blue, it didn’t make them any less of a girl. Someone could be a girl and like any color they want!
But I often found myself consciously choosing to perform gender in accordance with getting the rewards of doing so. I perform gender strategically.
Some People Feel Gender
I recently made a shocking gender discovery though: some people can’t just choose. Some people feel gender from the inside meaning that gender is more than a mere performance for them. Even if they may not be able to articulate fully why or how, their gender is who they are. They feel it, the live it, they know it, they are the gender that they are.
Some people feel their gender so much, that they become their own definition of gender. Like Alok a feminine trans person whose short hair is part of their femininity. Alok redefines feminity for Alok.
This Discovery Has Basically Shattered Everything I Thought to be True
Take drag queens for instance. Everyone loves drag. The costumes, the awesome makeup, the singing, the dancing, and how they perform gender exactly how we all do every day. Right? It’s why drag is so relatable. We perform gender, they perform gender, we all perform gender.
We get up in the morning, brush our teeth, go to the closet, put on our costumes, and go on stage performing a gender.
It turns out, that part about gender performance isn’t actually true for everyone. It’s true for me sometimes but while I feel like I’m performing gender, others aren’t.
Some People Have Genders. But I Don’t
When I think of things that I like or that I feel or that I do or that I wear and try to get in touch with the gender of that thing, there is no gender there.
I previously identified as female but after I realized how binary females can feel their gender or at least be pretty comfortable with it, I realize that I am not female. I neither feel female nor comfortable with being female. And I don’t feel male either.
So for now, I’m embracing being agender. It’s the closest-fit label I’ve found to describe who I am. Someone who doesn’t have a gender at all.
How about you? Do you feel you have a gender? If you have a gender, I’d love to know how you know. How do you know you are the gender that you are?
If you’re agender, I’d love hear from you too. How did you discover you were agender?