Gender identity has always been a topic of controversy; with people arguing that there are only two genders and other defending the varieties of identities.
In the past few days, the president of the United States drop a big bomb on the community by announcing that your gender identity will only be determined by what genitals you have between your legs. This statement is very scary for the trans and nonbinary community because its own validity is put on the line in the eyes of the government.
As a nonbinary individual, I think this is why it is important to keep talking about gender diversity; so people get educated and maybe it can help someone questioning themselves to feel like they are not alone, because no one should think they are.
That’s why, my friends, I decide to learn more about a gender identity that I knew a little less about, because learning is awesome! (stay in school, kids!)I have interviewed a wonderful individual, Maya/Sebastian, so they could explain what it means to be bigender and tell me more about themselves.
Disclaimer: Everybody’s story is different and your opinion on gender might not be the same as those find in this post, and it is okay, but I’m sure that you, awesome complex organism, will enjoy!
Being Bigender – Interview with Maya/Sebastian
MAIKA: Hi Maya/Sebastian! Can you tell me how you would you describe your gender identity?
MAYA/SEBASTIAN: I identify as bigender – this means that I mostly identify as exclusively male or exclusively female depending on the day or situation. I say mostly because there are some instances where I’m pronoun indifferent, but usually I prefer one or the other. This is an identity under the genderqueer umbrella. This also means I’m trans and nonbinary.
MAIKA: How old were you when you realised that you didn’t fit into male and female stereotypes?
MAYA/SEBASTIAN: I’ve always known, but there was a distinct moment when I was 20 and studying in London where I looked in the mirror and felt distinctly male, and the name Sebastian came into my head and I knew that was my male name. That said, I’d always felt separate from women in an odd way and knew that identity didn’t fit me fully, so it’s nice to be able to put a label to my feelings.
This also means I’m trans and nonbinary.
MAIKA: How did you find out what bigender meant?
MAYA/SEBASTIAN: Funny enough, it was my girlfriend, Rebecca, and her best friend who found the term for me. We had been having a heated discussion about gender during dinner and I wanted to weigh in with my experience but didn’t have the vocabulary to back up what I had felt my whole life. Rebecca and Mikey spent the whole evening (they’re both bartenders so they stay up way later than me) researching what term I might identify with most, and bigender fit really well.
MAIKA: How did you come in term with your gender identity?
MAYA/SEBASTIAN: I think I’m still coming to terms with it – I certainly accept who I am, but everything is a process. I learn new things about myself constantly.
Coming out as Bigender
MAIKA: How did you tell your family & friends that you identify as bigender?
MAYA/SEBASTIAN: I told a few of them in person, but a big way that I came out was on Instagram. I made a video last summer explaining my experience and (luckily) got a lot of positive feedback.
MAIKA: How is your gender expression seen in your professional life?
MAYA/SEBASTIAN: When at work I go almost exclusively by she pronouns, no matter the day. I’m seen as androgynous and alternative but only my close friends at work really understand my gender. That’s partially because it takes a bit of explaining and partially because I work in a corporate setting and sadly I don’t know if the world is ready for a salesperson who signs emails as Maya one day and Sebastian another.
Personal Experiences as Bigender
MAIKA: What to you love the most about your gender identity?
MAYA/SEBASTIAN: I love that I get to experience the world as a man and as a woman. It certainly keeps things interesting.
MAIKA: When do you feel the most beautiful/handsome?
MAYA/SEBASTIAN: I like dressing up and going on dates with Rebecca. As long as she thinks I look good then I feel great.
MAIKA: What was it like now being able to be authentic self?
MAYA/SEBASTIAN: It feels amazing. Mostly because I feel like I can let my close friends and family even closer. For a long time I was hiding a piece of myself, and it’s nice to not do that anymore.
As you can see, gender discovery can be an adventure and you can still learn new things about yourself every day. Don’t be scare to explore and to do some research on the subject. Every gender identity is valid and only you can know how you feel, don’t let anyone tell you otherwise. Stay yourself!
We’d like to thank you Maya/Sebastian for their involvement & educating us on identifying as bigender. Be sure to check them out via Instagram!
Maika Montminy - Writer
Edited by Charlotte Summers
Maika Montminy is an LGBTQ+ activists & writer for Unite UK.