I Believe in Pride | Teen Ink

I Believe in Pride

October 12, 2018
By Anonymous

My parents have always been very accepting of who I am. When I first became obsessed with math at age four, my parents taught me more than I even knew I wanted to learn. When I was obsessed with fairies at age five, my parents bought all of the books they could carry. When I wanted to be a girl at age six, even though I was sexed as male, my parents fostered that notion and truly accepted it. But, when I was seven, I didn’t feel like a girl anymore. I didn’t feel like a boy, either. I felt like something different.

At that time, I was in second grade. I was at an amazing Quaker school. When I was there, everyone was really kind to me through my different stages. Like my parents, they would teach me more math when I needed it. They would give me more books when I craved them. But, in second grade, I had a truly spectacular teacher. Her name was Teacher Reneẽ. When I first shared with her that I felt so different, like neither a boy nor a girl, she told me about gender fluidity.

To me, this was a completely new topic. Gender fluidity is when you feel like neither a man or a woman. You feel that you are somewhere in between. When I first heard of gender fluidity, I really understood this notion. Ever since, I have identified as gender fluid.

Every day, gender fluidity defines me. It makes me wonderful. It inspires me to do greater things. I might think, “If I can change gender, I can solve this problem,” or, “I’ve survived being gender fluid for years. I can survive middle school.” Gender fluidity keeps me going. It pushes me forward every day.

But, sometimes people challenge that. Often, a person will go up to me and ask, “Are you a boy?” When I answer no, they usually have the follow-up question of, “Are you a girl?” When I answer no to that, people are usually either confused or annoyed. Some people, with a look of disgust on their faces, will ask, “What are you?” while others just give me an odd look and walk away.     

After The Friends School, I transferred to another school. There, very few people were nice to me. I got a reputation of being the “Weird Boy-Girl” and was frequently made fun of. Even though most of the students made fun of me, some didn’t. Those people have become my friends. They have helped me through hard times and made me have fun in those times. They have helped me remain confident about gender, and they have made me have pride in it.

A symbol of gender fluidity is often the rainbow. The colorful, diverse colors show how colorful and diverse people can be. But, this rainbow also has the name, “The Pride Rainbow.” According to the dictionary, pride is, “a feeling or deep pleasure or satisfaction derived from one's own achievements, the achievements of those with whom one is closely associated, or from qualities or possessions that are widely admired.” But, to LGBTQ+ people, it is called this because of the pride they should have in themselves. They have pride in their diversity. They have pride in breaking the norms of gender.

Like all of the other LGBTQ+ people, I need pride to be gender fluid. I need to accept myself so that others will accept me. But, even though pride can mean pride in your gender identity, it can mean many other things. It can mean pride in loving nature or the sea. Pride is who you are. If I had no pride, I would have none of the amazing friends and teachers I have today. Being gender fluid is just an extension of my pride. So is my love of cats or my love of math. To me, pride defines who I am. I believe in pride.

The author's comments:

This piece is about learning to accept myself as gender fluid. I share what I've gone through to have pride in my gender identity. The piece explains why I believe in pride.

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This article has 1 comment.

YEET said...
on Oct. 22 2018 at 7:45 am
YEET, State College, Pennsylvania
0 articles 0 photos 1 comment
What a beautiful expression of pride. I love the depth and authenticity of this essay.