Why I won’t be changing my gender on Facebook (just yet)

I’m just as excited as everyone else on the (queer) internet that Facebook has added a bunch of new gender identity options, plus they/them/theirs pronouns! But unlike a lot of people, I’m not ready to dive in and change my settings just yet. If you’d asked me a year ago, or even a few months, I’d have been happy to label myself as a cis woman. Now? I’m not so sure.

I mentioned a few days ago that I’ve been going through some personal changes of late. One component of that has been allowing myself to acknowledge that I have some confusing feelings about my gender. On the one hand, I’m a DFAB* person who has always operated relatively well as a girl/woman. On the other…I feel like my grip on that identity has been slipping over the last few years. (Ironically, this happened after I chose to attend a women’s college.) Some days I still feel female, but I have the occasional day where I kind of feel like a guy. And a lot of the time, I don’t feel very gendered at all.

Even though I’m dealing with all this, I feel kind of guilty not labeling myself as cis. Because I’m not sure. And even though I know intellectually that having to be “sure” about being trans is a crock of cissexist bullshit, it’s hard not to buy into. I struggle to remind myself that it’s okay to question, to try things on for size. I can be far too hard on myself, especially when it comes to the difficult questions. I’m too attached to my need to be sure.

But for now, I’m trying to do what’s right for me. And that means having the same compassion for myself that I would offer anyone else struggling with the same things. It means being as honest as I can be by not explicitly labeling as cis, and guarding my safety by not coming out as gender questioning, either. I won’t be changing labels visible to people I know in real life, because I’m not ready. Not just yet.

*Designated female at birth