For years I have had to worry that my experience of gender– being non-binary/genderqueer, and having gender dysphoria– are secretly related to my weight and body image.
Being AFAB I have always worried that if I became thin– if I had a socially acceptable appearing female body– that I would enjoy my experience of gender as a woman; that my long-experienced genderqueer flips between masculine and feminine would stop on the feminine side.
I have gone from my highest weight of 340lbs, to 298 lbs in March of 2020, to 221 today in March 2021. I am still far from my intended final goal, but I can already see and feel major changes in my body. I feel better about myself when I look in the mirror. I am feeling happy about my body, and looking forward to how it will look, and what I’ll be able to do with it when I’m done.
I had been in a very feminine ‘flip’ for almost all of 2019-2020, but have been feeling male in the last few months now, since autumn. This weekend, I bought a pair of mens jeans in a size that’s a new low for me since high school. Today, a t-shirt I ordered– an XL, not a 3XL or 4Xl like when I started my journey– came in the mail, and I tried it on, along with the jeans. Looking in the mirror I was excited about how masculine I look. I found myself thinking that in a few months or a year, I’ll probably be able to rock that overplayed hipster dude skinny-jeans and t-shirt with a sports jacket look.
And that’s when it hit me that I wasn’t just losing weight so I could look more like a girl. So that I could buy nicer girls clothes. It’s not women’s clothes I’m daydreaming about right now.
Losing this weight has shown me that my experience of gender is a part of myself that is its own thing, and not part and parcel of my experience of having a fat body. It has answered a question that has messed with my self-esteem for more than a decade.
No, I’m not just genderqueer because I’m fat.
I’m genderqueer because I’m genderqueer. And I’m stoked about that.