I was driving my child to their gender assessment this week, and told them in a bit more detail about the blog posts that I was doing and my goal for writing them. I asked them if they would like to share their story on the blog, and to my astonishment, they were thrilled to!
So, please welcome Zoey.
Koryn: Zoey, tell me a bit about yourself.
Zoey: I am 11 years old and am going into Gr. 7 next year at school. I love the color purple and I love playing Fortnite.
Koryn: We are going to talk about your gender journey. How do you describe your gender to others?
Zoey: I was born a boy, but want female body parts. I am non-binary. Some days I wake up wanting to wear more girl's clothes, like dresses, and other days I wake up wanting to look more like a boy. Some day though, I wake up and just want to be Zoey. I don't feel like either a boy or a girl. I am just me. I would say I am more gender queer.
Koryn: Let's take a little pause and review some definitions from The Gender Identity Guide for Parents: Compassionate Advice to Help Your Child Be Their Most Authentic Self by Tavi Hawn.
Non-Binary: This can be an umbrella term for a range of gender identities other than "male" or "female".
Gender Queer: This is a gender identity that is outside of the concept of "male" or "female", or is a blend of male and female. The "queer" part of the word is often used to signify rejecting social norms, in this case related to gender.
Koryn: How long have you been feeling like this?
Zoey: Since starting puberty, so like the end of grade 5, beginning of grade 6. I started talking to a few kids at school about being non-binary and they were really supportive. I learned a lot from them. They made me feel comfortable enough to change my name to Zoey and to be who I want to be.
Koryn: What's something that you wish would change for you or be different?
Zoey: I wish that people wouldn't make fun of me. Like when I wear a dress or to school or I say my favorite color is purple. People sometime's say that those are girls things. But anyone can like the color purple or wear a dress.
Koryn: What's something you would like to see changed in the world when it comes to gender?
Zoey: I wish that things weren't labelled as boys or girls. Like when I go shopping; the boys clothes are on one side of the store, and the girl's clothes are on the other side of the store. I wish their were just clothes, and I was able to pick the one's I liked, regardless of whether they were labelled boys or girls.
Follow along over the next few weeks as I continue to share our gender transition story and what I have learned in the process.
Hawn, T. The Gender Identity Guide for Parents: Compassionate Advice to Help Your Child Be Their Most Authentic Self. Emeryville, California. Rockridge Press. 2021.