I Tried to Explain Non-Binary Gender Fluidity to My Mom

I did my best, Marsha P. JohnsonI was on the phone to my mom and telling her about the non-binary lover I was writing about a few weeks ago here.

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Things have kinda stabilized with this lover, and we did have a threesome photoshoot (non-penetrative sex) a few weeks ago. It was fun, but not much else is evolving.

There are complicated factors in play, including every known human differential dynamic possible to transform and shift fundamental aspects of a relationship, truth be told.

But we still love each other, and we still try to keep each other somewhat connected to our lives.

I have to confess, there was a minorly major disagreement in the middle of a restaurant a few weeks ago, and a shocking revelation came to light. I took responsibility for my problematic behaviour in a very complex social situation where they were unfortunately made to feel underappreciated.

But instead of moving towards conflict resolution, they clearly chose the path of most resistance and disrespect, and even said with malice, “You’re just a cis-man!” 

Nevertheless, we kissed and made up the next day, and I chose to continue being friends with them. I know it must not be easy being nonbinary in this society… but, still.

I digress. So, I was speaking to my mom, and telling her about this lover. And I said “they are non-binary…”

My mom asks, “What does that mean?”

And I had to do my very best in describing and defining what non-binary gender fluidity is to a woman who’s in her 60’s. It was a great exercise in self-education as well.

I didn’t know that it was really going to be as complex as it became, since I wasn’t speaking from personal experience. I couldn’t say “I am doing this, or doing that…” which would make it easier, to a certain degree, as far as expressing experience goes. I wasn’t speaking from my own life choices and decisions.

I was speaking from my observations of my relationships with people who are non-binary and gender non-conforming, and it was eye opening.

Progress was made, even though my mom wasn’t really agreeing with the need to come up with new terminology and new gender names.

She said, “In my time, we called that androgynous. k.d. lang is a man in a woman’s body; and nobody really cared about it, once we learned what was happening with her…”

I just listened.

It was a very interesting space to be in: someone who isn’t gender-nonconforming, but who plays with gender quite often, and identifies as partially femme, mostly masculine.

And then speaking to someone who doesn’t believe in the concept at all!

Now that opened my mind.

We didn’t exactly come to a perfect place of acceptance, but she heard everything and was supportive as I think a first-time person of her generation could be of such ideas.

Now that I think about it, I’m going to ask my mom what she knows about Marsha P. Johnson!

Kisses and hugs to all.

Adhimu Stewart

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