The introduction of Sylvie, played by actress Sophia Di Martino, into the Marvel Universe sparked a never seen before frenzy. She lived up to her moniker as the female counterpart of wickedly gorgeous, crafty and, evil aesir of Asgard, Loki. But another reason Sylvie will live on in people’s imagination is because she mainstreamed gender fluidity than ever before. So what exactly is gender fluidity? How do you know you are gender non-conforming? How long are you going to stay gender ambiguous? Are you going to be accepted? All of these questions must be lurking around young minds. But don’t worry; in this article, we will be exploring the niche, and attempt to address a few of your questions.
WHAT IS GENDER FLUIDITY?
To fully grasp what gender fluidity entails, we first have to comprehend what gender is.
Basically, gender refers to the socially constructed roles, behaviors, expressions and identities for a person. It has more of a popularagreementroot, than any scientific basis. It influences how people perceive themselves and others, hence influencing their interaction at a large. Often used interchangeably with sex, it is much more psychological unlike the term sex, which leans more towards the biological aspect of human existence.
And here is when gender fluidity comes into play. Gender fluid refers to a person whose gender identity (the gender with which they identify or associate themselves) is fluid rather than fixed. It might alter over time or from one day to the next. Consider Gender as a continuum with feminine and masculine being the extremes, a Gender fluid individual may be observed sliding between the two sides (atleast typically, however they can be occasionally out of this range and identify themselves as non-binary as well). They can lean heavily towards one of the two extremes at times, or they might be moderate, moving around the middle of the spectrum.
HOW DOES IT WORK?
Quoting Alex Fierro from Rick Riordan’s Magnus Chase series “I don’t wanna use the same pronouns all the time, because that’s not me. I changed a lot. That’s sort of the point. When I’m she, I’m she, when I’m he, I’m he. I am not they. Get it? ”
It’s entirely you. What you want to be, what not, is your choice. If you wake up one day and feel like being a man, you can be one, if you feel like being a woman, you can be a one. You may went through a lot of transformations, but that is, after all, the point.
HOW WILL I KNOW IF I AM GENDER FLUID?
Well, this is, without a doubt, one of the most commonly asked questions . There is no set period or age you must be aware of your gender identity. It may happen at any time. Maybe you have felt like you don’t fit in the gender assigned to you from childhood, or maybe the shift can happen in teens, or maybe you discover in your adult life that the gender identity you have been identifying yourself with doesn’t seem any more relevant, you can’t correlate to it. You may notice yourself being upset with the fact that you have to be confined to one gender for your entire life. Or you may get up feeling like the pronouns used for you seem no longer relevant, infact they seem offensive. Or maybe u just feel like changing your gender for a day.
Yes, being aware of your gender-fluid status and accepting it are two very different things. Acceptability is sometimes tough since the fear of society and acceptance by others are two key issues. There are always questions like why can’t I be like everyone? Why don’t I fit in? Why me? People even lose their sleep for an extended period of time.
Coming out will be traumatic even with self-acceptance. If the conservative culture doesn’t acknowledge it, an individual has to suffer a great deal of discrimination and prejudice. Seeing a youth who dresses more femininely one day and masculinely the next clearly confuses and even threatens someone with rigid gender notions. This may even prompt them to discriminate against people who do not meet their criteria. These traumatic experiences may induce stress and, in some cases, serious depression.
HOW CAN I ASSIST OR SUPPORT SOMEONE GENDER-FLUID?
Individual differences and diversity are a part of human existence. So encourage and embrace this diversity.
Listen, understand and accept. Validate different people’s experiences with their own gender. There is nothing unacceptable or repulsive in someone’s choice of being outside the conventional ideas. You, as a friend, family or acquaintance maybe of great assistance.
Be respectful. An individual’s choice of gender identity, name and pronouns is quite a decision for theirs to make. Accept their uniqueness and be respectful of their views and experiences.
Connect more. The more you understand people, the more you know how to support them. The more helpful you can be.
Nothing in this world is restricted, nothing should be confined into a box. All that counts is your happiness, what makes you feel good as an individual. So if you believe that “gender fluidity” represents you the best now, then go for it. Self-identification and acknowledgement are the most valid ways to determine your gender. So go ahead and embrace your identity. Afterall quoting Alex again, “You have to flaunt the weird my friends.”
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