I have been a bloke who wears dresses almost longer than I can remember. For a half a century I went through countless periods of self-discovery and self-identification to try to put a name on who I am, but our language was woefully inadequate.
Crossdresser just didn’t fit right. Technically it is indeed what I do, but it carries with it the implication that I am trying to appear female. While I have no quarrel with those who do, I stopped even trying before I left university. I didn’t want to look like a girl; I only wanted to dress like one.
Transgender is also a miss (no pun intended). When I read of early pioneers like Christine Jorgenson and Renée Richards, I wondered if my compulsion was fueled by being “a woman trapped in a man’s body”. But again, after puzzling over the idea for a while, a sexually active girlfriend convinced me that I never wanted to stop having or using the dangly bits.
Gay (we had less polite terms when I was at university) was right out, for the same reasons that I did not want to become a woman: the old hormones got quite frisky in the arms of a lovely lady, and the young man who tried to get me to join his team only convinced me further that wasn’t the life for me.
Genderfluid, non-binary, and bigender (which I have been repeatedly told to stop pronouncing as “big-ender” and the like got me much closer to understanding that I did not fit nicely into the square hole of “female” nor the round hole of “male”… but again, terms like that convey a suggestion that I am not anchored to a specific gender identity. As I said, by this time I knew for certain I very much enjoy being a bloke and never want to change that. More power to the wonderful people who do take that path, but it’s still not for me.
Gender Non-Conforming – huzzah, finally a word that fits me from every direction. Whilst I am perfectly content being a bloke, I rebel against all the rules and restrictions that go with membership in that club. Ralph, we told you you can’t wear dresses. Ralph, if you’re going to cry at a romantic film at least have the decency not to do it in public. Ralph, man up and learn to kick a football. One more violation and we’ll take away your man card.
Well, fine. They may take away my man card, but they cannot take away my FREEEEEEEDOM!