The Script

Shut the fuck up about the gender bread person! A great chorus teacher of mine said once, “the right note at the wrong time is the wrong note.” Gender 101 workshops, at least, the ones I’ve been in, you are the wrong note. Teaching people something because its easy even though its wrong is just teaching them something wrong. Xoxo, an actual trans person.

I’m sure someone else has shared this metaphor before, but its worth repeating.

For the sake of argument, let’s say men are blue and women are red. Not that colors have genders, they don’t, but we’ll use it as an analogy. The relationships between the colors will represent different ways of experiencing gender and how they relate or do not relate to each other.  

So men are blue and women are red.

These are primary colors, they cannot be made by mixing any other combination of colors, they are exclusively themselves. In the middle of red and blue are a thousand and more hues of purple, some so close that the human eye can’t distinguish them and others that have sharp contrast with each other.

This is often, where basic understandings of gender stop. “Oh you’re non-binary, you’re a mix of a man and a woman,” or “oh you’re non-binary, you don’t have a gender” are paraphrases of things I have frequently heard and I mean, maybe. But me? Personally? No! Absolutely not.

This is where we get to yellow. Yellow is the third primary color. It cannot be made with either red or blue, it is completely, uniquely, its own color. Some trans and non-binary people fall here!  We have a gender, but it’s completely unrelated to being a man or a woman.

Then there’s black and white and different shades of every color. Let’s call these not having a gender, and then there’s degrees of having a gender at all. Some people may feel like they mostly don’t have a gender, but that they’re also just a little bit a girl. Any mixed and matched combination of any gender can be true!

Next we have magenta, which isn’t even real! We made it up to make the color wheel make sense. Some people may experience gender like this! With the knowledge that we made it all up and they’re just filling in the blanks with whatever works.

And then we get into the colors that the human eye can’t even perceive. These colors aren’t a part of the spectrum, they’re their own unique thing that exists outside of human experience. Maybe this means you simply do not wish to be perceived, or maybe this means your gender is tied to a closed non-western practice (as this is a Western understanding of gender), maybe your gender is tied to your neurodivergence, anything could be true! Even if these are true things, they don’t necessarily preclude you from relating to the visible spectrum of color in this analogy, these are just some examples.

Gender can fluctuate and change and adapt based on any number of factors. For many people it is not a static experience, though for some it may be.

Thats the thing about gender, whatever feels true for you actually, simply is. You only really fuck up when you start getting up in other people’s business. Just leave people alone.

I’d plot myself on this spectrum like this, what about you?

Once again, gender is not color, but the relationships between colors can mirror the relationships between genders.