Hacking gender

I’ve decided that the start of a new decade is a good opportunity to come clean about a couple of things and to try a slightly new approach to life. Anyone who’s met me in person probably already knows about my taste in footwear (this being a great example – that’s me on-stage at CCC a few days ago, the photo really doesn’t do justice to the glitter). There’s a lot more to it than just the shoes though, and I’ve decided that it’s time to stop living to other people’s expectations / prejudices and live life on my own terms instead.

What does that mean? Well, first and foremost I completely reject the notion of binary gender. “Male” and “female” aren’t opposites, they’re extremes. There’s a whole roller-coaster of variation between them (it’s certainly more complicated than a simple spectrum!), and the idea of trying to fit myself into either stereotype really doesn’t work. Sure, I’m biologically male, but for a long time I’ve regarded myself as mentally female; I’ve come to the conclusion that it really doesn’t work for me to try to be one or the other. I value my ability to switch back and forth as my mood dictates, and that means that how I present myself to the world switches back and forth as well. Some days I want to wear a pretty dress and sparkly jewellery, other days I want to be big, male, and intimidating. Why commit to one or the other fulltime when I can have both?

So, the upshot of all of this is that I’m going to be a little more expressive with my gender identity. Whether I’m “male”, “female”, or (more likely) riding the rollercoaster between the two, I’m not going to let fear of other people’s reactions temper how I express myself, the one obvious exception being client meetings. It’s not a great idea for small startups to bite the hands that feed (or mess with their heads, as the case may be), but outside of that I’m going to just be me, whatever that entails.

Male? Female? Psshhh. It’s way more fun to make it up as you go along :)

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