I’m just over one month into school so I’m finally settling into a routine which is good news for you because it means I will start posting more frequently again! At least, that is the idea. If you have been following my blog, you will know that I was wondering what to do about the whole “gender identification thing” when at school. Well, now that I’m one month in, I can confidently say I’m still operating as an undercover agent. The majority of the class and all of my teachers perceive me as male. The classmates that I talk to most know that I was assigned the gender of female at birth but I identify as genderqueer. Otherwise, I have taken on hetero cis-guy status which is intellectually interesting in some respects. I feel like a fly on the wall sometimes, as I overhear what guys (in the binary masculine sense) talk about or say to each other when they don’t think anyone is listening.
The second day of school we were asked to create groups for a week long project. As nobody really knows each other at that point, I ended up with a few random people in my group. Note, I am only one of three people in my class that was born sans penis so I was in a group with four cis-males. The teacher told us to pick group names as a first task. One of the guys in the group immediately suggested “cunt smashers”, I told him that was fairly offensive perhaps we could choose another name. He then threw out the name “Team Weiner Party” and I took this opportunity to come out to the team saying that “not only do I not have a weiner, I do not wish to attend a weiner party, as I am a lesbian”. The socially awkward IT geeks unphased then suggested “Team We’ve Got Tits Too” to which I promptly replied that we should move away from body part themed names… perhaps a name based in the IT world would be more appropriate? We ended on “The A-Team”, neutral and a throw back to the 80’s, genderqueer approved!
You might think that outing myself would have spread around the class quickly but, rather, I am simply known as one of the two Americans. The teachers have been great at showcasing that I am from the US, to the point that this morning when my teacher called on me to answer a question, he just shouted “America!”. Ugh, yes, that is a true story. I thought I could shed my US identity and melt into the Danish society but, sadly, this is not the case. Anyways, sidetrack over. Yesterday my teacher, a different one, looked around the room and said “as we are only guys in class today, I can say this” and went on to explain that if you don’t ground your washing machine properly you will feel electricity when you touch it, just like you do when you touch “your lady”. Nice. So now, I’m not only cis-male but I’m also perceived as straight! Oh no, come back queer identity, where did you go?! I considered talking to the teacher after class and telling him that one, he shouldn’t just assume people’s gender and two, he should never assume everyone in his class is hetero but I let it pass.
One final quick story, during our intro week one of the teacher’s presentations included a slide with a male brain and female brain. The male brain had parts labeled “cars” and “sports”; the female brain was labeled with “shopping” and “make-up”. Yep, that is the level we have achieved in a first world education system… time to shed my everyday clothes and put on my super queer cape, it is time to fight stereotyping!