If you’re wondering “what the smeg is this all about”, well you’re not the only one. Read on, Macduff.
Apparently, late onset gender dysphoria is A Real Thing. Good job too, otherwise I’d have no way to explain what’s been happening to me.
There are plenty of other blog posts on here that talk about what happened to me in more detail – take a look at the “Coming out” series for starters. To cut a long story short, as Spandau Ballet once sang, and which I can literally never do so I don’t know why I bother writing it, when I turned 40 I started to have a lot of mental health issues related to who I was. I mean, I had them all my life, they just seemed to get worse around the time I hit the big four-oh.
People always thought I was gay – like, within the first few minutes of meeting me – even when they already knew my girlfriend. I might describe myself as ‘camp af’ but that doesn’t really seem to do it justice. Then one day I took the SAGE test and it told me I had the thought processes of an androgynous bisexual crossdresser or possible MTF transsexual and I thought, “oh, okay then”. Because that was a little light bulb moment for me, except when they flicked the light switch on in my brain they found me standing there in a Beastie Boys tee and denim mini skirt doing my eye make-up.
I went through about a million different labels for myself before settling on ‘nonbinary’. And as, despite my best intentions or the resulting social stigma, I am a professionally- qualified project manager, I decided I would treat the whole thing like a project to enable me to cope. Therefore, this is my nonbinary project, and I am your Nonbinary Project Manager.
About the blog
I went to see a therapist and one of the things she suggested was keeping a journal. That journal idea became this blog idea and while I might snark off with lines like “deconstructing gender identity so you don’t have to”, it has a serious side.
I figured there must be other people like me – middle-aged, assigned male at birth (AMAB) and curiously attracted to nude lipsticks – and there didn’t seem to be much out there in the way of practical assistance. I’m getting to be comfortable with who I am and the way I express myself; I’m not particularly flamboyant and I don’t draw attention to myself (except via the size of my mouth) but I do borrow from both male and female looks to try to create an individual life/style that works for me and satisfies both the male and female impulses I have.
On any given day I may well be wearing clear mascara, brow pencil, concealer, unisex scent, an Oxford button-down, pink Chinos and women’s Cons, because that’s what works for me. I’m not interested in passing as female, I’m not crossdressing for sexual kicks, I’m not a drag queen, I’m just a magpie who steals from everywhere to create a gender neutral style of my own that flexes with my gender inclinations.
And that’s where the blog comes in. It’s kind of a diary or journal, especially the blog posts, and hopefully people going through similar things can take comfort in knowing they’re not alone. When I started using make-up and skincare products I felt at times like I needed a chemistry degree when all I really wanted to know was “what does a primer do?”, so there’s a bunch of posts with general help and guidance – they’re the “The Nonbinary PM on:” posts. Mostly they’re just things I worked out from trial and error. And then there are some detailed posts about not just products but also experiences, like “The Nonbinary PM reviews: the hot wax strips”. Everything is written with a slightly older, new-to-this, nonbinary AMAB perspective.
I just figured that for someone in my position, a lot of this is going to be completely new, and so far outside their comfort zone. But if I was going to do these things and feel a complete idiot, I may as well save other people from making my mistakes. And that’s me: deconstructing gender identity, in a very tongue in cheek manner, so that you don’t have to.
We don’t all experience gender or sexuality the same way, and nor should we. We each need to find our own way and experience them on our own terms. This blog talks about my experience; I urge you to own yours. You Do You™.
About the logo
The four colours are taken from the nonbinary flag and indicate various things:
- Black and white: as a mix of all colours of light, black and white both represent many or all genders. However, as an absence of all colors of pigment, they can also mean an absence of gender.
- Purple: as a mix of pink and blue pigments, purple represents a gender that is a mix of female and male, or in between female and male.
- Yellow: this is a reference to a gender that exists outside of and without reference to the binary genders, because yellow is a primary colour not made from pink or blue pigments.
I combined the colours into the design shown above. It’s supposed to look like a standard project management ‘Plan, Do, Check, Act’ cycle. I am nothing if not disturbingly literal.
About social media
There’s no much there yet because this is all a bit new but do feel free to follow me as @TheNonbinaryPM on Instagram, Facebook and twitter. I’m happy to connect with people going through similar things and answer questions about the things I’ve reviewed.
If you don’t do social media, and who can blame you, you can email thenonbinaryproject[at]gmail.com or use the contact form below like they did in the 1800s.