How I found and embraced the term ‘Queer’

My name is Becca, and my pronouns are she/they and I am going to tell an incredible tale of my gender journey. Enjoy!

I generally owe my gender journey to my friends and my university experience at UEA. I am so grateful to have such a diverse group of friends as I’ve learnt so much from them. Just for some background, one of my best mates is non-binary, another is trans (MtF) and others are fluid with their pronouns. With such an accepting group of friends like this, I was so privileged to be able to explore gender and pronouns. 

Although I have days and moments of gender dysmorphia, I am lucky enough to be comfortable with the body I was born in. I know in myself that I am more than just what my body is in terms of gender, and I am not just a binary female.

I have identified with various labels for my gender. I used to consider myself gender fluid but when I explored the term and met people who identify with it, I realised I don’t fit within the label, and it doesn’t mean what I thought it did. 

When a form asks my gender, I usually would put female, but I have more recently been ticking the non-binary option. This is because this is the more mainstream label that fits me, and it is so much easier than ticking the other box when I am struggling to find a label that fits me.

Today, I label myself as Gender Queer or just Queer on its own because it is a reclaimed word by the LGBTQ+ community and it covers such a wide umbrella of sexualities and gender identities. I don’t often like labels because I feel confined to stereotypes and other peoples’ versions of the term which I may not fit with, but I find queer really fits me. Some people I look up to in the media, such as Becky Hill, identify with the term queer for the same reasons as me and because they feel like it just fits them. 

I know that I have struggled a lot with finding myself while coming out of a relationship and struggling with settling at university. However, I am in a much better place now mentally, having had the opportunity to explore my identity in a safe and accepting space. I have grown as a person through moving on from the relationship and discovering things like the amazing drag community Norwich has and becoming closer to my friends.

It’s okay to not fit within labels and it can be a long journey, but it is worth it because at the end you may be in a better place with yourself. Gender is all about learning and exploring and just know it is okay to ask questions and open up to people about it. 

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August 2022
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