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Sometimes Adam, Sometimes Eve

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I'm married to a man...and a woman. No, I'm not a member of a religion that believes in multiple marriages. Nor am I in a polyamorous relationship. My spouse is bigender, both male and female in one body.

  THAT Question

I get THAT question way too often. If you're in a relationship with someone who is non-binary gendered, or whose gender identity doesn't match up with their physical gender, and they're open about it, you probably know the question I'm referring to. For those of you that have no clue what I'm talking about, it goes something like this:

• "How do you do it?" and it's common variation, "How do you live like that?"
• "How can you stand your husband in a skirt?"
• "Oh my god, doesn't that gross you out?"
And my personal favorite (and by favorite I mean the worst question of the bunch)
• "How can you love someone like that?"

That last one is likely to get you punched in the face. Twice.

Considering how few people know, the fact that I've heard these questions and their many variations multiple times is astounding. Of course, some of it has been from complete strangers who feel the need to walk up and be rude, but I've also heard these things from friends and family. The problem isn't really that you're curious, but the accusatory, narrow-mindedness behind the question or the form of the question itself.

Assuming it's a complete stranger, realize that what you are asking equates to walking up to a random person and asking them their favorite sex positions and what toys they like to use and whether or not they like having their hair pulled when they're doing it doggie style. Would you really answer a complete stranger? I wouldn't. For all others, a good rule of thumb to remember is if you'd be uncomfortable talking to that person about private things, they're probably feeling the same way about you. If you absolutely MUST talk about it, and you aren't super close, trying asking if you can ask first.

If you open your mouth to say "How can you stand --?", "Doesn't that gross you out?", or "How can you love that?", just shut your mouth and go put on a pair of blinders. You need them because, obviously, you aren't capable of functioning in the world at large. Yes, that's callous and bitchy and probably rude, but it's also true. If looking at a male body in a dress or a female body with a bulge in the front of their pants bothers you, don't be rude or nasty, don't act all holier than thou, just look away and pretend you never saw it. It'll save all of us a lot of time and trouble.

If your instinct is to say "How do you do it?" or "How do you live with --?", stop for a second and figure out what you're asking. If you're thinking "How do you stand that?" or one of the other questions, then see above. Otherwise, express curiosity, not accusation. "What's it like to live with someone whose gender identity doesn't match up with their physical gender," is a good opening question. You still may get a curt answer, but these things are pretty private for most people, so expect some resistance if it isn't a close friend or family member.

The problem isn't that we aren't willing to discuss it. The problem is all the narrow-minded bigots who like to act like we're dirty, hell-bound whores start their rants in that exact same way. If you really want answers, there are many communities online that will answer questions openly, partially because they want to educate and partially because the anonymity makes it easier to be open and honest with no fear of repercussion.

  What IS it like?

My day to day life is ordinary. I'm married, I have kids, a home, a ferret, and a job. I cook, we clean, we take the kids to the fair or the zoo or the park, I do the grocery shopping because he loathes it, we clothes shop together, he fixes the house stuff, I fix the computers, we both have jobs. Your life is probably pretty similar to mine, except that my husband has 2 dressers and one of them is filled with adorable skirts, silky dresses, and tops with lace and frills. My husband is a very cutesy girl.

For me, a bigender spouse is the best of both worlds. Being pansexual, I'm blind to gender identity where attraction is concerned. I don't care what plumbing exists on a person I'm attracted to; I just care about the person. So, for me, it's great. I have a husband who is strong and good with his hands, a man who is witty and comical, a man who loves me and our family with all his heart, but I also have a wife - a woman who is sweet and submissive, a best friend for girl talk, a woman who loves to shop possibly more than I do, a woman who loves me in ways I cannot begin to describe even though I wasn't born with the parts she craves.

Is this for everyone? No, it's not. For one, you have to be comfortable, or learn to be comfortable, with things many consider abnormal. I learned to enjoy being the "boy" in bed. Two, you cannot take hate to heart, and you cannot give others' opinions weight in your life. People tend to criticize and demean what they do not understand. They will drag you down and make you miserable if you let them. Three, you have to commit to this life - it doesn't work if you just accept it, you have to embrace it. You cannot just love them in spite of it, you must love them for it, because it is as much a part of them as the color of their eyes or the way they play footsie under the covers or the way they look at you from across the room and you know they're thinking things that shouldn't be said in public.

It isn't the easiest lifestyle - it comes with its own set of problems (and double the clothes bill!), but it's really no more work to have a solid, happy marriage with a bigender spouse than it is to have one with a straight opposite gender spouse.


Contributor: dooboige

Thanks for writing this, Kayletta. I'm in the same general ballpark as your partner, though in other ways different. I don't tend to feel male some days and female other days, but rather feel pretty constantly in the middle, maybe a bit toward the female side, though some days I am more to one side or the other.

I do have some very feminine clothes. I'm wearing a funky batik-ish skirt, T-shirt, and girly sandals as I write this, actually, and wear men's underwear very rarely (e.g., when I travel, and have to worry about the TSA). But, in general, I tend to wear more androgynous stuff, like women's jeans or tops that don't look obviously so and that I can wear in a clandestine way. And I often do my nails, or wear make-up that won't be obvious to cursory inspection. So it's tinted polishes, clear mascara, and lipstick that matches my natural color close enough, when I'm out in public. In that sense, I'm more private about my gender identity, though my wife and daughter know, and I'm starting to be (or, at least, thinking about being) a bit more out with friends.
I try to be conscious of what this all means for my wife, and she's been so amazingly supportive. I can't tell you how grateful I am for that. In many ways, she's more accepting and supportive of me than I am. But I know it must still be hard for her sometimes, and that's OK. We love each other, and we work through it.
Like you, I do find it puzzling why people care so much about gender norms and stereotypes. There's a story to be told about that, but, as you say, it's really no-one's business but ours.

Contributor: Pudyqat

This was a great story! Thanks .

Contributor: Chefbriapink

This was a great story! I feel kind of like this myself but it is not as prevalent.

Contributor: ShadowedSeductress

Wow, I really appreciate your story! Although I admit initially when reading the title of the article I was a bit skeptical that your life must be hard (purely based on lack of education for this subject) but after you described your day to day life it doesn't sound half bad! It really does sound like you have the best of both worlds. I find I am always surprised at how rude people can be. I feel if someone feels negatively about someone else's situation then they should shut their mouth. People never stop and think that the rude question they're about to ask is probably something the individual or family hears regularly.

Again, thanks so much for sharing! Hope to hear more from you

Contributor: DocCorncob

This is a great article!!! Thank you for sharing

Contributor: IvyFayette

Amazing article! This has helped me to understand a friend of mine better and what he/she goes through.

Contributor: Annafalaxis

Thank you for this article. It made me do some soul searching. For sometime now I have considered myself to be genderfluid. but after reading this I felt that maybe bigender was a better description for me. I did some research and found yet a third term that I believe truly fits me. "Two spirit" is a term Native Americans have used for a very long time. Because of my religion I believe that this is truer to me. When I can across the term it just felt right, and I know we shouldn't place so much importance on labels, but I feel better having something to identify with. So, again, thank you for this article that led to self discovery for me.



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