Who Even Are You?

Hi, I’m Sam. I realise many of you have known me by another name previously—but it’s time for a change.

§ Why change?

I’m genderfluid.

§ Wait, really?

Yes. Really.

§ I don’t understand?

I’m neither a man nor a woman; I’m non-binary.

But even that is really an oversimplification of how I experience my gender: it isn’t a fixed point in space; it fluctuates.

For those whom the concept of genderfluidity is new, Zanne Nilsson wrote a good introduction that might help explain things to some.

§ But what’s your gender right now?

“[It’s] not possible to live twenty-four hours a day soaked in the immediate awareness of one’s sex. Gendered self-consciousness has, mercifully, a flickering nature.” — Denise Riley

In short, at this specific point in time, my gender is likely undefined. Unless I have some specific need to define it, my gender is my gender; I don’t spend my time wondering about how exactly I identify: I just am.

§ What do I call you?

Sam, by name. They, by pronouns. gsnedders in many places online.

§How are you still gsnedders?

My middle name starts with a ‘G’, obviously.

§ So what is your middle name?


§ Can I keep calling you [deadname]?


§ But I’ve known you as that for most of my life!

Still no.

§ I’ll screw up!

Yeah, many people will. Screwing up, especially early on, isn’t surprising; what matters is how you respond to screwing up (or being told you have!), and whether you recognise the inappropriateness of calling me by a name that is no longer mine.

§ How long have you known?

I’ve known I wasn’t a man since I was a pre-teen. As was the case with my sexuality, I was very confused by the presumed binary nature for a long time; I started identifying as genderfluid while at university, and this is the cumulation of that. If you want the longer version, feel free to ask when you next see me—though I do reserve the right to be concise.

§ What should I call you when talking about your past?

Sam. In general, there’s a clear cultural trend that you should always use a person’s chosen name when referring to them, regardless of what name they were known by at the time.

§ Are you transitioning?

That’s an incredibly nebulous question. After all, there’s no singular answer as to what it means to transition.

Socially: this is in some ways me doing so. Medically: that is between me and my doctor. Legally: that is between me and government bureaucracy.

It’s entirely plausible things will change (as a result of medical intervention in one form or another) in the future, but be assured I’m still gonna be the same person.

§ Then what’s changing right now?

What I want. I’m going by a name I’m much more comfortable with and I’m hiding how I want to present much less.