Fuck leg hair.
Fuck shaved legs.
Fuck painstakingly running to Walmart for batteries, running all over the house to find the length guide, and running your re-purposed pube trimmer all over your stupid shins in the hopes that somewhere in-between shaved and shaggy you’ll finally be happy with the length of your leg lawn.
I’ve spent the past week fussing and stressing over how to groom these two bottom limbs of mine, and the past hour practically crying over them. The only conclusion I’ve come to is that I want to crawl out of my skin, explode, or chop my legs off.
I am both Qs in that handy little acronym LGBTQIA+. Queer and questioning. Queer as in wow hot damn all genders are cute, and questioning as in:
*alarm bells ringing*
What is gender
How is a gender
Get it off me
I don’t want it
Gender is weird. These past few months I’ve been painting my nails in the morning and by the end of the day needing that disgusting lacquer off RIGHT NOW. I’ve been standing in front of the mirror in a yellow floral sundress, then boxers, then a tiny buttcheek-peekin’ romper, then a binder and the plaid pants I share with my male friend (yeah, we’re cute). The only article of clothing that currently feels totally right are my beaten-up leather desert boots.
My recent issue with clothing is that nearly everything in some way signals some sort of societal gender alignment. Dress=Feminine. Pants=Masculine. Makeup=girl. Body hair=boy.
Which brings us back to the creeping crawling forest on my shins.
I don’t want to signal a gender.
I don’t want to be a woman or man.
I just want to be a lil’ human nugget, boopin’ about in the world like I do.
My summer job has been performing sex-ed skits for my university for new student orientation. At the end of the first two performances we introduced ourselves with our name, year, and major. In the most recent show, everyone agreed that it would be beneficial to add pronouns in the effort to normalize introducing yourself with pronouns. I totally support this, and I’m so happy we’re doing it, but there is one small problem:
I have lost my pronouns.
I’ve been joking with my similarly gender-exploring roommate that I’ve “lost my gender”. Funnily enough, I can pinpoint the moment that gender disappeared for me, but that’s a story for another day. What I mean by “losing my gender” is that it’s almost as if I’ve lost the entire concept of the thing. What does it even mean to feel like a girl? If girls can do anything boys do and boys can do anything girls do, then what is the point?* Girls can like trucks. Boys can like ballet. There aren’t really any “rules” for these genders to follow. All genders can be leaders or followers, caring or abrasive, tidy or messy. Heck, all genders can be both or neither or more of one and less of the other. The pronouns you use and the clothes you put on your body don’t determine the roles you’re allowed to play in society.
She, her, and hers reflect how I’ve grown up. I spent my teens adorned in lipstick and heels to match the boarding school dress code of modest skirts and necklines. I was praised for being a girl who was so good at math, and I played on the girls’ sports teams, which always got the crappy practice field. I even read those horrid pink magazines in the grocery store with headlines screaming about “bikini bodies” and “20 ways to make a man cum so hard his dick falls off”. “She” also reflects how I go about my day. I get hit on by random strangers, people assume I’m not strong enough to carry things, and the sex toys that work with my genitals are overwhelmingly pink and purple and have names like “Secret Naughty Love Button Caresser” because wanting pleasure for a clitoris is obscene.
But “she” is not how I feel. Nor do I feel like a he or even a they or a ze. Nothing feels like a fit, and the option of making someone just say my name instead of a pronoun sounds weird to me too. I’ve never been good at decisions, but picking a singular word that describes how I see myself fitting into the world feels entirely incorrect and actually really scary. Even more important is how I feel saying that one word. At this point, I’d rather just let people assume the “she”, rather than verbally telling them the “she”, since it feels like speaking such an incredibly incomplete half-truth.
So, standing up in front of 400 people and being asked to tell them what pronouns best communicate my gender feels incredibly uncomfortable. I almost want to make gurgling noises instead. A nice long keyboard smash would better relate my gender feelings than any pronoun could.
Like pronouns and clothing, I feel like baring shaved, trimmed, or fully fuzzed legs to the world will communicate something about my gender against my will. Somehow all of my angry gender stress is being funneled and directed at my poor little legs, who have done nothing but moved and sweated and grown little stalks of keratin in a half-assed attempt to keep me warm.
So what do you do when every article of clothing and every cosmetic choice feels like some sort of costume? Suck it up? Stress about it? Burn it all and join a nudist colony? Perhaps someday I’ll find a style of leg-hair that feels most right and communicates the right message about my gender (or lack thereof. Hi agender friends!), or maybe I won’t even care anymore about what my legs look like. Maybe I’ll adjust my fashion style and figure out comfy pronouns, but maybe I’ll jut stay in Q-land for a while as an amorphous blob just boopin’ about in this big ol’ world using grunts as pronouns.
But until then,
Fuck leg hair.
*I mean this entirely in my own context. I want to affirm all the shit out of all y’all binary and nonbinary babes alike. If you’ve got a gender, and you feel comfortable in and love your gender, then congrats! You are a cute-as-heck *insert gender here*! Mine is just currently missing.