Colors exist in a spectrum. Everyone knows this. In elementary school kids learn about “ROY G. BIV” and the fact that some colors are created from the combination of other colors, beginning with the three primaries:  Red, Blue and Yellow.

Simple, right? You mix colors together; you get new, more complicated colors.

By the same logic—all genders start with two (?) basic (primary) genders:  Male and Female, and other genders are then mixed from a combination of those… sure black and white shifts the shade or tint of color—just as, (perhaps?) the addition of one’s sexual orientation or birth sex shifts their overall identity and gender expression.

The addition of black or white (or whether one identifies as gay, straight—or somewhere in-between or whether they were born with a penis or vagina—or something in-between) expands the possibilities of both color and of personal identity.

Personally, I know who I am (internally). That is to say, I have an idea of my personal color range—the combination of gender and sexuality that makes up my identity. I can see it because I know what it is. Unfortunately, my body reflects a slightly different hue than what I see in myself. I’m at the point now where I need to adjust the color that everyone else sees on the outside, and hopefully get it to more closely match what’s in my head. Not to define it as anything other than what it IS — but to more accurately reflect it.

Let’s say male is blue (duh) and female is yellow… already, I exist as a shade of green. Albeit a green that is a bit closer to the yellow side of the spectrum (by default and due, in part, to my birth sex). I just want to add a little more blue to the mix and move a bit further to the blue side of the spectrum. I don’t want (nor do I expect) to ever be a pure, solid blue. I’ll never be able to remove the yellow from my mix. The yellow isn’t going anywhere… no more so than the blue that I began adding years ago when I first started experimenting with my gender expression. I just need to shift from a lime-colored, yellow-green to lovely shade of aqua-y, blue-green 🙂

Unfortunately, gender isn’t selected as simply as color on a wheel. Society and the government insist that sex = gender and they give you two options. In their world, there’s no spectrum. There are no choices. They think it’s as simple as M or F, but we know it’s not… gender is complicated and frustrating and M, F and an infinite number of additional possibilities in-between. In theory, gender should be impossible to label.

If only more people could recognize that, maybe the necessity to so rigidly define our gender could cease to exist, and we could have the freedom to move fluidly within that spectrum without the need to check a single box.