Unlike gender-binary where a person is identified as a particular gender, male or female during birth, non-binary gender identities are not identified when a person born. Because the ideology of typical gender-binary based on the sexes of a person. Like if a mother gives birth to a child, based on the genitalia, the gender of a child can be identified. Here behavioral patterns and personality changes have nothing to do with a gender identity of a person. But, non-binary gender identities evolve along with the growth of a person. The behavioral patterns, choices, preferences, personality changes play a major role in a person's life to tag one's self as a non-binary individual. It shouldn't be considered as a choice, though, because identifying one's personality doesn't belong to either of the genders or does not fit in these typical gender norm terms is surely not about choice, it's all about being one's self.
As the person grows up, many situations in and around make that particular person realize that he/she should no more be considered particularly as "He" or "She" and that's how non-binary works. It's not like you reach the puberty phase and choose to be non-binary, it doesn't work like that. It's all about a feeling of being comfortable in not considering any of the genders among males, females, or transgenders. Androgynous is one of the non-binary gender identities, in which a person doesn't identify or present oneself as specifically masculine or feminine. Being a gay traveler, I have visited many places where I portrayed myself as a blend of both feminine and masculine characteristics. Gays are males, including the effeminate ones too. Typically, males have penises, and the society expects a male to behave in a critical macho manner. But I never felt to behave like that and I was damn comfortable in carrying my femininity too!
If you stay in one place, you knows never how the world reacts to you and you could never explore yourself at all. Hence, started with the typical sacred town of Puri in Orisha to the metropolitan city Chennai, I have been to the cities of Hyderabad, Jaipur, and the capital city Delhi during the first three months of 2020. Androgynous fashion statements have been setting up the fashion ramps on fire for a few years. And with my long hair and a hell lot of piercings, I loved portraying myself in an androgynous way during vacations to get to know how people spread love and hate towards me. With unexpected love and degrading criticism, there were many moments that I didn't bother myself being tagged as just a male. With my feminine behavioral patterns and style sense, I have never liked people to consider me as a perfect male because that tag used to irk me off. Hence, I started identifying myself as an effeminate male since my adolescent stage. I had my clarity of what I wanted and what I was. But gradually, the blend of my masculine features and feminine behavioral patterns started attacking me internally with the utmost dilemma and confusion. With the criticism and unnecessary attention to my preferences and my dating scenario with other males, I stopped bothering myself and accepted I'm not only just a male and not completely a female too.
In recent years, when I started my queer lifestyle blogging, I had to interview many people to perform some researches and surveys. This was in the last year when I launched this website. During my trips to various metropolitan cities, people started identifying me as transgender. In Delhi, people assumed that I was transgender from abroad and asked me to shop in their stores so that they would get a good business. This has happened in Chandni Chowk and Sarojini market. I kind of appreciated the fact, though, but I realized it wasn't me who accepted the fact of being transgender. Though I told I was just gay, people didn't bother noticing. But it bothered me somewhere to be noted as transgender. It wasn't like being ashamed of the transgender community; it was because I couldn't relate to the feelings of being a transgender. Later, in many instances, I started ignoring those comments after I had got to work with a few Transgenders because, in those moments, I felt very different and irrelevant to the trans-community.
Then in the recent trips to Puri, Jaipur, Delhi, Hyderabad and Chennai, I found that I'm a true androgynous person. During my hotel check-ins and while courting various cabs in various cities, the people with whom I closely associated as a customer got confused in referring me as sir/madam. With no second thoughts, instead of getting offended, I clearly told them to refer me however they like, because I hardly bothered about tagging me as a particular gender, for instance, male. I had conversations with many hoteliers and cabbies; they found me new, modern, and interesting and they loved the fact of how I carried myself without any hesitation to face societal criticism. I met many people with various orientations and gender identities. At least once, I didn't feel uncomfortable carrying my masculine blended feminine side. I didn't give a damn to any of those gender labels to affect me. Call me sir or call me, madam, I absolutely don't care. All I care about is to be treated as a fellow human.
The fact is, all these years, I fought with all the invisible demonic thoughts which made me struggle to choose between genders, but clearly, no gender has fulfilled me completely. Hence, why to carry my personality under one gender label? Why can't I be a blend of both male and female? Not as transgender, but as a non-binary person who doesn't like presenting myself specifically masculine or feminine! When I go shopping, I never mind trying clothes from women's wear and men's wear. The whole fashion sense of mine is a sheer amalgamation of men's wear and women's wear. Being a male, I'm completely contented in carrying my long hair, it's not like breaking the stereotypes, it's just being myself. I don't find long hair and piercings as feminine, I don't observe my beard and sharp jawline as masculine, I cry publicly when my feelings get hurt and I also get into fights. My physical appearances, behavioral patterns, emotional feelings have nothing to do with my gender because I don't consider the concept of strict gender identities. To the world and for myself, I'm an androgynous gay! Simple!
Therefore, it's not a one day process for a person to recognize one's personality. It takes time and a lot of inside out struggle to conclude the aspect of gender identity. Especially, identifying non-binary gender identities includes a lot of confusion, but in the end, a person reaches the clarity of not giving a fuck to typical gender norms!