Camille – Understanding gender during pregnancy

”It was only a couple years ago that I developed the vocabulary that helped me to understand who I am: non-binary or even agender. I have yet to find the term that I prefer for myself as saying this out loud, or in writing, is something I just started doing”

NAME: Camille

AGE:  27

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I always admired Cassandra and Sara’s work with the Womanhood Project and we had mutually been following each other on social media for a while. So, when I found out my partner and I were expecting, I wrote to them and asked if they would find it interesting to document my pregnancy for the project. Cassandra and Sara were interested and asked if I could come up with some kind of journal about my pregnancy.
So that was the original intent: a pregnancy diary.
I tried.
But pregnancy is a very intense thing that brings up a lot of questioning and feelings, among other things. And something I always felt like, but kept to myself, became something I had to share. I am non-binary. I am woman-aligned perhaps as I stand with and for women in the feminist cause and because I am not actively suppressing all femme things about myself. However I never felt like a woman, felt that it was my identity.
So yeah, I know this is called the Womanhood Project, but bear with me.
It was only a couple years ago that I developed the vocabulary that helped me to understand who I am: non-binary or even agender. I have yet to find the term that I prefer for myself as saying this out loud, or in writing, is something I just started doing.
Once I started accepting my own identity a lot of things fell into place and my anxiety disorder, which is very much linked to performance and pleasing others, became much more manageable.
But I’m only publicly talking about it now, and only discussed it with my partner a few months ago, as I was not yet ready to share this and as I was not sure it was an information about me that people needed to know.
I wasn’t sure people needed to know because it always was who I am, I just finally had found the words for it. It was never a big transformative moment, it was just me finding out I was not the only person not fitting in what I thought were the only “boxes” available, finding out I belonged somewhere. And that, for quite a while, was enough for me.
I was also afraid telling others would change how people behaved towards me. I was also scared people would see me as an imposter, not a real ally to women or not queer enough to claim this identity for myself. All of this was putting me in a vulnerable position and, like pretty much anyone, I don’t like feeling vulnerable.
I wrote an extremely long first version of this post, where I was justifying myself a lot. Where I was explaining in details how I came to find the words for my gender identity, but I realized people don’t need to all that. That it’s not what’s important.
What’s important to me is that I’m finally comfortable talking, and writing, about it.
And experiencing pregnancy was the last push I needed. Because trying to sweep under the rug that you’re secretly non-binary while your body is becoming one of the most stereotypical womanly figure in our society doesn’t work anymore.
So here I am, just me, a person growing another person and I feel very empowered but not at all in a Earth-Goddess-Mama kind of way, like the gender stereotypes would press me too. I feel empowered simply because carrying a child is something grand in itself and because I can do that, and so can other people, without it being something limiting (my) gender.
But yeah, this was meant to be a journaling of pregnancy and an exploration of womanhood, but it turned out a bit different.
And that’s okay too.