Iranian-born multidisciplinary artist, performer and writer, Katy Jalili, writes about being a gender queer woman:
I was told I should’t use they/them pronouns and call myself gender fluid, because I also identified as a woman. The truth is, I don’t even know if I can call my self a woman. A woman is someone I desire to be, but not sure if I’ll ever become one.
I remember growing up, I was obsessed with looking at the women in my family, observing their every move and hoping to be like them one day. However I was one of the darkest girls in the family, so as I grew older I realised I could never be like the women I looked up to, because I could never be as pale, as tall and as beautiful.
I have always aspired to be a woman, but now that I’m nearly 22, I realise that I will never be a one. The ideology around being a woman is white washed, heteronormative and ableist, and people like me will never fit the criteria. But this doesn’t make me sad, because I’m in the process of discovering my new identity as gender queer. Being gender queer for me is not just about gender, but also race. It gives me the freedom to not confirm but also play with my gender with a creative vision. It allows me to come up with an idea of a woman that fits me..