Androgynous

“I’ve never seen you wear a dress. I guess I just always thought you were androgynous.” 

The statement had stunned me for a bit. I knew I didn’t wear dresses or very obviously femenin clothing really at work much, but I didn’t think I wore it so rarely that others had described me as androgynous. I hardly knew the word but from a few posts here and there on Instagram from people I followed. I had always associated the term with a kind of unisex vibe. People not wanting to be one way or the other. Neutral. Sometimes odd, over-done, or even alien-esq looks, which I have been known to do. 

I’m not mad at all about the label. Just surprised by it.

I’ve spent a lot of time thinking about the term. Mainly because, after googling it, I’ve lived and been defined as an androgynous person in many ways without ever having realized it. My interest are vast. My lifestyle has been independent, even since getting married. I’m a strong personality often associated with being male, and also a nurturing personality as often associated with being more female. I grew up with brothers, watching sci-fi with warriors and strong female leads. Playing Star Wars, Pokémon, Digimon, and Transformers. I was repulsed by romance novels and romantic comedies. I liked action and suspense. I liked drama and tragedy. I liked thrillers and the films that often made people WTF. I grew up being one of the guys. Defined as a female with male tastes. Having more male than female friends. Even being called one of the bros. Whatever that even means. 

 Honestly, I think the pants and the short hair are really the strongest indicators of something close to androgynous about me. I keep my hair short because it’s easy to maintain curly short hair than it is with long curls. I enjoy doing my makeup, but don’t often wear dresses. I prefer button ups, leather jackets, blazers, and hoodies over dresses, skirts, lace, and sparkle, but only because it’s usually impractical for me to wear dresses in most occasions, especially at work. I wear heels when I can and tennis shoes when it is comfortable. I love glittery makeup and dramatic lipstick. I love lacy bras and panties. Getting my nails done. Things that tend to be described as distinctly female and feminine are still my forte. 

I hardly think any of this is really something I could label as androgynous though. Mainly because I get the impression that androgyny seems as though it ought to be intentional, and consistent. Something you identify yourself as. A lifestyle choice. Maybe even a sexuality if one could go so far as to say. I feel what I do fashion wise is more a combination of eclectic and modern. I mean, the entierty of fashion seems to be male driven when one thinks about it, especially since WWII when more women entered into the army and were wearing a similar variation of the male uniform simply because it was practical, and women back home started taking on more male dominated jobs and needed more practical clothes to wear. Fashion was driven that direction for women then, and the sexual revolution did more to encourage fashion that way along with feminism, when women were beginning to strive to be more than just objects of pleasure, but actual people with shit to get done and needing practical clothes in which to do it. 

My tastes in media and fashion are also what I would define as eclectic. Merely preferences. Perhaps influences by enjoying a childhood with two brothers. Perhaps not. Not an intentional statement, just a personal one. Though I’m sure one could argue that androgyny is also a personal statement. In which case we could leave it all at that and nix labels altogether. However, I can see how my coworker thought I could be androgynous. If a person needs a label to organize their world, referring to me as androgynous is a better label than most things. 

Mourn and Hope

I’m afraid to tell you the name of the Facebook group. Mainly because I’m pretty sure it isn’t legal to do his sort of thing. Passing off prescriptions in every case is illegal…at least I’m pretty sure. However, there I was, looking at the screen. Reading all the posts of desperation, the outcry for this kind of insulin, that kind of insulin pump attachment set, the horror stories of painful arguments with insurances and pharmacies that would end in moot meaningless apologies. The whole time wondering who added me to this Facebook group. 

 The group was of others who were diabetics from all across the country, asking others to share the excess diabetic supplies with people who were either struggling to get some because of switching insurances, having no insurance from loss of jobs, or being unable to afford even the “affordable” healthcare. My heart ached as people would post their plights. One woman was struggling to get her insurances to switch over and her son had been without insulin for nearly a month. She had syringes they could reuse, but they just couldn’t get the insulin. Even the Pharmacy was trying to help her fight for it, desperate on her behalf. She was pleading with anyone who would help her get her hands on some for her eight-year-old. Thankfully others came to her aid in the comments, but my heart just shattered into a thousand tiny pieces. It struck me. It struck me so hard. Like my heart had been in a bloody bar fight and came out the loser….barely alive. There were so many stories like hers. 

At any moment I could be in their place. 

As some of you who are my “veteran readers” (congrats you’ve been titled)  know, I am a Type One Diabetic. I was diagnosed at age eight. Being diabetic has been hard on my prideful and at times, depressed soul. Okay, I’m whiny and I know it. Let’s call it like it is. But, diabetes is a very serious and expensive condition. In my time as a diabetic, I’ve been very fortunate to have wealthy family and friends who have been there to assist me generously when I was in a bind. I’ve had good insurance for a very long time and have been fortunate to never be in want of diabetic supplies. Though, when a person added me to this group (to be honest I didn’t know the person who started it, nor did I know the person who added me, so I haven’t the slightest how I came to be added to it at all) I became so much more aware of the plight of other diabetics in the world. 

It humbled me. Considerably. 

I was once an eight-year-old very aware of my mortality, and absolutely terrified to die young. I could only imagine what it felt like for that little boy, knowing he needed his meds to live, and knowing he was off of them for far too long. I could empathize with parents trying to make low carb meals (that were filling for a growing child) on a shoe string budget and walking on eggshells with food and diet to keep blood sugars from getting worse. I could imagine the feeling of those high blood sugars that boy would feel. The joint stiffness and aching, the difficulty processing information (especially in school). Trying to function like a child should, while working with what felt like half a mind, body, and chronic exhaustion caused by high blood sugars? The worst. Feeling dumb for not understanding the assignment. Feeling weak because muscle fatigue made your arms feel so much like noodles you could hardly hold a pencil. Feeling like your eyes should just close and sleep it all off, but being afraid you wouldn’t wake up if you did. Then there was the long term fear that ever doctor makes very clear when you’re first diagnosed:  the fear of organ failure. 

My words are so limited to explain all of it. You would have to have lived it to know it. 

None of this probably resonates with you. Most of you will probably skip over this and never read it. Even if you do, you’ll go about your lives forgetting this exists. Why? Because even if you do read it, you’ll be just like I am now. Sittings on here, writing a blog post or voicing an experience to social media, without knowing what you can do. I’m with you there. It resonates with me because it hits close to home, but I know there is little I can do. I’m not wealthy, just a combination of lucky and blessed. I’m just out here trying to make my own life work. Even if I could throw money at the problem, what good would it do? There are so many out there that need it and aren’t going to be as lucky or blessed as I was. 

So I mourn.

I mourn at how limited I am. I mourn at my own situation and the fear I feel. I mourn because I, and so many others, are so weak physically and financially and handouts can only go so far. I mourn because so many will die tonight because of a disease we talk so much about, and still know so little about. I mourn, because mourning does nothing to fix it. I am helpless, and I am no less that fearful eight-year-old all over again. I mourn, because I can relive the questions, the fear of not waking up in the morning, the feelings I feel both physically and emotionally when there was something wrong in my body and nothing I could do would stop it. I know that story. I lived it. I cannot unlive it, and I am helpless to save anyone else from it. 

So I mourn, and I hope. For what? I’m not sure. Just something better that I don’t have words for. 

Trying

I had a panic attack. Again. I’m sure you’re probably sick of hearing that. Just as much as I’m sick of having them. This time the trigger was another letter from my health insurance company. It was official. My premium … Continue reading