Give me a little background on yourselves.

Sensuali Blog: Defying Gender Norms
Photo Source: Anna Shvets

Bee: I’m 32, bisexual, and identify as nonbinary. My pronouns are she/them. I’ve always had an androgynous look to me — tall with boyish features. I never really actually came out about my sexuality or gender identity — at least not in an overt way. Not because of shame or anything. I just didn’t realize I was into girls until my early twenties but by that point, I was already living in Brooklyn, where basically everyone is experimenting. So to come out or not come out is a personal decision that has little effect on how others perceive you — if that makes sense? 

I’ve also had short hair for a while, so I think people just assume I’m gay anyways. When it comes to gender identity, that’s more of a recent thing, like within the last year or so. I’ve always been aware of having more of a masculine energy within me and I think that sort of fueled my attraction toward effeminate men and visa versa. Gender norms have been hyperbolized and accepted without question by the mainstream until very recently. It’s cool to see this cultural revolution happening right before my eyes. 

Graham: I’m a 30-year-old male who is sexually attracted to women. I’ve also always looked very androgynous and been attracted to androgynous women. Tilda Swinton is my celebrity crush. Ever since I can remember, I’ve felt like a woman in a man’s body. But being a woman in this society is rough as fuck so I’ve never really felt the urge to make a transition or anything. I don’t really care about pronouns. 

People get really offended when someone calls them by the wrong pronoun, but I’ve always found that to be missing the point a little. I understand the whole wanting to be validated by society thing but I dunno, I’m pretty at peace with my situation. Getting caught up in labels seems kind of like a waste of time — for me personally, at least.

What’s the story of how you guys met?

Bee: We met at a rock climbing gym right before lockdown. I was there with a friend and saw Graham pulling off some majorly impressive bouldering moves. We got to talking at the chalk station and instantly had a connection. We’re both film kids who love to travel and spend time outdoors. I’m definitely the more outgoing one. Graham is a lot more subdued. I’d say we balance each other really well, right babe? 

Graham: Totally babe.

When did the topic of gender identity first come up?

Bee: I think it started out just by talking about our physical appearances on one of our first dates. We were joking about how I was the guy cause of my short hair and Graham was the girl cause he has these long, luscious locks. He asked how long I had had my hair short and I explained the story of how I had chopped it up post-breakup and never looked back because it had felt so me. I said something like “Energetically I’m a mischievous schoolboy meets grandma.”

Then Graham was like, “I feel like a girl on the inside.” It wasn’t until months later he shared with me that that had been the first time he had verbalized that thought out loud. It was really sweet knowing that I had made him feel safe enough to open up about something so personal. 

Graham: One of my favorite things about Bee is her ability to make people feel comfortable around her. She’s just a silly goose who puts you at ease and makes you feel comfortable getting vulnerable.

How do you guys find yourself conforming or rebelling against gender norms in your daily lives?

Sensuali Blog: Rebelling Against Gender Expectations
Photo Source: Mingyue H

Bee: I think I am definitely the more aggressive one when it comes to signaling to the world that I am more masculine leaning. Friends say I am very assertive in a way most women aren’t. I think working on so many male-dominated film sets gives me that confidence. I also really enjoy more stereotypically masculine things like MMA fighting.

But at the same time, I embrace the feminine side within me. I’m very into cooking and like to wear makeup on nights out. In terms of our relationship, I tend to be the more dominant one during sex. I think part of that just comes from me being a couple years older and having more sexual experience though.

Graham: Agreed. I don’t really get bogged down thinking about how I do or don’t conform to gender norms in my daily life, but I guess where it’s most noticeable is in my wardrobe. I buy a lot of women’s clothing and love floral prints. Bee and I are pretty much the same size, so it’s been cool to basically double my closet at no cost since becoming partners with her. Aside from that, I feel like we kind of neutralize each other. 

You look at a couple, say Donald and Melania Trump and they are pretty much the opposite of us. Very masculine versus very feminine. If -3 is hyper-masculine and 3 is hyper-feminine, the Trumps are basically -3 + 3 = 0. Bee and I are both 0, which ends up yielding the same results. I don’t think this formula applies to all couples but I do notice that most couples, regardless of sexual orientation or sex-assigned at birth, seem to be comprised of one person who is more masculine and one person who is more feminine. 

In what ways has dating one another made you more comfortable with your gender fluidity? 

Sensuali Blog: Gender Fluidity
Photo Source: Anni Roenkae

Bee: It’s so nice to be with someone who just gets it. I’ve always been attracted to men who are comfortable with their sexuality but no one had explicitly stated they felt the same kind of gender dysmorphia I did until Graham. I also just love that he loves my boyish look. I used to be really insecure about my appearance when I was younger. Boyfriends would tease me about how I looked like a 15-year-old boy or suggest that I grow my hair out. With Graham, I feel like I can just be me and that’s enough. 

Graham: Basically ditto. Like Bee said, I had never actually come out as gender non-conforming to anyone else before meeting her. It felt like this weight had been lifted off of me when I said it. The way it happened was so low stakes and natural…it was perfect. I had built it up in my mind as this scary thing…this secret that was isolating me from the world. Since coming out to Bee, I’ve told a couple of close friends. I don’t feel the need to broadcast it to the world or anything, but I will say it feels nice to open up and be accepted by the people who matter most to me.  

Are you ever met with judgment from the outside world and if so, how do you navigate?

Bee: I mean neither of us are so out there — at least by Brooklyn standards — for anyone to really notice, let alone give a shit. People just joke about how we’re this cool, ‘It’ couple that’s so of the time. I will say we look pretty damn good walking down the street together.

Graham: Ya. We’re both very lanky and know how to dress to the 9s so people tend to assume we are models or influencers or something. It’s pretty funny. Several tourists have asked to take our picture. 

What advice would you give to someone struggling to come to terms with their gender identity? 

Bee: If you don’t feel like you are in a safe space where you can open up to the people in your life, maybe it’s time to re-evaluate who you’re surrounding yourself with. Real friends will have your back no matter what. If you do find yourself in this dilemma though, I would suggest finding an online support community and taking it from there. Talking it out with a therapist would also be a good next step. 

Graham: Everyone is so self-obsessed these days, no one really gives a shit about what’s going on with other people unless it directly involves them. And if they do, fuck ‘em. 

Closing thoughts?

Bee: I predict a future with a lot more couples like us. The world is having this reckoning where we’re coming to terms with all these fucked up rules we’ve arbitrarily been following for no real rhyme or reason. Gender is a social construct and I feel like the conversations being had now will pave the way for lots of other like-minded folks to become more comfortable not conforming to gender norms and gender roles.

Interview
Conscious sex
Couples
Dating
Feminism
patriarchy
relationships
Jules

Jules

Author

Based in Brooklyn, Jules has dedicated her twenties towards harnessing her pussy power, exploring the muse, whore, and wild woman archetypes along the way. When not blogging, you can find her sweating the toxins out in a hot yoga class or sipping a matcha latte at a pretentious coffee shop, whilst she scribbles away in her journal.


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