It has been over a year now since the COVID-19 pandemic has been affecting the world and most of us have had to make lots of changes to our lives. Our daily rituals have been uprooted and thrown around and for many people that has affected their self-perception. Many people have found themselves questioning their gender identity and exploring new ways to express themselves. Because many people started quarantine at home, their daily performance of gender expression suddenly came to a stop. For some trans people, the heightened anxiety they have to face out in the world lessened. This article by Them was written in August of last year but it is still a very relevant topic How Quarantine Can Help You Learn to Accept Your Body and Gender Identity . A similar article was published by The Lily They never felt comfortable with the gender binary. The pandemic is giving them time to explore their identity.
A year in, how do you feel your relationship with your gender expression and identity has changed? Do you feel like you've learned something different about yourself in this time? What new ideas do you want to explore?
As a result of the changes in our lives, our bodies have changed in response to the conditions we are in. Whether that be size or ability level, many people are coping with changes to their bodies. How has that effected your self perception and gender expression? Have you found yourself struggling with changes?
Personally, I have been grappling with the way my weight gain in quarantine has influenced my perception of my gender identity. Recently, as a non-binary person, I've been wanting to express myself in a more masculine way but have been confronted with this concept of masculinity that requires hard edges, sharp cheek bones and jaw lines, and flat chests. This leaves no room for AFAB masc folks with double chins, round edges, and non-flat chests. This shift has been tough but its also led to me reconsidering my conception of what masculinity is and how I want to interpret it on my body. Additionally, I am so excited for when I can show the world the new ways I want to express myself.
There is no question that we will all leave this pandemic different people than we were when we entered it. But we can try to process those changes together as a community and maybe even foster a little hope.