I don’t know what gender is anymore.
I say this not to invalidate people who feel gender deeply. I believe you when you say “I know I am a woman” or “It hurts me when you use female pronouns for me.” But I don’t understand, and I so deeply want to. I want to know why we care, why we are so obsessed with words that point to arbitrarily assigned characteristics.
I know a lot of things that gender isn’t. Gender isn’t our body parts. It isn’t our behavior. It isn’t our appearance, whether how our bodies look or what we choose to wear. Gender is not what you think or what you believe. Gender is not prescriptive, a set of rules that you HAVE to follow or a role you have to take. Gender is not binary, gender is not set, gender changes and grows all the time. But if it isn’t bodies or thoughts or appearances or behaviors or beliefs or rules or even feelings, then what the hell is it?