I’m not proud of it, but I’ve been properly connected to real TV with lockdown. Perhaps there is a valid reason for the functioning of the mind – the active involvement of people in a desirable position, or the longing for the familiarity of pre-Covid times; but real TV has been bothering my boxes for the past year anyway. One of the shows I and my roommates were watching was religiously Married at First Sight Australia.
To capture it on its simple basis: a group of men and women who have never met paired up and married. They go on a wedding, honeymoon, and role-playing activities that take place in a typical wedding (travel, family stay), and weekly commitment ceremonies, where couples decide whether they want to continue the process or leave if mating is not tolerated.
As with all reality TV shows, there is a drama baked. Wars, toxic relationships, and deceptive scandals keep the show’s momentum intact, but there are also romantic moments. In fact, it was these times that became the most interesting to me and kept me coming back each week, which, because of my hatred and skepticism of hetero and cis-normativity, was amazing.
Ever since I came out as a binary, I haven’t dipped my toe back into the cool pool. To be honest, I was not a big fan at first, and since we all went into jail, it was very difficult to get the motivation. When I took the jump, it was a combination of humor, tedious, abusive, and depressing for the most part. I understand, to some extent, why they deceived you so much; the world is really divided into males and females, so I present a surprise to many people. I don’t pass as a “woman” (and I don’t want to either), but I feel the same as an alien in the “man” role. When we have strong lines, gay men are attracted to “men”, straight men are attracted to “women“, people like me slide between the cracks. Binary sex has existed for centuries, in many cultures, but I am not sure how we fit into the complexity of western culture.
There is a lot of confusion about non-dual ownership because the community is so tight-knit. When we teach ourselves that the only two options are a hamburger or a milkshake, which is not binary can be misunderstood as a “handshake” (or “milk burger”), which sounds strange, doesn’t it? A more accurate presentation would be that non-binary is a completely different, and delicious, option… like, say, lemon sorbet? It is far from perfect comparisons, and some people see their sexuality as a union of man and woman, but romance is often reduced or misdirected, in sexual conversations, which in some groups is a closed chapter. Men like men or men like women, that’s all. Love, for some, is entirely dependent on the sexual organs.
But I feel that love is different from sex. They are related, of course, but if romance is just about sex, the long slogan of breaking the bar before jumping into bed, that’s really stressful
Personally, I have no clear idea right now about what unconditional love looks like, or what it sounds like. I know that people who don’t cooperate often lead a rich romantic life with trans-working partners, cis, or outside of the banner itself, I’ve seen it. As I said, we have been together for years, and we will not all get married. I expect my romantic ideas to meet me in what I have seen in the cis-normative stories. My dreams include cis conditions, of course, but there is a rich tapestry in my dream that exists without those strict rules. I have thought of weddings there, at different times being a bride, groom, or other people. As we all do, I take clues to what I see around me, in real life or in the media, on what my romantic feelings are waiting for, but it has never been exactly the same. After being blown away by the story of Cam and Jules’ love for Married at First Sight, I went looking for a version that I was ready to fight for, only to find it dry.
I turned out to be a binary for my friends and family because I realized that, for me, gender identity is about how you are accepted and how you are perceived as what you wear, and what pronouns you use. I knew I didn’t feel like a man or a woman, and that may have been a revelation enough to keep me mentally healthy, but sex is on the outside as on the inside. Society divides us in so many ways, so part of making sense of what I found within myself was sharing it with others and expressing my needs. So far, the outside world has been very difficult, logical – it is impossible to make people respect your identity, but we are going into the world with the belief that people will. Sex, like many things like life, is like a conversation; you state your status, and others will have the same position, or not. Both parts of this figure are important and dependent on each other.
When I think about romantic relationships now, I don’t know that I have a fixed position. I’m going through a process of self-discovery, so I’m not sure if I know what I’m looking for right now. My proper relationship, in my mindset, continues to be liquid and unexplained, but I begin to think that that might be the last resort in the end. You can’t stay in and out of the system at the same time