Today my STI seminar was led by a guest lecturer, a specialist on the health of transgender people. The information was really fascinating, highlighting the great diversity of sexual identity and expression of people. The session just came to life, though, with the funny, dynamic facilitation skills of our guest, himself a trans person.
In talking about finding one's sexual identity, he spoke about looking at intake forms in clinics, in which there were only two sexes/genders represented. "Where's my box?" He remembered thinking. He identifies as "genderqueer", one of more than a hundred labels that transgender people use.
There was something really familiar about this thought to me, although I've never has a struggle with sexual identity, or even racial identity. What resonated with me was the whole concept of identity search in a broad sense -- finding how you want to express yourself, how you want others to perceive you, with what groups you identify most closely with. Life is all about finding your box.
(For info on trans health, spend some time here: http://transhealth.ucsf.edu. You won't regret it.)