Can you be gender noncomforming and straight
This, this right here, this is the kind of shit that makes me nervous about tumblr politics/identity politics. Because the very question shows a fundamental misunderstanding of what “gender non-conforming” means. It’s…..a descriptor, anon. That’s it. I mean, In my opinion, it is not a term which is comparable to “queer” or “butch” or “radical feminist.” There is (clearly!) overlap, and it isn’t better, or worse, it’s just different. The term “gender non-conforming” refers to someone who does not conform to the gender roles that are socially expected of a person at a given time in a given place and culture. That means a woman who was gnc in the 1920′s might fit in quite well now. That means a woman may on the surface look quite “feminine” and like some boring normal soccer mom but lead a life that the majority of men would find wildly inappropriate and upsetting to the status quo specifically for a female to be living. That’s why there are all sort of “feminine” looking women in my queue for when I post gender non-conforming women every Sunday- because they absolutely were revolting women- in both senses of the word, to some- for their time/place.
This isn’t about post-modern identities, and it isn’t necessarily about organizing (though it can be), or necessarily about fitting in with a certain group (though it can help), or agreeing on politics, etc. There is no appropriate outfit, subculture, lingo, password, or choice to make. There is no “gnc” look or hair color.
Obviously it is VERY important for people to name themselves, self-identify, and organize around that. And I do feel like when I call myself “a gender non-conforming woman” there are certain women who see that and know what I’m saying. And yet. And yet! I know this might blow some minds or come as a huge let-down to people who want something to put on their side-bar, but there are some women who are “gender non-conforming”- as in, they clearly do not conform to the expected gender norms of their time and culture- who have terrible, offensive, even right-wing politics. Similarly, a man can have shitty, predatory, boundary-violating behavior- all of which is pretty fucking conformist to what society expects of a male- but if he walks around trying to look like Candy Darling, then he’s a gender non-conforming male. This is not a simple thing, it’s not a movement, it’s really just a descriptor, a neutral adjective that can mean some very not-neutral things depending on the weight it means you’ll carry in the time and place.
Sorry to disappoint, and sorry if this comes off as rude, but yes, of course a person can be gender non-conforming and straight. I don’t want to describe to you what I look like or do for a living- the description would give my identity right away- but I get flack REGULARLY for being a gender non-conforming female. When I go into women’s spaces (bathrooms, etc.) I often make sure to sing a little nonsense “lalala” song to myself for a few moments so that women can hear my female voice, because I don’t want them to wonder about my sex and feel threatened or nervous that I may be male. And yet I am dating a man. So.
tl;dr: “gender non-conforming” means exactly what it says it means. It’s not that complicated a term, but it can be very complicated on an individual basis.