This Is What Being Genderqueer Really Looks Like

Identity is rarely static — through all aspects of our being, from sexuality to political views to the colour of our hair, we are always growing and changing. For those whose gender lies outside binary terms, this can be even more true. Sometimes finding a label that fits isn't so much a destination, but a starting point for a longer process.
With conversations about gender taking off more candidly than ever before, it's important that certain people lead that conversation. In an exclusive video for Cosmopolitan.com, LGBTQ activist and writer Jacob Tobia spoke up about figuring out sexuality and gender in a never-ending journey of self discovery.
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In the interview, Tobia, who uses they/them pronouns, discusses their experience growing up with a gender that was assigned to them, and the trauma that often came with that box. "My life was perfect for about three seconds, until the nurse looked down and said that it’s a boy,"
the 25 year old author told Cosmo. But their identity questions weren't simply solved by coming out as non-binary.
"I didn’t start using the word 'queer' and then my whole life made sense," he said. "It didn’t even fix everything when I started calling myself trans. It was a gradual process, it was bit by bit, moment by moment."

🌿💖I'm your summer girl 💖🌿

A post shared by Jacob Tobia (@jacobtobia) on

Tobia recently published Sissy, their memoir, which delves further into gender identity and non-conformity from a deeply personal place. They also work on Amazon's Transparent.
As Tobia alludes to in the video, inclusive umbrella terms such as trans and queer can be helpful ways to feel a sense of community belonging without limiting or flattening one's identity. Now, Tobia seems more than comfortable in their own skin, enough to give their younger self some invaluable advice: "to be patient with yourself, and to be patient with people around you."
Refinery29 has reached out to Tobia for comment, and will update this piece if we receive a response.
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