Being Nonbinary and Gender Fluid: “You Don’t Have To Own Up To One Label Or Be One Thing.”

by Ada Guzman


My name is Ada Guzman, and I’m from New York City.

When I was in 7th grade, I had this Latin teacher. She had been my Latin teacher a year before, and she was also my advisor this year. I was going to her office for help with Latin, because I was really struggling with it. I eventually pulled my grade up quite a bit by going to her office, almost every other day, and seeking the help that I needed. She really worked with me, and she was really patient. One of those times, in the middle of 7th grade, when I was in her office, I started feeling kind of flushed while I was talking to her, and pretty intense and awkward, and I didn’t know what to say anymore. And I realized, I have a crush on her.

First, I realized I was gay a little after realizing I had that extensive of a crush on my Latin teacher. Then I started realizing, maybe I’m bisexual or pansexual, because I feel like I’m attracted to men too, and I don’t really know what’s going on with that, or how to identify that. And then as I got older and became a more sexual person, I started just noticing people of all types of genders.

Fast forward to sophomore year in high school. We were performing at a Christmas Chapel, in this little place like four blocks from my school, this little church. And I started feeling really uncomfortable in the dress that I was wearing. I started feeling like it was really tight, and it was really clinging to me – and up to this point it fit me fine, the dress fit me fine, there was no problem. So I realized that I was basically having a panic attack, and so I went to the ladies bathroom, downstairs, in the basement. And I just like unzipped my dress a little bit, and I tried to calm myself, and talk myself down, and breathe in and out. But I was feeling really confused about my feelings, because it felt like not only did I not want to be in the dress, I also didn’t really want to be in my body, I kind of just wanted things to change about me that I never really fully wanted to change before.

When I got home that night, I started googling these terms, I literally put in Google “not a boy not a girl, why do I feel like this.” I kind of knew what transgender meant and I had heard nonbinary before, so I started googling nonbinary people, or “if you feel nonbinary, what to do.” And I saw these stories, I saw these stories and this terminology that was pretty new to me. It was really great for me that people were sharing their experiences and that I had a notion of what nonbinary meant, and what genderfluid meant. And so I started feeling like, okay, yeah, I’m fluid.

To this day, I don’t really have a label for who I am. I just feel masculine some days, I feel more femme other days. I use they/them pronouns now and I have for a little bit. Now, in my junior year of college, I just, I am nonbinary, and I call myself genderfluid, and I am genderfluid, but I don’t always call myself genderfluid, I don’t always stick to one thing with myself. And I think it’s really important, if you’re constantly questioning, you can be constantly questioning. You can be on a spectrum. You can be at three different points on a spectrum, or just like traveling around and you’re just like “I don’t know I’m on the spectrum, yay!” Like, it’s fine. And I think it’s important for people to know that. To know that they don’t have to own up to one label or be one thing, no matter the pressure they get to do that.

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