SOGIE, an abbreviation combining sexual orientation, gender identity, and gender expression, has become one of the biggest reference term to describe and explain the LGBT (or lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender) community.
Sam Killermann, an artist, author, and activist, introduced the Genderbread person as a way to teach SOGIE. The Genderbread person is a visual guide to explain the 4 components of gender: Sex, Identity, Expression, and Attraction.
According to Killerman, SOGIE is not a one-size-fits-all, as it is constantly evolving and the nuances are influenced by upbringing, culture, social norms, and life choices. It is not a label but simply a guide that shapes a person and what that person can be.
Personally I know i am still making sense of my own SOGIE. I remember the first time I learnt I was into women 😂😂 my cousins and I were watching a TV show and two women kissed and I remember feeling these knots tie up in my stomach. I was 7 years old and I wondered if I felt that way because I was a kid watching rated image or it meant something bigger. It went on for years still remembering that very scene. At 11, my cousin asked if I knew how to kiss and mocked me as I had mentioned on the first edition… we kissed that 1 time and it became something that happend a lot. We both didnt know what we were doing but it felt soooo good. Speaking of which, a friend of mine recently discussed how much a lot queer folk had their first time experiences with family members.
Anyway, this one time my grandmother caught us kissing and man did we get a beating. At this time I was like 14 and she was 16. It was hard to explain what we had but it felt so good yet so wrong. Making it worse, I had moved to another town where I got into my first actual relationship. I remember I got into a fight this one time because one of the girls at the school I was going at was telling people that I was a lesbian and God knows how much I hated the word. Most of the research I had made surrounding this word made me hate me for who I thought I was..I read articles about rapes,murders,suicides, families breaking up I knew I didnt want that for myself. The world leabian made me feel dirty and I hated admitting that I was one…the person i was with also hated labels so it had been easier for us until people outed us.
My mother was called to school and the entire issue was blown out of proportion and almost had me suspended. I can still recall the looks on their faces when they marked me with the word lesbian and to this day I still hate the fact that the meeting took place. Because it was from that meeting that I then became a target for all things bad.
When I finished my form 5,I came back to the capital city and by this time I was unapologetically lesbian and had made it a mission to learn as much as I could about being the person that i was. Around the same time, I officially came out to my family and someone had told me to tell them to take it or leave it when it comes to me. Unfortunately they chose to leave it and I was chased from home but now when I look back to all that drama I am grateful for the person I have become.
I got myself close to an LGBT+ organization and went all crazy with my learning on the subject in question. That was the first time I got introduced to the term SOGIE and I remember at some point when all this was explain I broke down into tears as so many things made so much sense for the first time.
My sexual orientation from the onset has always been GAY because I felt the world was a holistic explanation of Queer. On that day I learnt that all the gender and body dysphoria I had been struggling with was because I am was not cisgendered. I learnt the word gender non-conforming and I concluded it’s what explained me better because also my expression was in alignment with it.
Funny thing though was that I also learnt that gender isnt a close ended conversation one has with themselves. The more i sat down with Bubbly, the more I learnt what it was Bubbly wanted. 2017 I concluded that I wanted to undergo hormonal therapy after a lot of psychosocial therapy and many conversations with myself. I remember people thinking and believing that I was turning into a trans man and I had to often explain that the E in SOGIE meant expression.i wanted to Express myself the way i felt and perceived myself and I felt HRT was the way.
I was on testosterone for 4 months and the family got all dramatic about it🙄🙄and forced me to stop. My brother and I argued so much about it, and I tried to do it all behind his back. He found out and got mat at me, then he passed away still mad at me a couple of days later. I felt so guilty that I stopped and it’s been so heavy on my mental health hence I’ve learnt to make peace with him being gone and choose to restart it.
There is so much surrounding SOGIE I just wish people took the time to unpack it all and make sense of it because often times other people tend to impose their own beliefs on those less knowledgeable.
After all these introductions I will be talking about my day to day life and for sure this topic shall be revisited.
A big shout out to http://www.itspronouncedmetrosexual.com for the beautiful gingerbread man image.
Xoxo Bubbly ♤