NAPA VALLEY, CA – As another holiday weekend approaches in our post-covid society, families around the nation are reuniting, and family reunions sometimes spell tension for LGBTQ folks.
Los Angeles resident AJ Jimenez is one of these anxious travelers whom we interviewed as they loaded their Prius with their dog and suitcase, as they head off to visit family in Napa. The suitcase contains several jumpsuits, which AJ hopes will visually remind the family of their identity with what they call “the gender neutral uniform that is the onesie.”
“I haven’t formally come out as non-binary to my family yet. I think they know? I posted something on Facebook and just kind of assumed that the information would reach them and that would be that. That’s kind of how I roll.”
When asked if they will ever let their family know their preferred pronouns (they/them/theirs), AJ replied “See, here’s the deal. I’m just not in the mood to have a whole discussion dissecting my gender, or lack there of. I kind of just want them to start using they/them pronouns and have that be the end of the discussion. I can’t guarantee that will be the end of the discussion, and that’s stressful, so I will just avoid the conversation altogether!”
We questioned if being misgendered all weekend was really worth it just to avoid a few awkward minutes, AJ said “absolutely.”
“My gender identity is a complicated, personal journey that I really don’t like to discuss outside of queer circles,” continued AJ. “A lot of my family is old anyway. My grandma calls me by my sisters name most the time, and now she has to learn a new gender? Why make things complicated at this point, ya know?”
Queer Coded tried to contact others in AJ’s life for background information regarding their severe avoidance of conflict, including their ex-girlfriend Gina. Gina reported that she had not known they had broken up.