Gender Diaries: Georgi Kay
As the world continues to push against gender constructs, the conversation around how people are identifying themselves is constantly evolving. Each week, Milk will feature a guest editor writing about their specific relationship with gender and, often, where it intersects with fashion. This week, we feature Georgi Kay, whose new album, ‘WIGTD’, is out now.
I’ll be honest with you. I’ve never much considered my gender or my sexuality to be key components of my identity. I’ve always floated in the in-between limbo of androgyny. Not necessarily because I wanted to define myself that way, but rather that it is simply who I am and forever will be.
As a kid it was always baggy jeans and skate shoes over dresses and heels.
Dragonball Z action figures over Barbie dolls. Short hair over long hair.
Play-fighting with my guy friends instead of collecting Disney princess stickers and gossiping with the other girls.
The term ‘Tomboy’ was big back then, and at the time that seemed to be the most fitting description for me – at least for those who struggled to understand me and who I was. But to me, I was just Georgi.
I remember coming out to my mum in a grocery store. I was 15 and was dating the drummer of our high school rock band. She was my first girlfriend, and I had been meaning to tell my mum for a while. I was so nervous and so afraid – what if my mum didn’t accept me? What if everything changed in our dynamic and she no longer loved me like she used to?
We had passed the watermelons. I was terrified of the idea that if I told her then and there, she’d start throwing them at me—which would hurt. A LOT. So I waited until we were at the mushrooms. If she were to throw anything at me, I’d rather it be those.
My heart was racing and my palms were sweaty, I kept choking up—a great big lump lodged deep in my throat that wouldn’t go away.
And then I told her. There was a moment of silence that passed.
It seemed like an eternity. I could’ve grown a full beard in that time, it felt so long.
She just stared at me. And finally she said, ‘I know. I’ve always known. Ever since you were born, I knew that you were special.’ And with that, she walked away and proceeded to order some salmon steaks.
It took me moving to LA in late 2016 to realize just how truly lucky, loved and understood I was by my parents. My dad only ever cared for my safety, and my mum was always there to talk to if I needed. Both of them never stopped supporting and loving me unconditionally. Which, after meeting new friends here in the US – I came to realise I had it pretty good.
Sure, I spent half of my life being asked if I was a boy or girl, occasionally bullied for who I was or how I looked, even name-called in the playground or across the street. Words like ‘faggot’, ‘dyke’, ‘lesbian freak’. All weak attempts to break my defenses, and in the beginning it used to upset me greatly.
I could have easily stopped wearing the clothes I wore, grown my hair out and donned big bows in my hair – and whilst that would’ve put an end to the name-calling and the bullying, that wouldn’t have made me any happier.
I didn’t know it at the time because I was so young, but I had made the subconscious decision to stay true to myself and learn to ignore the stabs from those who didn’t understand. All that has ever mattered to me is what is inside the individual – the deeply profound soul within the vessel. The outside is a mere shell, a husk that projects what the core within us truly is.
We were all born to perceive and treat ourselves that way, to love each other unconditionally no matter our race, gender or sexuality.
So naturally, that is how we should treat and perceive others.
At the end of the day we are all the same. A myriad of souls dripping with light and love, buried deep beneath endless layers and textures of muscle, skin and bone.
We are all human and we are all beautiful, in our own fucked up and wonderful way. And it is such an incredible feeling to be able to see more and more people step up and work their way towards better educating and understanding themselves and each other. We still have a long way to go, but there’s no denying how far we’ve come.
And that is something we should celebrate—even for but a moment.
Images courtesy of Georgi Kay
Stay tuned to Milk for more Gender Diaries and see our previous installments here.