Lingerie and My Gender

If you follow me on Twitter, you may have seen some photos of me in lingerie. You may have enjoyed them a lot, and I hope you have. You may also have wondered to yourself, “How does all that work with being nonbinary?” and if you have, this post is for you.

My gender is complicated. I find it difficult to explain to cisgender people, and even some binary trans people, how my gender feels. I find it easiest to explain in somewhat abstract terms, with reference to fairies and princesses, but a lot of people don’t know what I mean when I say, “Today, my gender is a boy princess,” or, “I’m an ineffable, ethereal being whose gender is as intangible as the wind.” Nonbinary people often do, and I’m grateful for that, but it’s hard to put words to my gender in a way that doesn’t make me sound, um, nuts.

That said, I’m moving away from the idea that I have to justify my gender identity to anybody. Being nonbinary doesn’t necessarily mean gender neutrality; for me, it means genderfluidity, which includes moving from femme to masc to too-tired-to-have-a-gender to gender experiences I don’t yet have the words for. That means, surely, that I’m allowed to express myself in as femme or masc or tired a way as I like, and that includes lingerie.

Lingerie doesn’t make me dysphoric. Knowing that people will read me and my outfit and my body as “female” makes me dysphoric, sure, but bits of fabric on their own don’t. I wear lingerie a lot in kink spaces, where people’s approach to gender is a lot more forgiving than it is in the wider world, and I thrive on the attention that my outfits garner me. In some ways, it’s an affirming experience, and one I treasure.

Lingerie, for me, can be femme or masc. When I see a man in lingerie, I don’t see the lingerie as femme; I just see it as a way to highlight that person’s body, the curves of it, the enviable strength in testosterone-influenced thighs. When I’m feeling masc, lingerie can either feel neutral, or it can feel like a small, sexy humiliation, a vulnerability, a way of someone (or multiple someones) seeing my body, eyeing it up and evaluating it… It can feel sexy in a dangerous sort of way to be masc and in lingerie. I don’t play a lot with forced feminization, mostly because I’m not prepared for the dysphoria I imagine it would bring me, but the humiliation comes from much the same place: a little alarm bell ringing that says, People are looking at me! I have toyed with the idea of forced feminization, and even wondered whether it would make me feel more masculine, since I would be starting at a place of not-feminine, but the risk of psychological hurt and weirdness keeps it in the “Maybe” section of my Yes/No/Maybe list.

I do experience some femininity, though, and lingerie is super affirming for those days. Pulling on stockings or wriggling into a lacy bodysuit feels like suiting up into my superhero identity, Confident Morgan, who likes their body a little more than I do and who can seduce anyone, given enough time. I often do my makeup along with wearing lingerie, painting myself into the ultimate, glittery femme fatale. I think I like the performativity of it, and again, drawing eyes onto me to make me feel either empowered or vulnerable. I also think it’s very cool that lingerie gives me access to both of those emotions, depending on context (including my gender feelings for that day).

The short answer to the question at the top of this post is, “It’s complicated.” Gender is complicated, and lingerie will remain gendered in our culture whether I experience it that way or not, meaning that other people will perceive my gender in a particular way when I don my latest Lovehoney purchase. But I love playing in that space, both as a way to affirm my inner femme and as a way to subvert people’s gendered expectations of what lingerie “means”, especially when I feel like a fairy prince in my new negligee or bodysuit.


Wanna help me buy more lingerie, so y’all can see more photos of me wearing it? Head over to my Ko-Fi or newly relaunched Patreon to support my work!

Putting The Men In Menstruation

Stock image showing the moon in all her phases through some sort of long-exposure photography, including a normal full moon on the left hand side and a reddish full moon on the right. The moons are displayed over a city with many lit-up buildings, but the sky itself is pitch black.

This post is my contribution to the Menstruation Matters meme, an excellent project started by Sub-Bee with the intention of encouraging frank discussions about all sorts of periods from all sorts of people. Naturally, it contains references to menstruation and blood, and also discusses my experiences of dysphoria as a nonbinary human with a womb. If that’s hard for you, come back next week, for a post I haven’t planned yet more scintillating content!


I have infuriatingly textbook periods.

They were a touch erratic throughout puberty (especially when I wasn’t eating), but as soon as I started using hormonal birth control at age 17 they became so regular you could set your watch by them. Every fourth week, on a Sunday evening or (if I’m stressed or run down) Monday morning, I start to bleed. I have annoying-but-not-debilitating cramps for the first two days, when my flow is heaviest, which vanish by a Thursday morning at the latest, and then the bleeding tapers off and ends on the Friday afternoon.

I don’t bleed spectacular amounts, I don’t have life-ruining PMS, I don’t even break out unless I’m also stressed and not caring for my skin.

And yet I still fucking hate my periods.

Actually, it’s not that simple. My periods themselves are fine. I like the tangible evidence that I’m not pregnant or experiencing organ failure, they’re so predictable and chill that they’re not even a nuisance, and I find menstrual blood fascinating, rather than gross, so it doesn’t even unnerve me in that regard. By all accounts, I’m one of the luckiest period-havers I know.

But I’m also nonbinary.

Leading up to a period, the body retains water and its weight increases. You might find that your breasts feel heavier and more tender, appear larger and spill out of your bra. You might also find that 99% of all period products are marketed in such an aggressively gendered manner that walking down the “feminine hygiene” aisle makes you want to cry. Additionally, PMS-related hypersensitivity means you’re more likely to notice gendered terminology like “womanhood”, “Aunt Flo” and other instances of menstruation being conflated unequivocally with femininity. This might make you feel somewhat murderous.

My periods would be fine if they didn’t bloat me and gender me and force me into the feminine hygiene aisle of Tesco. The latter issue is one I’ve mostly mitigated by investing in an armful of menstrual cups (an armful because if I have just one, I can and will misplace it every single month). Even the ones whose websites are pink and flowery are more comfortable than using pads and tampons, since the cups themselves aren’t big enough to display any patriarchal bullshit on them; they just have 7 and 15 millilitre markings on them, to encourage my fascination with the blood and gunk that they collect. (They’re also a blessing because, unlike pads and tampons, they aren’t scented and they don’t produce any plastic crinkling sounds, which means that they don’t set off any Autistic Rage™ inside my hormonal soul.)

Menstrual cups can’t fix our cisnormative society, though. (Even if you throw them at people.)

Once a month, a nagging pain in my abdomen reminds me that people think I’m a woman. Washing blood from under my fingernails after emptying a menstrual cup reminds me that people think I’m celebrating a feminine, womanly experience when in reality, it’s just another bodily inconvenience, like my knee hurting, or needing to pee in the middle of an important video game boss battle that I don’t want to pause. My boobs being fuller and more sensitive makes me convinced other people are looking at them, and if they’re looking at them, I know they’re assuming that they’re girl boobs. And to top it all off, my moderate flow and easily-ignored cramps make feel guilty for hating my periods with the passion that I do. I’ve read in depth about PCOS, endometriosis and diagnosis-less nightmare periods and I know full well how lucky I am, but I also know full well that dysphoria is a hideous experience that I wouldn’t wish upon anyone.

And I know that other nonbinary and transmasculine folks will benefit from hearing about my very ordinary, very detestable menstrual cycle. They don’t have to be the typical Periods From Hell to make you feel hellish. I want other transmasculine people to feel seen and to have space for their anguish even if it doesn’t look like typical menstrual anguish. I also want to point out that there can be something deeply masculine and primal about tipping the contents of a menstrual cup slowly into a toilet bowl and admiring the crimson aftermath, and few things sound more manly than walking around, continuing your day whilst one of your organs sheds half its contents into your clothing and nobody is any the wiser.

Menstruation Matters

#PrideMonth: a love letter

Photo of red, orange, yellow, green and indigo round pieces of candy arranged into the shape of a love heart

I’m super fucking queer.

I use the word ‘queer’ deliberately, in the same way I describe myself as a ‘slut’. I know it’s a word that gets whispered behind my back, and occasionally yelled at me in the street. It’s supposed to hurt me, to make me feel like every fibre of my being is odd and unwelcome. Unfortunately for queerphobic assholes, I pride myself on being contrary, so I have stolen the word ‘queer’ with my gay little hands.

When they hurled it at me, I caught it. It’s mine now.


I’m bisexual.

I realised this the moment I found the language for it. Before then, I’d been weighing up my attractions, trying to figure out which gender I fancied more often, more intensely, more legitimately. I thought, for a while, that I was a lesbian who was just really bad at resisting the patriarchal imperative to have crushes on men. Before then, I’d thought I was straight, and that all my feelings of unease and fascination centred around women were a mix of admiration and envy.

I don’t remember where I found the word ‘bisexual’, but I do remember that it felt like suddenly remembering where I’d left my keys, fourteen years after losing them. As cliché as it sounds, identifying as bisexual felt like coming home.

I found the word ‘pansexual’ too, and toyed with that, but my attraction to all genders wasn’t attraction regardless of gender. I tended to have gooey, romantic, heart-eyes-emoji-esque feelings towards girls before any sexual ones, and the inverse when I fancied boys. Something indescribable separated my experiences of attraction to both of the genders I knew about at the time – and when I learned about nonbinary people, I experienced yet another set of feelings about them. (Plus, the pan flag has yellow in it, and I’m not a fan. I’d rather have the jewel-tone bi flag any day, and fourteen-year-old Morgan was very shallow.)

Armed with a word that accurately summed up how I experienced love and lust, I did what any confused autistic teen might do: I researched it. I found lists of celebrities and public figures who were (or were thought to be) bisexual. It was 2012, so I found memes. And, naturally, I found bigots. I had expected to run into homophobia, but I hadn’t expected to run into gatekeeping from the gay community itself. I wasn’t prepared to be told to ‘pick a side’ or that I was ‘actually gay’ and lying to myself. I wasn’t ready to be called ‘greedy’ when I’d had two relationships in my adolescence, one of which only featured a single, brief kiss. I wasn’t expecting to be hurt by people who knew what homophobia felt like.

And this, dear reader, is where this post becomes a love letter.

Because for every one voice that was calling my orientation greedy or fake or ‘not gay enough’, there were dozens more bi people and allies countering their bullshit. I was learning new ways to backchat biphobes all the time. I learned queer history, the split attraction model, new ways to define gender and more through the vocal dissent of people who were fucking sick of biphobia; and, more importantly, I learned that I had hundreds upon hundreds of strangers’ voices rallying around me and defending my existence. I found a community.

It was through this vocal, loving, ready-to-educate community that I ended up finding my gender identity. It took me three or four years after growing into the label of ‘bisexuality’ to realise that, on top of being super bi, I wasn’t cis – and in a lot of ways, it felt scarier. Either online biphobia had subsided somewhat in those four years, or I’d just got better at making my social media environment more welcoming; regardless, I felt very comfortable in my bisexual skin.

But even some bi people were insisting I couldn’t be nonbinary.

I was confident in my belief that there were more than two genders. I’d read plenty of material, ranging from nonbinary people’s blog posts to accounts of olden-days rejection of gender binaries to the abstracts of actual studies on the subject, so I was pretty certain that nonbinary people were A Thing™. The problem lay in whether or not I was nonbinary.

I’ve blogged about my experiences of gender before now, so I won’t repeat myself, but I will add that I was scared of claiming the labels ‘nonbinary’ and ‘trans’ for months. (I still sort of cringe when I call myself ‘trans’, waiting for someone somewhere to insist that only binary trans people ‘count’.) But, again, it was the loud, brave voices of other queer folk that comforted me, and made me realise the importance of claiming words that fit me. I realised that, being white and academically inclined, I could use my voice to legitimise nonbinary experiences; being a human being, I deserved to legitimise my own experiences too.


Again, I’ve managed to prune my social circles and my social media consumption so that a lot of cissexism doesn’t reach me, especially online. I’ve educated some of my IRL friends and given up on others, and I have done myself the enormous favour of swearing off dating straight men. I owe huge portions of my self-confidence, comfort and personal growth to the LGBTQ+ community.

We are brave. We are strong. We are loving.

We are also doing real fuckin’ badly on some fronts, like including people of colour, making Pride accessible and eliminating, among other things, cissexism, slutshaming, acephobia and gatekeeping.

I know we can do better than this, because I’ve been on the right side of it. When we put our energy into activism, into educating each other and the cishets, and into being compassionate and welcoming, we can do incredible shit. We can make kids like fourteen-year-old Morgan feel at home in their acne-prone, super-queer skin.

I guess this is a tough-love letter now. Let’s get our shit together, and make each Pride shine brighter than the last. We owe it to ourselves and each other, and I know – I know – we’re capable of it.