By god, I'm bi-gender!Jan 20, 2023
If you're anything like me, growing up in Australia, we were handed one of two genders. And it wasn't a choice. When we were born, it was declared, it's a boy! or it's a girl! (Imagine if there was a less prescriptive declaration made: It's a human!) Being assigned female or male meant that you were automatically one of two genders and the expectation was that you would develop in that trajectory.
Not all cultures agree. On nearly every continent, and for all of recorded history, thriving cultures have recognized, revered, and integrated more than two genders. Hundreds of distinct societies around the world have their own long-established traditions for third, fourth, fifth, or more genders.
There are the Hijras in India, what are known as two-spirited people in Native American culture, Muxe in Mexico, and the Bakla in the Philippines. When Tinder entered the Indian market in 2016, they added 23 gender identities in consultation with gay rights activist Parmesh Shahani and the Humsafar Trust.
In Two Spirits, Fred Martinez identifies as both a boy and a girl known as nádleehí in Navajo culture, a gender identity that is respected and revered. Another gender identity that embodies both male and female spirit is the Hawaiian mahu such as Hina in Kumu Hina.
In yoga and tantra, we recognise that we have a physical body and an energetic body that sits approximately 10cm surrounding your physical body. Sometimes these bodies do not match in their sex or gender. When I began studying tantra, I discovered for myself that my physical body is female and my energetic body is male.
My Drag King persona, Dario di Bello has a tagline: by god, I'm bi-gender! I specialise in half-half drag. In one of my performances, Promiscuous, one side of me is Dario, the other side is Danica and I switch between those two personas. They are both me. One draws down divine masculine energy and one draws down divine feminine energy. This is a natural expression for me.
In my experience, gender does not just come from within. It comes from an energy source that is larger than me. It comes from invoking and drawing down that energy from an unlimited universal source.
What if you have the physical body you have right now but your energetic body can express any gender that calls to you at any given moment? If it's not true that we are stuck with one gender identification to express ourselves in the world, then perhaps gender could be something to explore.
If it's also not true that not conforming to the gender identity expected of you or declared at your birth is a threat to other people, then perhaps gender could be something to play with. Maybe, just maybe, gender is not something to be afraid of. Exploring gender can be fun, and bring more pleasure, freedom, and self-expression.
Try these 5 ways to explore gender.
1. Dress yourself
Most of us are on autopilot when it comes to getting dressed in the morning. And yet we do it every day. Take a moment before you get dressed and close your eyes. You could even place your hands on your heart. Tune into your inner guidance and ask, what do I want to express today? Listen for the answer. Visualise your outfit and how you'll dress yourself. How we dress can be art. It can be a gift to the world! IT can bring beauty, colour and inspiration - it can literally breathe life into others who appreciate it and ourselves.
2. Lip-syncing in your bedroom
Choose a song that has a particular expression of gender for you. Lip sync in the mirror. Get unleashed. Express yourself!
If you think of makeup as art or painting, then your face can be a canvas. Experiment with drawing on a beard, or go for a colourful diva eye.
4. Sit and visualise
Find a comfortable cross-legged position and close your eyes. Observe your breath. Relax into it. Now visualise a star shining golden light down through the crown of your head. Visualise that light travelling down your body and into every last crevice. Now rub your hands together for a moment and feel the heat and energy that arises between them. Use the charge of energy from your hands to 'sweep' around your energetic body. Notice when something feels warmer or if has a particular shape. Don't make it mean anything, simply observe the texture and shape of your energetic body.
5. Play with the right and left sides of your body
Traditionally, the right side of the body is considered masculine and the left side is considered feminine. Don't get too hung up on those terms - there's a lot of baggage we often carry around with what we think those terms mean. Just remember, everyone has access to all gender expressions regardless of your sex. Lean into the right side to increase masculine energy. Lean into the left side to expand into feminine energy. To integrate both sides of the body, Breathe in a horizontal infinity symbol or figure 8 pattern around your chest. You can even draw an infinity symbol across a chest.
One of the best ways to explore and play with gender is by using these distinct energies during times when you're getting sexy with yourself or another human.
Gender is something that you get to explore and determine for yourself. No one else has any say over your gender. Only you do. The good news about this is that you're never stuck with anything. Because you're the one who gets to say, you are self-determining. In other words, you can try something on and then develop it later on or grow in new directions.
Have fun, find the pleasure and enjoy exploring your gender!
P.S. If you like this conversation and you want to discover how to be empowered through the body using dance yoga or tantra, click here to set up a complimentary call.
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