Flashes of pride: Jordan

Carrie George

Paje Jordan, a junior horticulture technology major, never explored their sexuality until their boyfriend came out as trans.

“I didn’t really consider anything outside of heterosexual or cisgender when I was growing up,” Jordan said. “I knew people who were, (but) I just thought there was something wrong with them.”

This past summer, Jordan began to identify as genderfluid and abrosexual.

“My gender identity changes over time depending on the situation (and) how I’m feeling that day,” Jordan said. “Usually I don’t know, and I don’t care.”

For Jordan, abrosexuality means that their sexuality is fluid and they have constantly shifting levels of attraction for different genders.

“Last week I might be attracted to masculine-leaning people, and this week I might be attracted to feminine-leaning people,” Jordan said. “It changes, and I can’t really control it that much.”

Growing up in a homophobic and transphobic environment, Jordan said they struggled to understand their boyfriend’s sexuality.

“I really, in my small town minerva, had no contact with LGBT whatsoever,” Jordan said. “(I had a) very homophobic church (and) a very homophobic family, so I didn’t really have that much exposure.”

Jordan’s boyfriend, who still uses he/him pronouns despite beginning his transition, initially came out to Jordan in February 2016, Jordan said.

“He must have felt my pushback and my previous transphobia because the conversation didn’t get too far,” Jordan said. “I did not want to believe that someone I was romantically involved with was trans.”

Though they did not react positively to the news at first, Jordan said their first conversation ended with a compromise: Jordan agreed to help their boyfriend dress and look more feminine.

After about a year of working under this compromise, Jordan said their boyfriend still didn’t feel comfortable with his assigned sex.

“He said, ‘I’ve thought about finding a middle ground, and it’s just not going to work for me,’” Jordan said. “‘This is who I am. I can’t just settle for looking feminine, I want to be feminine.’”

The second time their boyfriend came out, Jordan felt better prepared.

“I had been more introduced to the community, and I started caring more about LGBT rights,” Jordan said.

However, Jordan still took time to process and come to terms with their boyfriend’s new identity.

“After that, I started considering what about me?” Jordan said. “Since this has happened, how do I think about myself?”

A few months later, Jordan began exploring terms that might better describe their identity.

Bouncing between labels like bigender and agender, Jordan aligned most with genderfluid because they feel a multitude of different genders all at once.

Considering how recent Jordan has come to terms with their identity, they wanted to use the 2017 Flashes of Pride poster as a form of coming out.

“I thought it was a good way almost to come out to myself,” Jordan said. “This is who I am. I have cemented in some way for either me or other people to see.”

Carrie George is the is the administration and diversity reporter. Contact her at [email protected].