Being that Girls Rock! Melbourne is all about amplifying the voices of young female, trans, and gender diverse people, we thought it was about time we heard from another participant! Zeiro is a two-time camp veteran who has learned both vocals AND drumming, and they are an absolute legend whose personality lights up the room! We were lucky enough to have Zeiro write us a blog post to tell the world a little bit about themselves and their experience at camp. Enjoy!
Hey! My name’s Zeiro and I am a human?? I am a 17-year-old gender fluid cool kid! I like fluffy animals, smoothies and binge watching TV shows like Doctor Who, Sherlock, RuPauls Drag Race and Dance Moms.
My pronouns are they/them. I identify specifically as gender fluid but I often use an umbrella term of non-binary to describe my gender identity.
For those of you who don’t know what non-binary or gender fluid is, I thought I’d explain it. *DISCLAIMER* This is just what I feel personally and there is no wrong or right answer to explain what gender fluid or non-binary is. It’s not like you are either a cat person or a dog person, it’s what YOU feel and how you identify.
So for me being gender fluid is … fluid? Haha. Basically, I don’t “stick” with one gender all the time. So sometimes, you will see me dressed in a ‘femme’ outfit and sometimes I’ll be more masculine and squirm if anyone asks about my body parts. Most of the time though I’m in jeans and a t-shirt coz .. ya know.. comfortableness :P
There is a lot of stigma surrounding people who identify with anything other than the normal gender binaries. The ‘normal binaries’ as deemed by society are the classification of sex and gender into two distinct, opposite and disconnected forms of masculine and feminine. Some people argue that being gender diverse is a mental health condition or split personality disorder, which it is not and to say that we are “crazy” and “just confused” is really rude and incorrect.
Just because my gender ‘changes’ doesn’t mean I’m confused. I wake up in the morning and I am pretty dam sure of what I feel. Yeah ok, when I was younger I had no idea about this and I was confused as to WHY I was feeling like this but it’s never been “I don’t know what I am.”
I explain the gender binary to most people like this…
In this world, there are two types of people:
Dog people and cat people.
Since the beginning of time humans were born with ether a cat or a dog companion. Full stop. That was it.
BUT sometimes there were people who were born with both a dog AND a cat.
Sometimes people were born with a cat but wanted a dog.
Sometimes, even though they clearly had an animal, they did not want a companion.
And sometimes they wanted a cat one day and a dog the next.
Sometimes they wanted both a cat and a dog.
Basically, anything other than the cat or dog is not in the societally defined binary.
...And oops I’ve ranted so much.
Identifying as non-binary, Girls Rock! gave me a safe space to create music and enjoy being around people without having to fake who I was. At Girls Rock! I was never pushed to the back of the room, feeling like my opinions were not being heard because I was different.
At School, a lot of time, I’ve been in a music class with others who have been rude about using different pronouns and haven’t given me a chance to voice my thoughts on a song or a band that I might like.
There have been so many times where I’ve been pushed to the side and been told to be quiet because I’m a girl and I should just let things happen and not say anything. People have told me that they/them pronouns are only for groups of people and that it’s not grammatically correct to say, which is dumb and wrong!
But at Girls Rock! you walk in the door and nobody assumes anything about you or your identity. They all want to know who you are and are ready to listen. If you say “hey, I’m just a cis girl” then awesome, if you say you are a gender non-conforming unicorn then awesome too! You are not treated any differently because of who you are or how you identify. You get all the same rights and opportunities, no matter what.
We are told to stand up and have a voice and not apologise for being who we are, which gives you so much confidence! We can come out from the corner and say what we need to and have it be heard and considered in a respectful and safe discussion.
I could be comfortable with who I truly am in a group of people and that is a MASSIVE thing for me because I’ve always felt like I need to act a certain way or fit into a box.
At Girls Rock!, you can be as loud as you want, you can rip it on the guitar and smash the drums and do heavy metal screaming if that’s what you want. Every time you meet someone new its “hi I’m ….. and my pronouns are…” because they care about you and how you want to be referred to. Everyone cares at Girls Rock!. They may not understand what it feels like to be gender diverse but they will take the time to sit down and listen to you and hear what you have to say. Sometimes someone might get your pronouns wrong but hey, its ok, we are all human and then they will genuinely apologise and correct it.
Camp just has such a safe, friendly atmosphere where all that matters is having fun.
I have to admit, I was scared at first because I didn’t know if anyone at camp would get it or care about me or my identity but that was not the case. Even though it is called ‘Girls Rock! Melbourne’ it is a safe space for all female, trans and gender diverse people.
You should come to camp because it will be the best week ever! Not only will you learn about music and how to write a song but you’ll learn about how to stand up and speak up and that it’s ok for you to be you!