Trans Joy is a weekly blog series celebrating the positive side of trans experiences, in an attempt to bring some balance to contemporary trans discourses. This week I’m talking about the term enboifriend.
Relationship terms can be complicated for me as a queer, trans, poly person. There’s always the question of outing myself and/or my partner. I am commonly read as masculine so if I refer to a boyfriend my queerness is publicly confirmed, the situation is also further complicated when dating trans people when you have to make a choice between outing them or misgendering them. Partner can be a (somewhat vague) way to fill this gap, but it can also be a loaded term, for some people it is a generic catch-all term, while for others it can imply a serious commitment and specific relationship dynamic.
And then as an enby there is also the question of terminology. I am nobody’s girlfriend or boyfriend, joyfriend feels wrong, partner is vague, significant other or life partner make me feel old. Eventually with some experimentation and the loving support of my partners I found that enboifriend is the term I prefer. It is explicitly non-binary, but more than that it just feels right.
Enboifriend doesn’t have a rich queer history, as far as I know I am the only person who has ever used it. And frankly I don’t give a fuck. The term is not valid or invalid based on its etymology or history, I value it because of the way it brings me joy.
When my partners refer to me I feel both loved for who I am and validated in my gender identity. There is something powerful in and claiming and reshaping language to suit ourselves. And I love that I’ve found a linguistic space which feels right.
I hope you all find some joy this week too ❤ If you want to contribute to this project then please get in touch 🙂