Ok so, my article wasn’t really meant to be focusing on SU or any message about its gem people. But, a couple people got confused as to what I was really intending to say about them, and because they’re important to me, I thought I should clear that up.
When I talked about the Gems as fundamentally genderless and not technically gay blah blah they’re rocks blah blah why do we think about relationships in such binary terms, there was a finer nuance I was trying to get at with all that that I didn’t really explain.
The thing is this: the Gems are not simply without gender, but beyond it.
Every human has to deal with the fact that at the end of the day they have to be a gender. It’s just not an option to not be one. You can be a man, a woman, nonbinary, agender (basically nonbinary in another flavour), multi-gender… but even “nonbinary” is a gender. At times I have gotten really sick of the word nonbinary but unable to explain why, and finally I’ve come to the conclusion that it’s because it’s a trap. I don’t want to have a label, but unfortunately because there’s a label for that, whoops, I end up labelled “unlabelled”.
The Gems do not have this problem. They’re literally just who they are, going at 200 kilometres per hour being themselves and not slowing down a second to think about whether elite sword technique or being a freaking medieval knight is a masculine thing. They’re just a friggin’ knight ballerina, a scene luchador, a… do I need to describe Garnet? Garnet.
People say ‘the gems are such women‘, but personally, I couldn’t help but notice pretty soon how much they just beautifully and aggressively don’t know what gender roles are. You could practically not even notice how cool they are, it’s just so fluidly worked in from the start.
It is very true that the Crystal Gem squad are such moms at times, and you could point out other stuff too. They are women. But it’s like, they’re women because it’s an archetype they put on–they’ll be Steven’s mom, they’ll be fabulous, they’ll be thoughtful, and it’s just another thing out of many things that they’ll be. The gem people can be anything they want to be, including flat-out women, and nobody can stop them.
Meanwhile I’m stuck here self-conscious at every moment* that if I ever decide to do “one o’ them women things”, people are gonna look at me and think I’m a women, and if I dare do “one o’ them men things”, people will judge me by how good a men I am.
It gets very… wearying? Painful? Something. that
Whenever there is something resembling a label I identify with involved with a thing, at some point I begin to feel like showing support of that thing too much is tacky and I should dial it back because I’m oozing my “agenda” all over it. Everyone all over is always making things about labels—sometimes I generally feel like I’m walking around in a surreal labelscape where somebody has taken a label gun and completely covered all the scenery in label stickers— and I feel like, if I don’t like to see things made about labels, if I don’t want to see people turning Gems into “female representation”, they say you should stop digging the hole deeper if you don’t want to be in it. I was so nervous when I wrote my article somebody was going to read it as “I am nonbinary and the Gems give me validation therefore the Gems are nonbinary”, because of that (and that is sad), but also because they’re something quite separate from and more than a label to me.
It’s one thing to be nonbinary, as a label or expression.
It’s another thing to be beyond gender, as a style.
In my mind, calling Gems nonbinary is actually a little odd, because there is no need to persuade anyone they aren’t binary. Nonbinary means that you would otherwise be binary but are not, and they would otherwise be friggin’ rocks. I’m nonbinary. Unlike them, I have stuff to persuade people I’m not, and it takes guts for me to just step out and be the lady or the gentleman of the situation.
Gems are beyond gender: they are literally just who they are, showing its expressions but unfettered by its boundaries.
This is one reason why the Gems are so important to me, aside from just generally how cool they are. They represent, maybe, what I might be in an ideal world beyond my dismal spot in Labelland where I have to take solace in the fact that I even have nonbinary as a word people recognise.
I’ve made progress toward achieving that ideal, but I still have quite a ways to go. For now, I will sit here trying to persuade myself everyone understands I’m just admiring the gem people and other such things for what they are and doesn’t think I’m trying to project an agenda onto them. And of course, making fan stuff.