HYPER/TEXT: Struggling Against the Cistem

Rythme by Sonia Delaunay

Struggling Against the Cistem asks:

Is it worth it to come out again when telling friends we’re a system? Plurality and queerness are such complex identities, even for queer friends!


Need a  primer on plural terminology? Feel free to check out my column on “Polyamorous Plurality!”

Struggling Against the Cistem, after glancing at your chosen pseudonym, I assume you’re asking if you should additionally come out as trans whenever you come out to people as plural. As you’ve mentioned, transness and plurality are seen as complex identities, especially when presented in tandem — or when digested by uninformed, cisgender singlets.

Given you feel comfortable enough to come out as plural — a concept much less mainstream than transness —, I would assume your friends could take the extra step to understand your identity in full. Your system consists of separate people who share control of your body, and some of your headmates don’t vibe with the gender your body was assigned at birth. If the first premise seems sound, the logic of the second should resonate. 

Now, is it “worth it” to come out twice in quick succession? That is — as I often say or imply — ultimately up to you. However, it seems as though you’ve chosen to come out to provide your friends with a more honest understanding of yourself. Why keep your gender(s) hidden when you’re mostly out in the open?


HYPER/TEXT is a queer advice column for the digital age: a space for subcultural dilemmas that leave offline friends scratching their heads. Should you block your best friend over lesbian discourse? What on Earth is a “kinnie?” Check in biweekly for answers to these questions and more as we explore the lives of the hyper-online!

Got questions? Submit HERE or via hypertextterse@gmail.com.


Fox Auslander is a nonbinary poet born, raised, and based in Philadelphia. They are one of three co-lead poetry editors at Alien Magazine and one of two co-editors at Delicate Friend. Find them on Twitter @circumgender.

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