By Suzanne Deakins, GLAPN for PQ Monthly

Through history, there have been as many combinations of gender identity as there have been individuals. Gender is not a sexual preference but rather how you identify as an individual. Western society as a whole only thinks of gender regarding male and female. Gender based on physical characteristics is often at conflict with our internal feelings and emotions.

The reality of gender is that we are all a combination of different genders. We are by nature androgynous or gender fluid, and it has many definitions. At any time we might identify as male, female, neutrois (being neutral gender, or gender queer), bi-gender, non-binary gender, multi-gender, agender, and pangender. Our internal gender feeling is often mood and activity related.  This all speaks of androgyny where the internal balance of the individual allows them to act according to circumstance and not society expectations. Androgynous individuals are more flexible, more apt to use their creative urges in all areas of their life. The essence of the androgynous vision symbolizes wholeness, completion, and unity. The symbol of the androgyne is tantalizing, compelling and powerful.  Some philosophers specially those who have dealt with the arcane mysteries see androgynous identity as the highest form of human nature. A bio-social theorist has contended that androgyny should be viewed as the penultimate stage of evolutionary progression towards complete sexual transcendence.

Perhaps this vision of unity and power is the reason the GLBT community is feared and hated by some. The very idea of wholeness, completion, and power always creates fear in those whose have not experienced it.

The history of androgyny and being gender fluid goes back to early Greco and Roman study. Aristotle and Plato often spoke of Androgyny. They thought of it as the key to higher consciousness, supreme beingness, and eventually apotheosis. Apotheosis is where the individual is elevated to divine status through their actions or agreement of higher power. A true state of androgyny is a neutral internal gender that is the combination of all gender. Just as white light is the combination of all color so is androgyny the total being of our self.

The current serge of gender fluidity can be traced directly to the middle century 1950s as Elvis Presley became famous in his eye makeup and long hair, enter the Beatles, David Bowie, Kiss, Boy George, and many more. Although these examples are extreme, they led the way for a more subtle expression by the late 70s and early 80s. By early 2000, Metrosexual became the fad and designers started switching the straight male and female dress roles to a more androgynous looks.

"In the end, my flag is not freaky to those who walk the path of unity." - Suzanne Deakins, GLAPN
“In the end, my flag is not freaky to those who walk the path of unity.” – Suzanne Deakins, GLAPN

All art forms from clothing designs to painting and music prelude the coming consciousness trends. As Victorian women were freed from their arduous dresses to shorter free flowing clothing, they began to gain equality in many ways. So it is with our tribe and brotherhood. As we allow ourselves to be flexible and express our androgynous nature according to circumstance, we gain freedom, insight, and acknowledge our apotheosis nature.

The nature of reality is that we are multifaceted individuals capable of great feats of compassion, empathy, and heroism when we acknowledge that we are not bound by the expectations of our past.

In the end, my flag is not freaky to those who walk the path of unity.

The freedom to be our self is here.  The freedom for our children to be as they desire is upon us. Let our freak flags fly as we proclaim the totality of our being.


Suzanne Deakins, Ph.D., is an author, and publisher of One Spirit Press/Q Press. Her commentaries have appeared in Bloomberg Press, Working Women, Art Age, and Wall Street Journal. Some of her books include “Back to the Basic Management: The Lost Craft of Leadership”, “Authentic Forgiveness”, “Sacred Intimacy”, and “Double Chocolate: A Book of Exotic Love”. She may be reached at onespiritpress@gmail.com. Let Your Freak Flag Fly is from her new book, “Sexual Fluidity” to be released March/April 2016.


GLAPN was founded in 1994 as the Gay & Lesbian Archives of the Pacific Northwest. Its purpose is to discover, preserve and share the history of all sexual minorities in the Pacific Northwest. GLAPN gladly supplies speakers to groups interested in regional queer history, and just as gladly consults with groups who want to document their own history. Materials donated to GLAPN become part of the reference library at Oregon Historical Society.