5 min read
by Meg Loughman | November 17, 2022
When you feel free to show up in the world as your authentic self, it can be, well, euphoric. By challenging conventional scripts about self and gender, we can continue to fight for a world where everyone feels more comfortable to bring their full, true selves to the table each day.
To further explore this idea, we sat down with Chloe (Kylo) Freeman of ForThem to talk about creating rituals to promote gender euphoria — as well as the importance of moving beyond the binary to open up an endless expanse of possibilities for identity expression, and what that can look like in our communities.
Kylo: Gender euphoria has two parts, in my experience. 1. It is the joy of expressing myself authentically and freely without any judgment or ridicule. And 2. It is the experience of being seen for who I truly am.
I find that the world acts like a mirror; the way people respond to me can be like a reflection of self. So when people behave in a way that reflects how I feel on the inside, it’s euphoric. It's not always easy or consistent, and that’s ok. It often also means having the resources available to get to this place, to be able to feel affirmed: Whether that is healthcare, clothing, education, or the right community around me to feel embodied, authentically expressed, and received as my full self.
Kylo: My biggest ritual is a daily check-in — I ask myself: ‘How do I feel today? Who am I today?’ Maybe it sounds existential, but it is a light and exploratory check-in with no right or wrong answers, only judgment-free observation around my ever-evolving gender journey. This used to be free-written in a journal, but I now track this on the FLUID app (now open to beta users) which shows me patterns, gives me insights and also visualizes my unique sense of self in a beautiful way that I look forward to seeing every day! By connecting each day with the specifics of my mood and identity, I feel more empowered to go forth with my day in a way that invites joy and authenticity.
Another ritual of mine is binding. I wear my ForThem binder, which makes a huge difference to the way I feel in my body when I show up in the world around me! I don’t resonate with my chest tissue most of the time, so this practice helps me feel more at home in my body, safely and comfortably.
Kylo: We are really excited to share our latest project, FLUID: A gender journaling app for expansive folx to affirm, celebrate, and understand their identity journeys. Think The Pattern meets OURA for queer self development and identity! The app is designed to be a daily ritual, inviting you to check in with yourself and record your unique sense of self each day. By offering in-depth personalized insights and artistic data visualization, we wanted to create a tool for empowered development and exploration of self.
Kylo: I want to see more promotion of gender expansivity and expression as indefinite, impermanent exploration. The more our community feels enabled to explore without commitment or fear, only playful curiosity, the better the chance that folx will land upon true authenticity, I think.
We are evolving beings, with complex multitudes inside us. I believe that if we let ourselves venture outside of the binaries and the constraints of “commitment” to who we were a year ago — or even a month ago — then we could better enjoy the freedom of a fluid, diverse and non-binary existence!
Chloe (Kylo) Freeman (they/them) is a British founder, actor, and producer based in NYC. Passionate about innovating the wellbeing sector, Kylo is serving the needs of gender non-conforming and trans folx with their company ForThem. ForThem is on a mission to redefine what it means to be well as a queer person, celebrating binary-breaking activism and evolution as a form of revolution. Kylo recently joined Resolute VC as a venture partner, another space where they strive to empower underrepresented folx with equitable access to opportunity. They are an active member of the Resolute DAO investment committee.
by Meg Loughman