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Please don’t feel the need to categorize me because I wear heels

Once upon a time there was a little hairy Italian boy who, while strutting around the streets of Brighton, England, in a pair of black suede, six-inch stilettos, was told by a handsome gentleman that what he was doing is called a ‘gender fuck.’

And he was like, “What? Another label to add to my collection?’

And guess who that little hairy Italian boy was?

Fascinated and intrigued by that definition of my ‘brand new gender’, I did some research and found out that gender fuck is only one of the dozens of definitions of gender types that society has generously provided us with.

In my head I was just wearing a pair of heels and being Paolobulous. Why does that need to have a name? Why is everyone so obsessed with trying to put us all in a big filing system?

I know how babies are made, and unless I’m planning to make one, I don’t really need to know about someone’s sexual ‘appliances’. As for an individual’s fashion interests, I don’t see why what someone wears should be used to judge a person or their sexuality.

If a man likes to dance along the new Little Mix single while building a pool table, he should be able to do so without worrying his girlfriend will cease to find him attractive. She might even like him more.

We need to get over our fear of having a different ‘taste’ to that taught to us by society and its gender norms. The fear of being different limits us as individuals and the way we express ourselves.

If someone turns their back on you when you show a side of yourself you’ve been hiding, that’s a good thing. It tells you to go and find someone else; you were wasting your time with them.

Overcoming the fear of being judged for who I am has been a gradual and painful process for me. But the less I care, the more comfortable I am in my own skin; the more confident I have become and the stronger I have grown as a human being.

As a consequence of that inner change, what I always chased in life has suddenly presented itself in front of me to grab. That excessive desire to please and fit in was not getting me anywhere; it was actually pushing people and dreams away.

Learning to love myself has not only has allowed me to love others but has opened myself up for others to love me for who I am. Believe it or not, it’s also improved my sexual attraction.

So, I care little for labels, tags and gender classifications. I find them unnecessary and a waste of dictionary space. We are increasingly living in an age where individuals can pass through security checks with an electronic scan or the retina or fingerprint, meaning that passports need not state gender and may eventually become redundant.

Let’s allow everyone to be who they want, however they define themselves and whatever they like to wear.

Paolo Delogu, who recently featured on Channel 4’s First Dates, is a pharmacist and part-time actor based in Brighton (@Paolobulous)


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