#tbt to feeling desirable on my own terms. i say this not only in triumph, but also in recognition of the struggle of negotiating want as a nonbinary person. we are taught to express something as extraordinarily complicated as “desire” through something as fundamentally reductive as “gender.” we are instructed to construct entire identities around our gender object choice. this isn’t understood as just a preference, but actually foundational to someone’s identity and self. we are told “gay” means being attracted to the same gender whereas “straight” means being attracted to the opposite gender.

i have always wondered: where does that leave people like me? what about those of us who do not have genders? what about those of us who experience being gendered as harmful? i have mostly experienced desire as a source of trauma: i am often only regarded as “attractive” in relation to how well i approximate cis manhood or cis womanhood. in other words: i am only regarded as “attractive” in relation to how well i assimilate into other people’s projections of what they want my gender to be to fit into the pre-conceived ideas of who they are. it is difficult to parse out what i want to look like, no what i feel joyful looking like, when at ever level i am forced to participate in gender binaries in order to be desired

when i wore this dress and my chest hair was billowing out and my lipstick was conversing with my facial hair...i didn’t experience incongruity, i experienced a deep and resonant sense of being whole. which, i think, i perhaps even more fulfilling than being desirable. they try their best to separate us into two (man/woman, male/female, masculine/feminine, straight/gay) but what does that mean for those of us who insist on remaining whole?

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