there are ways of existing in the world that are outside of & beyond “masculinity” & “femininity.” the gender binary collapses an infinity of modes of self-expression, styles, aesthetics, & ways of being into only two discrete categories. how would we feel if we were only offered two flavors, two colors, two emotions? who i am — let alone my gender — is in constant flux, shifting on where i am, who i am with, what i am doing, what i am feeling, what i am needing. i understand the desire to be known, i empathize with the desire to be recognized. but recognition at what costs? sometimes i worry coherence is another form of containment — that in our earnest attempts to transcend gender binaries, we put more of them into place. every time i say “i am” something gets lost there, like there are things crawling out of my mouth going to hide somewhere until i have the decency to bring them back. lately i have been searching for those things — finding them in the places i would least expect: missed connections, corner stores, the punch of a ginger shot. sometimes colors & poems & pictures & prints tell the story of my gender more than categories, words, identities, masculine, feminine. is it really a choice when we didn’t get to choose the options we are given in the first place? i want us to draw paintings on the multiple choice scantrons. i want us to build paper planes out of the forms they give us & send them back where they came from. i want us to ambition beyond being known... toward being felt. when people ask “what are you?” i want to dance or take them to meet my friends or invite them over for hot chocolate or some other way of illustrating that we are more than a word. how about how are you? how about what are you becoming? how about tell me about your pain & your power & your poetry? how about: how is language failing you? where do you go when it fails? take me there. take me there. take me there.

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