When I was younger I didn’t feel human. I fantasized that I was a changeling–a fae creature switched at birth–because I couldn’t decide if my world was wrong, or I was. I tried to be a perfect girl for so long, but forcing myself to over-perform the rigid standard of cisheterosexuality only resulted in feeling fractured and imprisoned.
It wasn’t until college, when I studied literature and sociology, that I found language to articulate my feelings about my identity. Queer representation in media and academia were integral to my coming out process because I had absolutely no idea who or what I was, just that what I was told to be felt wrong. I realized I had built my identity around the fear of others’ perceptions, and that I didn’t have to force myself to be anything for other people.
I believe in the power of words to describe experiences, but also in the freedom to change. I’ve cycled through so many labels in just 24 years–straight, woman, bisexual, lesbian, androgyne, agender, non-binary, queer–and I’m sure I’ll accumulate more. But this year, for the first time in my life, I’ve finally allowed myself to be out, to present however I want, and to embrace the shifting, fluid uncertainty of being.
Queer non-binary writer
Gender Id/pronouns : queer, they/them
Age : 24 years old
Location : Stockton, California