Eliana Weiner (Greensboro, NC)
One day I am ‘they’ – dressed like every Queer living in Brooklyn
and the next I am ‘she’ – wearing a flower crown, long skirt, and bare feet.
I should not have to have a mental projector that tells those I interact with who I am each and every day day.
Why do I have to be ‘woman’ or ‘gender fluid’?
I do not have to be one or the other.
It is my identity; my self
and I will call me what I wish.
Do not try to tell me who I am.
“But if you identify as gender fluid, you can’t also be a woman-”
That is bullshit. Check your bullshit before speaking to me.
What do I have to do to make you listen?
Because even you, who call yourself a Queer ally/activist
eager to make all feel included
ask me to reevaluate the identity I have struggled with for all 19 years of my life and finally
feel comfortable proclaiming.
I do not believe we, as a collective, need to shove ourselves into boxes with labels
It is just that I, as an individual feel
so good that I finally have some sort of long-winded identity that I am proud of.
If you want to call yourself an advocate for all-inclusivity of humankind
do not tell me I can’t identify as one thing or another, because that’s what you were taught in your four-white-walled-gender-theory-class-that-one-time-sophomore-year, because let me tell you that if you
have not lived as me, you cannot tell me what I can or cannot be; not now, not ever.
If I want to be torn between taking over the world one-Queer-at-a-time
living quietly on a farm with no one but my wife, our cows, and our dogs
let me be torn
but do not tell me what to do, what to be.
It is my life, which means my identity – identity is not supposed to be easy.
It is supposed to be a hard, painful path to discovery and I have given a lot of time to that path and I deserve to have my identity accepted.
And no, my path is not yet over
and, no, this identity is not the first I have had
and, no, I do not expect it to stick forever.
But for now, just let me be messy and confused and dual
because it is who I am.