About nadiainherownworld

I’m a college student, aspiring dance artist, writer, recreational philosopher, New Yorker in training, and user of the Oxford comma. Follow me as I try to negotiate the edges of the real world. https://nadiainherownworld.wordpress.com/

For Boys in Glitter

This one’s for the femmeboys. The flaming softboys and the fearless sissies. The boys in glitter and nail polish and neon pink. The boys at dance camp who I let try on my pointe shoes, just for shits and giggles. The men who showed me how to tear up a dance floor in heels like its a job. The pop stars with full makeup and raging falsettos.

You offered the first form of queerness made undeniably visible to me, and I latched on without quite knowing why. No, it wasn’t a desire for a “Gay Best Friend” accessory that drew me in, but a deeper, vaguer sense that we somehow belonged in the same category.

And as we stumbled through adolecence together, I wasn’t sure if I wanted to be with you or be you. (Like with the cool girls with half-shaved heads, leather jackets, and poetry blogs, it was probably some of both.)

As a babyqueer girl who would never feel at home with ‘butch’ or ‘femme,’ something told me that the sissy boys were my gender cohort.

I’ve often heard from butch women and female-assigned trans people that wearing dresses and makeup felt like drag. And I’ve felt that too–but in a good way. See, I considered drag fun: a way to be excessive and expressive and play outside the boundaries of who you are. (The only problem comes when people don’t seem to want to see me out of that costume.)

If some butches found their parallels in bros who would never be caught dead in a dress, I found mine in the bold give-no-fucks girly boys (who usually lived in patterned buttoned-downs–but actually might be caught dead in a dress). Beyond the style inspiration, I saw a form of femininity that could be part of me–a queer femininity that wasn’t passive or dainty, but aggressive, flamboyant, and subversive.

And then there were my occasional boy-crushes–generally falling into that same type. They seemed safely unrequitable–like all those straight girl crushes. (In reality, some were not as unrequitable as I had assumed–like some of those “straight” girl crushes). But in my head, they were a purely hypothetical illumination of my desires, without the more daunting possibility of action.

With my femmeboy crushes, I realized it wasn’t men per say that contradicted my tastes, but rather the stale normative masculinity that most of them came wrapped in. I came to own the nuances of my desires and understand how my sexuality might be made to function in a less staunchly gendered sphere.

So thank you, all the fabulous femme-leaning men who have rolled through my life. We’ve found our own places in the world and they’re not quite the same, but in seeing you be unapologetically you, I found some seeds I needed to be me.

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And sometimes time flies
like a hummingbird
beating like mad
just to hover in place

Yes time flies—
and time fleas
like the sugar in its blood
til it’s drained to vacant saltiness

Rock

You were my rock, in that I felt you poking around between my toes longer than I could ignore, so I had to take you out.

You were my rock that I kept kicking down the road, until I got bored.

You were my rock, in that I was silly enough to think I could just paint a smiling face on you and call you my pet.

You were my rock, and I wanted a collection.

You were my rock, in that I looked at you and saw the work of art you would be once I chipped away the extra parts.

You were my rock, but I wasn’t much of a sculptor.

 

Easier Bent

The course of that force could not be stopped
As she plowed down prescribed aisles–
But what couldn’t be paused with pushes and shouts
Could be twisted with tickles and smiles,
And nudges and winks and side-eyes,
And words left half-unspoken.

Fate is shaped by those who realize
Paths are easier bent than broken.

Best of the Reject Pile (Rejected Satire Pitches–Part 2)

  • “Why I Gave up Casual Sex and Started Having Business-Casual Sex”
  • “What He Means by ‘Friends with Benefits,’ and Does It Include Health Insurance?”
  • “Teenage Girl Completely Eviscerated Racism in One Tweet Last Week, so Why is There Still Racism?”
  • “I’m Not Like the Other Girls: I Have an Extra Kidney”
  • “Eggplant Emoji Ruined for Vegetable Enthusiasts”
  • “Handmade Cat Collar Enthusiast Unsure What Everyone is so Upset About”
  • “6 Health-Boosting Superfoods Proven to Extend This Meaningless Void You Call ‘Life'”
  • “Ditch the Pilates Reformer: Real Change Will Only Come Through The Pilates Revolution”
  • “Help: I Tried Leaning in, But No One Was There to Catch Me”
  • “Six Types of People you Probably Won’t Date in Your Twenties Because You Have Pretty Decent Judgement”
  • “Woman Finds Herself in her Twenties, Then Realizes She Doesn’t Really Like it”

“Labor of Love”

On the Dance NYC Junior Committee blog, I’ve shared some of my thoughts on the use of the phrase “labor of love,” in preparation for our Long Table discussion next Tuesday on labor, artistic love, and monetary and social value in the dance field. Read the full post here, and check the blog for more JComm member’s thoughts!

“Labor of love” is a phrase brought up to justify not paying artists, with the assumption that we are so eager to practice and perform our craft for its own sake, we will be willing to do it for free. (In regard to myself, I can’t say this isn’t true.)

“Labor of love” is how I justified to my parents my desire to pursue a highly underpaid and unstable career in dance. They asked how health insurance fit into that. I didn’t know.

Throughout high school and college, I was told by some (overwhelmingly kind and supportive) teachers and advisors that “the most important thing in life is to do what you love.” In a sense, I am following that advice, but the reality is that not everyone has the privilege to view work as more than a means of survival. When we treat the choice to pursue our passions as a morally superior one, we can develop a disregard for work done “only” for money and the people who do it. (In other words, “labor of love” won’t really help you pay your rent, but it can help you feel superior to the people living next to you.)

Believing in the moral purity of “labor of love” means dismissing those lucky enough to get significantly payed for their art as “sellouts.” (I wouldn’t mind selling out one day.)

In addition to art, I have heard the term “labor of love” used to refer to to social justice-oriented work and childrearing.

A “labor of love” is usually supported by a labor of money (either yours or someone else’s).

Best of the Reject Pile (Rejected Satire Pitches–Part 1)

  • “5 Things I Learned When I Cut ‘Sorry’ From my Vocabulary, Then Immediately Spilled my Kombucha Jug all Over the Subway”
  • “How I Learned to Accept my Imperfections and Hate Yours Instead”
  • “I’m Definitely Straight–I Just Like Kissing Girls for Attention When Nobody is Watching”
  • “You Can’t Fight Hate with Hate, but you can Totally Gloss over it with Passive-Aggressive Sarcasm”
  • “I Used to be a Basic Bitch, until my Dietician Helped me Lower my pH Levels to the Appropriate Range”
  • “Feminism Gone Astray: I Took ‘Fuck the Patriarchy’ Too Literally and Slept With all the Republican Congressmen”
  • “I Don’t Know Much About Woodworking, but I’m Going to Assume That Millennials are Ruining That Too”
  • “DIY Tutorial: How to Take a Compliment and Turn it into a Brand New Opportunity for Self-Deprecation”
  • “Nipple Overwhelmed With Newfound Freedom, Wants to Come Back Inside”
  • “I Took Clean Eating One Step Further and Only Consume Dish Soap”
  • “Can We Guess Your Education Level Based on Your Favorite Gifs? No, But We Can Guess Based on the Large Collection of Your Personal Data We Sell to Advertisers.”