To Remind Myself in a Rut:

Remember:

That your turning points have never come from glowing revelations,

But from those yet-unworded fuzzy pangs of off-ness
you didn’t think would ever emerge from your background noise;
From the feelings that leaked out where they weren’t supposed to;
From the moments when your words stumbled upon the gaps in what they could say, into the wormholes of what you were missing. 

That you’ve come to feel amazing
about things that made you feel like shit a few years ago.
That you’ve come to feel nothing
about things that made you feel like shit a few years ago.
That you’ve come to feel powerfully enraged
about things that made you feel like shit a few years ago. 

That you’re feelings aren’t special.
And isn’t that great?

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We’re Here (and we’re also there, and we always have been)

You call it a foreign substance
As if it weren’t running in this blood call your own
And you see it glittering across the earth
But not in the shadows of your own backyard

But can you remember
When they sold you those fears to wear as your own?
Can hardly blame you–I’ve slurped up their sweet talk myself
(But it could never wash out this blood)

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.

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.