How Queerness has changed my life:

“I grew up constantly having my gender expression conflated with my sexuality; both of which I was given very few options for. None of them seemed to fit, but I was repeatedly told I had to choose. If I couldn’t make a choice, one was chosen for me. People seemed preoccupied with finding an answer. I folded in on myself. I accepted their terms. In my adulthood, someone casually and sweetly asked me if I was genderqueer. I had never heard that expression before, but I knew they weren’t asking me the same questions I’d always been asked (“What are you? No, you can’t be that.”). I fumbled out the response I’ve been giving to people ever since when they ask about my identity: “Oh, don’t worry about it.” I said it then out of self defense. I continued to say it out of confusion and to get out of having to answer the question correctly. I am learning now to say it out of joy, and to fuck with people’s need to box me in somewhere in order to understand me. I prefer to be understood wholly and slowly, or not understood at all. Who I am is mine to give, not for other people to give me. I never saw that person again, but they planted a tiny little seed of queer thought that changed a lot for me when I had to go home and research what they meant. It continues to grow.”

“So far I’ve found acceptance and a new level of friendship where I can actually be myself. I also have also how normative thinking limits both those who fit with and within the norm by often creating a barrier of shame between false binaries. To use a metaphor, it’s taken me from a sectioned-off swimming pool to the great big beautiful ocean.”

“In my own world of not knowing anything for sure about myself, the word “queer” appeased others’ (above my own) desires for labels. I don’t like it, but I sure as hell appreciate it. Regardless, I can be a bit more comfortable… not knowing and exploring. :)”

“I became a proud hairy freak. I have acquired the will to live.”

“helps me grow and learn and let go of preconceived notions”

“it’s shaped every single thing in every part of my life”