I am simple in my complexity. I’m an impulsive overthinker who wants to be left alone and celebrated. These things all sound oxymoronic and maybe there are; but this is who I am.
I have been coming to terms with my nature over the years. That I love different — I share a different type of care than the “typical” masculine offering. I’ve always said to people that *Michael Jackson voice* “I’m not like other guys”; often leading to inquiries on my sexuality or ridicule. It’s interesting that when someone expresses compassion as their leading trait, ridicule becomes an easy reaction — I’ll unpack that sometime later, but not today.
It took a long time for this realization — maybe I’m not like other guys because I’m not a guy. I didn’t have the language or understanding. Even working in public health for decades, being compassionate and caring didn’t equate to the exploration of self I needed. I always figured it was too late for me to explore my expression — regardless of my feelings.
In 2019 I was in conversation with Sarah Lawson *no relation :-)* I expressed that I always felt like I was in the middle of the road on gender, leaning toward masculine, but definitely tapped into my femininity. She was the first person in my entire life to offer this thought: Why Not Both?
Simple, I just am. And I can be pretty and gangsta. I can have my beard and wear dresses, and like colors and be goth, and want to kiss women, and want them to hold me. And it doesn’t change my sexuality or my partners. It just makes space for a more complete me. A more complete me which is a complex concept for society.
Gatekeepers of societal norms benefit from us remaining segmented versions of ourselves. Political figures, billionaires, landlords, non-profiteers — they all play the demographics game to chase the money and remain in power. As we shuffle ourselves into boxes to collect a portion of our true worth, they stack those boxes and step into greater wealth. It begins with us believing that there is not enough space for our full selves, so we make ourselves smaller in the world — leaving room for them to occupy.
So I’ve began to take space. Celebrating Somdwain is part of it. My creation practice is part of it. My pronouns (they/them) are part of it. I’m a 37 year old non-binary being and it feels good to be. As we reflect, we get a chance to see ourselves for our full selves, share our complexity, and live in the simple nature of being. Yeah… all of that.
Peace Safety, and Knowledge of Self,
PS: Word to Donnie Riggs Photography and 7DrumCity for the amazing pics and venue. Check out Donnie’s work here and 7DC here!
PPS: People have different pronouns for their identities. I use they/them primarily, but answer to he/she/they/ze pronouns because I feel that I am represented in multiple identities. That is NOT the case for all people. Be respectful to people and their identities and pronouns. I may not bite your head off, but someone else may and their feelings are valid.
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