Norah

United States

18 | she/they | hypothetical astronaut | ekphrastic poet | haunted house

Message to Readers

This is not an invitation to give me unsolicited advice, counsel or sympathy. I'm a big girl and I can figure my life out on my own. I don't usually post personal prose on this site, and this is very stream-of-consciousness, but hopefully it can be helpful to someone else going through something similar. I use queer and d*ke in this piece, if you are not comfortable with those words then don't read it.

shame | #lgbtqpersonal

March 4, 2020

FREE WRITING

10
Hello, and welcome to my shame. I have an amount of it. 

I have a feeling this is something every gay person feels about the younger generation of gay people in their life, that we just came like this, in layers and layers of shame. Shame of loving who you want to love. Shame of touch. Shame of questioning, of exploring, of saying certain words, of acting out. I look at people only a few years younger than me and I am astounded by their lack of outward shame. Of embarrassment. 

It’s something I have worked very hard to change in myself, the way I cringe when other people are “too gay”. It sucks. Because being queer is about freedom. 

Queerness is about living your life the way you want it, without the constraints of societal expectation. I don’t know if you know it yet, but being gay is awesome, and beautiful, and sexy if you want it to be. It’s community, it’s language, it’s home. I have made a home here. 

I am not ashamed of being gay. For a long time I couldn’t say lesbian, I can say lesbian now. I can say butch, I can say dyke. And these labels feel good, they feel stable. 

For a long time I couldn’t touch girls without feeling guilty, without feeling like they knew. I can touch my friends now. I can hug my friends now. 

I am not ashamed of being a lesbian. That’s not really what this is about, exactly. I was for a while, but I’m not anymore and if anyone tried to make me feel that way about who I liked I would laugh in their face. I mean, really?

No. I’m ashamed about another part of my identity, something I’ve been working through and working through and working through. Thinking to death. Ignoring for years at a time. 
Ah yes, the gender question. The terror of a second coming out. 

I have what you could call a tenuous connection to womanhood. Actually, think about it like this: There is an astronaut floating in the black void of space, attached to a space station by only an umbilical cord of tether. The space station is womanhood. I am the astronaut. 

I am nonbinary. Or I’m not nonbinary. Or I feel like a nothing, no one inside a butch lesbian’s body and a thrown-together fashion sense and I am drowning. I am gender-non-conforming. Or I’m gender-fuck knows where. 

Gender-non-conforming is the label that feels the best, and even then I would never label myself trans in a thousand thousand years even though there is something in that word than calls to me. 
And you know why? Shame. 

With my trans friends I talk about hormones and top surgery and thinking about either or both, and thinking about the way my body makes me feel. I am less ashamed in their company, safety, the fact that if they were to shut me out they would be shutting themselves out too. 

But otherwise...I’m terrified of what other people will think of me. I see nonbinary people getting demolished online, I see people say that I can’t be a lesbian. I see people say that it’s not worth it. 

And maybe it’s not. Maybe this will finally be the thing my parents don’t understand. Maybe. I don’t have the perfect answer. I’m working through it. Around it. Under it. Maybe I’ll outrun it, maybe not. 

I’ll let you know.

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2 Comments
  • Anha

    february highlights are live, and you're in them!
    http://bit.ly/3bavJY6


    over 1 year ago
  • Anha

    fuck yes. this is breathtakingly honest - no wishy-washy metaphors like an over convoluted metaphor might try to manipulate a story. this is life, plain and simple. you're awesome.


    over 1 year ago