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  • Writer's pictureqmwproject

“Other. Please Explain.” by A Universal Friend

My gender is peculiar.

My gender is the delicious moment of hesitation before the cashier decides to use “sir” or “ma’am”.

My gender is the delightful moment that follows, right before they apologetically switch to the other.

My gender is leaning against a wall, foot propped up behind me, a green g2 dangling between my fingers like a cigarette, wearing a mustard yellow denim jacket, black t-shirt, light wash skinny jeans, and black leather hi-top chucks.

My gender is weird earring girl.

My gender is almost impossible to misgender.

My gender is a neatly trimmed beard to masc my remarkably weak chin.

My gender is realizing that actually I want to wear my wife’s striped cardigan with elbow patches that I’ve been pestering her to wear more for years.

My gender is play.

My gender is Schrodinger’s unopened box.

My gender is trouble. Ya know, the Judith Butler variety.

My gender is snuggling up next to my kids on the couch reading as the early dawn light breaks through our front window.

My gender is not a man, but also not, not a man.

My gender is finally wearing whatever clothes I want, regardless of where they’re shelved in the store.

My gender is found proving contraries.

My gender is a ‘90s holographic collectible—images layered on top of one another, one haunting the other at all times, seemingly transforming but really both existing simultaneously as some distinct thing. Perception transforming me.

My gender is absolutely, unequivocally, without a shadow of doubt, NOT “bud”, “buddy”, or one of the “buddies”.

My gender is trans.

My gender is an optical illusion.

My gender is dude, in its true, pure, gender neutral, equal opportunity form.

My gender is the thrill of being asked, “In what ways have you really enjoyed your femininity the most? Like what activities or aspects brought that most forward in a joyful way for you?”

My gender is not a woman, but also not, not a woman.

My gender is feeling flirty and queer as I catch myself looking at my reflection in the mirror, feeling more fully myself than I have in decades.

My gender is non-compliant.

My gender is tossing my long hair around, dancing, and belting, “I thought that they were angels, but come to my surprise, they climbed aboard their starship and headed for the skiiiiiiieeeeeees” into a wooden spoon, while I cook dinner.

My gender is trouble. Good trouble.

My gender is reading quietly in the corner.

My gender is rolling up the sleeves of my white collared shirt after church, unbuttoning it a couple extra buttons, with my cross and Lithuanian amber necklaces swinging out as I lean over.

My gender is me.

My gender is a velvet teal blazer over a white v-neck tee paired with berry corduroy pants.

My gender is playful, loving provocation for adherents to the gender binary.

My gender is luxuriating in the jewel-toned polish gracing my nails, stealing awestruck and admiring glances at it throughout the day.

My gender is any and all pronouns, in a chill way.

My gender is rebel, rebel scum.

My gender is transformative.

My gender is trouble, said endearingly, with a glint in your eye like the small-town girl to the new kid in town.

My gender is delighting in feeling my wife’s eyes on me, her girlfriend who looks like her boyfriend from February last year.

My gender is radical, but with a moderate disposition.

My gender is desperately hoping you don’t make a Big Deal(TM) out of it, but also silently begging you to perceive me queerly.

My gender is a ‘70s space pirate lesbian.

My gender is queer.

My gender is joy.

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