End of another summer

My brain and body haven’t been the most cooperative this summer.

I’m still usually very tired when I’m not at work. My blood work showed a few abnormal readings with my liver; the doctor ordered another round just to be sure, and I have an appointment to discuss that test with her next month. I also still tend to take long naps and sometimes drift off into dream sleep. The whole “tired but my brain is still overactive” thing’s been covered here before, so I’m not going to talk too long about that, but if you’ve read any of my previous posts, that’s how I still am. I haven’t even gone swimming at all this year, either because the weather was miserable, or it was so oppressively hot that I wanted to minimize any time outside the apartment. I don’t drive either, so it’s a little more effort than usual to make it down there. I also feel very weird about asking people with cars to let me tag along on their beach jaunts.

Despite my expressed doubts in the last post, I did end up taking part in a few Pride events this year. I went to the Queerlesque show (burlesque featuring 2SLGBTIA performers) and marched in the parade again, my sisters came to the city for the Latrice Royale and Thorgy Thor shows that week, and I marched with my friends' family through a neighborhood that had recently been vandalized by homophobic graffiti. The heatwave that week contributed to my fatigue (which is a shame, because there were a few other parties and events I would have loved to go to), but the week made me realize especially how much I missed being out and connecting with the other members of the local LGBTQ community.

The Queerlesque show in particular reminded me of how awesome the concepts of genderfluidity and non-binary identities really are. I'm pretty obviously masculine in appearance, but I've really never felt like I've fit in with traditional gender expectations of males, and as many of my good friends are men, I sometimes feel more kinship with my women friends. Back when I was particularly religious, there was something about the conservative Christian attitude of prescribed gender roles for men and women that always bothered me; maybe it was just that I had gotten to know some great women who definitely weren’t the submissive type, or maybe there were other cracks already beginning to form in my worldview. I recall thinking that I liked the idea of calling your significant other your partner even if they were the opposite sex. When I first heard about the concept of genderqueer about 15 years ago, something lit up in my brain; It just made sense to me that some people didn't necessarily want to be the other gender, but never really felt they were a fit for their assigned one either.

I don’t really hide my queerness, but I feel like I need to assert it more. When I was in the parade, I gladly accepted one of my floatmates’ offer to put some glitter on my face, and one time when I was out with a few others (who were all queer women), I got one of them to put some of their lipstick on my face. Most of the time, though, I try not to stand out and draw attention to myself.

I sometimes feel like I have a number of selves that seem to exist alongside each other without necessarily fitting together, and that I need to either partition them or keep my guard up in order to be accepted.

Chances are if you're any combination of queer, creative, open about your mental health, concerned about justice and marginalized people, with similar tastes and interests and a great sense of humor, I want to know you better. Bonus points added for having really cool style, empathy, great storytelling ability, and the travel bug, or if you have parts of your story that are similar to mine. As much as social media’s really opened up the floodgates on privacy issues, hatred, weaponized cruelty and so forth, it’s also brought a lot of great people into my orbit that I probably would have been too intimidated to approach in the real world.