“That being said, I’d like to live in a world someday where people don’t automatically assume my body looks and functions a certain way, that makes room for people like me and my experiences.”
“Go see weirdos and women and everyone living on the fabulous fringes of society doing things, please. I’ll go with you. We can take all our boos, cats, and brujas on a communal date.”
“It was daunting to go in for a custom fitting but I’m a convert, now. I definitely feel way more confident in my choice of size and style.”
“I miss contraband, kumbayahs, and those very few and far between moments where I felt like there was nothing that could stop us.”
“We pass down traditions and knowledge that are unintentionally green or sustainable. We do not call them ‘eco-friendly’ practices, we just do them. I call this passed down knowledge, Abuelita Knowledge because so much of this ‘new age’ practices are the ways in which my grandmas and elders live their lives.”
“It eventually stopped. I don’t know how long it went on for. I’m not sure where I live, but I know it’s not in my body; everything felt like nothing and I didn’t know where that place was.”
But now my body, which had spent so many years letting me down and making decisions without my consent, had gone and done something absolutely right — and done it better. It had done something other people’s bodies, “healthy” bodies, hadn’t been able to.
It’s a boy, until and unless he tells us otherwise, I thought. It’s a boy who will be raised without gender roles. It’s a boy who will be defined by their heart and mind, not by the organs that happen to be between their legs. It’s a boy who will be loved wholly, deeply, and completely by the two women who created him.
“I once had a life where I could go blocks, miles, months without a stranger standing in my way, saying, ‘Hey girl, where you goin’ in such a hurry?’ I want to take my personal space bubble to the shop and have it re-inflated to its original size, but that chapter of my life seems to be done.”
“After three hours of waiting, the director sits us on the couch amongst three or four other couples. We stare deeply into the camera. I hype myself up. Look into the camera like it is a lover, NO, a hamburger! Look at the camera like it is a hamburger.”
“Whose sperm is this?” she asked me once. Maybe it was the first time. “It’s mine,” I said. I didn’t know what else to say. I had paid for it. No one else was coming to get it.
“Like Russia itself, my parents’ instincts are torn. My birth country can’t make up its mind whether it wants its culture to be a part of liberal Europe or conservative Asia, my birth parents can’t make up their minds between simply loving their only child and feeling like there is something fundamentally broken about me now.”
“I hated my body and punished it, and it hated me and punished me back. Is that what happened? That’s the thing about getting sick the way I got sick: nailing it down.”
“I did not intend to have any experiences outside the range of what I had previously proven to myself I was comfortable with or could understand. Scully and I both convinced ourselves that this was possible, that it had ever been a possibility.”
“The truth is always messy. I told myself I could be gay and I wouldn’t ever be hurt again. I needed to never be hurt again.”
“I was angry. Really fucking angry. Angry because Jenny Schecter was right.”
I finally feel safe enough to imagine the big queer family I never had. A home where gender is an option, not an obligation, where parents can apologize to each other as well as to their kids and where long, ongoing conversations about race, power and privilege exist.
“Netflix is kinda like my fag hag, the kind that wraps you up in a warm rainbow blanket with a bowl of soup when you’re recovering from a Cinco de Mayo hangover.”
How do I move past only feeling Native based on whether I fish or know the traditional ways? How can I push past feeling like my queer identity is tied to how much I listen to Uh Huh Her?
I imagine myself as not myself, at my grandparents’ apartment this Christmas, wearing makeup, a women’s blouse, long hair combed to the middle of my back: What he thought I would grow up to be, what my mom thought I would grow up to be.