“No one knows, including me, that my overindulgence and competitive drinking is an attempt to assert the only masculinity I know. Toxic.”
“I craved that isolation, that feeling of utter aching loneliness that I found inside houses where I did not belong.”
“We took off on our bikes with the intention of shoplifting all the proper ingredients to make homely ham sandwiches.”
“Zoey and I tried to feed our cravings for simple American cuisine, but despite our clever substitutions and meticulous adjustments and innovative ingredients from the bazaar, nothing tasted quite right. Not bad, just not what we’d been looking for.”
“Your truth is always your truth, whether said or silent. It just might not be the idea of your truth that somebody else has in their mind.”
“Presenting as male every day hurts. When the ship is in port, it’s not as bad; I grow to hate coming in to work, but once the day ends I can go home and be myself. When we’re underway, it’s worse. I’m stuck being ‘him’ all day, every day. Sometimes for days, sometimes for weeks… once, for months.”
“Other people built a gender for me and trusted that I would defend what they built. But what I was handed never made sense.”
“I am 12. I have never thought of the idea of being gay. I am the only one being called gay at school, that I know of, and I am learning very quickly that it is the worst thing one could possibly be. It feels contagious, like I’m walking into school every day with a giant, hideous cloak of gay-ness, and everyone knows it.”
I find myself preemptively mourning the transgenerational communities and cliques and cults and clubs and covens of girls like me that could be and may not be.
Lying in bed, she asked why I thought she’d be into women, and I tried to explain that Indian norms are full of moments Americans consider to be flirting. “Holding hands doesn’t mean anything,” she said. “It must be so sad to not touch your friends.”
“I started a Tumblr called Midwestern Monster Hunt dedicated to my adventures and to sharing stories of the weird, macabre, and strange. I began following blogs devoted to lovingly curating blurry photos dotted with red circles, grainy images of discs in the sky, or puns about Mothman. The more involved in cryptid and paranormal spaces I became, the more queer people seemed to pop up.”
“One thing most people don’t remember when approaching these kinds of situations is that the other person is likely terrified and nervous as well, worried about vulnerability and compatibility and wanting something too much.”
“At the start of migration season the ruby-throated hummingbird has only one goal in mind – she has to almost double her body weight, in order to survive a treacherous trip across the gulf of Mexico. At the start of migration season, the black-haired filmmaker has but one goal in mind: build a strong enough case to survive the gauntlet of work-visa processing.”
Maddy Court, the creator behind Instagram lesbian meme sensation @xenaworrierprincess, teaches us how to make a meme and shares her own meme origin story.
I feel the need to do something to the outside of my body to mark the tremendous shift I’ve experienced inside — to somehow match my inner self to my outer self. But I’m not sure who my inner self is anymore.
You know what sport doesn’t get nearly enough recognition as a gay sport? CURLING.
“There’s an easily accessible narrative in wilderness travel, to pretend we’re living outside of society, and to strive to create a better version of it. The temptation to argue that “x doesn’t really matter out here” rears its head in all of the usual places: race, socioeconomics, gender, age. What I’ve come to struggle with in the canoe, and years later, is which way to go. To continue my first argument, to dismantle gender, or to teach gender – to teach what it means to be a strong, dirty woman, to ask my co-instructor to teach positive masculinity.”
Sometimes being queer and black, bisexual and biracial, feels like contradiction, like too many things, and sometimes I’m not sure that I’d recognize myself if I walked by.
“We rarely left the bedroom and when we did, we quickly returned. We called in to work and on one occasion we both no showed. It was heavenly, but as the old adage says all good things must come to an end.”
“Loving women and loving the land are the two things I told myself I would never do, and somehow, they got all tangled up in each other.”