Queer Identity: Against Homonormatives

News reached me that my cousin, my mother’s sister’s son, came out as gay at the age of 44 years old.  He’s met a man that he is moving to the Carolinas for.  I wonder how his journey went – what lead him to realizing he was gay; why couldn’t he say sooner; why didn’t he at least tell me?  “Your cousin finally came out,” my mother had said, informing me.  Was I oblivious, wrapped in egocentrism?  Ex-boyfriends had told me that he was gay when they first met him, but I brushed their observations off with an aloof, “Okay.”  I never felt obligated to care or take notice to welcome him into the tribe – or it appears him towards me.

Over the years, as I have embraced my uniqueness – shown self without a mask – I have found the term queer to better suit my identity.  I never felt as if homosexual was my tribe.  The punks and outsiders always felt like my people – the ones who believed normal was an insult.  A sexual identity has never felt important to my survival – rather not being alone, having a sense of community, of empathy, is what I have been after. Continue reading “Queer Identity: Against Homonormatives”

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Why We Need To Be Unapologetically Authentic

 

Art by Malika Favre
Art by Malika Favre

Authenticity is something I struggle with, so much so that I have made it my resolution for 2017.  I realized towards the end of 2016 that I covered up, diluted, or ignored the parts of myself that I thought would alienate me from those around me.  In truth, those aspects of my identity (which I am still peeling away to discover) are what make me unique and an individual.  For years I struggled with the idea that there was something false and untrue about my place in the world, only to realize that those feelings come from the fact that I was not living with authenticity – I was going to events to celebrate people I didn’t like, putting time into covering up my true ideas, and putting myself in places that I didn’t want to be.  Exhuming personalized experiences and exposing to others my personalized allows for facades to be dropped. As masks are dropped deeper connections are formed.  As I have worked through this by analyzing my past, celebrating my interests and what they mean to me, and connecting through failures, I have deepened my relationships with friends and family, resulting in an increased quality of life.  Authenticity is being politely selfish by connecting through shared hardships and joys.

 

Check out: Why We Need To Be Unapologetically Authentic