gender thoughts

July 27th, 2017 § 0 comments § permalink


i feel sad re: gender today. i am reading the fire been here by venus di’khadijah selenite. she writes powerfully and beautiful and honestly. it is making me think a lot about recently coming out as agender to a few close friends and my mom.

i feel sad re: my gender, that it took me so long to realize that it wasn’t the gender assigned to me. i feel sad that i can’t be seen in the way i am. i also feel angry that most people will assume i am a woman. i want to do drastic things to confuse people, to give them reason to doubt their assumptions.

i also feel sad that i am likely returning this same harm to the people around me because gender assumptions happen instantaneously. it is unfair of me to assume anyone’s gender and yet my mind also tells me when i am safe and when i am not. i am not safe around many cismen. so i am caught in that.

when i first discovered that i am agender, i was so excited and relieved. and i still feel that excitement and relief. but i also feel sad today. i feel sad that it took me this long to figure it out and i am also realizing that this identity requires a lot of fight to claim space. meanwhile my sabotage-brain tells me that i am being dramatic, this isn’t a real thing, you don’t have any right to this space.

that’s it for now.



Try Better. On More Days. Even When You’re Sad.

August 6th, 2015 § 0 comments § permalink

Every comfort I have is at someone else’s expense. This coffee, the central air, the cotton shirt hanging from my shoulders. I draw from the entire world so I don’t get hot or itchy or tired. Each house on the block contains people doing the same thing. Zoom out. Zoom out, zoom out.


I am on the receiving end of the world, part of a straw sucking at the last bit of juice circling the glass.


For what is my output? I struggle to write. I struggle with my feelings. I struggle with imagined fear-based realities. I try to bring love to all of my interactions but afterwards I need a nap. Certainly, I feel guilt. And how utterly boring. To my disappointment, guilt no longer motivates me. Shame no longer motivates me. They only serve as a force behind the “fuck-it” to run the water until it’s hot.


I could walk naked to the farm down the road to buy berries, but they use diesel tractors and sprinklers during droughts. I can only live at my own expense if my community, at the very least, is doing the same.


Oppression is certainly well thought out. I’m placing my bets on the model’s inherent instability. There will be a revolution. How hard will I be overthrown?


Maybe I’m not the problem. I do try my best most days. There are so many people who don’t even try. I encourage others to try and forgive them when they don’t. I forgive myself when I don’t. Maybe I’m too forgiving. Forgiveness is at someone else’s expense.


In short, it’s not enough. People are doing incredible, monumental work, giving their precious life to their cause. I am not one of them. And it’s not enough. Or maybe it’s enough, but certainly not fast enough. For me to do my best on most days when I’m not too sad is quite definitely not enough.


One voice that says: “you are not enough”

The other says: “it is not enough.”


I’m living on borrowed money, borrowed time. We are running out of gas. This comfort is going to trickle dry. Probably not for me right away. Definitely for others it’s already happened. Mostly, I think we are the unlucky ones who will live to see the end. Maybe there’s something magical on the other side? Mostly, I think not.


Maybe we will live in small, local communities and share food and skills. That would be nice, I think. But probably we will fight until the bitter, bloody end. Peace without war? I’m surprised to find myself on this side of the question.


I just don’t want to live at anyone else’s expense. What I’m truly asking for is for freedom. I don’t know how to rip off the comfort, wholly and completely. If I did, I might. I am taking the longer road, as in the general stripping away, because it’s all I know and hope I live long enough to be able to give back what I take. So I will try better on more days, maybe even if I am too sad.

June 18th, 2015 § 0 comments § permalink

As I pick up the skirts of my life, I shake off all that’s collected there: desks and unpaired earrings and jobs and street names and birthday cards. But not the people I almost know. Turns out, they are the ties that almost bind me. They are the ones who are hardest to lose. I moved aside one heart for another and found a different love beneath it.


how you are hungry

March 26th, 2015 § 0 comments § permalink

if you find something

small, leave it.


it was meant for someone else.


don’t be so hungry for beauty or meaning

for that kind of hunger

lives by feeding on itself.


you are neither Rasheed nor Mary

who wrote their love in 2011 on

this bathroom wall.


you only ever had a marker or a blank hunger,

never both.


tell someone nearby about universality

and why little boys who’ve never seen guns

pick up sticks and shoot them.


don’t tell yourself these things were meant

for you, these little droppings

to collect in your phone,

skating across the palm of

your hand.


eventually a neighbor will lose their child

to some kind of horrible

and that too will have to have been

meant for you.


the book you’ve been looking for

is marked “free” and sitting in a box of rain,

tasting like the sigh of the storm.


post no bills

untrace what’s been drawn.


leave that all here

sight unseen.



February 12th, 2015 § 0 comments § permalink


I visit greenpoint at night

when life has rearranged itself

playthings after you leave the room


people, pocketed + bagless, rafts

along the Amazon


storefronts, the forest leaning

back, whispering thick escape


in greenpoint, there are spectators

and crocodiles sliding just

beneath your visitor’s gaze

still holding you in reach.


there are no footprints in the

snow, no facemarks on the payphone


the wild is rooted in

its slow reveal. a lantern,

an insect in amber, a

bracelet bumping against

your slender wrist.




January 8th, 2015 § 0 comments § permalink

Today I took down the STOLEN BIKE sign from the barren pole to which it was last seen chained. I left it up for two weeks, without much hope that the vague description (BLACK DAILY 01 COVERED IN STICKERS) would yield any reports. Rather I posted the sign as a warning to other bike riders—shit still gets stolen. Every day I’m not mugged, I am one day closer to my inevitable mugging. Every evening, I chained my bike up and each subsequent morning it was still chained there gave me a false sense of security. The safety of my bike isn’t with compound interest—it’s a daily reprieve. The same goes for living here. The only guarantee is change.

There is an interesting gap in my reflexive comprehension when something significant has gone missing. When I’m walking to work, and I see a dog approaching, I think “perhaps this is my dog,” though I know logically that’s impossible. She’s at home, right where I left her. And the chances that the very person approaching me en route to my job not only stole her from my apartment, but also managed to lap me are statistically near impossible. But still, that is the initial thought. That same thinking searches for my bike among the thousands chained to poles, fences, racks, railings and scaffolding I pass by. Similarly, I search every man and woman I encounter, desperate to not miss a potential partner among the crowd. It’s hard to shake myself into the second and third thought, grounded in infinitely more logic: “My bike/dog/partner is not here.” The needle begins to skip and I seek an explanation that makes sense: How is my dog approaching me? Will I see my bike back where I saw it last? Where is my love? I imagine there will be some recognition, as there would be if I were to see my dog walking with another. She would strain against her leash, attempting to leap at me in a frenzied greeting. My bike would be slightly less recognizable perhaps, stickers peeled off, all evidence of previous possession erased—but I would know, in a gut sense. As for the woman of my dreams, I would know her before I knew her. But all stories can be untold: my dog could forget me; my bike could be completely redone; my love could be seeking someone else or no one at all. The city is erased each day and redrawn. All that I seek is seeking too.

So what is it I seek? I seek a life that suspends boundaries. One where the moment is a little deeper than it is now; where edges are slightly more flexible. One where I could come face to face with my bike and its thief and say, “It’s alright, I understand.” One where I could whisper in my future partner’s ear and say “Ready when you are” and then neither one of us gets to decide when we’re ready. One where I can watch two lives unfold at once. One where drums beat to footsteps and significant moments replay on the walls of our homes.

When we lose something that can’t be recovered, we must learn how to live with the loss. It’s just a bike, I know. But I’ve had little practice in the art of losing. Things and people somehow have a way of finding themselves back in my path. I know for certain I will have practice. I will lose my mind. My time. My mother. My father. The use of my arms and legs. I will lose friends. I will lose my dog. I will lose at winning. I will lose my money and my property. I will lose my job. And my life. I will lose things I don’t have yet. And I will find things already lost. The order in which these events will occur is unknown. But they spin around all of us, a roulette of loss.

When. When. When. When will I sink my teeth into life and taste only ash? Each morning, I am one day closer to loss and one day further away from lost.

Last night I dreamt that my bike was waiting for me downstairs, chained to the NO PARKING MON-FRI sign it was stolen from. There is something comforting in knowing that it takes two to lose, and two to be found again.

Key Labels.

April 15th, 2014 § 0 comments § permalink

“I’m queer.”

“I’m gay.”

“I’m a lesbian.”

“I’m bisexual.”

“I’m pan-sexual?”

I try all of these on and none of them fit. Maybe I’m not used to it yet? I don’t particularly want to mold myself to fit into a label. But sacrificing a label feels like giving up a key to a community. My community? Others like me. I want to know others like me. What’s the search phrase? Keyword?

I know I’m not alone in this. But it feels like everyone else got the rulebook a long time ago and I just woke up.

Just woke up to who I am. Just woke up into this sexuality.

That’s what happens when you have two decades of practice pushing feelings down. Pushing and pushing until they form a dense pit in your gut: Pre- Big Bang Feelings, topped with alcohol, flambéed.

Once I put down the drink and cracked open, I could finally love who I loved, without shame.

My insides finally match my outsides. But my outsides don’t quite match my insides. I feel I stand alone, sure of my attraction, but unsure where to turn. I seek a community– I crave friends who feel the same way.

Yet I diminish these feelings, daily. I don’t want to pass in a straight community any longer but I still feel I ought to. It’ll make things less complicated for everyone. Don’t want to make you feel uncomfortable by not identifying. Don’t want to experience the discomfort of not identifying. I want the freedom of not identifying and the community of like-minded people.

I feel like I need a letter in the LGBTQIA alphabet for me to have a proper place in this world.

Thought for today 1/29

January 29th, 2014 § 0 comments § permalink

Any difference we experience is the combined result of our privilege, our choices and luck.

Manila Luzon


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