Post by Jillian Oliveras. Animation by Alice McGillicuddy.
This post is part of a series exploring queerness, intimacy + relationships/polyamory as experienced by our shop assistant, Jillian. Click here to read the first post in the series. They’d like to keep the conversation going, feel free to reach out to them!
My queerness is very much my own.
My life has felt like an endless series of coming out moments- all unique in their own way. Hi, I’m gay. Hi, I’m pan. Hi, I’m non-binary. Hi, I don’t drink. Hi, I’m queer. & so on…
Here’s the thing though- for a while now I’ve struggled with how to define my queerness because it’s not about being gay or straight or gay “enough”. For me, my queerness is a lot more about my gender identity and a lot less about who I want to love. A lot of the time people equate queer with gay, and they relate to very different things. Can I even be gay if I don’t subscribe to a particular gender identity?
What is sex anyway? What is gender? What is sexuality? Can we ever truly know? These are questions that I’m constantly asking myself. Those that know me on a personal level know that I always rant about how there are three main things that are entirely societal constructs and we don’t actually need: money, time, and gender.
It took me a long time to embrace my gender identity (or lack thereof), mainly because my first language is Spanish and we’ve only recently started to explore what non-binary language looks like in the Spanish language. This is also the reason why when people ask about my pronouns I will say “none, 86 pronouns” (86 as a reference to my service industry background, meaning something is no longer available). If I don’t have them in my mother tongue, why would I want them in my colonizer’s?
Being non-binary has nothing to do with who I want to sleep with, however. I have felt pretty heavily judged in the past when I’ve dated a male-bodied human instead of women or non-binary folx. OMG, JILLIAN LIKES BOYS HAHA. OMG I CAN’T BELIEVE YOU’RE STILL DATING A GUY. I like humans, period, regardless of gender expression or identity- it’s who I’ve always been. Being with a man does not make me any less queer much like being with someone existing within any other gender-related construct doesn’t make me any more queer.
Being queer is about saying “fuck it” to labels- whatever the ones you’re running from may be. To me, it’s about my experience with my gender and embracing my rejection of it. So here’s one more coming out, since it’s been a minute: Hi. I’m simply human and I choose no pronouns. I know, I know, this is stressing you out- how will you talk about me or refer to me? Use whatever makes you feel comfortable and flows- they/them or she/her or sir or simply use my name! While I understand the importance pronouns have for some, it is equally important for me, personally, to not need to choose because none would capture 100% what I feel I am at my core. So I choose to not choose a pronoun. Here’s to one day being able to exist beyond and without them!