Sunday, February 6, 2011

Queer Words

It started off when someone called me queer.  Friends of mine were looking for a poly, queer, female bodied person who could be the other principal organizer for events at a community house and bring knowledge and a sense of additional community.  An honor, really, to be thought of to join their band of shennaniganish amazing people.

But Queer.

What a strange word to have associated with me.  I've never been heterosexually straight, per se.  I experimented like all teenagers would.  I grew up around extremely conservative heteronormative Mormons, but the other side of my family was much more liberal, accepting, and gender and sexual orientation free/fluid/accepting.  I never really heard the word very often growing up - "Gay" was the predominant term used in the region I was raised. 

In my youth, I started out on one end of the spectrum, and as much as I thought girls were pretty, was adamant I was heterosexual.....moving through my teenage years I gradually identified more as heteroflexible.  Since becoming poly I moved from heteroflexible, to bi, to pansexual, which to me really identifies most acurately who I am attracted to - a person.  For who they are.  I couldn't care less if someone wants to be called a he, or a she, zee, them, they. I don't care what's in their pants or under their shirt or what stages of in between it might be.  I've been with men who had probably had the market cornered on testosterone, women who were the super girly of girliest that I ever did see, people who identify as transgendered, and lots of things in between.  I simply love and am attracted to people. I'm in love with their spirit - their soul - the lines on their faces that come from the way they smile and the grace of their bodies in motion.  I like the everything that is them. 

(Oh, and if you're into spoken word - check out this person - I Love <3 Andrea Gibson <3. Their work epitomizes some of the gender position I have.)

I understand the need for words to describe, to communicate, to understand where things are coming from and where they might be going, I'm a writer and was an English major.  The problems with words is they can be misconstrued.  My definition doesn't match yours.  I have years of associations built up that are triggered when my brain identifys the word "queer" or "bi" or "Quazimodo" or "pie".  No one else has lived the life I had and so no one else will be able to see the world the way I do, or see the flowers and hear the laughter when someone says "How does an Owl go?"  - the response in my brain triggers this encounter with my husband in the zoo - and the sound a ghost makes going "OoooOooooo"...or hear the word "Elephant", which is an image of a man lying down on a massive bean bag and a cute friend snorting in laughter.

So there's all these mixed up, mashed up, alternative versions of meanings of everything that ever is.  But people crave to know things and that's the most common ways humans translate information to each other.  Through words.  For fucks sakes, I wish there was a more articulate way to communicate.  I've been innundated with people who aren't very familiar with me recently who want to know how I identify and who I am. I just want to tell them I identify as Amanda.  Me. Myself. I.  That's it, that's all there is.  That's who I am and how I connect with that.

Unfortunately that doesn't transfer the information and I'm forced to use those labels everyone else has created.  Hi, I'm Amanda.  I'm polyamorous.  I'm pansexual.  My personal gender identity is primarily female but has elements of fluidity to it.  I'm a person and therefore complicated.  I'm the Amandazon that and a little girl too.  And everything exists in this small space squished inside my epidermus, firing synapses that generate thought and emotion and action in microspaces inbetween nerve endings. 

There's just so much that combines to define me, but nothing that you can tag to my lapel and have stick, or be complete enough to set your foundation of me on. There's an illusive and mystical element of being someone, full and complete, that can't be captured with words.  If any thing is queer, it's trying to capture the meaning of a person in simple words.

1 comment:

  1. Thank you for posting those videos. They kind of made my day. The way Andrea Gibson gasps for air is really beautiful and for me emphasized the super delicious "inbetweeness".