September 12

Dear Leslie,

I want to believe that my letters to you will be constant and regular. Both because I want to be a disciplined writer capable of maintaining a blog (this is a blog, I’m self-conscious, but this a blog), and because I do actually have plenty to say and learn.

As frank as I am, however, as open as I can be about my body (who cares if it’s my period and I say my body is heaving its guts out of my vagina), my genderqueerness, and queerness, I have to admit that some things are difficult to discuss and sometimes I’m just too sobered by reality to discuss gender and sexuality. I’ve been blessed with a Santa’s sleigh-full of opportunities and privileges growing up as a middle-class queer white kid in Portland, Oregon, but my upbringing doesn’t negate the existence of a socially constructed gender binary with very real influences on my life. Things here in Portland are better for me than they would be most places, but my gender is still an invisible box on most forms and dating sites are an unwelcome reminder that gender identity and expression play big roles in even non-hetero realms. I can throw my arms wide, drop a shoulder, shimmy, wink, and joke about my queerness as I have countless times before eventually scampering or strolling into another subject, but I can’t summon that casual demeanor all the time. 

There will be times when I don’t write you because I don’t know how to say something or if I am willing to say it and times when I don’t write because I feel grateful and content with my situation and therefore believe I have nothing to say. There will also be times when I just don’t write—who knows why. Writing can be funny like that. Sometimes I have whole pages written in my head with copies already made and filed away yet those words never leave my head. I will work on that.

I want this to be a place where I write you regardless of how I feel.

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