had a cool convo with my cishet housemate when i was cutting his hair a couple weeks back. we’ve been best friends for going on eight years now, and dated for the first six of those, and our relationship is deeply familial, so we have a lot of very intimate conversations about identity and family and trauma, etc. i feel comfortable talking with him about things i don’t talk about with others, so when he asked me why i was medically transitioning i knew it was in good faith. (c)

he has known me through many different stages of gender presentation- high femme, femme androgyny, masculine womanhood, masculine androgyny, and many different aesthetic styles- normie, norcal college student, punk, altcore, etc. he has been my best friend and closest confidante regardless of my appearance and presentation, and talking with him about my identity is always a great experience because his only investment is my happiness. (c)


he’s often my sounding board, and helps me put things in order and into words that otherwise are usually more vague feelings and instincts. and this conversation helped me unravel some of what’s been percolating in my brain for some time regarding my queerness and presentation. i don’t know if this will resonate with other folks on here, but i’m going to try to explain how i feel about my gender and presentation in case it does.

noah’s idea of queer 

my concept of queerness has always been informed by rejection of norms. from a young age i was surrounded by counterculture elders, many of whom were adjacent to queerness. i grew up with elder hippies, stoners, tattooers, artists, and blacklisted commies, most of whom had mellowed and assimilated into the mainstream with age. i loved growing up adjacent to oddity, but i wanted to be immersed in it. by the time i was creating my own identity, i knew i wanted to be a weirdo 2.

noah’s idea of queer 

as pinkwashing and the production of a palatable “LGBT” community began to artificially emerge in the 00s, I was growing up in the contrails of old freaks and geeks who had lived lives in violent rejection of “the man”. i knew i wasn’t straight my entire life, and when i started to meet other gay kids i was surprised to see that many of them only had the diluted representation of shows like Glee or the L word. i honestly hadn’t realized my childhood was the exception.

noah’s idea of queer 

there was a brief time, as a neurodivergent, self-hating teen, that i tried to course-correct to being palatable as well. it didn’t last long- i wasn’t any good at it. the next few years of my transition from youth to young adulthood i experimented with presentation and friendships and flirted with commitment to being different, unpalatable, and strange. i wasn’t sure if i would thrive, logistically, if i were visibly different. would i be employable? would i be harassed?

noah’s idea of queer 

so like any good scientist, i started testing the waters. piercings, haircuts, different clothing- each step carrying me a little further from palatability. around this same time, i met more queer people who were visibly, vibrantly counterculture. transfemmes with bright lipstick and bodyhair, nonbinary goths covered in hardware. i loved them, and envied their commitment to themselves. eventually i realized sitting on the fence was more discomforting than choosing a side.

noah’s idea of queer 

so i leaped.

i came out, i started socially transitioning, and i made commitments towards living a life that made me happy regardless of others’ discomfort. and in doing so, realized the affection i held for being visibly, loudly, and inescapably disruptive.

claiming queer was no longer about quantifying my attraction or gender to cishet folks, but instead was an dismissal and refusal to be assimilated or made palatable.

noah’s idea of queer 

existing in a body that rejects categorization is a delight. i love knowing that my body is difficult to understand or parse to folks who subscribe to cisheteronormatitvity. i love participating in and creating space for a community that embraces oddity. queer to me is a perfect encapsulation of that idea- queerness to me is a resistant, vicious refusal of attempts to standardize and sanitize the human experience.

noah’s idea of queer 

my choice to medically transition is not an extension of my desire to form my body into a more acceptable shape. there is no goal for my transition, not perfect body i’m reaching towards. it’s just a journey i’m setting out on to see where it leads, and i’m enjoying every second of it.

noah’s idea of queer 

the experiences of transgender people that are widely broadcasted are not often stories like mine. my body, my identity, is not palatable, explainable, or justifiable. there is not an easy definition for how i feel about gender or my body, no scientific basis for why i didn’t feel content with what society assigned to me. binary transness is as alien to me as being cis.

noah’s idea of queer 

but when i look at my queer ancestors, and what is left of their pillaged history, i see many people who also embraced being undefinable. there was no way to perform queerness that was palatable, and so they didn’t try. there is so much beauty and resilience visible in what remains of our queer elders. when i talk about being queer i do so with the intention of building solidarity and rejecting narratives of assimilation.

noah’s idea of queer 

the pressure will always exist to conform and assimilate to structures of power, even as they expand to “accept” new communities. you can be gay if you’re white, cis, and wealthy. you can be trans if you’re binary, abled, and passing. this is the way of oppressive institution- to welcome those who agree to reject those who refuse categorization or assimilation.

i am not queer as in definable, not trans as in explainable. i am queer as in genderfuck, as in S.T.A.R., as in community resilience and resistance, as in this body belongs me, as in i don’t owe you a succinct and sanitized summary of to who and how i like to make love.

i am trans as in causing a ruckus, as in double takes at JCPenny’s, as in a choose your own adventure novel, as in acknowledging that my body is a home and habitat for me and me alone, as in touching, feeling, enjoying the sensation of my skin under my fingers, as in surgery scars that will always be visible, as in every person deserves access to a life that brings them joy and comfort.

there aren’t words to perfectly explain why top surgery and hormones feel right to me. but when my best friend asked me why i was medically transitioning, i told him, surrounded by his hair around our feet like a halo, that i was transitioning because i think i might fall in love with the person who’s going to meet me on the other side of the mirror in a few years. i don’t know who they’ll be, but i know they’re going to be magnificent.

anyway this is a rough draft ramble, i’m sure i’ll make this more coherent next go around lmfao

re: noah’s idea of queer 

@bee the fact that so much of us get only that rep - or even less - is a travesty and im so happy u got so much more!

@bee this may not be the main point of your thread but i’m glad you have someone to do this with in your life and i wish that were more widespread

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