zaterdag 27 mei 2017


last night i went to a party organized by some friends, the House of Boys. i would like to share a story about that night. (first of all: dear friends/boys from House of Boys--it was a great party, i am very proud of you and this is in no way meant to be criticism)

i speak with a lot of gay boys: about their coming out, about public spaces, harassment, gender expression, etc. i love doing that and it makes me happy and proud to see them gather and have fun together, creating their own safe space. i also love the fact that a lot of them come up to me because they see somebody they apparently want to talk to. and i love how they perceive me as this queer person who doesn’t give a fuck. but in fact, i do give a lot of fucks (pun intended) and i am still very vulnerable and in search of my own gender identity and expression. i also thinks this never ends. as i said to one of the boys last night: it gets better. but being vulnerable about being seen in the way you want to be seen and getting hurt because stuff people say or never really stops. it’s inherently human.

as you can see in my profile pic, i had the word BOI* written on my chest. this was a risk i took, i realize now. it seems i value the word a lot more than i thought and i underestimated how writing something this precious on your body makes you some sort of diy target. i came out again last night, every second i was there. at first, it felt good. then something happened and it hurt like hell. picture me, some friends, and a stranger coming up to me:

‘So why doesn’t this say BOOBS?’

the moment someone says something to me that points out my body, especially when it’s being perceived as a (sexualized) woman’s body, i want to disappear. no, i want to scream. i don’t know, it makes me angry and sad and there’s so many feelings that i just don’t know what to feel or say or do anymore. so i stuttered:

‘Because i am not particularly fond of my boobs.’

this is not really true. i have had to deal with a lot of body image issues during my life, but my boobs (i don’t like that word but it was said and i don’t know a better word) have never been part of this. i don’t LOVE them, they’re just there, as a part of me. and they’re small, so they don’t bother me a lot. and, most importantly, they give me pleasure.
but at this point of the ‘conversation’, i was still processing the fact that someone perceived me as a cis woman with boobs, and the fact that i was approached as if they were the most notable aspect of my presence.

Why are you showing them off like that then?!’

i wanted to say that i wasn’t showing off anything, but that i just like to show skin with loads of glitter on it and my chest happens to have those two things people call boobs, but that for me they’re just a part of my body as a whole and not necessarily a special, striking part. i wanted to say that i wrote BOI on my chest to kind of show this to others, to make sure that people DON’T perceive me as cis woman and WON’T point out my boobs. (also: free the nipple!)

i didn’t say much though, i just mumbled to my friend that i was going somewhere else and i walked away, leaving the person in question behind in an indignant state.
my night was ruined. i tried to be my own kind of ‘boi’ at the House of Boys, but i suddenly i couldn’t be anymore. i felt exposed and unsafe. i put on a shirt and tried to process what happened, inside my head**. this writing is what came out.

i am sharing this because i want to point out not only that i am not the fearless and untouchable creature some people might think i am, but also that i experience myself, every day, how violent the gender and beauty standard prison can be, and how important it is to create safer spaces for all things queer. i refuse to believe i was the only one that got hurt last night. i am sure there were more genderqueers there, who experienced some kind of dysphoria because of something that happened. and i want them to know that i need them, and they need me.
i want to expose the vulnerability that comes with being queer, and i want vulnerability to be seen as strength, and as a force that can drive away toxicity. so...

hey bois, femmes, fags: let’s talk.
and while i am at it, hey partypeople: be careful with your comments and take care of each other.

*I use the word BOI to identify myself as ‘fag with cunt’, which is the gendercocktail i feel comfortable with most of the times, and stems from the way `boi’ is used in

1. the lesbian community, a young transgendered/androgynous/masculine person who is assigned female at birth and presents themselves in a young, boyish way; a boidyke; often also identifies as genderqueer.

2. in the gay community, a young gay man;

3. in the BDSM community, someone who presents themselves in a young, boyish way and is usually a bottom/submissive.

**of course this incident doesn't stand on its own. i am using it now because it was the last straw. other things had made me stagger and shake earlier, this made me trip.

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