Coming out!

Hello I am Nozomi and I am Non-Binary! My pronouns are they/them.

I am still figuring out the finer points of my own gender which is awesome, after realizing that a lifetime of feeling wrong in my own body was not unique. That I wasn’t broken or needing to be fixed, I was just me, and I was different. Learning that this is something that other people had too, but in their own ways was amazing. To learn I wasn’t alone that my feelings and experiences were valid. I just wanted to give a big loves and hugs to my queer community and all the wonderful flavors of peoples I know and love. You all made my own coming out possible.

Growing up there were always these pressures to do one or the other. Either you are a “girly girl” or a “tomboy”. Either you like dolls or legos. Everything was this weird forced binary. I was lucky enough to be able to have some freedoms as a child and growing up. I got to play with barbies and homemade clothes for them, as well as building blocks. I had hotwheel car races and tea parties with stuffed animals. I read books in my treehouse, I climbed trees wearing dresses. I went fishing with my grandparents and could clean and fillet a fish. I could also sew and play the piano. I could read books about dinosaurs as well as ones that taught me how to crochet.

I was lucky enough to be able to do these things as a kid growing up when so many kids are forced into gender roles and all the stuff that comes with that. Like science is for girls, boys can sew, any one can do anything. Needlessly gendering things like toys, books, even clothes and careers, I never understood. There is so much more out there than the binary stuff which also falling into the gender binary is super valid. Also being in between that or completely outside that is super awesome! We are awesome! <3

I am definitely in a wibbly wobbly, and gender bendery areas of time and space. I fucking love it here. It’s even more awesome to be able to have my pronouns recognized. I was playing games with a couple of people a few weeks back and for a few hours I was being mostly gendered correctly constantly. It was so affirming and empowering. It felt amazing, and something I hadn’t really experienced before on that large of a scale. This also helped me in my decision to come out and that it was the right thing for me. Being gendered correctly feels wonderful.

I would to prefer to always go by they/them pronouns. For my more close friends and family. . . I have even been able to play with changing my pronouns on occasion. Depending on how I am feeling I might be honored by she/her,and other traditionally femme coded terms. Some days I like he/him and other traditionally masculine coded words like handsome or Sir.

It’s awesome to be able to have people care and care about me and who I am. This has been super good and wonderful. I only wish that everyone could be safe and able to be themselves while staying safe. If you can’t come out, and things are not safe. Don’t worry you are not alone and even when it sucks, being safe is important.

For the future and for all general references to myself they/them pronouns are always safe and honor me. For even more reasons than just being non-binary. Many times things that are not gender neutral can cause me dysphoria.

As for the rest of my Queer identity. I am SUPER Queer!!! I am all manner of parts of the queer community, I don’t really discuss things that much, but since this is a coming out post I also wanted to say I am Demisexual, I am pansexual/panromantic. I fall in love with people, not genders, bits, presentation or anything else. There are so many amazing and beautiful people in this world and just as many ways to love people as there are people to love.

HAPPY PRIDE!!!!

-Nozomi the Non-Binary (2017)

**A few notes for terms people might not be familiar with.

Non-Binary: Is an umbrella term that includes any gender identities that do not fit within the gender binary of male and female. There is a lot under here like genderfluid, genderqueer, agender, gendervoid.

Gender Dysphoria: Is a discomfort and disconnect with the gender someone was assigned at birth. This can take many forms and is very unique to a lot of people and also a lot of us experience similar things. The opposite of gender euphoria the feeling I talked about above when I was being gendered correctly.

I encourage you to do research and reading on your own and find good resources written by people with these experiences.

Coming out!
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My Coming Out Story

CN: homophobia, religious bigotry, Pulse
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The recent shooting at Pulse has me hit me hard. It got me to think about my own queerness and about what it means to be a queer Boricua. I started thinking about my first encounter with Pride and the LGBT community.

I was 11 the first time there was a pride march in my hometown in Puerto Rico. Mami took us. I remember it was treated as a sort of spectacle for cis hets to enjoy.
Anyway, we’re in the car and my older brother is driving. I see this rainbow flag and I asked what it was. My older brother called it “la bandera de los maricones”. I yelled at him for using that slur. He just laughed at me.

We passed by a group of people holding signs with messages like “homosexuales van al infierno”, “Dios te odia”. I asked Mami if that was true. I was taking Sunday school classes and they told me God made us in his image and he didn’t make mistakes. He loved us all. So why was he condemning these people? She didn’t know how to respond. She would just say we weren’t allowed to question God because that meant the devil had taken hold of us.
I don’t remember much from the parade. I know there was a lot of people and everybody looked happy and like they were having fun.

Before that my only encounters with LGBT folks were reruns of Will & Grace and the trans woman who was a regular at the annual town fair. Everybody used she/her pronouns but I was told she “used to be a man”. I vaguely remember hearing she had been attacked and the reaction was that it was wrong because she didn’t bother anybody. No one told me it was wrong becuase transmisogyny is wrong. They basically said she didn’t deserve it becuase she kept to herself. I didn’t question it at the time but looking back the message was that some LGBT folks deserve the attacks.
Mami worked in a hotel near the beach. That was the only part of town LGBT folks felt safe expressing themselves. I would hear stories about “patos” holding hands and there was a lot of “joking” about loose hands. Mami never made those jokes and she always told me it was wrong to hate homosexuals.

It wasn’t until I moved to the states 13 years ago that I saw a gay couple publicly showing affection. My mind was blown. Here were two men holding hands and just genuinely enjoying each others company.

I didn’t come out as pan and non binary until last year. Before then I believed I was straight and cis. I ignored the feelings I’d get for certain girls. I thought “everybody has those feelings. It doesn’t mean anything”.
Growing up I was very much a “tomboy” and my grandmother once asked me if I was “pata”. I was so offended. “No, of course not! Can’t a girl not like girly things without it meaning anything” (It can, of course). My grandfather was worried my Tonka trucks would make me “machua” (butch lesbian)
My abusive boyfriend would constantly question why I had some many queer friends and why I would watch Noah’s Arc. He’d constantly talk about threesomes and ask me to pick the girl and I would ignore him. He’d insist and point out different women and when I would give up and say I found a woman attractive he’d use that as proof that I was a lesbian.

I never felt like I could own my sexuality. Looking back, I think I stuck to cis and straight becuase it was easier. I didn’t pick them, I didn’t have to justify them. They were the norm, they were safe; indeed they were the only labels available. I didn’t know there were other options. That all changed when I met several NB’s and when they would talk about their identity it just made sense to me. I read up on it and I felt this immediate sense of relief. These feelings I had had a name and they were valid.

My mom is supportive even if she doesn’t completely understand. My daughter was unfazed when I explained. “You’re still my mom. That’s what counts. You’re a person”. (From the mouth of babes, huh?)

The shooting at Pulse happened the morning the Puerto Rican Day parade was to take place. I watched the parade on TV and saw so many Puerto Rican flags with the rainbow colors. This was the first year the Parade included queer Boricuas. While my heart was breaking over Orlando, I was also so proud that Puerto Rico is finally (although slowly) moving forward.
I’m fiercely proud of my Puerto Rican heritage. I’m fiercely proud of my femme queerness.
The shooting  scared me and it still does. But that is OK becuase it’s that fear that drives me to speak up; to protect myself and others.

This is why I’m writing this. This, my official coming out story.

 

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Hatred will not silence us. We will not stop fighting. We will mourn the dead and fight like hell for the living.

My Coming Out Story