No Mistakes

by Ashley Koszarek (a UT Second Year)

“Woman”. 

I like that word–

How it sounds, tastes, feels

I’m familiar with how it feels. 

I am a woman.

In experience alone, but at heart?

Not at all.

Not one bit. 

No, my insides are elusive. 

Full of life, full of love, full of mystery. 

A cypher unto myself, 

All I can decode is how I feel. 

Masculine energy with valleys and curves,

A feminine form with edges and nerves. 

I am nothing. 

But the universe tells me I am everything. 

Poured out like wax, and melted within me.

Poured out like wax, and melted within me. 

Poured out like wax, and melted within me. 

My heart retains its shape. 

No mistakes, 

No mistakes. 

For the White Gays

by a UT Second Year

I went on a date recently, and all I can think about is myself. Relationships stress me out. It doesn’t matter what kind of relationship. I find it stressful. Romantic relationships, in particular, are scary things. I’m genderqueer, but most people perceive me as an especially feminine guy. I’m not sure if that’s totally accurate or not. That’s scary. How do I explain my identity to someone when I don’t fully understand it myself? And Lord knows what they’re projecting onto me. Most people think femme guys are submissive people*. Beyond my perceived sexual preferences people talk about my body a lot. The popular choice is how skinny I am. I guess they mean it as a compliment because being a larger size is still stigmatized, but as a person who occupies masculine spaces, being thinner isn’t viewed favorably either. I’m perceived as weak, not as attractive as someone with muscles, or told I look weird because my limbs look long.

I’ve tried working out and between the time commitment and maybe my genetics I don’t really look different. I feel a little better because I’m doing something to try and meet part of the beauty standard set for me. I’ve also went the other way and tried not eating. Maybe I could pull off the wraith-like runway look? I don’t do either now. I do see how many fingers wide my thigh gap is, just in case I’m putting on weight. I do feel guilty when I eat anything that isn’t a fruit or vegetable, but I don’t cry about it anymore or stare in the mirror thinking about how I could look different. Things are ok, not good, not terrible.

Why would I share this? It’s beyond personal. It’s a piece of who I am right now. I want to share it to bring home my critique of my fellow queers. I’m scared to date you all because you’ve made me afraid of myself. @thewhitegays you’re shallow, racist, and think your queerness negates your privileges.

To twist around Judge Judy’s and Bianca Del Rio’s iconic line: Beauty fades, your shitty humanity is forever.

*  I had a guy cancel a date at the restaurant when he found out I wore makeup.

Untitled

by Anonymous 

I have burned you out—

it stank

and the smell still lingers in my clothes

my hair

my memories.

So I put some Febreze on that shit and open a window

to air you out.

But

your ashes and dust nestled in the cracks and corners of my home

as if they had the right to be there.

I shift,

and you are back, a cloud that makes me sneeze

cough

gasp for air.

So I blow my nose and grab a drink.

I have burned you out,

however

you still remain as an annoying reminder.

But do not think

that I won’t find another way

to finish what I started.

Trying

by a UT Fourth Year

I’m trying to be normal. I’m trying to re-learn how to love and to be loved.

I’m trying to enter into new relationships. I’m trying to act like sex means nothing to me. I’m trying to tell new lovers the darkest pieces of me and not have them run away the minute they hear the word “survivor.”

I’m trying to live as I did before your hand pushing on the back of my neck took everything away from me. I’m trying to convince myself that it’s even possible.

I’m trying to remove guilt from myself. I’m trying to believe none of this is my fault. I’m trying not to cry.

I’m trying to find someone who will accept my cracks and heal with me. I’m trying to trust that I am not alone.

I’m trying to love myself.

I’m just trying, and it really fucking sucks.