Liquid Gender Form
by Stephen M. Feest
(Published in Out & Allied: An Anthology of Performance Pieces Written by LGBTQ Youth & Allies. 2nd Edition, 2014. http://bit.ly/oabooks)
As I move through the day my eyes catch males and females like separating nickels and dimes. My mind puts individuals into stupid little boxes, like mental toxins in a blink it happens before I think to ignore the dichotomy that claims so many casualties. You may not know it but a border war is blazin’ and the troop levels are raisin’. It’s against the suppression of androgynous gender expression. ’Cause its Barbie Abercrombie zombie wannabes, against gender benders who won’t surrender to the assembly line but rather seek to redefine personality through individuality. It’s perfection and perception against reflection and interconnection of liquid beings. See we’re after liquid gender form, fighting against the traditional masculine and feminine norms.
It makes me ecstatic to prevent the automatic internal categorizing and create an enigmatic grey universe. I have an affinity to be something more, living at the core of my being, and not wanting to be at war with my feelings; I’m leaving behind conformity, answerability, and expectation’s collapsing ceiling.
Liquid gender form: opposing folkways and mores of a culture stuck in the dark ages. We’re separated between blue and pink before we’re even able to blink. Individuals attempt to bust out of cultural restraints that push them back. The price paid is brutality, and even death. The statistics are overwhelming, suppressing androgynous gender expression, but our numbers are abounding.
The deaths of androgynous women and men probably don’t make it into the day’s headlines on CNN, though it repeatedly happens again and again. Androgynous gender expression war veterans, peaceful protesters brutalized to stop the spread. The limitations of gender expression might not be clear, but the consequences are severe. These names should be on a memorial wall rather than a body count on the headline news crawl because they, brave and tall, were in it for the long haul. Risking negative attention without apprehension.
When will we take notice of the silent killer that isn’t silent but heralds his actions, only in the end claiming a panic defense to receive an infraction? Then we’re left to make sense of an unfair justice system, judges on the bench, the overwhelming fumes of inequality’s stench.
The latest headline murder was young gay Lawrence King, feminine and picked on for not wearing masculinity like hip-hop bling. What was this boy’s crime that he died before his time? Self-actualization at the age of fifteen? His killer thought his looks, his valentine requests were too obscene. For living life in ambiguity rather than inside the boundaries of masculinity’s acceptability, Lawrence King was murdered, two lives irrevocably altered, and a country left to point their finger while ignoring the fact that they helped pull the trigger.
So we’re waiting on a catalyst that might not come but still we must persist in the fight to coexist. We speak our minds even though our voices shake because silence won’t protect us. Oppression is the double-edged sword that cuts both ways, it cuts us when we are silent and it cuts us when we speak; either way it cuts us but its better to die for a cause then to die being meek. So we’re not asking for your consideration but instead making a declaration that since the social dichotomy of our culture is killing people, now’s the time to grapple, before the death tolls triple and our window of opportunity is trampled.
I’m tired of people standing on the backs of others who have wronged no one just to feel superior, when inside they are the most inferior of beings. In public they rail against the rules that they dictated, while in quiet desperation they fold into their lover’s arms like weeping children, victims, even slaves to the world they’ve created. Empty, hollow shells of a mask that they wear, a front that conceals their true identities. But what they really hide are their inferiorities, missing complexities, and their jealousies in watching people like us live in the enigmatic grey universe of liquid gender form. Free of the complications that rigid rules present, we circumvent the boundaries living content.