Get yourself into a comfortable position under your duvet, pack in your toes and open your ears because now I am going to tell you the story of how I found myself … or not.
Some say that the purpose of High School is to find yourself, others say the same about the world travels after. Yet some undoubtedly say that if you have enough money to travel the world then you possess enough privilege to not have to think about this. Or exactly enough privilege to be in a constant existential crisis where the burdens of financial struggles and life do not weigh you down as much as those who need to work harder to provide for themselves.
Let us set the stage. I am an 18 year old teenager. Just graduated from High School and working at a summer camp, some would say in the prime of life. And life is sweet! But still not :/ Or yea sure it’s great. My diaries from this time are like a monologue from an icelandic movie, full on cliché and filled with contrasts on it’s best pages. Despite not containing any divorces, drug problems and not even sex.
You can’t see it in photos from that summer but there were seeds rooting that had for very long lain in dry soil but finally received some liquid.
(Maybe no surprise because I spent a big portion of the summer in the pool, everybody that has been to Reykjadalur know how it is :)) I was for the first time free of all qualms of life, didn’t need to tend to any studies, be around classmates that I never really got to know nor tend to social activities. Why did I feel like I was playing a role now more than ever?
Jumping over a couple of months of feelings and hundreds of pages of my monologues until mid fall. I had worked up a sincere interest for trans issues. Read interviews and books by trans people and their self discoveries, watched piles and piles of youtube-videos and could not for the life of me understand why I had so much interest in this. I am just a cis girl??
But these people felt just so real, I am just empathising with them because they are brave and real (there are so many problematic things about this way of thinking but that is material for another article.)
The thing was that I was discovering a branch of society, a part of queerness that I had never really heard about, not to mention seen or communicated with. When I started reading about it I never had an inkling that I could connect with it personally, because I had never seen anything like it before. I knew nobody that had come out as trans, had a bunch of inner transphobia and all sorts of premature ideas about queer people that I would later chisle away piece by piece in the coming months. But after many months of uneven hammering a few things were clear to me:
1. I could not continue to live in the role of a female.
2. The role of a male did not fit me either
3. Since I was not a woman and not a man I had no idea what I was.
And that was complicated. Because even though it was a short while ago, circa 4 years, there were nearly no non-binary people in the limelight. I had no Idea of what I should do to figure this crisis out. So I decided to travel the world.
Or not really the world, I went abroad and was away for a couple of months. Long enough to assess my own emotions and to figure out, away from family and friends, what I wanted to do with these self-discoveries. At this point I saw it as a crossroad, I could choose to turn to the right: come out of the closet in public, risk losing family and friends, having to constantly educate people and could discover later that it isn’t me 100% I (because again, I had no role models to show that you could be non-binary and an adult).
Or I could go to the left: and just do nothing. Tell no-one, just keep living my life as a Woman, use my given pronoun ‘She’ and go to my ladies lavatory thank you and goodbye. Push it deep, deep down that there ever was a possibility of being anything else.
Thank God I chose to go to the right, even though I was not sure about the choice long after the turn had been taken. Today I live an awesome life out of the closet, but it is still complicated that there are few role models. After so much time living a life that is not talked about in books, not acted in films and barely discussed in the news, I would say today that I am my biggest role model and visible person, as cliche as that might sound.
“Be somebody your younger self would look up to”
I read this quote from a tea bag the other day. The tea did not agree with me and the quote even worse. It’s not necessarily that I as a child would not have looked up to the person that I am today. Little me would probably adore me now. A person that stands up for itself, tries new things and casually wears overalls.
The thing is that meeting somebody like me now, a young non-binary that is not only out and proud in life, but blossoming, could have changed so much.
But I didn’t and my thoughts were a bit heavy and made me loose some sleep. Now I am going to do my best to be a role model for the next generation of non-binary children, so they do not have to go through the same things that I did.