Un Gender Me
By Lermán Montoya*
There is no day that I do not think about my gender expression and the implications of actively dismantling the gender binary. A world Un-gendered is not the absence of gender but the celebration, respect, inclusion, and liberty for anyone to live their life to the fullest in a reality of perpetual freedom and security from direct violence, systemic violence, and cultural violence as it relates to gender and intersecting identities that either alleviate or aggravate experiences as a gender-expansive person.
We escape into community.
Find solace and feel the warm embraces of strange arms.
With just one look, the solidarity is communicated.
Love is transmitted and felt.
Gathered in a circle under the full moon with palo santo
and dried lavender flowers.
Sharing stories of pain and glory as the crackle of charred wood
Invites herself into the conversation.
We dance, we get high, we braid our hair,
we kiss, and feel seen and wanted.
absence of autonomy
to abort, to transition, to marry, to fuck, to vote, to play, to pray, to defend, to exist, to persist, to buy property, to form community, to dance, to prance, to queer around, to wear a mini skirt, to let the ocean water rinse our hair and cleanse our spirits.
*Lermán Montoya is a gender queer Latinx multimedia storyteller, artist, activist, and master’s student at the Center for Global Affairs at NYU. They are interested in bringing communities together through art, activism, and collective healing.