‘Space’ was the one thing I did not know how to take, own, create or even find some to crawl under growing up. Choosing to express myself as a gender-fluid queer person wasn’t easy, but it was the best thing that happened along the way after a journey that involved a lot of unlearning.
Dressing up how I choose, getting my hair done the way I want, choosing to express masculinity or femininity in a blur, and not worrying about the roles you were taught to fit in gender-wise was nothing less than liberation.
Once I explored the questions I had better, I realised I had nothing to be ashamed of in being who I am, no matter what anyone else thought or said. While accepting myself was one thing, coming out to my family and friends was terrifying on a whole other level. This is because I grew socially anxious since people were always curious about my gender and all the unwanted attention made me very self-conscious wherever I went.
It was reassuring after I came out because to my surprise, everyone was incredibly supportive. My parents especially were amazing, and I live with them and my girlfriend, in the same house, under the same roof, which is how accepting they are of my choice. I will be forever grateful for their love and understanding, but I also feel that this privilege is unfortunately not the same case for every other closeted person out there. This is why I’ve become an activist and advocate for the LGBTQ+ community.
I’ve also pursued my passions as an athlete, artist, and fitness freak, using my skills and talents to inspire others and make a positive impact on the world. I’m a writer, a central government-certified tattoo artist and a certified fitness coach, pursuing all of these professionals as a freelancer.
Of course, there are still challenges and struggles that come with being queer.
I’ve been forcefully pulled out of female restrooms and change rooms before because the workers thought I didn’t belong there, looking at my masculine body and short haircut. It’s moments like these that remind me that we still have a long way to go in terms of acceptance and understanding.
Ultimately, my journey has taught me that being true to myself is not always easy, and it’s not always comfortable, but it’s always worth it. And if my story can inspire even one other person to embrace their own identity and live their truth, then it will have all been truly worth it.
So here’s me taking up the space that’s rightfully mine and mine only.