There’s a lot that can be said about the challenges when identifying as queer. But there are also quite some amazing things that I realized that have changed for me since publicly identifying as queer.

Not that I ever wasn’t queer. I always was someone who swerves from the straight path. Being queer is not just about not identifying as heterosexual. It is, for me, also about not fitting in the standard gender binary where I would be considered ‘woman’, with that, comes with that label. Being queer is also a political act of not sticking to the rules of white patriarchy.

For a long time, nobody noticed much of my queerness – though some have always looked straight through the heteronormative-looking bolster. About a year ago I cut my hair. The fun thing was, that somehow suddenly people started treating me differently. And by people treating me differently, I started thinking and doing differently.

These are some things that I found and love:

  • I am way more approachable for other queer folk. I am pansexual AF. And I adore my fellow queers. Many of us have had our fair share (and more) of resistance from our outer worlds to deal with, and it made many of us strong, powerful, kind, compassionate people with open minds. The people I feel very at home with.
  • I have become way more aware of the heteronormative way society, relationships and sxx are designed. And by becoming aware, I can also step away from it. For example: a heteronormative definition of sxx is that only PIV (p€nis in v²gina) counts as ‘real sxx’. Or that a romantic relationship is the pinnacle of success in a woman’s life (for men, of course, it’s a successful career). Nah. I rather choose myself what counts as success, as sxx, or as the ultimate goal of a relationship or life in general.
  • My concept of beauty changed. We all know that what is considered an ideal figure or face is often a photoshopped ideal that very few could ever reach. But even besides this ideal, there are still so many conditioned ideas about beauty and how people or couples should look. Many people have feelings when it comes to a heterosexual couple where she is taller than he is. Or ideas of what a healthy body looks like (hint: BMI index is white-male based and not a helpful tool). Somehow my idea of beauty has drastically changed and I see myself in awe with the most diverse range of people and I love it!
  • Dropping the idea of what I should look like considered the box I though I needed to be in (a white, heterosexual woman) brings so much creativity! I don’t need to look ‘feminine’ and ‘nice’ everyday. I can, when I want to. But I can also look ‘masculine’, tough, butchy, girly, fancy, cheap and everything in between. There’s no appearance I need to keep up, so to hell with it, and let me do my thing, and invent myself every day anew.
  • Different people flirt with me. Fewer men, more women, and more non-binary beings. And me? I just flirt with everyone I like to flirt with. I don’t need to check out their pronouns or gender because who cares.

Summarizing, embracing my queerness and publicly identifying as such has liberated me. There is so much more acceptance of myself, and creativity with my own identity and in my connections with others. There is an innocence of exploration, a curiosity towards life. Exploring deeper, once again.