Gas-Faced Haters

Oblivious is a kind way to describe my blindness up until now. I never realized just how much subtle and not-so-subtle shade gets thrown at members of my community. Motherfuckers giggle behind their hands, stare with impunity and point without shame. Not even half an ounce of trying to hide it. They definitely want me to know they consider me The Other now that I’ve decided to wear nail polish and pierce my right ear. Now that I’ve claimed my identity as a Two Spirit human unwilling to hide who I truly am to fit in. Not that I ever fit in. Not really. Not as myself.

It would be ironic if they had the capacity to understand nuance, but I’m taking all that hate and turning it into strength, into purpose, into a mission. I have privileges most in my situation do not. Some from being a “CIS White Male” in the standard mold for most of my life and some through blood, sweat and tears over far too many years. It is my duty, my obligation, to lean in on this new direction with all the creativity and courage I can muster. For every gas-faced grimace, every rolled eye, I’m gonna dial up the nonbinary volume another level. I owe it to myself and my kid to push the envelope as far as I can.

Further, I owe it to all my friends and found family in the LGBTQ+ community to be bold and boisterous in embracing my new identity. I am perfectly positioned to do so with next to no consequences beyond dirty looks and dismissive attitudes. I’m here all day for it. Thrice on Sunday. Every time my “bravery” inspires another person to lean into their own truth, I get a renewed burst of energy and purpose. I don’t think I’m particularly brave myself, but that younger queer folks still wrestling with who they are and who they might become certainly seem to think so gives me strength.

If that sort of indirect mentorship can help save a few lives or move the needle for someone who’s been stuck, I’m definitely down with the double-down on this particular hand I’ve been dealt. I’ve never been happier than I am now. More at peace. More focused on my glorious future rather than my inglorious past. My horizon has never stretched into the distance like this. I’m powerful in a way I would have never imagined just a few short months ago. Hell, had I known this would be the positive impacts of finally finding myself, I would have done it years ago!

The response from my kid is really all I needed to continue down this path with my chin held high and my gaze focused on the many tomorrows still to come. They are positively glowing with the possibilities of our shared identity. They are confident and comfortable in their truth in a way that might have taken a lot longer had I never come to my own conclusions and implemented my new reality with both fervor and style. My next adventure is to truly allow Jessica to spread her wings on stage as Jessie when I perform in my first drag show in June. More to come on that one!

So where does that leave the gas-faced haters? Comic relief? Canaries in the coalmine? Certainly they represent vestigial tribal impulses that never led humanity anywhere near enlightenment but always closer to annihilation. They’re already dead and just don’t know it yet. They have convinced themselves that they are right and the rest of us are wrong. Not just wrong but somehow polluted, repugnant. Again, irony is lost on that crowd, but they will find out soon enough just where they stand with regards to the future of humanity. No where positive that’s for sure. Good riddance.