I have a tough relationship with the term effeminate. I view my own femininity and masculinity as very much an even mixture. Like most, I have my over the top moments, as well as moments of realization that lifelong repression of my femininity has lead to a sort of push and pull of extremes. I can be staunchly masculine at times, almost afraid to move for fear of being perceived as anything but ‘one of the guys’ or, without the slightest forethought, act out my femininity in near volcanic bursts. The two extremes, seemingly at odds with one another, are represented very clearly by iconic symbols of gay culture, (Tom of Finland vs. Lady Bunny, if you will,) clearly demonstrating how we are, as a culture, at odds with but in simultaneous celebration of ourselves. I love being queer. I am proud of the men I love and have loved and the work I have done within the GLBTQ community but with the private work I’m now doing for my own mental health, it’s become impossible to ignore that with pride and passion, there comes an equal dose of shame and… maybe revulsion, or disbelief? I’m still sorting out my own feelings but from what I’ve observed, I’m far the only one who has them. Whether or not we’ve chosen to feel how we feel, (which is contrary to the notion of feeling but I digress,) we have chosen to live our lives according to our feelings and that poses an enormous threat to people who live their lives according to dogma. It is my hope that by embracing myself for myself, without labels, I will care more about myself and the people who care about me and less about how other people think they can oppress me. I am a boy and a girl, lover and warrior.