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Human Parts
A publication from Medium about humanity: yours, mine, and ours.


In Human Parts. More on Medium.

This Is Us

How I learned to prioritize connections that speak to my authentic self

Two women peeking out of round opening in a pink wall.
Two women peeking out of round opening in a pink wall.

The last time I intentionally met a man was three years ago.

When you’re a bisexual, femme, cisgender woman, the default for dating can easily become straight, cis men. They’re plentiful. They express attraction clearly and readily. They assume, based on your gender presentation, that you’re attracted to them. And despite their proclivity toward both fetishizing and minimizing, if their politics are good, they’re generally unconcerned with your bisexuality — unlike much of the so-called “woman loving woman” community, wherein “No bisexuals!” shows up frequently in dating profiles.

The behavioral scripts are more than carved — they’re ingrained. You can…

On symmetry and queerness

Sometimes when your body is like my body, we are queer. Other times when it isn’t like my body, your body is maybe straight. Like it’s having a period and mine isn’t. Or maybe your body is healthy and mine isn’t, or thin and I’m not. Queers are two bodies that are more alike than not, so we can’t be queer at these times. Queers and bodies are spacetime sensitive. Except when they aren’t and then they stay the same (depending on who’s telling their story), because they are dead.

But then, in time, our differents align and we call…

And I think I like it that way

When we first meet, you still have your long blonde hair, tied up into a ponytail. Strands are escaping, but I don’t notice. You are standing up, he is nodding eagerly, and I feel a bitter pang inside my chest. A sharp hit against a hollow gourd. And then you read a story. It wasn’t good, I think snidely. I used to write better.

When you stand there on the stage, cadmium red flushed across your face as you soak in their cries and applause. Your hair is probably perfect. Your dress is blue and your legs are slender soap…

Dating a man after a decade of dating women does not make me “unqueer”

I was in kindergarten when I met Leila, with her wild, curly brown hair and large, doll-like eyes. We each had our best friends, but we often hung out at the playground together. One day, she and I fought for reasons I don’t remember (why do kindergarten kids fight anyway?), and she offered me my favorite candy while saying sweetly, “Bati na tayo?” (Truce?). Even now, the surest way to get me to accept an apology is to offer me cheap sweets, say those words, and remind me of Leila’s eyes.

In sixth grade, I convinced a good friend of…

On desire, identity, visibility, credit cards, and caged cruising in retail

I fall in love with them every time they come up to me. The drop of a coin in the till and the slide of a credit card transform into a licentious soundtrack to our meeting, or transaction, rather. I am Therese, locked behind a counter, looking for an excuse to look into their eyes once more, just to make sure I saw what I thought I saw.

My days at registers—every Saturday, Monday, and Tuesday—at the bookstore where I work are riddled with the same phrases, a learned script that seems at once stagnant and yet composed of a…

How my closet keeps me closeted in other people’s eyes

My queerness is quiet. It struts into the room unannounced, ambiguous, cloaked in girlish garb. I match my skinny jeans with loose sweaters (never graphic tees), tasteful pairings of necklaces that shouldn’t match but do, and booties with a pointed toe and slight heel. My curtain of hair is twisted into a messy bun like every other basic white chick. I pull it up top Ariana Grande–style when I’m really feeling myself or leave it dangling to my waist when neither of the former options is workable.

There are no flannels in my closet, no practical shoes. I own a…

I recently had the pleasure of watching the excellent indie film Boy Meets Girl, about a young trans woman growing up in rural Kentucky. While the story could have easily fallen into the all-too-familiar tropes of tragedy and heartbreak, the ending is surprisingly upbeat and optimistic, full of hope and promise.

What really stood out to me, though, was the vision of Appalachia this film articulated — a vision sharply at odds with the one I grew up with. The sight of those tree-drenched hills and the pleasant sound of that Appalachian twang — not quite as refined…

Human Parts

A publication from Medium about humanity: yours, mine, and ours.

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