Breaking Away From The Binary

How to talk about gender as a brown femme that’s frustrated by bigotry in every aspect of this society

BY ANJELIKA ROSE

I don’t know who I am before noon, but please don’t ask me ever. I can tell you what or whom I was born as, but before noon? 

Imagine Cinderella, but as a brown Bahamian baby. Maybe. Maybe she wants to go back when the clock strikes midnight. I’m not in an emotionally healthy place to shed light on a topic as specific as my situation, but I’ll give my best shot at the general jush. 

My people are beyond oppressed and we all just act like mental slavery to Big Brother isn’t in full blown effect. It makes my heart heavy with sadness, so heavy I feel it caress my gut. This feeling is in your gut.      

Your heart just wants to love and be loved but can’t identify love without having a sprinkle of hate. The immense ignorance of how brown people feel but pretend to not feel, grows exponentially with each stereotype the States—amongst other countries—perpetuates, falsely teaching our children, your children via pop culture. 

“It’s far too draining having your spirit at odds with your mind that’s at odds with your body—identifying with no specific gender allows me to identify with all of them.”

How to talk about gender as a brown femme that’s frustrated by bigotry in every aspect of this society? Have you ever read a news story and identified with the victim? Imagine, every single time you pick up the paper, you identify with the victim. In terms of today, you get notified 10 times a day—a bittersweet ding—yet another one of your selves was disemboweled and shot dead. 

You go to school the next day, the hallways flooded with those that look and sometimes even act the part of the oppressor. They’re dressed up and never look threatening. No need to look like a threat if you’ve already won—if enough people believe, then it is truth, if you believe. Do you believe? 

You’re born into the system, why question it if it’s taken care of you. Admittedly, my right nipple is pierced. My left brown breast is the one that gets sucked on ever so tenderly. With every lovely lick of the left, my right feels something tight. She’s being strangled by the same silver tongued motherfucker that’s treating her sissy so sweet n’ softly. It’s strange, NO despicable that one breast could benefit from the other brown breast’s pain. Why must it be one or the other? 

We are homo sapiens, we are supposed to have reason paired with understanding. There are no finite answers because the questions of societal construction keep changing. Breaking away from the binary gives the oppressed a chance at mental liberation. Critical thinking allows you to free yourself, enabling you to free others. Seldomly taught in these institutions guised as schools, because schools are businesses—businesses run for the staff’s egoist benefits. 

Just because of a slight difference in makeup, she has to bare witness to favoritism—conditioning her to believe lighter is better and males are preferred. 

Down with euphemisms, call it what it is. Discrimination. Oppression is not and should not be a hierarchy. Sexism, heterosexism, racism all fall under the same umbrella. Dividing these issues makes it impossible to solve any of them. Like these issues at hand, I cannot divide part of myself to solely abide by one part. Shaking my head while thinking how I was once anti everything that I currently possess—previously combative simply because I lacked true understanding. 

If I address the topic of gender, it is my duty to address race. “In the black community I am a lesbian, and in the lesbian community I am black.”Audre Lorde

Receiving sanctuary from neither side—white, black, gay, straight, man, woman, potato, tomato—leaves me no choice but to leave the binary and create my own. 

My shoulders are heavy with the responsibility of giving insight on how a brown non-binary lesbian comedienne vegan designer bassist feels. 

My reality is denied for as long as it’s not inscribed by your anglo-saxon savior. My reality is denied with every feigned smile and unanswered email. My reality is denied every time I look in the mirror and see a potential target instead of a beautiful bald brown baby. It’s far too draining having your spirit at odds with your mind that’s at odds with your body—identifying with no specific gender allows me to identify with all of them.

If you neglect a child, you force them to find themselves, and if you leave them alone long enough they will indeed develop multiple selves. For the grammar nazis out there that have an issue with “them/they”, I don’t know what to tell you other than to get over it. I don’t have a preference of pronouns but my lack of doesn’t invalidate other gender nonconforming peoples. When the clock strikes midnight, Cinderella is freed from her fantasy. Cinderella was a lesbian in a patriarchal tragedy.