Updated: Dec 25, 2019
The first creative nonfiction piece that I submitted to a journal is about to come out in print. "Pseudoscientific Comparison," a personal essay wrestling with my relationship to my health & to my gender identity, appears in the September issue of Gigantic Sequins, which you can preorder here.
A sneak peek:
“Maybe my body hates me because I never wanted it.”
Ibrahim stops examining our finger ratios. “Now that’s pseudoscience,” they say. We’ve spent the evening comparing masculine & feminine physiologies. Ibrahim is 6’3”, black, & from a Muslim family—it’s easier for them to resign to “he/him” pronouns than to fight for anything else. At least that’s what they said when I first met him. But he also runs colder than average (feminine), & I run hot (masculine).
According to one of the Wikipedia articles we found late into the evening, women have shorter ring fingers than index fingers, like on his hands. & men have longer ring fingers, like mine.
I disentangle our legs, pushing my elbow into the yellow tree of life bedspread, still smelling slightly of cardamom, so I can sit up a bit straighter.
Buy Issue 10.2 to read the rest.
Six months have passed since I wrote this essay, & a lot has changed. My partner & I drifted into friendship. Their pronouns are they/them. I bought my first binder, a real binder, & realized that for years I haven't really breathed. Ironic how binding makes each breath easier.
What hasn't changed is the quiet urgency that underlies every moment, even those of silly speculation while lying sprawled in bed. The act of being as reclamation. The gap between confession & response that encourages vulnerability to oneself. I hope y'all read this essay when it comes out. It's definitely "personal," but it's about much more than me.