January 18, 2011

Andrea

Andrea, age 5
Sunnyvale, California (1983)

In this pic, I had put on my Uncle Bill’s clothing, and my Mom took the photograph. My mom, who did the brunt of the child-rearing in our family, was very open-minded and progressive, and let me pick the toys that I was drawn to the most, regardless of whether they were toys that were deemed appropriate for “girls” or not. It was the same with my clothing.

"Genderless in Sunnyvale"
There was one particular dress I liked to wear, but it was more “tailored-looking”. It looked like something Little Orphan Annie would wear, and I actually referred to it as my “Annie” dress. 

My parents both tried to no avail to get me to sit “lady-like” while wearing said “Annie” dress. After several attempts with no success, they gave up. There were more important things to focus on. :) 

When I was living in CA, I was for the most part a very happy, playful, creative and VERY imaginative child. To this day, I am so eternally thankful that my Mom raised me in such a loving, nurturing way.

It has completely shaped me into who I am today - someone who now proudly identifies as queer and genderless.

When I look at this picture of myself as the me I am now, it is with unconditional self-love. It makes me happy to know I've always been like this, and that I have remained true to my core inner being. :)

My coming-out was a multi-tiered process. As a teenager growing up in Pennsylvania, no one even talked about gayness. No one really talked about gay and lesbian people in any other way than to tell a joke here and there.
I therefore had no language for it, and no support system.

At 16, I started noticing that I was developing crushes on girls, but was mostly in denial about it, and tried actively to push it all back down as soon as it would come up. But in a fleeting moment of self-awareness one night, after writing in a diary that I wanted to kiss this one particular girl at school, I realized I needed to talk to someone about it. That was Tier # 1 - coming out to my Mom. She told me then that she would love me just as much no matter who I loved. But I pushed it back down, repressed it, and went happily back in denial, as I continued to play the “straight game”, and date boys.

At 19, I came out fully - to myself, to my friends, and my entire family. That was Tier # 2 - and what a glorious and liberating process that was!!!! I am so blessed to have had my entire family not even bat an eye, and just keep on loving me for who I am. And never again in my life have I looked back.

I am just as proud to identify as queer today as I was to identify as bisexual, lesbian and dyke back then. Even one of the girls that I used to chase back then has remained one of my most close and best friends to this day.

Blessings to you all, and may you all feel free and beautiful. Shine on. 

Andrea's first, famous-person same sex crush:
Soleil Moon Frye ("Punky Brewster")

7 comments:

Annique said...

Andrea, I "knew" you in high school, but now I KNOW you. I adore you and truly view you as one of the most free people I know, and therefore, one of the most beautiful! And the photo is priceless!

Annique

Jenny said...

Who didn't have a crush on Punky? ;) What a great way to tell your story. I love how you say you had no "language" for gayness...growing up in the same area I must say how true that is. Its amazing how hard it is to find your voice when you don't know the words to say.
I'm so glad we've reconnected :)

pammyb said...

i'm glad my very beautiful queer friend coincidentally popped into a cell phone store one fine day in dt royal oak looking for a new cell phone! i heart you drelicious! you make people's heart soar by being you! my pleasure to have been able to experience any and all the moments we've had and will have! i really like the exclaimation point! :)

genna said...

Blessed be the day your genderless soul came into my life. :-) Your "happy, playful, creative and VERY imaginative" inner child is loved and nutured and very much alive. much <3 to you Andrea.

genna said...

oops. your inner child is not nutured...it's nurtured :-) we're not castrating anything about you!!!!

Alvie said...

Enjoyed reading this much sweet Dre after our good convo ala Verizon mobile the other day :) thanks for sharing this link and this story.

Stay beautiful
Alvie "Sherpa"

idreamincursive said...

do you have a facebook? I loved reading your story and have a few questions about the genderless lifestyle--I find it intriguing! :) www.facebook.com/idreamincursive