Appalachia Being Queer LGBT rights Uncategorized

QKY Writer Jordan takes on Appalachia

Queerness to me is the ability to talk about a marginalized identity across several cultural lines, it leaves room for identities outside of colonial standards and binaries, even for those of us who don’t have the words in our ancestral languages to talk about them. My identity continues to evolve as I come to understand myself, I’ve pretty much always known that I’m bisexual, more recently I’ve come to recognize that I’m non-binary. Through my journey to reclaim my identity I feel kinship to the Pan Indigenous role of being Two Spirit. Hopefully, as I reclaim more of my history I will be able to find what role my peoples would have had for me before colonization displaced some of my ancestors from here and enslaved those from Africa.

I use those terms because it’s kinda the easiest to convey where I stand, I always had these feeling I just lacked the ability to articulate what I’ve felt.

My sense of self is constantly evolving as I learn more, but I really didn’t think about my sexuality and gender identity until recently. I was kinda busy surviving and recovering from alotta childhood trauma. I’ve always had a very supportive Dad, so like that helps a lot. That part of my family is very pro Queer, and frankly anyone who’s known me for any period of time isn’t surprised when I come out to them. Anybody who is, wasn’t paying attention or way too uncomfortable with themselves to recognize, that’s their problem. For me and most people who really know me, this is not a surprise.

I feel very protective over younger people especially younger queer people. If anybody is mean to you or you don’t have any support, just know, I’m your big sib now.

Find me on social media, we can talk, I’m the much eldest of four kids so I got some experience. You don’t have to have sharp teeth or tongues, embrace whoever you are, if you are gentle, don’t worry people like me got your back.  Even if you aren’t sure what your identity is. You deserve room to figure that out. I hope that anybody who hasn’t found the space to come out yet can find people to become their true family. My advice to them is to take their time, I’m taking mine, there’s no rush, stay safe, and when you buck wild once you do come out, use protection haha.

I hope that when little queer kiddos and young people see me they see the badass I’ve grown into. I five feet tall and full of fury, I love without restriction, space is created around me, because as I’ve gotten older, I’ve started to demand it. BIPOC, especially women and femmes are told we aren’t allowed to do that. I want create space where we can. I’m clearing the way cause I want to be a good ancestor.  My identity as I see it, is carried on the shoulders of the people who came before me, to do less than them wouldn’t suit me. When I was younger and didn’t understand myself, I tried to make myself less, shrink inward, I was born with these broad shoulders, it’s time to grow into them. That means I gotta draw some fire for those who have less privileged than myself, I’m not rising up without bringin the whole hood with me. The first fear I had to conquer was the one of myself and my own strength. People say they hear me before they see me, that used to embarrass me, now I say “Good. You had warning then.”

Things got better for me in my early 20s when I realized that there are many other Black and Brown queer people to be inspired by. Being marginalized within a marginalized community was very confusing to me for years, learning about and understanding intersection helped me out a lot. As far as solving problems in the queer community, basically I take my privileges of being lighter skinned than other Black folks, not being visible genderqueer, having a college education (for some reason people take you more seriously, which is nonsense) and stop bullshit in its tracks. All the time, not only when visibly marginalized people are around, hasn’t made me a ton of friends, but people understand I’m serious business, and humanization of people is serious business. People’s lives and safety aren’t a game to me. My ferocity is inspired by a deep and abiding love for people.

I’m kind of a rambler, I spent a large part of my childhood in central and north east Ohio. I’ve lived in South Dakota, Arizona, and a van as it travelled the country. Recently my partner got a job at a university here, a lot of my mom’s family is from the Ohio part of Appalachia so I was excited to come have this experience, adventures are always good. It’s only been a few weeks so I’m not sure how I feel so far. Last year post graduating college, I shaved my head, got back on reclaiming my Indigeny, took a break from pretty much everything. I let myself mourn things, my lost and miserable childhood, family members who died before their time, pain I had never had the room to articulate. I went to counseling to learn how to control my anger and to direct it into better things.  It’s a new start for me on the other end of these here mountains and I’m ready.

 

 

 

 

 

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