I seem to have a lot to say on each question, since I will be writing a lot regardless, I decided to go ahead and put this on my blog rather than Facebook.
1. Share your name, age, and how you identify. Share a picture of yourself that you love.
I’m Salem or Selissa, I’m 39, I’m a bi/multisexual/queer, transmasculine enby. I also identity as greyromantic/nebularomantic, and demisexual
2. How old were you when you first knew you were LGBTQ+?
im not sure how to even explain that, I remember at five or six understanding that I wanted and needed different things out of my friendships with girls than they wanted or needed from me, feeling nebulously misaligned with the universe from about four. But was that because of my burgeoning queer identity or because I was autistic? both? I have no way to know for certain, still my sense of difference started at a very young age. I remember at five or six asking my mother why I hadn’t shown my boyness yet, which I would need if I were to grow up and be a daddy and father. I remember my mom telling me i couldn’t grow up and become a husband/daddy because I was a girl, and being devastated. The whole universe loomed unwelcoming over me, how could this be true? How could I be stuck in this girl form? It was a mistake surely. Still, I had no reason to disbelieve my mother, whom I believed to hold all the worldly wisdom possible. Though it made me sad and confused, I resigned myself to this accidental girlhood.
By my teens I knew i was sure i wasnt straight but was confused about the details, I resonated most with the butch lesbians, was drawn to butch identity but didn’t mind guys so much. I wasn’t attracted to them particularly but wasn’t sure that my feelings were strong enough to qualify as being a lesbian. I spent the next decade struggling with the imbalance of my gender identity and sexuality without language to separate the two.
I didn’t realize I was actually transgender until I was 27 and pregnant with my second child, up until recently I hadn’t realized it was a possibility…i sincerely believed I was doomed to being a girl failure forever. Pregnancy exaserbated my dysphoria, though I didn’t know that word at the time, so when an innocuous conversation turned to gender roles and women, a bell rang in my head. That fog that had descended so many years ago cleared away.
I was not a woman.
It would still take me another 5 or 6 years and a shift in cultural gender language to figure out the details of what that meant for me specifically.
3. Are you out? How did you come out? Was it a positive or negative experience?
In my personal experience, there is no such thing as a yes or no closet, there is a revolving door of constant education. Yes I talk openly about my sexuality and gender identity, to all the people in my life.
because I am unable to bind or pass due to health and financial limitations, my gender identity is often taken less than seriously, or not recognized at all, even within the local queer community. That means my sexuality is often not taken seriously either, as a transmasculine queer partnered to a cis queer man, I am made invisible. I am perpetually coming out.
4.who is the first person you ever had a crush on?
This is another complicated question for me to answer. As a demisexual who was years away from that language being invented or reinvented in colonized white america, I didn’t develop crushes on celebrities. I remember being told I had to choose an actor to crush on, or people would think I was weird. I chose Corey Feldman, practicing the list of traits I was supposed to be attracted to in my head.
I was drawn to more masculine coded women and feminine coded men in media. Having nothing to compare it to, I interpreted it as the sort of crushes I was supposed to be having, though in truth it was more that I identified with them. Wistfully dreaming of being a person who was like them.
The first possible crushes I had were on my friends, who were mostly girls due to the highly gendered nature of how americans raise their children.
I remember Kira who was the girl next door, with big blue eyes and all the demure grace I lacked…she was the first probably.
As I got older, my attractions only got more confusing to me, I didn’t seem to fit properly into any category…I loved my friends to much and barely noticed strangers other than as sources of anxiety.
More confusion came as my attractions seemed to change, ebb and flow, from no one to everyone, and most aligned with my own gender Identity….even before I realized gender Identity was a thing. Since my understanding of my gender changed, it inevitably shifted the focus of the people I was most attracted to.
I can’t even begin to make a list of traits I am attracted to in my fellow human beings, it is a broad swath, as deep as the ocean.