Echo in NYC

Musing into the void

A Thousand Faces

Recently, I’ve been feeling my identity become more fluid. Just to be clear, I’m genderqueer and non-binary, not moving towards any binary identities. However, in thinking about how to explain my gender I’ve started to figure out that it wildly varies within the vast universe of “other”.

Another thing I’ve been pondering is how to draw the line between how one is feeling and how they are being. Is it that one is transient and the other isn’t? Once you’ve rejected the constraints of a binary identity, how do you draw the lines? Is it even possible?

I think it certainly is, but it’s a line I’m having trouble drawing for myself. I can define myself quite easily by what I’m not: I’m not a woman, and I’m certainly not a man. I’m not a boy/boi, mostly not masc, not agender, and not a lot of other various terms I’ve run across in the gloriously varied community I’m part of. I do feel a strong connection with the Other, with being something outside of all of it that hints at a completely new structure.

I’ve been exploring that structure inside me. Lately, I’ve been thinking of my gender in terms of a weather forecast: 30% femme Friday, with a chance of Light Sunday.

That’s still not right, though.

Recently I’ve been playing with shifting axes, a kaleidoscopic array of selves that orbit and intersect and collide inside my mind in fascinating ways. I haven’t tracked them all down yet and doubt I ever will, but it’s still valuable to try.

Some things I’ve found so far:

The City

I’ve said to people that New York is in my blood and bones, that if you saw me in half like a magician’s trick I’ll spill concrete and train lines. I identify with this place, as being a New Yorker, and I’ve started to visualize my self in terms of it as well. Some feelings and places I’ve encountered:

  • Storm Over City – Hold your breath and smell that ozone in the air, feel the drops hitting your skin. Potential, strength, danger, cleansing. Blur the lines between the real and unreal.
  • Ashes Falling – Were you here when the Towers fell? I was. I saw people wandering in a haze, a rain of ashes falling from the sky. Something has been obliterated, and it’s destruction leaves devastation in its wake. Pain, sorrow, loss, detachment, denial. Change has arrived, whether you want it or not.
  • Blizzard – Some of my fondest memories of this place are during a blizzard. Things are silent, like the city is empty except for me. Cold, empty, silent, peaceful, death. The world is different, as am I.

Void and Light

I feel like I’m writing a fantasy novel when I talk about this, but I guess reading all those novels as a kid has taken its toll. Still, it’s not Tolkien, so give me some credit.

So, I see the Void as being empty, and the Light as being full. It’s associated with the feeling (or lack thereof) of emotions, but not really good or bad ones really. It’s more about what is very present in your body and mind, and what isn’t. For example: numbness is Void, but sorrow is Light. Hurt is still being present, after all.

Both are always present, just the balance changes depending on my life. If things are eventful and emotional, I feel Light taking hold. If things are in stasis and boring, I am Void.

Change needs both: I don’t want sheer chaos in my life, I need things to move between static and not.


Let’s be real for a sec: I’m making a lot of this up. I’m doing my best to use limited words to describe who and what I am in any given moment, but most of the time I have no damn idea.

I always have some fog. When I used percentages to describe my gender I never added up to 100%, as I liked to say that I am never at 100%, so why should my gender?

And that’s really true. I am often hurt, confused, depressed, or distracted. I don’t know how to describe how I feel quite often, let along what the hell I am.

Sometimes the answer is that things are hazy. Ask again later.


Sometimes I feel like I’m a cat. Don’t judge me.

And no, it’s not a sex thing.

%d bloggers like this: