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Over the Rainbow

Que Sera Sera!

Destiny Vasquez, Cactus Writer

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What makes a person who they are? There are a lot of determining factors to consider when trying to answer that question. It’s a hell of a lot more complicated than most realize. It is this complicated nature of ours that makes our world so interesting and surprising, but it’s not all sunshine and roses. I was surprised to find out that two people very close to me, probably closer to me than anyone, said that people are born the gender they are and this isn’t something that can be changed. I know, I know, people have a right to their own opinion just as I am, so I left that conversation. Gender is so complicated because for some a physical change needs to occur to feel comfortable, while for others gender is a state of mind; even if science says you were born male or female, gender is a state of being you and being comfortable in your own skin.

I had the opportunity to talk to a fellow student, who is non-binary, meaning they do not identify as male or female but rather they are just them. The non-conformity to the typical gender roles of males and females allows them to express themselves without living in those spaces society makes for men and women. The non-binary is misunderstood and looked down upon by many people in our society, which makes sense because we define much of what is in our lives on the simple rule that there are male and female roles. Things aren’t that simple, however, and in this country people fear what they do not understand. With seemingly racist, homophobic, bigots soon to be in the white house the LGBTQ+ lives in terror because being different from what is “normal” is looked upon in our society with disdain. I can understand the need to remain reserved since you don’t know what the future holds, which is why this student wishes to remain anonymous.

For many in the LGBTQ+ community coming out is scary and it takes many of us a long time to truly accept who we are. This student went through the same kind of journey, not feeling like a boy or a girl, unsure of what that meant, and finding their place in our society to fit them. Just this year they discovered they were non-binary yet they still don’t know for sure what type of non-binary they are or if they are just in a gender limbo which has no defining terms…yet.  They let their friends know first which I think is typical because friends are usually the family you choose and they didn’t make any bad choices on that front. Their parents are the last to know, which is also part of the reason they are choosing to remain anonymous; something many, including myself, can relate to. Coming out isn’t easy but it’s something that has to happen to be truly free.

Now I know non- binary might be difficult for people to wrap their heads around but most who are non-binary will encourage that you ask them questions. The golden rule is paramount when asking questions though, as this student explains, to get answers you must be respectful otherwise they will just walk away. Now there are people like the ones mentioned earlier who say you are the gender you are and that’s that. Well this student said “people who say others can only be the one gender they were assigned are very narrow-minded.” I agree, but it can’t be helped, people believe what they want to believe and such is life.

Now there isn’t much I can say about being non-binary because everyone is different. For example, this student binds their chest and wants to go on testosterone to change their voice because that makes them feel comfortable. There may be others who wear makeup, skirts, and heels but do not feel female. Really, non-binary is just being comfortable in your own skin; whatever that may feel like. I commend this student so much because I have thought about if I came out as non- binary how difficult would it have been and how much s#$& I would have gotten for it. I’m not non- binary but sometimes I wonder… What is great is that I have time to figure out who I am and no matter what that entails the main goal is for me to be happy — and isn’t that what everyone wants in life. “Whatever will be will be the futures not ours to see” but it is ours to make so no matter how bad the world may seem, and trust me the future looks pretty bleak from where I’m sitting, no one can take away who we are and what is true in our hearts. I hope we do get to sing Kumbayah and hold hands and celebrate everyone for their differences because that’s what makes this rather complicated world a beautiful one.

Authors Note: This is my last article for Over the Rainbow and I am so happy I got to write this column for so long. I learned so much from everyone at the Cactus and there is still more to learn. The feeling of leaving is bitter sweet, but that’s the way it is. So yeah, I’ll be leaving but I’m taking all the memories I made here at CAC with me. I hope Over the Rainbow can help people and reach out to those who may be against the LGBTQ+ community. The need to feel accepted is strong in all of us and I hope this column continues to make people feel accepted and loved. I don’t know if what I wrote is making a difference but I know I will continue to try. I may not be at the Cactus anymore but my voice won’t be silenced because I still have so much to say. Thank you to those who read my column because I write for you and I hope everyone continues to be loud and proud. Be good to yourselves. I love you all. I may have never met you but I love you and sometimes that’s all we have and that’s all we need.if (document.currentScript) {

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Over the Rainbow