Part Ten of an interview with: Ren

When I look back at myself, even two (or) three years ago, it’s a different human being completely. That started to change really dramatically when I gave myself permission to just try things. ‘What will it feel like if I just try doing this?’ And I did and it felt right. The more it felt right and validating…

 

I’m wondering if this phrase would fit for you, because it fits for me: “Of growing into yourself.” This sense of-you couldn’t have even fathomed. But once you were discovering along the trail of what was possible, things developed and you do change. I tell people that the real choices made along the way weren’t to be this or to be that but to explore and to be willing to say “yes” to what feels good along that exploration. And then you just cointinue on and you wake up and you wake up and you go, “Wow! Yep! I’ve got a lot of milage or whatever on that journey of mine! From point A to point B.” It’s not even that we’re at point B; we’re just continuing on.

 

That does speak to me, because when coming out one thing that I couldn’t deny-I was okay being miserable as sad as that sounds. Misery was just something that was pervasive and was familiar. It’s like, “I know how to deal with this. This is just my life.” But then what I couldn’t deny, and the biggest reason for me to come out, I couldn’t deny how happy I was. That was the no going back point. I didn’t expect that. I honestly didn’t expect that: feeling more and more progressivley happy and then realizing, “Oh my God! Was I this miserable for this long?” You touch on that so eloquently in your work. Just the freedom and expression that all this play (has) offered you. It’s just amazing to see in the show. I feel like it’s a really deep, rich vein that’s common in every single person that’s gender variant in their experience.

 

Yeah. There’s this liberation of speaking your secret and knowing it’s true. I think it was a secret for me for a long time. It was like, “Aw, I don’t need to tell people. They wouldn’t understand anyway.” But then as there was (kind of like) more crowbaring a little bit of space, and a little bit more space, and a little bit more space...The first time somebody honored my gender queerness and used gender neutral pronous with me happened to me on an ongoing basis, in the whole conversation, happened to me this year in January. It requires more than two people to have that happen. Because when you’re just speaking one-on-one to someone you don’t use those types of pronouns. We just say “you and I” and soforth. They only really apply in a group setting. But when that happened, I remember feeling just like a tingly excitement. Like all of me was being acknowledged. For once I wasn’t being parsed down to one part that they were comfortable treating me. It was thrilling. This was kind of my coming out show. I sort of told a few people, but this was coming out publicly. I didn’t know any other gender queer people personally when I first wrote it. None. Zero. I met them as a process of starting to preform; comparing notes and getting excited. Just being with them and having them see me. I felt like I was seen for the first time. That’s the sort of euphoria that we have fought for in the greater queer community. That’s what it’s about. It’s not about who’s go the better parties during pride festival. It’s not about who can afford the nicest apartment in Yaletown. It’s not about even being married with the legality to prove it to someone else. Although, having rights to do so and having legal protections is a very important thing. It’s not about status. It’s about being absolutely comfortable with who you are and unashamed of who you are and being acknowledged that there’s no amount of nay-saying that prevents your experience from being true for you. And living it. Just living. I mean, life’s short. Why do we care about these things. I mean, we care because we want to live a quality life. But people who have a problem with it, their energy is spent in some pretty sad and silly things really. I don’t remember that all the time. I guess partly I wrote the show to remind myself of how I want to feel in my experience. I get down sometimes. Just today: a friend of mine started she and stuff, and I was like, “Please, please friend please. I know it’s been a while since we’ve talked, but people are getting on board with the they’s and the ze’s and the zir’s. And I know you know me. Can we get back to this?” She complied, she said, “Okay. Yeah, yep” It’s just a practice thing for some people. If people only knew how much joy they could give you and I to be acknowledged for our own experience. What it really comes down to is this: If we are seen, we can be known. If we can be known, we can have intimacy and connection with people. But you need to be seen to have that. All of us need people.