HERE’S THE NERDIEST THING ABOUT ME:
The first time I wrote for the consumption of the Internet was back when I was in either middle school or high school. I had two published short stories and two published poems on a Sailor Moon fan site.
I WROTE SAILOR MOON FAN POETRY, AND I CANNOT FIND THE WEBSITE, SO YOU’RE GOING TO HAVE TO TAKE MY WORD FOR IT.
Specifically, I wrote fan poetry for my favorite Senshi: the Sailor Starlights. If you never made it past what aired in the US, the Sailor Starlights were three Senshi from the planet Kinmoku, who traveled to Earth to find their Princess after the destruction of their home planet. To get their Princess’ attention, they disguise themselves on Earth as the Three Lights: a teen pop idol band. As the Sailor Starlights, they present female, and as the Three Lights, they present male.
I sincerely believe that I have Sailor Moon to thank for being the foundation of what I know about gender and sexuality. Sailor Uranus and Sailor Neptune were the first gay couple that I encountered in any form of media, and the Sailor Starlights were absolutely the first time I was presented with the idea of gender fluidity. As a geeky middle schooler, all I knew was that the Sailor Starlights were awesome and I loved them, and so what did it matter how or why they presented the way that they did, you know?
I think a lot about Seiya, Taiki, and Yaten lately. Like, to the point that maybe I’m about to dive back into this fandom and scour the Internet for fanart of them like I did in the good ol’ days. (IT’S NOT LIKE I DON’T HAVE THE TIME, Y’ALL.) I’m still figuring out my own gender puzzle, and I am exceedingly grateful to have had positive examples of gender fluidity in the media I loved as far back as middle school.
Because it does make me sad sometimes, and I do wonder sometimes if I didn’t come to all of this too late. I turn 31 next month, and I feel like the wobbliest little baby queer giraffe right now. I don’t know what to do, or where to start, or where to go, you know what I mean? So, it’s comforting to sit in my room, and turn to places like fandom, to see characters whom I love exactly as they are and challenge myself that I might be worthy of love exactly as I am.
In terms of my career, I am worried, for example, that directors will no longer know how to cast me. That maybe I’ve put an end to my own Shakespeare career, which breaks my heart. On a good day, I like to think that I am just capable of more. That, like my Starlights, I can be a male-identifying pop star or a female-identifying superhero or just a non-binary anything.
I think, perhaps, this is why I’ve shifted more of my focus to writing. I want to do whatever I can to create more opportunities for visibility and, specifically, for performance for my fellow non-binary and genderfluid friends out there. Tomorrow night I get to hear fifteen pages of a script I’m working on out loud (MY HELL), and many of the actors are non-binary.
I dunno, y’all. I just know that there are lots of other questioning, nerdy middle schoolers out there, and it’s my dream now to create content for them that makes them feel seen and valid and badass, even if they don’t recognize it until their 30s.
This post has been sitting in my “drafts” for a long time, and I think it’s because this topic feels so IMPORTANT to me, and I want to get this RIGHT. But these words and these feelings are mine, imperfect though they are, and I am eager to share them.
What pieces of pop culture have helped you feel more seen throughout your lifetime? I want to hear about them very much!
In the name of the Moon, y’all.