Growing up multi-racial, one of my earliest memories is being asked, "What are you?" It's such a broad question that disappointingly gets sharpened to a point with peoples' repugnant racial gaze, but I feel like I've only explored a small fraction of its actual infinite and ever-changing answers.

Me @ 12 y/o: I wish my brother was gay. I think we'd be closer siblings if he was.
Mother: Don't wish that on anyone! It's so hard being gay.

At the time, these words were so confusing because my mother had always been vocally supportive of gays, but it was years before I understood how problematic she was.

"if acquiring my self-determination is part of a worldwide, inevitable and righteous movement, then I should be willing and able to embrace more and more of the whole world without fear and also without self-sacrifice."
- June Jordan

As a fat, mixed-race queer woman, I can recognize society's expectations are rooted in white supremacy, patriarchy, and capitalism, but I still struggle to resist them and cultivate love for myself. I still have so much shadow work left to do that it feels overwhelming most days. I know love is resistance, so I hold out hope.

All of a sudden I realized I wasn't bi. I could be attracted to anyone if I just got to know them (regardless of their gender). That would have been jarring if it hadn't burst straight from the assuredness of my very core. Now, it feels like I'm bragging when I tell people I'm pan because it's just so awesome to be able to connect so deeply with so many people.

"Part of the way that the system oppresses people is by degrading people and wearing them down mentally, so that they internalize self-hatred. [...] It's hard to be truly committed to collective liberation when we don't see ourselves or others as worthwhile or significant."
- Jackie Wang

Diary excerpt from high school: "At the lockers in between classes, R told me he was bi. I smiled and told him that was pretty cool, then we went to our next period. He was pretty shocked that I wasn't shocked, but I'd hope we'd be good enough friends by now that we can just share that sort of thing. I mean we've known each other since I was four. :P"

Me @ 29 y/o: Yeah, so my girlfriend is trans, so please exclusively use she/her pronouns to refer to her going forward. Also, I realized I'm pansexual--I just like people regardless of gender...
Dad: That's great kiddo, as long as you're both happy--that's what matters.
Me: 🥰🥰🥰

Nurse: Do you want to come into the operating room?
Me: Yes, of course. Can I hold her hand?
Me: You're doing great. Just breathe with me. It's going to be over soon, and you'll be so happy with the result.