Embracing Eli

Lately I’ve been experiencing a weird feeling inside myself. I watch a youtuber that identifies as nonbinary, and I am fascinated by them. I like the idea of not using gender specific pronouns, yet I also feel like I cling to my she/her pronouns for dear life.
When I was nine years old, I had to cut all my lovely curly long hair off due to head lice, and because of that I was referred to as a boy. It didn’t help that I was wearing my brothers hand-me-downs. I was so offended, and despised that substitute teacher for the rest of my elementary and middle school existence. In grade twelve I had beautiful long, and coloured hair. I destroyed it by bleaching it to much, and had to chop it all off going into year thirteen of high school. (I went back by choice.) Again I was offended when someone called me a boy, because it was so deeply ingrained in me that I was supposed to be a female, who liked males.
I came out as Bisexual in grade eleven to my friends and a few of my family members, but I didn’t openly discuss it with my foster parents because I figured that they would accept it. So being misgendered felt awful, and made me feel so self conscious about myself. I started to go into even more of a self hatred. By the time I was in my¬† first year of hair school, I felt more confident in my short hair. My boyfriend loved me with long hair, and still loved me with short hair. My friends didn’t care what the length of my hair was, and neither did I.
Now fast forward two years, and I’m trying to grow my hair out. Not because I don’t love it short, but because I haven’t seen myself with long hair in forever. In the last year I have been diagnosed with Complex Post Traumatic Stress disorder, General Anxiety disorder, Social Anxiety disorder, and Panic disorder. Because of the mixture of all these, I have many panic attacks, some of them so bad that I almost pass out. My clothing will be too tight, and I will fall apart, because in my head I am this fat disgusting monster, when in reality I am an averagely sized person. So lately I’ve started to wear my boyfriends clothing, and I feel so much more confident and comfortable.
Watching this nonbinary youtuber had gotten me to question whether or not I like the use of female pronouns for myself, and in all honesty, I could care less if someone used He/Him or She/Her pronouns to describe me. I’m me, and I don’t depend on these pronouns to be me. I have been doing a lot of thinking about it lately, and I have decided that I like dressing more Androgynous. I’ve also decided to go by a more masculine name, but that won’t be changed on any social media until I move from where I am living now, because the roommates I currently have are great, but I feel like they wouldn’t understand, because they don’t understand why I like to wear my boyfriends clothing.
The name I have chosen to go by once I move is Eli. My boyfriend says he will love me regardless of my name, and I’ve told him he can use any pronouns he would like, as long as he can try to call me Eli. When we move, we will be living with my best friend. He is gay, and is somewhat in the same mindset as me, where he wants to appear more gender neutral. I look forward to the journey I will be embarking on, and I am so grateful that I have my boyfriend to support me through it, and a best friend to take the journey with.


Telling Lies While Trying to Grow UP

Lies are an easy enough thing to let slip out of our mouths. We tell ourselves that we told a lie to protect the other person, because we didn’t want to hurt their feelings, or because they don’t need to know the truth, when in reality we tell lies to protect ourselves, because we don’t want to hurt them or have them hate us. But something we often look past at the moment is that lying to them will only make it worse, because lies will always be found out.

Lying as a little kid, your parents tsk at you and tell you that lying is bad, but as we grow up we call them out on the lies they told us as children, the ones that lead us to believe in magic. The lies that let us truly be children, to believe that the world wasn’t that bad of a place, the lies that let us feel safe and carefree.

As teenagers, we started to lie to our parents more. Whether it was about crushes, or where we were going after school. Whether it was about bullying, or having our feelings hurt, we’d lie to them. We’d tell them we didn’t like anyone, or that we were going to Angelia’s house when in reality we were going to Stevens’s house. We’d tell them we had lots of friends, because it was better than admitting that we had none, that we felt lonely. We’d lie and say we didn’t smoke, that we never drank, we’d sneak out and crawl back into bed, prepared to lie our way out of any situation, but we’d always get caught. Our parents always found out the truth.

Now as young adults, we try to defend ourselves from the world by continuing to tell small white lies, often along the lines of our age, our work experience, our love life, and occasionally people lie about their name or their love life. We make friends with different people, and we tell them all different stories about where we came from, what we did before they knew us. When we meet new people, we get to become someone different than we had been previously. We wouldn’t have to be the same scared teenager that we were back in high school, we didn’t have to be the social reject anymore, we could fall in love and forget about all the terrible things we had experienced in the past.

But we still always forget that lying will catch up to us. Someone will found out the truth, and when that happens they will ruin everything for us. All it takes is one person to find out something about your past that can destroy the whole elaborate fantasy you came up with.

I try my hardest not to lie, because I know that somewhere along the line it will be found out, and people won’t trust me anymore. I still tell my little sister, and my nieces the same lies my parents told me when I was their age, because I want them to believe in magic the way I used too. But other than that, I’m an honest person, I try to tell everything as it is, even if I know it might hurt someones feelings. I use logic and honesty to stop my one sister from making terrible choices where I can, but not every bad decision can be prevented, because bad choices is how we learn.