here + gender queer


photography by: jordan parvex

art direction by: jess miller + jordan parvex

written by: jess miller

In my own self-reflection I’ve been ruminating on my queerness. Something that has been ever present and yet has seemed as knowable as the ocean. I wanted to unpack some elements of my queer identity: the fluidity between masculine and feminine, gender and deconstructing stereotypes, and the connection it all has to my emotional and mental state. Each queer persons story is unifying but not universal, there are so many contexts and moving parts at play so I speak only for myself and my journey. I’ll let you in bit by bit in hopes that something I have learned could be helpful to someone as they wrestle with understanding and loving themselves wherever they are at on their own journey.  This serves as a physical reminder that I’m ok, that I’ve come a long way in loving myself since coming out, that it’s ok my being doesn’t fit neatly into a box.

Bared in the shower, ready for the private daily baptism. In the shower tears are disguised. Waters mixing and flowing over, this is a space only for me. Scrubbing dirt and sweat but those thoughts don’t come off so easy. Just a body. A weeping body. To be reborn in doubt or acceptance seems a simple choice, but my demons they are so persuasive. So will I come back tomorrow, try again, that has made all the difference.

Feminine and masculine:
Asking for collaboration
there is no balance
like vapor they vanish. 
The snobs say multitudes
Feels more like ancestors. 
Shouting they demand their story to be woven in. 
Whispering they bless and share a smile. 
Always present there’s a need to feel honest. 
To be honest. 
Who are we a collection of today, who needs some gentle tending? 
Deep inhale. Hold. 
Release. Always release. 
I keep forgetting that part. 

I am a sensual being. Attuned to the vibrations dancing out from my core. Being able to close my eyes and feel the wind’s fingertips trace my skin, run it’s hands through my hair is a reminder of my place in the world. Here I feel alive, lovingly touched and known. Sensuality cuts through facade to the raw surface. It has the capability to reunite body, emotion, mind, and consciousness. To be in touch with sensuality has meant to grasp at freedom. From my inner doubts, from powerlessness, from being controlled by what others think of me. For better or worse sex has dominated the conversation about the queer community. But queer people are more than the sex they have. Queer people are more than the lack of sex they have. We are alive. We are human. We are sexual. We are asexual. We are sensual. We are all capable of love and that is a divine pursuit.