I'm Every Woman, Not Some Sub-Par Headlining Act

I remember cringing the first time someone told me I was a “beautiful woman”: post-shower, naked, and completely vulnerable before her. In retrospect, it wasn’t so much being called “beautiful” as it was hearing it paired with “woman.” Not that I was ashamed of my womanhood or being seen in a full-blown feminine light, but in that moment I realized that I had previously only ever been made to feel marveled at as some kind of core aesthetic. Overlooked, pacified. A mute screen of woman. It was the first time I felt fully embraced as a valid representation of a woman and not hindered by my androgyny.

“My only purpose is to be the most authentic representation of myself I can be. If any or all of what that looks like makes you uncomfortable, I’m not sorry. For some, my message will be lost on. I won’t be for everybody and that’s okay. To those who see ME: Thank you.” 

I’ve been embracing myself more and hiding less. I feel empowered in my skin. On this journey of freedom, I feel a neutralized sense of gender expression notwithstanding the insistence to label me with little to no room for fluidity. I feel secure enough in my sexuality to intimately explore the full-spectrum of women—having only ever dated hyper-feminine women—as my attraction to more masculine-presenting women blooms. This transparency—still one-hundred percent human—invokes a heightened sense of vulnerability:

“How will I be responded to?”

I’m immediately reminded that I’m not anyone’s boxed perception of me—synonymous only with my propensity to leave room to redefine myself, and again. And again.

Why I Stopped Hyphenating "Self Love"

The use of hyphens in “self love” has been resonating on a strange level of irony for me, lately. Love is just as much an individual phenomenon as it is a universal one. Yet I feel we don’t create enough space for it inside. We don’t allow it to radiate independent of social acceptability and our desire to be loved by others, enough. We tend to be great at meeting others’ needs, thus neglecting ourselves and making it that much harder to return to the empowered place where we feel worthy (without validation).

Removing the hyphen, for me, represents the space required to actively honor new and old commitments to ourselves not attached to anyone or anything. space to be better to our hearts. Space to love our bodies. Space to learn to say “no” when too many “yes”s deprive us of ourselves. Space to not allow ourselves to be mistreated. Space to find our voices and to never lose them once we’ve found them. Space to tell our stories. Space to start over. Space to make our own choices. Space to sit with our real selves beyond our surface selves. Space to express. Space to redefine inner feelings of peace. Space to heal. Space to grow.

— An excerpt from my book ‘root’, available on Amazon here.

Polyamory & Loving in Freedom

I was recently shamed for identifying as a polyamorist and told, "The way I love isn't love." This was hurtful to hear because my love-style comes from an open, honest, and selfless place.

For me, polyamory is about the freedom to create, explore, expand, and preserve my connections with the women I love (while also creating an empowered and supportive space for them to experience the same). Connections that are strong enough to survive together and apart and aren't contingent upon romantic and sexual exclusivity. Dynamic connections, real connections. Free from the cages most monogamous relationships confine us to when fear, insecurities, and jealousy are allowed to dictate the way we connect with others. I don't ever want to love anyone into minimizing what someone else may or may not mean to them and I never want to experience being loved that way again. I don't ever want to love anyone away from the true wild of their heart. So often we hear "I want to see you happy, even if it's not with me", but when put to the test it rarely converts from being an impulse gesture (something simply uttered in the moment) to being sincere. How many of you actually mean it? I do, and contrary to the misconceptions, being a polyamorist represents those sincere acts of selflessness for me: Selfless love. It isn't for anyone else to understand or accept. I'm just grateful for each day I get to wake up, love, and let love.