ESSENCE of being

Author: Katarina Kadijevic

Under the word “queer” I imagine ultimate freedom of identity.

For me queer is that body/mind/soul isn’t determine by the biological structure of our body – our genitals.

For me queer also means dialog between the masculine and feminine part in myself – acceptation of both sides, go deeper into them and discover the substance.

ALBERT /

Growing up as a queer in a small village wasn’t always the easiest way to live. It took quite a while to develop a positive and beautiful relationship with myself. The hardest part of the process was to understand I can’t seek self-love trough other people. I fought very hard with the perception of solitude and its benefits. I understood I’m not connected to anyone by biology, and that family is not just the definition of those who gave birth to me. I do wear make-up, leather, rough materials, and iron accessories, because of the feeling of safety that comes from them. I like the possibility to have different personalities, as it was always hard for me, to keep only one. In my genderless, illusional world, We are constantly changing, evolving… because every minute can be a source of creation.

ZEYNAB

The more I am looking for it, the less it feels sensational – what I am. My identity is probably only built on what I feel, because it’s the only real thing for me. I know that a lot of thoughts I have are thoughts that are in some way outlined (from surrounding). And I can have opinions about a lot of things just because I heard them somewhere, but I didn’t construct them by my own. Being a queer for me means doing what you feel, nothing else actually.I do not like the fact that today many people perceive queer as a label. I see it as another box against which queerness is actually supposed to fight.

MAREK / SMOKEE

I’m normally no-gender person, but I have such days when I feel more like a man or more like a woman – among them, I am migrating somehow. I had a period when I was still a woman. Actually, just before I came to the New Aliens Agency I was putting make-up on myself every day. And because I came to the New Aliens Agency and found that my drag is desirable that people like it, so I started to do more drag and thanks to that I found out that I do not need to put make-up on every day – that it’s not so important for me to be that beautiful girl every day. I still perceive myself as a no-gender person, but I started to feel myself more as a man. Although I still have a lot of ladies‘ clothes at home, and I usually wear it out, but it’s not like „I’m going to get dressed, put my makeup on and wear ladies boots“ – no, normally I will leave my legs unshaved, I’ll take the ladies boots, I’ll have my furry armpit and I’ll take my dress and without make-up. And that’s what my normal life is about – I’m rather shocking people now that I’m actually a man dressed in women’s clothes. I enjoy the point of being a man in women’s dress. And then I have a day when I decide to be a normal person – either a woman or a man. But it’s more in the days when I do not want to show up so when I have an internal struggle or something.

RACHEL

Though it might sound odd, my gender identity is very connected to me being a lesbian. I experience my gender roughly like this; my only link to womanhood is love for women. I just don’t feel like a woman myself.

If I had to put labels on myself, they would be: non-binary lesbian. I really dislike the Czech translation for the word lesbian; it’s too harsh and reminds me of porn for men too much. For me, being non-binary means that I don’t feel like a woman or a man but I still have a connection to womanhood.

English is my safe space; it has the gender-neutral pronoun „they“, which I’d say is nowadays used in other spaces than LGBT ones too. My international friends use that pronoun for me when they’re not using my gender-neutral name.