Breaking the Binary

This post is part of my 2019 Pride Month series “Proudly Reaffirming Identity, Diversity, and Equity,” exploring present-day issues facing the LGBTQ+ and allied communities.

“Male or female?” The form is generic–it could be anything–but the question is as particular as it could get. Just two options. No room for black or white or grey. Just male or female. Or. The “either” is implied; the “both” is inconceivable.

For me, it doesn’t matter. I check the first box (because, after all, the male box always goes first) and carry on with my day without giving it a second thought. That’s because the sex I was assigned at birth is the sex I identify with. It’s a privilege often taken for granted, that when the doctor overseeing my birth wrote “male” on my birth certificate, it ended up describing me pretty well. Just like how the magazine printed on cheap newspaper in the checkout aisle looked at my birth date, said I’m a Gemini, and then stuck me in a box forever. Thankfully, that descriptor ended up pretty on point, too.

But all that means is I’m just one of the lucky ones.

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On the Cusp of Past and Future

It’s been 126 days since I blogged last. In that time, I have…

Taught approximately 360 lessons
Graded nearly 800 exams and quizzes
Used four of my five allotted sick days
Attended at least 40 hours of professional development
Spent about 60 hours preparing and submitting my edTPA
Written a 42-page, single-spaced, original research paper
Backed 23 new campaigns on Kickstarter (while not funding my own)
Listened to “Sky Full of Song” and “Hunger” over a hundred times, and
Worked out a lot less than I wanted to.

But all of that is merely the minutia of being a grad student-math teacher-advisor-TFA corps member-writer. Except half of that is suddenly behind me.

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Grand Unifying Theory

The fault in my stars made me a Gemini. Not only was the sun in this sign on the day of my birth, at the minute of my birth the earth watched as Gemini rose on the horizon. Expanding outwards through the solar system, three of the other nine astrological planets also stand in my first house.

I was destined for duality from the start.

In its most basic ailment, this often manifests itself in my having clearly delineated inner and outer selves, one known only to myself while the world witnesses the other. But as my particular brand of fate would have it, it doesn’t end there.

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An End, A Beginning

I’m in shock that it’s been nearly two weeks since I’ve posted anything. And yet, I’m not surprised. My life has been horribly busy lately, what with officer responsibilities and demanding classes with ruthless amounts of homework. Not to mention I’ve gladly devoted most of my free time to being with my boyfriend. He I’m most thankful for.

No matter all my distractions, whether academic or love-ridden, no matter unwanted or welcome, there’s no reason to not post here. I’ve been thankful, especially of one thing in particular, but I haven’t put that thankfulness into words, and that was what I wanted to do when I started Thankful Thursdays. I’ve been inspired, and awed, but I haven’t felt that tug of a budding story. My will to write has recently fleeted. It’s left a part of me feeling cold, but in all the warmth of my current happiness, that too has gone unnoticed.

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The Sweetest Thing

I’m a diehard romantic and apparently I’m picky. I don’t get what the one has to do with the other, and most of the time I really don’t care. I like most romantic comedies, even if there’s a ninety-percent chance I’ll predict the entire movie before it’s over. When I’m surprised, I love it. When I’m blown away, I’ve fallen in love.

Music is one of those things that seems to capture the moment the moment I’m feeling it. There’s always a song playing, whether on my headphones or the radio or on the ring tones of the classmate who never turned off their phone, that just in a few verses, in a single melody, can sum up life in a matter of seconds.

Then there’s those times when I’m standing at the white board, three markers of three different colors in my hands as I try to solve a determinant in some new way to check my other answer, and I see how it’s supposed to work out in the end, but I can be fairly certain that I’ve made a careless mistake in my algebra somewhere because, very clearly, it won’t add up correctly. And yet I see it all at a once. The answer is right before me. It always is.

I thought I was going to be thankful for love today. But it seems like fate’s had its own way again.

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Snakes on a Plane (or Something Like It)

I’m starting to think I won’t be having any more thankful Thursdays this semester. For some reason beyond me, all my teachers like to have all my homework due Friday morning, so naturally, Thursdays have become crunch time for me: A fatal rush to the finish, pushing past the boundaries of bedtime into the realm of “when he said he wants us to lose sleep over this, he meant it.” But that’s alright: We grow and we adapt. We change our ways to meet the new days.

I was thinking a lot about that today, about adaptability and change. After a while, I found I’m rather thankful for it, but what does that have to do with snakes? Or more importantly, what does it have to do with planes?

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