March 7th, 2013

Personal identity. Gender identity. Sexual identity. Secret identity.

I think of identity as internal, as opposed to the exterior-ness of labels. Identity is who I am. It is how I feel. It is my proclivities, my interests, my views and my way of being. It is the unique combination that makes up me.

But then, someone asks me, who are you?

And I try to put it into words. These shapeless, unspoken thoughts of me. I use labels that other people have created, that other people have defined. And they are the closest I can come to create communication, but they are not the truth. Because I am so much more than words. I am so much more than someone else’s definitions. So, new words are created, but they, inevitably fall short, too. I try whole lists of words, sometimes seemingly contradictory, just to get the point across that I am more than.

More than a single concept. More than a strict definition. More than a simple category.

I am so much more than my job, my hobbies, my submission, my service, my masochism, my body, my sarcasm.

Who am I? You’ll never know. Because you are not inside me, and no matter how much time you spend with me, you will always filter me through who you are.

But sometimes I want so badly to be understood, to be accepted, to be loved. That I try to fit in. Fit into the molds society has created. Fit into the roles that someone else has defined. Fit into boxes that people understand.

And when someone does not understand, I try to explain. But sometimes words just aren’t enough. Because they do not feel as I feel, they do not experience what I experience. Their frame of reference does not allow for understanding. And I can let myself feel alienated and ashamed, or I can remember that they don’t have to understand me. My identity is not based on anyone else’s understanding.




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