Always Have Pride

“Bisexuality isn’t real! It’s just a word for people who are confused. You’re either gay or straight, and you’ll grow out of this and pick one.”

It’s a sunny day and I’m in a crowd of people, marching along. I can see boys holding hands, girls kissing, a tiny kid beaming from ear to ear with a t-shirt proudly proclaiming ‘I love my two mummies!’ and waving a mini rainbow flag in one pudgy hand. I’m wearing my bisexual flag t-shirt and my eyeshadow is the colours of the flag and around me it’s a riot of bright colours and happy faces and joyous noise. I smile.

“You can’t use ‘they’ to refer to one singular person, it’s not grammatically correct! There’s no such thing as ‘non-binary’, everyone’s either male or female.”

I turn to my friend and they grin at me. There’s a trans flag badge pinned to their t-shirt, which has ‘they/them’ painted on it in neon orange, and they’re eating an ice cream cone. The ice cream drips onto their wrist and they laugh as they try and fail to lick it before it melts. They’re relaxed and at ease and it’s lovely to see.

“What’s the point in gay marriage? I mean, you can just have a civil partnership, that’s the same, stop complaining!”

There’s two old men walking along, a stream of people going faster around them, the two of them content to go their own pace. They’re holding hands, wedding rings glinting on their fingers. Their hair is grey and their faces are wrinkled and they’re wearing matching t-shirts that say ‘together for thirty years, married for one!’, and they’re gazing around them with faces full of emotion, as if they’re astonished at how far we’ve come. They look so happy, and I can’t stop my tears.

“Don’t be ridiculous, this is just a phase. You’ll get over it and find a nice boy and settle down.”

It’s later that day, and I’m sitting on the beach, watching the sunset with my girlfriend. Today’s makeup is smudged across her face, glitter everywhere, a giant rainbow flag tied around her shoulders. She’s beautiful in the fading light, and I love her so much that my heart is full of it, and I’m so incredibly lucky that she loves me too. And as she kisses me and the sky changes colour, all I can think is how much things change. Things change and people change and you should never stop hoping, and wishing, and loving. And you should always have pride.

-Maura Kenny

[22/02/17: Non-Binary, Pride, picture of two girls of a beach]

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Sunday Morning Osmosis

Sometimes on Sunday our sheets are like chloroplasts. We move in and out, a kind of miasma where our skin is completely permeable. She refuses to draw the curtains, always, and the sunlight is steadfast and golden. Have you ever heard of a rainy Sunday? Our bracelets clink together, the metal like ice upon glass as our lips upon flesh. The exchange of stamps and marks is fluid. Her skin is white and she is fish-like, slippery; the scales of her body betray no secrets. The world is indifferent. She lisps with her singing; it is like a kettle boiling with just that frisson, that amount of whistling. The sound of the radio fills the air with crickets. I am proud of how easily she makes me free. I embrace an alien quality, morphing into the shape of her body. You cannot clasp it anymore than you could clasp a handful of ocean. She slithers. Her sheets drip with the sunniness of Sunday.

Today I am starved of light. There is no photosynthesis. It is a gloomy Sunday and I listen to Billie Holiday, the rain making music of my window. I curl under sediments of quilt and Norah Jones is crooning to me, as if magic would happen if only this were a tin roof and I was the peaceful queen. They know nothing of this suffering. She is so far away and there are metallic sands which ripple with the languorousness of a dying jellyfish, a sweet diffusion into tiny particles. No answer to the water, no language upon the sound. A preservation keeps me from coiling completely back into matter. I too could be fish-like, surviving upon the one taut muscle that would undulate back towards the river. Westwards I stare at the glare. The key in the lock, its passionate rattle. I’d give up my life to avoid his entrance, to see the storms, properly on the sea, a vendor selling melted ice-cream, children digging holes in the sand. I’d cry into the colours. I’d want to mollify like that; compress this silken membrane, exact my own mode of decay. I would see her adrift like me: the purple one, bruised and stung on the cold white duvet.

/ Maria Sledmere

(fff prompts: non-binary, pride)