Crimson opinion writer
Christina M. Xiao
Being vocally, unabashedly, look-at-me-once-and-it’s-so-obvious queer is important to me. (Once a girl at a party asked me if I was, verbatim, “not straight,” and I rode that elation for a solid week afterward). It’s my way of saying I am here and I have gone through so much strife, internal and external, to be here and so conspicuously queer in front of you, and I’ll do it again.
The concept of the dead viscerally disturbs me. I speed-walk past flowers on bridges and gated graveyards while others stop to pay their respects. When I think of the dead, I see myself among them. I would trade my life for my Asian American siblings, if given the chance. There are so many people who could do more with a life than I. But I am never given the chance. I keep living. It’s not fair.
No matter how coming out goes, it’s a big deal and not something to be taken lightly. It takes so much bravery to come out. To say to the world or maybe just the people you care about that this is who I am and how I love when large swathes of the world will hate you for that alone. If someone gathers the courage and strength to come out to you, they do not deserve to be met with skepticism. It could not have been easy for them to come to terms with their own identity, to war within themself over who to tell and how, and to finally say those words to you.
If it hasn’t been made strikingly obvious yet, I am a hopeless romantic without much to back it up with. I am writing a series of love letters for the days leading up to Valentine’s Day in one of the saddest, most distant years for love. I am in a long-term long-distance relationship. Maybe I’m just naive, but I believe in love over everything threatening to pull it apart.
I think of the people I would walk to, no matter the distance, just to be together with them in the flesh, physically tangible, breathing the same air. How, at the end of the world, if all the trains and buses and planes in the world shut down and there was no easy way to reach anyone, I would run to see some people for the last time. To hold their hands and look at them in the eyes as we say goodbye.
I leave people behind in life like a trail of early exits and connections gone cold, and it’s only gotten worse with age. Especially now in college, when the face of every new person I meet at a party with the music too loud and every classmate suffering in the same breakout room fades too quickly into the amorphous mass of people I have already forgotten.
PGPs are not yet ingrained enough in our culture for people to state them unprompted. Any proposed solution to this balancing act of a problem will put some portion of the trans and non-binary community in uncomfortable situations.