For living on this planet, I pay “rent” – I contribute to the world with my music, my research, my arts+crafts, my love & friendship, and my writing. Although my name literally means “Little Warrior”, due to my autism, I cannot join my friends on the barricades. Therefore, I raise my voice through my own – soft & quiet – forms of resistance, to empower the misfits. On my blog and for BiWomenQuarterly, I write academic essays, auti-ethnographies and various forms of poetry, such as #biku . This piece tells more about the traditions of poetry in which I place myself, to conclude with a short poem about the current situation in Poland – where the Prides meet many prejudices, and where dehumanizing language is dehumanizing us.
One of my best friends is a true activist. He stands on the barricades for equality, for better wages for workers, for a basic income, to solve the climate crisis and more. I admire that enormously. Because of my autism, I am scared to death of large crowds of people. The only moments that I dare to face them is when I can perform—be it for hundreds or even thousands of people in a church, concert hall or stadium—because then they are there and I am here, on stage: sheltered, secluded, and safe. Sometimes I blame myself for being too cowardly to stick my neck out. But then I realize that I have a softer, quieter form of resistance: my writing.
“PING!” beeps my computer as it announces a new email, sent by Robyn Ochs. Her call for writing is like a storytelling guide, with many interlinked questions: “How has aging transformed you?” “What have been the most significant moments or transitions in your life?” “What do you imagine your future holds?” Pondering these prompts, for a short moment, I feel like I am in a movie, at the point where someone (almost) dies and we—the audience—see a life flash by. My brain replays some film-like memories, scary ones of the nagging children on the schoolyard and my homophobic ex-boyfriend, but also happy ones, of the first European Bisexual Conference. And I realise that Robyn cannot know how she and her work have affected my transformation. So, time …
For my research about the historical reimagining of Alfred the Great, I am currently looking at fan fiction about The Last Kingdom, that includes one (or more) of the Alfredian (Anglo-Saxon / Old-English) psalm translations. The following story was written by by Cheyenne and republished with permission of the author.
The theme for BWQ’s Spring issue is “Firsts” and I wrote a personal essay – with soundtrack! – about two of my first experiences: the first time I felt rejected, judged and excluded as a bi-romantic misfit, and the first time I felt how I could claim my place in space.
Romantic comedies, who doesn’t watch them every now and then? Cozy in your onesie, with Ben & Jerry’s on the couch, swept away by the handsome man and the beautiful woman in the all too familiar plots. At first they hate each other, but eventually, they fall in love (unfortunately, in real life, I often see this in reversed order). Or: they have to overcome all kinds of obstacles in the outside world in order to live happily ever after (at least that is what the characters seem to think at the time). Since the early beginnings of movie making, the so-called “romcom” has been a popular genre, which served as an identification for heterosexual, monogamous, cis-gender viewers (and made their expectations unrealistically high). And then, last …
Two and a half years ago, my partner and I went to EuroBicon, the European Bisexual Conference in Amsterdam. There, I presented a paper about queer mermaids, hosted a workshop on the bisexual mermaid, played games both analog and digital, went to an awesome 80-90’s disco, had fabulous food and… met Robyn Ochs. As an academic cum activist, Robyn immediately made an indelible impression on me. Therefore, I am very happy that she invited me to write for her grassroots publication Bi Women Quarterly – aka BWQ – and that my writing even made it to the front page. Thank you so much, Robyn! With her permission, I publish the integral essay in this website.