Jamila Woods: Holy
there’s no photos.*
there’s nothing here to show you who i appear to be yet writing this has made me feel seen in a way i didnt realize i needed to.
very few know this, but i have used Noirlinians for a very specific journey outside of telling my African tale. i made an intentional decision in my early 20s to use this space to explore and attempt to publicly claim femininity, something i had been in antagonistic relationship to my whole life. i have fiercely struggled against the imposition and constriction of femininity as someone who was assigned “female” at birth and have done so since i realized gender and its expressions were often either/or as a young child.
growing up, i did not easily see myself in what others referred to as femininity or girlhood or womanhood. i eventually internalized that this meant that any amount of femininity was not for me. through Noirlinians, i wanted to see if that was ACTUALLY true or more binary bullshit i’d been believing that keeps me from myself.
i at first found it strange that as i have gotten more secure in my identity as a gender fluid person, i have found myself wishing for a deeper well of femininity to wade into. however, i soon happily accepted that the more secure in and closer i get to my true gender(s), the less fearful i feel about expanding and expressing femininity in whatever way affirms me, even if those expressions sometimes align with people’s traditional understandings of gender in the binary.
there was a time i thought to be gender fluid meant taking painstaking efforts to exist ONLY outside or beyond the binary. since then, i have come to understand that it means i make painstaking efforts to exist as myself in the reality of each moment.
this is the first writing of this kind i have shared publicly. i have been writing through my gender journey for years and am happy to report that enough journals have been filled with my tears and trepidations.
i am hoping that noirlinians, a place which has been so supportive in my exploration of the divine feminine, will also be a place i can explore my complete self and story. and if not, fuck yall go find someone elses blog to read 🙂
now for the actual post…
…its long. i dont care. im gonna pretend that me and D doing individual posts means i get to have the same total wordcount as when we did them together (mwahaahhhaahah jk jk we don’t ever count our words)
*i actually did a really amazing shoot with my friend moonlite for this post where i dressed as each one of my genders (see last section) and did the “don’t rush” challenge. instead of changing clothes though, i changed into all my selves but i got crippling dysphoria around posting this so i stalled this post SINCE APRIL with the excuse that it needed to be edited. my writing friend Michelle can tell you that the “lie detector results determined that was a lie”. its been ready for months, i just haven’t been. it can be hard when you identify with fluidity to name and present your genders when you’re not even sure they will remain or if others will be uncovered by the time a person gets to the end of the post. i had a show this weekend though where i read it for the first time aloud and i think im there so here you are…
it can be hard for me to edit pieces like this so excuse any typos/tense changes