I decided today that I think my life should be called "Trevor." Not because I know anyone named Trevor or even have any preconceptions about who or what a Trevor should be like, but more because the name just kind of rolls off the tongue. Imagine my surprise, therefore, to discover that my favorite f-bomb phrase of the day has been making young girls feel twitterpated all summer long as a line in the fan fic movie "After." Now I am having an old lady crisis. Should I continue to curse f*-ing Trevor for being the frustrating, lovable, unstable, joy-filled, capricious jerk that he/it is, or should I move on? Maybe reframe my life as a poorly conceived riot of color or a symphony of animal mating sounds? It is, indeed, a conundrum.
Meanwhile on the "I'm So New" front . . . I've been doing a lot of thinking about labels and identity lately. When I was a kid languishing in a school environment that was simultaneously too slow and too overwhelming, there were no words to frame my experiences in a way for the adults in my life (the few who decided to give a damn) to be able to help me. "Gifted," back then, meant smart kids who gave teachers chubbies because they could play by the rules. It didn't mean some mixed up kid who read 1984 at age seven with perfect comprehension, but who couldn't tie her own shoes until high school. I was delighted, therefore, that by the time I had my own kids, the language landscape had changed. Now the awesome new changes that have me thinking are in the area sexual and gender identities.
When I first came out, your options on the ballot were either gay, possibly lesbian, with a write in third party option of bisexual that no one really trusted. So when my own little queerlets told me that I was not really the bisexual woman I always thought myself to be, I was intrigued.
"Mom, you're so old," they sneered lovingly. "You know, you're like pan, right?"
"Wait. Why are we talking about kitchen implements?" I asked with crystal clear certainty that we had, for some reason, just started speaking gibberish to one another.
Cue eye-roll the duration of which was in direct proportion to their long suffering. "Mom. You know, pansexual."
I, never one to under complicate things, asked "Are we talking about the nature god Pan or is this some veiled reference to Pandora, or are we talking about pan in the sense that it encompasses all things? And how can you be all sexual anyway. I know you kids don't like to talk about . . ."
"Mom!!!!" Sir Talks A Lot cut in with an alarmed urgency based on experience while Lady Chatterly just shook her head in astonishment surely wondering how the conversation could have derailed so quickly. "Pansexual means that you're attracted to people regardless of gender. And in your case, regardless of attractiveness."
"Look, it's not my fault that Einstein, your dad and all of my exes are or were the most gorgeous people on the planet. Oh, and Maya Angelou too. And Tracy Chapman. And Spock. And Michio Kaku. And Yoda. Definitely Yoda. Wait, does a person have to be real to be attractive? Because both Gary the unicorn and Sam of Wilds are super hot."
Lady Chatterly, always good for a hug or a pity pat in a pinch, gently tapped my shoulder to let me know that she still loves me despite my obvious idiocy. "See, Mom, that's kind of what we're talking about."
Since that day, I've been thinking a lot about how my presumptive pan identity shapes my view of the world. I'm not sure how it pans out for other people (hee hee stupid pun), but I find that my quirky take on the world is related to how I prioritize what is and is not significant in a lover, a thought, a creation, a friend.
Yeah. Fuckin' Trevor. He's a right beautiful git.