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the language

i never had a language precise enough or large enough.

i was born in a tongue of narrow vocabulary for the ways that we can be

and raised in a tongue growing its dictionary of the ways that we are.

i understand now that language is only as big as the culture of its birthplace.

as an adolescent, i used identity categories and pejorative descriptors as if they were interchangeable.

"gay" was "wack" and "wack" was "gay."

i picked this up from peers, from media, from music i loved.

i didn't realize then that the limited language that i had was also limiting my view of all of me that was unfolding.

i'm still unfolding.

and still discovering.

i think the magic of living is that we never stop finding parts of ourselves that we hadn't known before.

the power of language is that as our vocabulary for being expands, so can the space wherein our beings exist.

i use "queer" to describe me,

but it's relevant at the very least

and proximal at the very best.

there's a painful history to the term,

but it's an umbrella under which many of us have begun to find and hold community.

i still struggle to embrace the term completely -

partly because i'm applying a category derived from the tongue of my colonizer,

and mostly because the entirety of my being isn't revolved around the way my heart moves.

as an artist of words,

i have a deep love for language -

the way it can both tell and shape our stories.

at the core of my being,

i reject the notion that there exists a single word

which encapsulates the nuanced and fluid nature of attraction -

the nature of how our hearts flutter, tug, and hold. i

f i could describe my own heart, it would be something like this -

nameless, organic, unabashed, and free.

thy nguyenComment