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My name is Cecil; I'm a relationship anarchist and butter enthusiast. I use they/them for my nonbinary self, and all of that is, maybe, part of why I used to spend a lot of time escaping photographs. I don't think I had a sense of how to express my own sexuality or sexiness till a few years ago, but I'm making up for it exponentially now.

Here's a memory of eighth grade: a locker room, my crush, and a purple, satiny, molded plunge bra. I'd had daydreams about kissing older girls, too terrifying to act on. Dreams of being a boy, whatever that meant. Dreams of being an alien, a swiss army knife of body parts. Heap the shame on. Bury my nerves.

I have a few things to say to Past Me, including "look, it's okay to like pretty things," and "hello, you're queer!"

I've come around from my oversized jackets and my brother's hand-me-downs, a complete spin into frilly, soft, and bright. I love clothes, don't own pants, spend a lot of my time naked. Sometimes putting clothes on just makes me more self conscious. Figuring out how to source bras and dresses that flattered me was so monumental and so sweet. Knowing I still can't find them in a store to try on, nor can anyone else of my shape and size, is bitter rind. But I do love the feeling of skin brushing against fabric, and I only touch things I want to touch now. One of my partners wears a lot of velour and corduroy; we keep having the delicious problem of needing to get halfway back out of our clothes once they're on.

I think I'll always feel divorced from my body in some way. I creep further over that border every day, in tendrils, on days when I feel comfortable or capable, when my eyes dart over my reflection and see someone familiar. Tattoos help so much. It's strange being a nonbinary person under the trans umbrella and wearing what feels like very gendered and binary underwear; it's less strange marking my body up, giving it borders, highlights, nonstandard main attractions.  

I'm at my most smokin' when I see my gender recognized. There's a reason why my first tattoo was a favorite artist's enormous genderfuck design, why I periodically go to a party with abstracted pronoun magic sharpied all over my arms. There's no point in getting naked if it lets anyone reduce me to my body shape, my parts, my assignment.

I've had the joy and honor of cloaking (and revealing) myself in a Noel’le Longhaul’s tattooing. I don't go a day now without taking a walk in my body-as-architecture. I inhabit myself with a glow. See my insides on my outsides, my own grandness. The vast expanse of myself scares me less. My tattoos are some of the first things (and sometimes the only things) people notice about me. I love it that way. I love these choices I have made.