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Color Me Free

My body is too liberated to be binary

By B. Vanessa ColemanPublished 3 years ago 2 min read

Color Me Free

By B. Vanessa “Bee” Coleman

Unlike most folks I know

I’ve never met anyone related to me

So I spend most of the time

wondering who's hues i reflect

who I look like most

And wondering why what I look like

wields so much control

over my experience

Now, it could very well be that my spirit

has always been calibrated to resist,

but there are two things I really wish

the world would stop doing:

  • gendering me
  • and selling me shit

many times in the same damn breath

Where the former is applied in service of the latter

under the guise of good manners or politeness

“Hello, ma’am”

“How can I help you miss?”

“Can I get you ladies anything to drink?”

It’s like really has anyone stopped to think

why we even do this?

What good is the gender binary even,

besides to subtly bias our minds

subconsciously training us to trap our possibilities

within the limits of “either/or”?


I have no more use for the concept of gender

(or any binary for that matter)

Than for the idea of an Almighty God

who exists outside of my own body


But lately I’ve really wanted

to write it across my forehead


The following terms are not permitted in this vicinity:



Miss lady





I’m a grown ass they/them, dog!

Because, once you've declared me “woman”

What have you already decided about me?

What do you assume to know I want?

Or need?

Or know?

At this point I’m about ready to let my gender go

let my gender flow into oblivion

Fluid like my favorite black lace cape

Like the deep black paint dancing across my face

Like the liberation I can taste

Like this melanin

absorbing the whole spectrum


My body is too liberated to be binary

Lest I legitimize the patriarchy

by complying with the idea

that a person’s worth, abilities, desires or capacities

are in any way determined

by the presence

Of a penis

So I dream of freedom

From the philosophies and fallacies

Of worshipping phallus-es

To the detriment of proper reverence

For the divinity of femininity

For its role in creation

I dream of liberation

Of freedom that rings

like a siren song

for all oppressed beings

Who dream autonomy over our bodies




Color me free to dream

That everyone learns to heed Maya’s words

And believe I am

who I tell you I am

Not whoever you think you see

social commentary

About the Creator

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