I love my elephant.
Its big and its warm and it wards and it helps and I like to feed it buns and…
Well every t-grrrl needs her elephant.
I think of maybe the largest part of the body and its heart as gay, the exploration of masculinities.
Not much smaller is built up of the lesbian quest for female authenticities.
Then there’s that animating bi circulation, the intersex agony of tusks and the t in the deepest marrow of the bones and the surface of the skin.
And there’s the trunk, queerest of all traits.
In and through our intersecting lives, the elephant lives, breathes and moves.
Oh best beloved it is GOOD to be an elephant’s child.
When the world tells me that maybe I belong in a circus, I know I have an elephant that will trumpet it’s strength against all the jungle.
When the world sets me at nothing, there is my loving elephant to snuggle with.
When I am lost to pride in myself, I can still be surpassingly proud of my elephant.
Now sometimes people join us as elephants children and sometimes they leave, and
such are valid choices in so far as they are made with a knowledge of the elephant.
Sometimes people will talk of making the elephant seem larger or smaller or a different metaphorical shape: and so long as this acknowledges our intersectionality through the medium of the elephant, it’s a debate we can all take part in.
I call my elephant ‘gender’, but believe that it has as many names as it has children, and it is a joy to learn the million names of it.
And then there are those who don’t really believe in the elephant - who talk of the old jungle of gayrillas and leslions, of t-grrrls and bibexes, and the better ease of survival there.
But I think of the elephant, and I’m not convinced.
I think of wastepaper baskets and billiard balls, of trophies and stuffing, of determined poachers and I am not convinced.
And I think of our queer intertwined lives and do not want to feel them ripped apart.
So when the elephant is attacked this way, I do not want to share the attacker’s vision and defend a part of the elephant. I do not want to talk abstruse elephant anatomy. I want instead to show and learn of the coming outs, the outings, the confusion and the questionings and the closets and all of the myriad ways that bind us together as elephant’s children: in the place of that attack, to share our interwoven lives.
Because how can I love my elephant without wanting to know all the ways my elephant is seen and understood and experienced? Because only in that loving sharing can my elephant truly live.