Stained by Puberty – A Poem

Entering into a world so warm and mild

I remember running around naked as a child

Getting sand in my butt as I played out in the wild

Waving at my parents who waved back while they smiled

I really love and cherish memories like this

They are kept in my heart, never to dismiss

Carefree moments on the beach in pure bliss

Yes those were the summers I’m really gonna miss

It’s a moment in time that I cannot restore

Cause my once pure young body is not pure anymore

Something is not the same as before

I can sense it in my whole being right down to my core

I’m no longer the same in society’s eyes

Cause when puberty blossoms, innocence dies

We can curse and deny it, tell ourselves it’s just lies

But a developing body always comes with a prize

I can see it in the way they look at my frame

I can hear it in the tone that they catcall my name

I can feel it in the way they’re inflicting their shame

That the way I am perceived is no longer the same

Did I consent to this sexualisation

Just by being one of the universe’s many creations?

I don’t want to be viewed through a lense of perversion

To be honest it makes me feel distaste and aversion

It’s like we’re being labeled and trapped in cages

This is our stories and WE should be writing the pages

Our bodies should be free from these projections at all ages

Cause we’re all children of earth, just at different stages

How awesome would it be to be naked one more time

Without it having to be seen as promiscuity or crime

Enjoying the sun on my body – an awesome sensation

Well, maybe in my next reincarnation 👶🏼

– Jeanett Ljostveit

Burning pictures and letting go

Here i sit burning the pictures from my past over a lit candle and feeling a little nostalgic thinking back to those times. But it also feels good to let go of these pictures that no longer represents what they once did. Letting go, of both material things, thoughts, feelings and my need for control has brought me to this moment right now. As I stare at the pictures dissolving and slowly turning to ashes I can feel my body loosen and my mind soften. I feel grateful for this moment, and in awe of what a magical, scary but most of all empowering journey that has brought me here.

I was holding on for so long, afraid to let go because the uncertainty of what the future could hold was too challenging to deal with. “It’s safer to stay in a place that is not too joyful, but at least stable – than to jump on to the train that leads to an uncertain future”.

Letting go of the thing I was clinging to, and jumping on to the train felt terrifying, but also comfortable like taking of a tight shoe after a long day. As the train drove of into the fog I felt certain that no matter what was waiting on the other side, I had made the right choice.

The wise man Ram Dass tells a story about these boxes he has, that contains important papers and pictures from his past. Everytime he moves (which he does a lot) he needs to have an UPS truck move his boxes for him. He never takes anything out of the boxes to look at them, he just adds more stuff, collecting more boxes. At some point Ram Dass realizes that holding on to these items is holding on to the thought that he is going to run out of “now”. Run out of the present. So he decides to burn all the items and let them go.

So this is what I’m sitting here doing. Burning these pictures from the past and realizing that I will never run out of the present. And the present will always be more interesting and important than the past. It’s this very moment right now that holds all the potential and possibilities, and it’s only in this exact moment I exist. The me that existed 5 minutes ago is no longer with us, and the me that will be in 5 minutes has not yet taken form. I can obsess about the past or dream about the future, but that is not where I exist. I do not have the power to change what is done, and I do not control the future. But I can control the now, so that’s where I’ll be.

My gender journey so far

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It has now been around half a year since I came out as non-binary genderqueer, and I feel like it’s time for a little update. I’ve learned a whole lot after I allowed myself to be who I am, without hiding anything or suppressing a part of my identity.

When I first came out as NB I decided to keep my she/her pronouns. I have later discovered that I’m actually just as comfortable with he/him or they/them. I think the reason I chose to hold on to my old pronouns earlier was to not make anyone uncomfortable with having to readjust. This is still something that is important to me, because making other people uncomfortable makes me uncomfortable, which really doesn’t serve anyone. That’s why I decided to let other people choose what pronouns they use for me, because I like all of them. Most people use she/her out of habit, while a few uses they/them, and I’m comfortable with that.

When it comes to other words used to describe me, I have discovered that I’m ok with some of the feminine terms, while others – not so much. Words that describe my relationship to someone in my family, like daughter or sister feels ok to me, while words that directly describes my gender (wrongly), like lady, girl, female or woman I’m not so comfortable with.

Another thing that has changed since I first came out is that I no longer feel a need to prove my gender to anyone through the way I dress or present. In the beginning I was overcompensating for my feminine sides and constantly worrying that people wouldn’t take me seriously if I didn’t present androgynous. Now I am getting more confident in myself and I know that my gender is valid no matter how I’m presenting on any given day, and I do not have to prove myself to anyone. Gender is not so much about how I look as it is about my internal feelings and experiences.

Girls don’t have to wear pink dresses, boys don’t have to be tough as fuck and genderqueer people don’t have to present androgynous to have their gender be valid. To challenge this norm is to move the world forward and expand people’s acceptance of diversity. I know that I’m far from the only person that has another experience of gender than the binary male or female, and I know how important representation of gender diversity has been for me.  I realize that I can be myself fearlessly in all my colors, and at the same time contribute to making other people feel represented, validated and less alone. And that my dear friends, is reason enough to love and be proud of myself. 🌈❤️

 

The offensive bodies

IMG_7348I celebrated pride this weekend with my friends and I had the best off times! But when I wanted to share pictures from the celebration on Instagram, my post got deleted. Why you may ask? Because it contained female nipples.

Nothing sexual about the picture, just some people with breasts posing for a picture, some with nipple covers, one without. All looking proud and happy.

Apparently Instagrams policy says “for a variety of reasons, we don’t allow nudity on Instagram. […] It also includes some photos of female nipples, but photos of post-mastectomy scarring and women actively breastfeeding are allowed.”

Even if there exist loopholes in instagrams policy for female individuals to post their nipples on instagram (like wearing a see-through top), that is not the point. It’s the signal that is sent by setting these rules and restrictions based on gender that is the problem. And what that does to people’s feelings about their own bodies.

Today I feel like women are constantly being told to love their bodies, and I think self-love is an amazingly positive focus in this current time. But at the same time women are told to hide their bodies from the same social media platforms that guys can freely post pictures of themselves topless. How is that NOT gender discrimination?

Hide all the female breast like it was not what fed us and kept us alive when we were all so vulnerable and new in the world. Like breast where nothing more than something to look at and get aroused.

I cannot help to see this as just another way women are oppressed and discriminated against by a patriarchal society. An oppression that has lasted for way to long and that we as a modern society should have been way beyond by now. I hope and believe that I get to experience in my lifetime a world that could not give two flying fucks about female nipples on instagram. Maybe one day when I’m 90 years old I will tell my granddaughter about this and she will be just as baffled as I was when I first heard about a time when women couldn’t vote.

Also, I am wondering if these rules instagram has made about who gets to show their nipples and who doesn’t, affects me as a non-binary identifying individual. If anyone has any experience with that I would like to hear from you.

Lots on non-discriminating love and hugs to all of you ❤️🏳️‍🌈

If everyone had a Julie – A Poem

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If everyone had a Julie

Their life would be more bright

Cause she turns your perspective

When you can’t see the light

 

If everyone had a Julie

They would get their shit together

Cause she tells you when you fuck up

And knows you can do better

 

If everyone had a Julie

There would be no point in lying

Cause she don’t believe “I’m fine”

If inside you’re really dying

 

If everyone had a Julie

They would try to be more daring

Cause she encourage you to be yourself

And accepts without comparing

 

If everyone had a Julie

They’d go against the stream

Cause she does what she thinks is right

And fiercely follows her dream

 

If everyone had a Julie

They’d make their enemies their friends

Cause her compassion continues

Where other people’s ends

 

If everyone had a Julie

There could be no wars at all

Cause she choose to build bridges

When others build a wall

 

If everyone had a Julie

They’d feel the way I do

Cause it’s like winning the jackpot

To have a bestfriend just like you

❤️

Not a girl

IMG_7422You know how sometimes life just hits you in the face with a brick? Well that is kinda what has happened in my life lately and I’m just working on holding my head above water in the middle of a stormy ocean of thoughts.

I find it easier to talk about hard things when I get some distance to the issue, and not while I’m in the middle of it. It’s easier to see the complete picture once the fog clears up a bit and time passing offers me a new perspective.

Experiencing some traumatic events recently has brought up a lot of stuff that I had put the lid on, which in turn have caused me a lot on anxiety. I’m currently working on sorting through everything and helping myself by talking about my feelings and experiences with close friends and family. And while I do not feel ready to open up about everything to the whole world quite yet, there is something that I feel it’s time to share.

I’m non-binary.

Which for those of you that are not familiar with the term means that your gender identity is not exclusively feminine or masculine, but a combination (or for some people: neither). In my case my experience of gender can vary from day to day, but generally I tend to be a little more on the masculine side.

IMG_6545 (2)I find it difficult to change my pronouns right now and have decided to continue using she/her for the current time being. That might change in the future, but it might also just remain the same. I just know that this is how I feel now and have been feeling for some years. I have struggled with dysphoria on and of since around the time I became a teenager, but never really been able to grasp what that feeling of something “not being right” was. Now I know, and I will no longer let it consume me.

This doesn’t really affect anything about what you have to call me. My name will still be Jeanett and my pronouns remains the same for now. I just needed to come clear about this to have one less thing to think about. I want to embrace this part of myself and not have it be a source of anxiety. And what better time to do so than right now as the Pride week kicks off here in Bergen?

If anyone is left feeling confused after reading this or is curious to know more, please do not hesitate to ask questions. I will not get offended by your questions – just happy to share and have interesting conversations that we all can learn something from.

Lots of love ❤️🌈