This is a pretty long BLOG and please… only read if you really wanna read this 🙂
A couple of months ago Jouke In der Maur from Jouke IMP Photography asked me if I wanted to contribute to a project to inspire the infinite possibilities for gender, sexuality and sex. Basically, about being different than others, not confirming to the norm with whatever gender norms – genderfluid / bigender/ polygender / genderqueer / gender-expansive / transgender / transsexual…
This spoke to me immediately, as it’s a big topic on my professional and personal calendar and it’s been a huge energy through my entire life.
So I said YES, as you can see… 😉 Thank you Jouke 💖 I absolutely love this
When we pondered “what would this shoot like to be and look like?” many energies came up and we went with the light, white and angel-esque… More on the angel bit later…
I hope you enjoy the shots as much as we enjoy them!
So a bit about being an INFINITE BEING EMBODIED ON PLANET EARTH
Infinite being… It makes me giggle as I write this cause I know these words are so out of this reality sometimes… “what the f*ck are you talking about?”
I’ve always had this kinda androgynous vibe and appearance. If I look at pictures throughout my life, I never look the same.
I love the possibilities of infinite being, embodied. It leaves room for magic, mystery, possibility and inspiration…
People LIVE it, left, right and center and they change the world with it every single day. Bowie, Annie Lennox, Gaga, Freddy Mercury, Prince, just to name a few artists that pop in my head now and the list goes on… Superhero’s in my point of view. Amazing and extremely inspiring to many. Some push lots of energy into the world, others just be that difference.
I remember people asking “So what are you…? Gay, straight, bi?” I’d mostly be like “Eh… do I really have to choose?” So I went for ‘bisexual’ for a while, until male bodies seemed to appeal more to me. I love all bodies. I found it interesting to explore 🙂 and right now I wonder if that was a choice from true being or a choice from reacting to those questions, asking me to define myself…
I never thought of myself being in the ‘wrong body’. No, I like this ‘thing’ way too much… 🙂 And I can always slap on a pair of heels and some make up… as well as I can wear a suit and tie… what was even created for which gender or body…? It’s a possibility, not a limitation. For me at least… it’s all up for choice!
My point of view is that we are all infinite, we have infinite choice we have no boundaries unless we impose them on ourselves or if we buy Into that we have to. That doesn’t mean you can instantaneously change anything and everything that is defined and created right now, yet it leaves the space for choice and creation.
Strange world, with lots of strangers… Most people gotta have some tools, skills and awareness over here, to actually keep your mind sane and your being true to you – with whatever body.
For me ‘Male’ and ‘Female’ only belongs to the body, which doesn’t define you or me as a person… how funny we think we need a definition in order to Be and choose… And being and choosing different, or having less or rather even no definitions of yourself is so often misunderstood as being wrong, or not fitting in and having to resist what this reality imposes.
People get killed for being different. All over the world, it’s no news. Difference needs to be killed and eradicated in many peoples points of view. And having a different sexual and physical preference is only ONE of the things people are so often made ‘wrong’ for.
I know how incredibly challenging it can be to deal with violence, cruelty and abuse that people with a non-standard way of living and being, of having a different physical and sexual ‘preference’ encounter. Not only by experiencing it myself, but anyone who has eyes in their head and an awareness that is ON: it cannot be missed.
Often the gentle, soft, open vulnerable, kind, caring and potent space gets crushed, hurt and damaged, a little or a lot.
It’s developed in such a way that we somehow created the moments of ‘pride’ in being different. It should be a celebration and how often is it prove that we are allowed to exist, to be ‘accepted’? Being a total rebel to other peoples judgments actually mostly creates more separation in the world… It still seems to be required to stand strong for many people… other than the acknowledgement of Being different and all having our own choice to create our lives. I love it when people just leave when they are over being molested.
DO I CARE?
In living my mostly ‘happy’ life these day it might look like I don’t care about what goes on in the world. I actually DO care, I’m well aware of it all… I contribute anything I can other than aligning and agreeing or resisting a reacting to that judgment reality…
I’d rather melt that harshness and rigidity by showing up myself, with open eyes, heart and being, without judgment, or with as less of a stuck point of view as I can.
And Boy oh boy… how lucky am I to be born in a country and in an environment that actually – at least mostly – allows me to BE and choose who I would like to be… and having a family that cares about me is priceless, I know a lot of people don’t have that. Wow.
And maybe even more important: I know I have choice to choose and move if things don’t work for me. I’ve got to learn and acknowledge that more and more.
A LITTLE TRIP DOWN MEMORY LANE…
The area of gender, boy/girl, sexuality and sexual preference and having a male body has been somewhat confusing my in early years. And apparently, not only for me…
I mean, as a kid I did have no cognitive sense of it all, I did not have much definitions of myself. I just chose what appealed to me and what came naturally and didn’t choose what wasn’t that.
I took a deep look inside and noticed that I’ve always had this natural sense or drive to ‘shock’ or move people with my appearance and my choices… Create confusion, stir things up, to show it’s not wrong to BE different, have no fregging point of view about it and even be a contribution to others.
Did I know it was ‘different’…? Not really until I stepped out into the world and when I first went to school…
As a little boy, it felt like all that all that really defined me as ‘male’ was my body and what is in between my legs… Me being me, being a total space kid… I did have a preference for ‘girly’ things. Dressing up as a princes or some fantasy creature, actually walking the streets like that and even going to school like that – on special occasions 🙂 – playing with barbies and making costumes with my mom and gran, singing along with the disney movies.
I’d sing out loud on the balcony and would take the stage whenever I could to perform – not by command though… which eventually resulted in being a performer and doing it every night for years in a row. And the as far as what are considered ‘boyish’ things, yes: I dressed up as the prices too, I also played with tech lego, clay, paint, loved woodcraft and making things, plus I liked athletics in school…
like probably everyone who’s just a tat different and not fitting the norm, I had many projections coming my way from early age. Sweet, wondrous, admiring…
“What pretty doll face you have, you are like an angel!” Something I’ve heard lots and lots of times… and so often thought “ ok… sure 🙂 ”
Having a sort of androgynous appearance at early age apparently looked like an angel to many people… lol. How does it get even better?
Also there was extreme bullying and violence for who I was and appeared to be. Especially when puberty kicked in with me and the other teens in school and out on the street. It was rough at times with this sense of thread and dread… I tried not to take it personally… yet, it did leave it’s marks. Not only the verbal and physical threats; the senses I got hit even harder being just a tat open to receive all that stuff…
I think that actually counts for nearly everyone who is alive here and lived through their lives so far…
“Do you want to be a girl or something? Loser!” Ah… thanks… and that was even one of the nicer comments…
Some locked in memories are still coming up and clearing as I write this.
Bless my sweet parents for never judging me for who I was and what I wanted to do and be. I could have gotten many labels and they simple never choose to confirm to any.
I ASKED MY MOM: “What were the reactions that you received about me, prancing around in a dress?”
She said: “Actually, you were stunning. Most people admired you. They thought you had courage to do and be that and that you didn’t care too much yourself, including the parents of the kids that bullied you at the schoolyard. “Special kid you have…” You did confuse people though, as your blue eyes, open face and long blond curls could go for anything…”
I was like “WOW, really…? So it looked like I didn’t care?” And I realized that in my memories, I had made the bullies in the world into these big monsters that had such great impact on me. So often I tried to make friends with them in order to kinda take that negativity away. Only, it mostly didn’t work…
One time I hit one guy, the biggest asshole, in the head and started beating in on him and together we rolled into a teachers office. It had just been too much and I was done. They never bullied me again.
About letting judgment shade what actually was… somehow I had been unconsciously trying to see through their eyes what should have been wrong with me and my choices, giving them more power. Interesting shift there.
Maybe it wasn’t all that bad and big as I had made it, yet… this is what it apparently was like to me at a certain points… I know how stinging it can be, from working with many people who still have these issues, as they hold onto it when they grow up and even when it is so present right before they die out of this body.
ANGELS AND FALLEN ANGELS
Did someone ever say to you “Oh you are such an angel! Thank you so much!”
What do they mean with that? Usually they are grateful for what you have contributed to them…
I can’t recall the amount of times people would say “Oh Merlijn, you are such an Angel. Thank you! Without you I would have been lost!” or a variation on that theme.
I wasn’t intending to be an ‘angel’ and to save others, even though apparently I did in their experience. I just did what I did and knew to do, and was what of whoever I was in those moments, seldom acknowledging what they actually meant.
“Oh, It was nothing… glad it helped”
Was it that I had no judgment of them?
I’m pretty sure many people actually recognize that, as it’s a huge capacity to just show up as you are and contribute to people.
‘FALLEN ANGEL’ is often used to describe a rebel. I have a different point of view. So many people are looking to fit a box or a definition to belong here. Like they don’t belong here… and in their difference, they never spread their wings fully and fly as only they can. I could add more to that metaphor, yet you might get what I’m trying to convey here…
The less definition or judgments you have, the easier it is to actually ‘fly’, to ‘take off’, not to leave this earth but to also create here and be that difference.
The other side of being that weird and different is the potency of it.
‘ANGEL’ is often described as the messenger of god, a connection between heaven and earth, which I wonder is to bring and create the infinite possibilities here on this planet, on which we all live.
The gentle, soft, open vulnerable, kind, caring and potent space, that so often gets crushed, hurt and damaged, a little or a lot, yet… it’s ‘just’ a shadow hanging over or woven through your being and the magic you are.
When that infinite potency grows and shines stronger… it changes reality… and it dissolves the dark veils… many before us have been the example…
THERE IS SUCH BEAUTY IN BEING YOU, WITHOUT JUDGING YOURSELF
Even if you temporarily have to roughen and toughen yourself up to create in this strange reality… remember who YOU are and what you are here for and what you’d like to create in the world.
To all ‘fallen angels’ that are actually ‘angels’, that might feel lost over here… You are greater than anything they can imagine and mostly… you are DIFFERENT.
I’d say… BE that Infinite Being Embodied
Unfold those true wings, here and now on planet earth.
Be soft, potent, kind, gentle and open and take no one’s shit.
Shine bright. Spread your wings, Be You
##BeHappy #BeFree #BeYou #PRIDE #Gaypride #Gender #Diversity #Genderosity #Bodyloving #NoJudgment
Very connected to this: Genderosity is an ongoing empowerment project I run with Crystel Poetiray who also works with Transgenders in transition @ LeZ – Logopedie en Zang
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👍🏻 Amazing Jouke’s Page Jouke IMP 📸