Within a year of visiting Colorado for the first time, I relocated here! While visiting a dear friend and exploring Boulder County, I noticed that folx here didn’t look at me the way people everywhere else did. Don’t get me wrong, I love that I don’t read as any single gender, but that’s not always safe! In general, as people, we want to categorize all we see, but folx in BoCo just seem to see me as a person. Like the category for me already existed. No one’s eyes glazed over or quickly darted up, down, and around my body desperately searching for an identifying lump under my clothing. It was nice to just be looked in the eye! So in 2011, not only did I fall in love with the mountains and the artsy, progressive town of Lyons I was visiting, I fell in love with feeling safe to be seen. Feeling free to explore and be myself motivated me to gather up my pup and my best friend and move from Maryland to Colorado.

It took me a long time to find language that fit me. The terms “nonbinary” and “genderqueer” were foreign to me. I only knew the word “genderfluid”, but I didn’t know it could be used as a whole gender identity! All I knew was that I didn’t identify with the gender I was assigned at birth. So, when the moment of realization hit, I was like, “Oh f%$@. I’m trans. What the f&#% do I do with that??” And when the shock, and conditioned thoughts and judgements subsided, I felt so much relief and comfort as the word “nonbinary” draped over me like a warm blanket on snowy Colorado day. From that moment in January of 2019 forward, I started seeing, loving, and accepting myself more fully and fiercely, my path became clearer than ever, and for the first time, I started navigating spaces as my authentic self.

I’m so grateful for the solid LGBTQ and allied communities of Boulder County. Because of the Queer representation and population in the area, my identity and experience of my gender was normalized, and I could easily find resources for processing and community. Moving to Colorado was an integral part of my gender acceptance journey. Living here has helped me find more space for self-love and has helped me stop self-betraying to satisfy outside expectations.