As he turned into the kitchen, he looked at me, then squinted his eyes, “Why do you look so much like a damn boy?” Miss J turned around and said, to no-one in particular, and to my defense, “She’s handsome.” in her rich and wise cadence.
“Janessa, you’re charming, suave, slick and successful.” It all came out so quickly. I barely had time to take it all in. We both seemed shocked; me at the contentment the description gave me and she at the confession itself.
“I wish I could take a million photographs of you so you could see yourself.” This she said, whilst holding my phone taking what had already seemed like one thousand pictures. “You’re hard and soft..it’s beautiful.”
Like Neytiri and Jake in the movie, Avatar, I see my inner conflicts in both of their hearts, but Jake’s courage won Neytiri over, until she finally saw him.
“I see you..” – being invisible for most of my life, those are the three loveliest words I’ve ever been told, moreso than ‘I love you’ because to love me, you have to first see me.
I think the hardest thing for me about deciding to do the Androgyny series is the risk of being misunderstood, even still. I grew up on a base of Christ-centred religions. I was born into Catholicism, but later adopted, on my own terms, Rastafarianism and then Christianity in its less institutional form. Christianity most ably drifts from relativism, and what I’ve observed is that we can invalidate the essence of ourselves through the absolutism that religion tends to encourage. We can overcomplicate our understanding of ourselves: our persona, personhood and personality..our very being by trying to subsume the singular, ourselves, into the plural and the familiar. The truth that we are all alike make our differences seem more false. I don’t see or experience the world the way you do, but still, I’m just like you. Find balance in that, because maybe, it’s not as complicated as it sounds. In order for you to be you, I have to be me.