Queer Goggles

They/Them/Theirs

May 07, 2019 Brian Poth, Nick Vargas, Briauna Guerrero, Karigan Wann Season 1 Episode 5
Queer Goggles
They/Them/Theirs
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Queer Goggles
They/Them/Theirs
May 07, 2019 Season 1 Episode 5
Brian Poth, Nick Vargas, Briauna Guerrero, Karigan Wann

Briauna Guerrero and Karigan Wann talk to us about their nonbinary identities, pronouns, gender roles, the trans umbrella and share their experience with accessing reproductive healthcare in Visalia, CA.

Support the show (http://paypal.me/thesourcelgbt)

Show Notes Transcript

Briauna Guerrero and Karigan Wann talk to us about their nonbinary identities, pronouns, gender roles, the trans umbrella and share their experience with accessing reproductive healthcare in Visalia, CA.

Support the show (http://paypal.me/thesourcelgbt)

Speaker 1:

Hey everybody. Thanks for joining us. This is Bryan path from the source LGBT plus center. And you're listening to queer goggles.

Speaker 2:

[inaudible] .

Speaker 1:

On this episode of Queer Goggles , we're going to be speaking with Briana Guerrero and Kerrigan one , two of our leadership academy participants about what it's like to be non-binary using they them pronouns, clinic visits, growing up in central California and everything in between. Hi Brianna. Hi. I'm glad you're here today. Um , so can you introduce yourself? I'd like your name , um, your pronouns, your age, where you're from, and then we'll go from there.

Speaker 3:

Okay. I am Brianna Guerrero . I use they them pronouns. Uh , I'm from Hanford, California and I am 21 years old.

Speaker 1:

So you use they them pronouns. Yeah, that's pretty cool. It's been interesting. So do you identify as , um, gender nonconforming? How do you identify?

Speaker 3:

Uh, I died identify as gender queer mainly because I appreciate all genders and what they have to offer. So I kind of like to incorporate all of the genders within me and don't really want to be confined to just one box and would like to do with all of them. I don't like it when people try to categorize me into a certain labels when in reality, I just love all of it in a sense.

Speaker 1:

So gender queer is a way to be more yourself?

Speaker 3:

Yeah, it's a way for me to be able to be myself without having to confine myself to certain gender roles or um , needs in a sense or like to have to be forced into doing something that I don't really want to do. Right. Expectations. Yeah. I kind of want to just do away with those.

Speaker 1:

Yeah. Queer identities are a really good way for people to say f off because, you know, I feel like I'm , a lot of people that I met that identify as maybe like a queer sexual orientation or queer sexuality is a way to say to even the LGBT community like, Hey, I don't fit into your stereotypical gay or lesbian role or by sexual role. And I don't feel straight. So I identify as queer

Speaker 3:

and I feel like for the longest time people over the middle identities in both sexuality and gender identity, they've been kind of put to the side and not really talked about as often. Even though there's like a whole other spectrum when it comes to non-binary spectrum, because I use gender queer as to identify myself with all genders as well. Other gender queer people might use it to do away with gender and not wanting to have anything to do with it.

Speaker 1:

Like age, gender. Yeah,

Speaker 3:

like age, gender or something like that because everybody experiences gender differently, so that's what kind of non-binary identities offer to the world. They offer a place for people to just express gender though whatever way and whenever and however they want to.

Speaker 1:

Ben , our culture is pretty or has been historically pretty like set on roles even though those kind of change over time, but especially where we are in central California. Oh yes . Like this is what it looks like to be a man. This is what it looks like to be a woman. And that those are your only two options. And if you don't fit, there's something. Yeah .

Speaker 3:

Well there's only wrong. Yeah. And it's very hard because I do come from a Latin community, like my dad's side of the family is all from Mexico. So there's that whole rugged , um, machismo and also , uh, you have to be a certain kind of Latin woman in order to fit into those kinds of gender roles . And it's really hard because I don't exactly resemble the perfect Mexican American woman, so to speak.

Speaker 1:

Neither do I. Um , but I think that I make a stupid joke, but I think most people would feel like they don't really fit in. And so , um, we pretend a lot and um, you know, even maybe like a straight cisgender Mexican woman or even just assists straight any, any ethnicity there's at , we all have our culture. Yeah . That dictates what we're supposed to act like. And I certainly didn't act like , uh , what a boy should act like.

Speaker 3:

And it's really hard because it, it makes people look at you in a different way. In a sense, and it's kind of hard in a sense because there is no way that I can show to people that I'm of the non-binary because there's no specific type of non-binary person, the only non-binary person that we think of as a judge, Enos people. But that's completely different. It's really hard for me to wear a dress when I want to and still be looked at as somebody that's they them in a sense. Right.

Speaker 1:

Cause they're like, why are you confusing me ? Your expression is female. So I mean this is like, so would you consider yourself as under the umbrella of the Trans Community?

Speaker 3:

I do very much consider myself as part of the Trans identity. And I know that there's a lot of backlash when non-binary people try to attach themselves to trans identities. The main reason why is because I don't identify myself with my biological sex. My gender identity is different than my biological sex, which technically means I am transgender, right. Because my gender identity and my equipment don't really match up.

Speaker 1:

Yeah. So, okay. So I'm going to break that down because this might be something new to our listeners. So, right . You're talking about biological sex, which you're , when you say that you're talking about um,

Speaker 3:

male , female . Yeah. Right. Yeah .

Speaker 1:

So we're born Intersex , right? So that's a third gender that a lot of people don't really realize, or sorry, sorry. Third Sex, gender. So , um, that's a good distinction. Um, taking , uh, sex and talking about it biologically and then taking gender and talking about that really more in a sort of like a feeling sense or an identity sense, sort of separating those out helps people understand

Speaker 3:

because not everybody is who their sex , what their sex is. Exactly. And I've met many of people that I don't identify with their biological sex. Some would do away with it. Others are just like, I like it. But at the same time I like this too. And so it's been very interesting. And I know the leadership academy has presented me those opportunities to meet those kinds of people.

Speaker 1:

So it would be the difference of saying like if you identify with your sex assigned at birth, you would be quote unquote systemic . Right . Okay . And so if you didn't identify or align exactly, exactly with that sex assigned at birth, then you would be in the trans community. Yes. So that's pretty expansive view of transgender

Speaker 3:

and it, and it makes people mad because especially for those that are of the Trans Community and fit the binary trans community, we, meaning that they're trans male or trans female. When you have somebody who's says they're trans and is of the non-binary spectrum, it gets people angry sometimes. And I've had people kind of come up to me and tell me that I'm not trans because I'm non-binary. Even though you're kind of excluding me from those kinds of opportunities in those kinds of resources. Yeah. Cause sometimes tran trans resources can really help those of the non-binary community as well. It makes me really sad that people would bar others from getting resources that they need.

Speaker 1:

And it is sad. It's, it's a bummer. You know, it's, it's happened and it happens in a lot of marginalized communities. We ended up marginalizing each other because you don't fit right. You don't fit. You're not gay enough. You're not trans enough. You're not lesbian enough or you're , yeah.

Speaker 3:

Yeah. I get that a lot. And it sucks because it's like we want to go away with the binary, but they're feeding into the binary by doing that, by saying that we're excluding you non-binary folks because you're of the non binary spectrum and you're not choosing one or the other. And so that's kind of feeding into the binary when we don't want anything to do with it. Yeah .

Speaker 1:

Well, moving on, there's no real segway there. I think it's, I think it's super important too , for all LGBT identities that we can be as inclusive and as affirming

Speaker 3:

possible. I just want to affirm as much as I can with people. So

Speaker 1:

I think it's great. And I think , um, you talking it is really helpful for people because they may not have ever had a conversation or even heard of a non-binary person explain what it's like to be themselves, them , yeah . Yeah. Alright . So you are very active in the LGBT community? I would say so, yeah. You're the president of the pride club at Cos? Yes . And you were what? You're the vice president before that or

Speaker 3:

um, I was the event coordinator before that

Speaker 1:

coordinated events. I coordinated them. And this year you were part of our leadership academy aside from the clinic visits cause we'll get to those. Right. If you had one thing that you felt maybe was the most valuable for you, what would that be? Does it have to be one? Let's do two then

Speaker 3:

because it would have to be slam poetry for sure. Cause it allowed me to express myself in a way that I haven't before. Especially to a room full of people that yes, I've been in leadership leaders shop little shop before. Yes. I've been in leadership academy with them as maybe shocking, but I'm a very closed off person when it comes to emotions, I'm usually there for people, not people are there for me. That's how I like to live my life. It's not healthy, but, and so that kind of allowed me to just express myself and be, and it made me realize that expressing emotions is okay and that people were in that room were very like, thank you for sharing. And I appreciated that a lot because I'm not used to sharing. So having that affirmation of sharing really helped a lot in my growth as a person. And so that's how leadership academy has really helped a lot, is my growth as a person.

Speaker 1:

That session. Yeah. Uh , slam poetry is a really fun night because it scares a lot of people. Yes. There's something magical that happens. Quiet people get loud, loud. People get quiet, you know, polite people get Rhonchi Rhonchi it's pretty cool. You get to see this. It's like giving your just, it just like everyone gets an agreement that they're going to give themselves permission to explore. Yeah . And because you all felt so supportive and supported , uh, there was some really cool stuff.

Speaker 3:

Yeah. It made me realize that it's so, it's good. It feels good to be supported and, and it's not only, I should not only strive to be supportive but also to be supported. And for the longest time I felt like that was just selfish to want to be supported. But I realized that that's, that's not true. Like it's important to accept people for who they are and also for you to be accepted. And so that's something that I really learned through leadership academy is that I have actually been wanting validation for who I am. And that's kind of led me to be like, if you don't validate me, then I'm not going to put up with it. That's, yeah, that's a boundary. Yeah, that's a good boundary. Definitely like help me think that Brown because usually I would associate with people that didn't validate for me for who I am and would actually openly antagonize it and say, oh she, this, she that on purpose knowing who footwell of who I am. And so it kind of let me have that boundary of like, okay, if you're not going to validate me and not respect me, then I can't do this.

Speaker 1:

So when somebody does she , you write on purpose, on purpose or ms gender you , what does that do? What does that feel like?

Speaker 3:

It feels bad because it, it makes me go to that dark place of like, there's nothing that I'm never, I'm never going to be able to be seen the way I want to be seen and that place is really scary and it sucks and it makes me sad, like very depressed. Then I get into this depressed kind of state to where I don't want to do anything and I want to stop and I quit basically. But then I picked myself back up and I'm like, no, I'm going to do this. I'm going to be validated. There's going to be one day that people are just going to see me for who I am and I'm going to strive for that day and people make mistakes. Oh yeah. And I'm okay with that as long as I do that . Yes. On purpose. As long as I see people trying and respecting me. Like I respect that. I'm thankful for that because they're actually trying. But when I see, I can tell when people don't even care. And that's the unfortunate thing about being of the middle ground is that there's nothing that I can do that can say, hey they them unless I wear a button every day of my life where on my forehead, like, hey they them pronouns, get a tattoo, get a tattoo. Just added to the one I have.

Speaker 1:

Um, so you, you said there were a couple things. So the first one was slam poetry. What was the , what was the other one? Definitely

Speaker 3:

meeting Sam from the Trevor Project and doing the 50 bills for 50 states. It definitely like lit a fire under my butt. Yeah. Because it made me realize how lucky I was to have it in a sense because my family was very accepting. Like my dad's side doesn't really know and I'm okay with that. But my mom's side has been so accepting of who I am and it's made me very grateful. And so like learning about conversion therapy and like the struggles behind it. I was like, oh my gosh, I will not stand for this. I am want to help. And so like that's one of the things that I want to strive for is to help youth and specifics because youth have it bad when it comes to the LGBTQ community and it sucks. And I feel so bad that that protects conversion therapy. Yeah. And it's just scary to think about that. So I definitely want to help out there. And it also was really cool to see somebody that was gender fluid and use it today. Then pronouns to be in such a high power and demand that Mike pence be like moved out of the office whenever they go into the Oval Office. It was just really cool to set them strong and that happens. Yeah. And like I was like, I kinda want to strive to be that like be that powerful. They them non-binary gender fluid person and I'm like, I love you. Like you're awesome. They're a good role model. Yeah.

Speaker 1:

I felt like Sam talking to us was really important too . And it was, it was pretty cool that we could zoom them in because otherwise we would not have access to, to San Brinton , the turbo project.

Speaker 3:

So that was really cool cause it kind of like made me realize like I can do it and kind of gave me that confidence that I didn't think I had before. So like the leadership leadership academy is definitely like changed me as a person in the best ways. Yay. So yay. That's great. That's great to hear.

Speaker 4:

My name is Kerrigan wan . I am 21 years old. I go by, she, they, there is pronouns and my favorite color is yellow. Yeah. Yeah. Cool. Like an oak curry yellow, like a disgusting yellow painting. Like a deep disgusting yellow blue , like an old Ford truck. Yellow. Yeah . Yeah .

Speaker 1:

Um, so you s you're , you use she and a pronouns and so how would you identify yourself?

Speaker 4:

Um, so I like to think of myself right smack DAB in the gender spectrum of non-binary and binary. Like, I consider myself like a woman, but it also consider myself part of the non-binary community because I don't like it when people prefer to my, my like I don't like hers pronouns. I think it's possessive. I don't know why. And just like that's why I identify as they theirs . And also I also feel like I am not completely within the binary standards of my representation as a female. So I feel like my physical, my physical being is female but also more, if that makes sense.

Speaker 1:

That totally makes sense. Okay . The more I learn about gender identity, the more that makes sense to me. And I think that that's probably true for a lot of people, although some people just shut down when you start talking outside the box .

Speaker 4:

Yeah. Because they don't want to like think of it like that.

Speaker 1:

Yeah . Okay. Well cool. Uh, so you have been in leadership academy for this session 2018 2019. Um, and I've said it before in this podcast. Like we've been so impressed with like the, the level of knowledge that you all came in with and the passion and you were quite an advocate before at your school. Do you want to talk a little bit about your work with the LGBT community before? Um, the source and then how that changed?

Speaker 4:

So I started why New People in pride club at Cos, but I wasn't completely out. So I never like associated myself with the club. You know, I had like a small circle of people who were like, they knew I was interested in women, you know, and I kinda hid that because me being a vocal performance major, there's a lot of um, like you just have to be family in some things and stuff. So like not only with my gender identity, with my sexuality, I felt like I didn't want people to not view me as something more than entertainer. I wanted to just be known as me. And I was afraid that if I came out then people would dismiss my talent and who I was and you know, and then after my friend ar passed away, it kind of like hit me really hard and I was like, I don't want to live in a world where I have to be afraid. Like some of the things that he was afraid of, you know what I mean? So like even after his death, people then respect his pronouns. So sorry, I'm getting choked up. Okay . Anyways, so it really empowered me to be more involved in it made me realize who I was. So then I started becoming really involved on campus and now I'm vice president of the pride club and next semester I'll probably be president and I am mediating the panel on May 9th on camp on campus that we're having. So that's going to be a lot of fun . Is it about gender or is it , it's about gender, sexuality. It's about, it's open to the community and it's basically we're going to have a diverse , um, group of panelists and I'm going to be mediating and basically I'm going to be asking questions and I'm going to be leaving it open to the floor. And our theme is rainbow and a black and white world, you know, and the, the goal of the event is to ask questions for people who are confused or for anyone who just wants to be involved or more knowledgeable of what's going on. Because in 2019 there is so much that's changed in the course of our generation and it's so important to educate each time we get, you know what I'm saying? So events like this are so important or so important

Speaker 1:

and you brought that passion and energy in with you to leadership academy, so thank you for doing that. Um, is there something that you can think of if I was going to ask you, like what was your most memorable experience here in leadership? Can you think of one thing?

Speaker 4:

I can think of many things honestly. Um , I think my most memorable experience is when we went and saw Ricardo, Laura speak. I thought that was so inspiring to me because I never thought there'd be a gay man that was Mexican in office in California, you know, I mean, as California. But I just thought, you know, it's still never happened . So the fact that he's now the , um, commissioner of California, I'm just like, wow, that's like such a big foot in the door to where we need to and you know, and also just like our little check-ins and just like talking about the book we're reading and stuff like those things. Like I take every little piece of knowledge I can, you know what I mean? Like I just love those moments where I can connect with someone and really like have that heart to heart because it just like affirms me that I'm not alone in this community. And people even have a younger generation go through the same hardships as I do, you know? So,

Speaker 1:

yeah, I do know. And you gave really great feedback when other people are sharing and checking in . You always get really useful, thoughtful, kind feedback. So I appreciate your presence. So I want to talk a little bit about our clinic visits cause that's part of the work we do with the San Joaquin Valley Health Fund. And , um, we were looking at access for LGBT people, looking at uh, what it might be like to access reproductive health care. So where did you go and what did you go in for?

Speaker 4:

Okay. So I wasn't able to go to planned parenthood because of my scheduling because college is like that and it made me really sad because I haven't been to planned parenthood in awhile. So I was like, wow, I really want to see like where they are now. You know, but I get to go into the time when I can. Obviously that's important cause that's, yeah, when they're open, you know, like I thought they're going to be open on a Saturday and you're like, nope. And I was like, wow, that sucks.

Speaker 1:

Yeah. Unfortunately. I mean they're really great providers. Um, unfortunately because of whatever prod , probably budget stuff, you know, they're only open three days a week here locally. So that's hard for a lot of people. You know, if you're not available to go in on Wednesday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday

Speaker 4:

especially people work, you know, people work and people like don't have the time to go in in the evenings. Like if they had like 24 hour like visits or like even like every day time openings I would make time, you know, like it'd be so much easier for me.

Speaker 1:

Yeah. And as a college, a college student, you said you had difficulty getting from like say school to that appointment and then maybe back in time for your class. So did I, it's my understanding that cos used to have a partnership with planned parenthood and they had a clinic on campus. They don't do that anymore, right? No

Speaker 4:

they actually got rid of that along cause they used to have a daycare center too. And so when the daycare center kind of left, that's when planned parenthood kind of laughed because that was in partnership of that also. So it was kind of like a weird thing because they took away the, the nursery or the daycare because of mold and like issues with like health reasons. And then the , the school didn't have like money to fund that, so they just kind of like took away the building. So now like there's like this big giant plot of grass in between the Yolk Ket buildings and the new gym where that used to be.

Speaker 1:

So, but you did go to a clinic visit on campus and what , what were you there for?

Speaker 4:

So I went for a pregnancy test and when I walked in, it was on a Friday and I was like, Hey, I'm , do you guys still do pregnancy tests on campus? And The lady was like, Oh yeah, but you have to pay $5 at the, at the cashiers . So then I had to walk across campus and paid $5 for a pregnancy test. And I was kind of like thinking, okay, so what about someone who really needs it and doesn't have the money? Right . You know what I mean? I'm like, that's really weird. The way we owe you five bucks is not a big deal. Um, but no, I was just thinking, okay , that's like kind of unfair to a lot of the people cause you know, because they also advertise that um, their pregnancy tests can be outside of the community so anyone can walk in and take one. That's why I had an actual nurse tell me that. And so I was kind of like, okay, well even though it's open to everyone, they still have to pay $5, you know. So it's like, hmm, that's weird. But did they have an intake process? Like did they sign, have you prove your student or sign any paperwork and things like that? Yeah. So I had to bring back a receipt from admissions. So I walked all the way across campus, went to admissions, and they told me I can just pay $5. I didn't have to explain why, but I had to say, I'm paying this amount to the health center. I actually brought through a seat with me if you wanted to see it, but I'm , yeah, sure. So they had you pay $4, you went back, what was their intake form like? Did it ask you like preferred name, pronouns, anything like that? No, they just like asked me to, I'm typing my banner and because like I don't have like my gender identity actually like confirmed on the thing. It just says Kerrigan female. But uh , you know, so she was just like, okay, Kerrigan, okay the nurse will be with you shortly. So then I waited in the waiting room and then they brought me in and they asked hold it was, and I told the nurse, Oh, I'm 21 she's like, why are you here? And I'm not like good at lying, but I had, I told myself for a week, okay this is a story I'm not gonna stick by it. Cause like I'm a terrible liar and I get really red. So I made sure to wear makeup too . So that way if I turned red, they couldn't see it. So I was like, okay. So me and my girlfriend had a threesome like a little, a little over six, eight weeks ago. And I just want to make sure that I'm okay and she has to use protection. And I was like, yeah, but still, like my nipples have been hurting and I'm , I think I'm laying on my periods. I just want to check. I mean they haven't, but I just wanted to go into detail. Good detail . I was like, ha ha. Yeah . So then she was like, okay, well pee in this cup and then we'll put some drops into a thingy and we can see results in like a couple minutes when we're sitting here together. And I said, okay. So then did all that. And then they were like, okay, you're negative or you're not pregnant. And I was like, Yay. And then she gave me a couple of pamphlets and she was like, well, it's important to have safe sex regardless of like who you're sleeping with. Um , you should get checked for anything regularly. And then she gave me these two things. This one is for planned parenthood and then this one is for own your awesomeness. And it's like a website, but it's for family healthcare network. Yeah.

Speaker 1:

Well this is, this is good. So the pamphlet that they gave you has a couple of different places on it. So it has crossroads pregnancy center , someplace in Kings County , family healthcare network in Kings County and then Tilligerry county . So for Tillery county they list planned parenthood as there and family healthcare network. Okay, that's good. Um, so they encouraged you to maybe get like regular STI check checks.

Speaker 4:

[inaudible] she said that everyone should be getting one like every six months if you're like sexually active. And I like agree with that. Even if like you're monogamous with someone, like you never know. Yeah . So I thought that

Speaker 1:

it's really your monogamous with someone. Yeah. You don't know what they're doing. Um, and so did she mention anything about uh, risks for HIV or did she give you any birth control options cause you went in there for a pregnancy test ?

Speaker 4:

She said that if I chose, because like she was aware that I was in a relationship with a woman, so she did tell me , um, you know, like there are options for birth control, but , um , like if you're not going to be having a threesome again, like I like maybe you don't need it because you're with a woman, but like if you wanted that to be an option for you, then there is options.

Speaker 1:

Did you feel, I mean it sounds like she was pretty comfortable with your sexual orientation. Did you feel like that was the case or,

Speaker 4:

I felt so , um, I felt like maybe like she was shocked cause she was an older lady. I mean she was really nice to me, probably my age. Yeah. Um, so I felt like she was understanding, but I felt like she could maybe know more, if that makes sense. Yeah. So,

Speaker 1:

so overall, if you were going to give this cos clinic, it's the health clinic on campus. If you were going to give cos health clinic at grade, what would you give it?

Speaker 4:

I would give it an, I would give it an a, I felt really comfortable, you know, like an a minus though because I wished like maybe they were to ask my pronouns, you know, and like I was comfortable with because when she was referring to stuff of mine or said something, how do I put this?

Speaker 1:

He was mammon . You missing ma'am. Yeah. How does that feel? Um , do you, does that trigger you at all when someone, they're not going to call you ma'am cause you're too young. But yeah. You know, if you're

Speaker 4:

like, if they're telling someone, oh that's hers, I really don't like that. Okay. Like I prefer theirs because I think hers is really possessive. Not only Grammarly but like I just , it doesn't sit well with me, you know? And because like I am in the middle between binary, non binary , you know, like I would just prefer if someone even asked, because when people just assume the , I go by she hers pronouns. It's kind of like dismissing the other huge part of myself that like people don't know about me, you know, and I'm not gonna wear it on my forehead because I do like dress funny , you know? So people like get confused when I do like talk about it. But you know, like I would just like really appreciate if people ask because that is a part of it .

Speaker 1:

And then you have the opportunity to kind of teach them just by who you are. That expression is not identity. Yeah. There's two separate things.

Speaker 4:

Yeah . And I love talking about it because then people look at me like, wow, you know, cause they don't get it. And I'm like, well I'm gonna make you get it.

Speaker 1:

The girl. Yeah. Yeah. No. Well I want to thank you for , um, taking the time to do your clinic visit and um, and you weren't the only person that had a hard time getting into planned parenthood. So that has been overwhelmingly like the one thing that people have said over and over again is that they wish they could get into planned parenthood a little bit easier. Cause the other places seem to be more convenient. Yeah. Not as , um, as LGBT friendly. Yeah. Well thank you Kerrigan . Thank you, Brian for having me.

Speaker 5:

Hello.

Speaker 1:

So that's it for this episode. I want to thank Kerrigan and Brianna both for being on the show and being part of our leadership academy for the 2018 2019 a session. They were fantastic as all of our participants were. If you like what you hear and would like to donate, please visit the source lgbt.org/donate. We can't do these podcasts without your support.

Speaker 2:

[inaudible] .