When I realized I was nonbinary, it was liberating

By October 9, 2023 Learning, Newsroom

✥ We are our spirit, we are our body.
Our body is home, our home is light. ✥

These images of me were photographed by my Soulmate and I on a gray afternoon.
By extension and utter coincidence, they offer a glimpse into my nonbinary experience.

I used to be hyper aware of what my body should look like and shouldn’t be, because of the circumstances which I grew up in. Even as a young kid, I felt as if the question of my physicality had more weight to it than it should—my mother was a pageant beauty/actress, my grandmother was an editorial model, and her aunt, a recognized beauty (to the point she was a member of the controversial Blue Ladies of Imelda Marcos). In my younger years, I felt the eyes of expectation from many to follow in their footsteps and maintain a certain image just because of how I looked.

I had to be, look, and act pretty (in a conventional standard), I had to act a certain way; it was surprising and sometimes even upsetting for others if I didn’t act the way they expected me to be. But what could I do, that was how I existed?

When I realized I was nonbinary, it was liberating. Among other things, it put a name to the feelings of not conforming to the visions others had of me. It allowed me the space to just be, and in turn, to see, regardless of the physical forms we take in this world.

I always believed that we are the light within and around that surrounds us. Our physical bodies are merely the vessel that nourishes us and keeps us alive in this realm. 

People are so quick to give their own opinions and names to what our looks should and shouldn’t be; what our relationships with our bodies should be — how we should look, share, express ourselves. Whether it’s from the media, complete strangers, or people we care about, it can become quite absurd and limiting. 

Over time, I came to realize that those labels fall apart the moment you realize that the body itself is a spiritual experience; and you alone own that experience. When that happens, you begin to reconnect and develop the personal relationship between who you are and the body you inhabit. 

On my end, gratitude is the relationship I want to continue cultivating with my body for keeping me alive every day to be on this Earth. No matter how she looks, feels, expresses herself and wants to decorate, I want to keep celebrating and be thankful for that.

In the same vein, I want others to remember that:

Your vessel loves every bit of you; and if you’ve forgotten, then I highly suggest reconnecting with it in the ways that free you. It’s always a joy to rediscover how your light meets your physical body, and I hope that the realizations you come to continue to develop nothing but love and the highest energy.

Treat it, love it, celebrate it, as much as it does to you!

About the contributor:

Mika Manikan [she/they] is a wandering UV Ray of Light currently enjoying the human experience. Her travels have allowed her to meet the most curious and wonderful souls. She now resides in Bangkok with her Soulmate, Hui, her guitar, Fairy, and their lovely rooftop full of cats. 

See the other contributors on Body Positivity Campaign:

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