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Constructing Queer through Two Selfies

Updated: Jun 19

Two selfies of Jason Wyman. One where they are flirting with their mouth slightly open, and the other looking down into the camera drooling. Jason is wearing eyeliner and lipstick.

Being queer means being intimately in touch with who you truly be in all your messy complexities & contradictions. For many queers, this means having to choose what you reveal & what remains in the shadows guided by the contexts of our families, our religions, our communities, our governments. Often this choice is ripped from us & it is used as a weapon to put us in our place, to kill us, to legislate us out of existence. Other times, we queers create our own rules about what behaviors & styles & language is or isn't queer & use it as a cudgel against those that don't conform to its codes & strictures & aesthetics. Queer, in either case, is constructed.

I am queer & often I have found myself between. I have not fit in in drag or club scenes. I have not fit in in activist groups. I have not fit in in schools & non-profits. I have not fit in in galleries & museums & theaters. I have not fit in constantly & consistently. And not fitting in, being between, has been my greatest power & love. In fact, I have constructed queer to mean "loving fearlessly & transforming radically" because of not fitting in. Yesterday on Instagram, I showed a behind-the-scenes photo as I am creating some new content for Queerly Complex. In it, I look fierce & friendly, like you want to get to know me because I'm confident & cheerful. That is a constructed image, like all images. It is not "real", although it reveals truth. I do at times feel confident & cheerful, & yesterday was one of those days. My values are giving me purpose & meaning, and I feel in right relation to the cosmos. In perusing old images for the website redesign, I stumbled on another from early in the pandemic & posted it online. I was feeling hella emotional & fluids & performance were at the fore of my mind. I got done up as the clown I felt I was & did what I love doing: take selfies. I let my emotions spill & spill & spill until spittle dripped from my lips. I captured this image in a snap using only environmental lighting. This photo is also constructed. It is not "real" & the make-up draws your attention to this "fact". It also reveals a truth: YOU are feeling some sort of way. I share these images because being queer for me means revealing complexities & questioning realities. Who am I really? What about these images is real or true? What am I experiencing? What am I communicating? Are they the same or is there a contradiction? Does it matter? Which is appealing? Which repulsive? Why? For me, these to photos share a much deeper truth: This world is made up.


What will YOU make? How do you construct queer? Who be you truly?


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