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Fransexual

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My name is Franshelis Calderon. I’m a junior here at UAlbany, and I identify as queer.

From the moment I arrived on the UAlbany campus in August of 2014, I knew I had a lot of self-exploring to do. It was finally my chance find myself independently, without the worry of what anyone else had to say. I had been waiting for this moment for, what felt like, a lifetime. Some of the things I discovered about myself during this time were that I loved to learn languages, Wings over Albany was my favorite place to order from, living with a random roommate was tough, and that I liked girls. Continue reading “Fransexual”

Labels are for Soup Cans

“It’s insane to assume that everyone who identifies as one thing, has the same understanding of the world. I feel like labels really discourage individualization.”

491b925d5f7d6577b50df588fd18ffd5If you found the title of this blog to be clever or amusing, I did too. That’s why, when I first started to open up about my sexuality and everyone just had to ask the age-old questions: “What are you?” “Are you a lesbian?” “Do you still like boys?”, I simply answered by saying one thing: “I’m Fransexual.” It took me a really long time to be able to identify as anything. I wasn’t sure how to call myself, because I didn’t understand my sexuality just yet. But the pressure of everyone asking so many questions made me anxious to pick something—anything, so that it felt real. Continue reading “Labels are for Soup Cans”

Cleaning out my Closet

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I am out.
I am proud to be who I am. I am out to anyone who asks—except my mother. I want to come out to her. I am beyond ready to be out to her. However, I am terrified of what she’ll think of me. I am terrified that she will hate me, disown me, and want nothing to do with me.  I am terrified of the way she will see me after I tell her. I am terrified that she will just tolerate me, and not love me. Continue reading “Cleaning out my Closet”

I’m Here & I’m Queer

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Coming out was a big deal for me. Granted, there are still some people in my life that don’t know, but there’s something about the first time you admit who you are to yourself, and to other people, out loud. It is a milestone in accepting yourself. It definitely changed something within me. I felt instantly more comfortable with myself, and the people I chose to confide in. Continue reading “I’m Here & I’m Queer”

Unboxed

audre-lorde-quotes-2So far I have written about coming out, dealing with family members who are not supportive of my sexuality, and struggling with self-identity. Writing this blog is actually very therapeutic. It is a way for me to help others, as well as expressing my emotions and thoughts about this topic in a healthy manner.

One thing I really want to emphasize as I reflect on my previous posts is that we are not defined by one aspect of our person. To be in that mindset of being equated to only one part of your personality is a very frustrating thing. I am a person. An afro-Latina, a daughter, a sister, a student, a lover of languages, a feminist, an advocate of human rights. I am more than a queer person. I am more than a girl who likes girls. And I think it’s important for people to remember that. Don’t focus solely on what makes you stand out, whether it is your weight, your mental illness, your disability, your sexuality, your race, or your gender. You are MORE than any these things. They do not define you. Continue reading “Unboxed”

The Chronicles of a Queer Afro-Latina

Fran Dom 3I grew up in an immigrant household. My parents emigrated from the Dominican Republic about twenty five years ago. Being that they both grew up in this country, they have a very specific way of viewing life. They brought their culture and traditions to this country and made it a point to immerse me and my brother in it. They raised us with the intentions of teaching us our history. My father used to make me read books on the formation and birth of the Dominican Republic. My mother made it a point to teach us how to read, write, and speak Spanish, the native language. They raised us listening to merengue, bachata and salsa, and taught us to dance. They sent us to visit our family members in the Dominican Republic every summer.  Continue reading “The Chronicles of a Queer Afro-Latina”

Breaking the Stigma

cisgenderSociety has a huge part in shaping who we are today. The majority of a society forms the norms, or the behaviors viewed as acceptable by society. In America, some examples are tipping your waiter,  shaking someone’s hands when you first meet them, and being a cisgender heterosexual person.

We live in a predominantly heteronormative society. As a result, being on the LGBTQ+ spectrum can be overwhelming. Whether you are trans, gay, or whatever the case is, you are not within the societal “norm.” This has affected, and confused me in more ways than I’ve cared to realize. From having to come out as gay to feeling a little weird for holding a girl’s hand in public, the social norms instilled in me have to be constantly broken. Continue reading “Breaking the Stigma”

Somewhere over the Rainbow

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The rainbow flag is a symbol of hope, pride, and solidarity for the LGBTQ+ community. The designer of the rainbow flag, Gilbert Baker, recently passed. He was a very important member of the gay community, leading as an active member of the San Francisco Gay Rights Movement in the 1970s. He was also an artist, an army veteran, and an avid drag performer. Continue reading “Somewhere over the Rainbow”

Transformation

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It was August of 2014. I was a freshman. This picture was taken in between classes on my first ever day of college. Back then, I had no idea who I would turn into at this university. I didn’t know what things I would learn about myself, or in what ways I would mature. I didn’t know what lessons I was in for, and I definitely didn’t expect a lot of the things that happened. I didn’t even know what I was going to be studying for the next four years! I was just a young high school graduate, ready for the adventure that is college. Continue reading “Transformation”