cw: explicit language

The English language is an incredible beast. What makes it difficult to learn is also what makes it incredibly malleable and amazing. Not to get too vulgar right off the bat, but have you ever considered how many different ways we can use the word “fuck” to convey all sorts of emotions and meanings? Here, watch this real quick and you’ll see what I mean (cw: sexual violence, death; it’s from the show The Wire)😉😅

I shit you not, I only know about that scene because one of my linguistics professors showed it to us in class! But even without the video, you can see how a lot of our swearwords alone can be used in different contexts and mean different things. Okay, I guess we didn’t need to use swearwords as the example for this linguistic phenomenon (called lexical flexibility), but I like diving into taboo any chance I get. That being said, let’s get to the actual topic I want to discuss today: the word “queer” and its appropriate contexts of use.

“Queer not as being about who you are having sex with, that can be a dimension of it, but queer as being about the self that is at odds with everything around it and has to invent and create and find a place to speak and to thrive and to live.” – bell hooks

I’ve used this quote before in my writing, as it pertains to who I am at my very core. The identities I hold most dear are the identities that are most at odds with my surroundings (outside of being in the environment I’ve curated specifically to be safe for my queerness).

This may be controversial to say, but as a former linguistics student and continuous advocate for inclusivity, the word “queer” does not need to be exclusive to the LGBTQIA+ community. As history tells us, the word “queer” has already undergone several iterations. In the 1500s, the Scotts used it as an adjective to mean “strange, peculiar, eccentric, odd” which is still in use today. By 1740, it came to mean “open to suspicion”, and even slang for counterfeit money in the early to mid 1800s. It wasn’t until 1922 that “queer” came to be officially used to describe “homosexual”, but wasn’t a noun for the same until 1935. As a verb it was used to mean “to spoil or ruin” in 1812. Before that it was often used to mean “to puzzle, ridicule, deride, cheat”. And finally, Queer Theory/Studies was born in the 1990s. All of this information was found at

What wasn’t mentioned on that website is how “queer” has been reclaimed since the 1990s as an identity marker by the LGBTQIA+ community itself, though on second thought, it should be implied to be an implicit part of Queer Theory/Studies.

“I see it as you can be neuroqueer, or genderqueer, or various flavors of queer. Isn’t the whole point of queer theory that being queer is an intentional subversion of cultural normativity?”

– a friend and fellow autism advocate, David Gray-Hammond of Emergent Divergence: Addiction, Mental Health, and The Autistic Experience

Not everyone agrees with this reclamation, mind you. Old school members of the community, and those who have experienced discrimination and harm from its use (young and old), wholeheartedly still consider it a harmful slur. In fact just the other day I was accused of being homophobic by a Facebook stranger, who appeared to be my age, because my blog is named “Queer Cult”. Clearly they’re missing the point of the name I chose, but it was an interesting experience to say the least.

When it comes to my membership of the LGBTQIA+ community, reclaiming “queer” as my own has been a very empowering experience. I’ve always been the weird kid, and as I’ve already discussed, “queer” is an easy descriptor for the peculiar. So when I finally figured out my sexuality and, ultimately, my gender identity, using “queer” was the simplest, most accessible way to communicate to others who I am. It just made sense, and felt safe to use because it described me even outside of my LGBTQIA+ identities.

That being said, listing all my identities within the community is cumbersome to say the least, and they don’t even fit all that well to begin with. While labels are liberatory and often connect people to each other, they are also limiting at a certain point. I only use “nonbinary” because that is the simplest, most accessible way to communicate that I don’t identify with being a man or woman, but it doesn’t exactly describe who I am either. To describe my gender would take pages, and all of those pages would be filled with nearly nonsensical metaphors. “I am stardust. I am galaxies. I am water flowing with salmon swimming upstream,” that kind of stuff. “Queer” allows me to communicate that I am different, period. It’s vague enough to allow my identities breathing room, to stay fluid, to stay “me”.

Also the featured image on this post, it says: People seem to believe that allowing polyamorous people to use “coming out” admits them into the queer community. That’s a debate for another time, but I think a polyamorous person can use the term without being regarded as inherently queer.

According to hooks’ definition of “queer”, I am queer in multiple ways: I am multiply queer within the LGBTQIA + community, I am dynamically disabled, I am autistic/ADHD, and I am polyamorous. I’ve had to “come out” several times for all of these identities, and I will continue to “come out” as I meet more people for the rest of my life. This will be reality for most of us who don’t fit the status-quo until the status-quo shifts from a white, cis-heteronormative existence to one that is post gender, race, sexuality, etc. We will continue to be subject to “coming out” until our labels don’t actually matter outside of connecting to each other, where mainstream media is so diversified that all identities are just considered “normal” and laws accommodate for all differences—where all lives are considered worthy of dignity and respect.

So yes, I agree with Poly Philia that using the phrase “coming out” does not make polyamorous people inherently a part of the queer community, meaning the LGBTQIA+ community. But I don’t agree that being polyamorous can’t make you another kind of queer. I operate out of bell hooks’ definition of queer, and I do believe that my polyamory is a part of my queer identity, but that doesn’t mean it’s a part of my queer identity within the LGBTQIA+ community. We’re discussing two versions of “queer” here.

That’s the beauty of language. We can have phrases and words that mean one thing in one context, and another thing in another context. Of course it’s important to recognize people’s desires and boundaries for certain uses. For example, the shortening of “polyamorous” to “poly” has been strongly discouraged by the Polynesian population that uses “#poly” to connect to each other online and for advocacy. Polyamorous people who aren’t Polynesian use that term and flood social medias, disrupting that connection for Polynesian people. We should respect racially marginalized groups and their desires. Instead, we use “polyam”.

But just as women have reclaimed “slut” and “bitch”, and the Black community has reclaimed the n-word, queer people reclaiming “queer” is not inappropriate. And I think it’s okay, if not absolutely appropriate, to extrapolate that reclamation to other identities that make us queer, in light of hooks’ definition of “queer”.

Thanks for coming to my TED talk.

Need support exploring your identities? I’m your guy! You can schedule with me here (read package information and scroll to the bottom to fill out a Calendly appointment time slot). Looking forward to supporting you!

Feature image: Found on a dear friend’s timeline, which is text that says, “Dear little me, You took so much on that was not yours to carry. We can set it down now, whenever you are ready. Love, Me.” Photo credit unknown.

cw: inner child discussion, spirituality, religion

Last night’s Intersections talk (on Queer Cult) dipped into this a bit and I’d like to share my thoughts. We were discussing queer spiritualities: what it means to be queer and spiritual, how those identities intersect and dissect and influence, etc. Within this discussion, I described my spiritual journey that took place because I realigned to my queer identities. Coming out was the door I needed to have opened to find my humanity again, something my conservative Christian upbringing took from me.

On a Full Moon last Fall, I held a special ceremony for myself where I wrote a letter to my parents on one side of the page, and a letter to myself on the other. I lit a candle under a tree that was shrouded in moonlight and burned the letter. Not letting go of the pain my parents caused me throughout my life was holding me back from accessing my inner child and healing that relationship; it was keeping me from living in the present as my full authentic self. As adults we have the responsibility to be our own parents, and that can be a rocky relationship if we don’t have anything to model it after.

I wept and wept under that tree, as a vision of me holding my younger self took over my mind once the burning was done. Finally I could see Little Me, confused and scared and hurt. I could see what she needed: she needed to be told she wasn’t wrong for being who she is, she wasn’t wrong for knowing she’s different and for knowing there is a better love and life waiting for her.

That night I got to witness just how neglected my inner child had been my whole life. I neglected her because I was scared of how mad she’d be at me. But because of the added neglect on my part, she made her anger known in ways that disrupted my life in really impactful ways. Impulsivity, selfish behavior, angry yelling, emotional meltdowns that could have been avoided, etc.—all of these and more because I didn’t want to look my inner child in the face…I couldn’t bear the shame of not taking care of her all this time either.

And part of me in the present was still mad at HER because I had the wrong perspective. Instead of loving her because she was an innocent child, I held grief over her (and me in the now at the time) for not being “normal”, for having specific needs, for “fucking up” over and over (because I didn’t have the tools to effectively communicate or self-regulate properly).

Because of what happened within that ceremony, after the added benefit and privilege of proper therapy, I’m now on my way to repairing the relationship I should have with my inner child, and because of this, I am feeling more wholly myself everyday. I’m finally ready to set down that pain, see my parents for who they are WHERE they are, and stop hurting myself trying to change them or make our relationship something it isn’t. I get to be my own parent and love my inner child so wholly that they get to be imaginative and feel nothing but freedom—freedom of shame, restriction, judgment; freedom to BE; freedom in knowing they are unequivocally enough, who always has and always will be. Coming back to my inner child is starting to mean coming back to the queerest version of myself; the most authentic version of who I am to my core—a free spirit, a ball of light made of love, courage, and a desire to make a difference.

It’s wild to see what growth looks like, and how nonlinear it really is. I’m grateful to be where I am now, even as I had to go through the rough stuff to get here. If you’re struggling, just know you’re not alone, and you are so so strong because you’ve already been through a lot and you’re still here reading this. My inbox is always open if you need someone to talk to: I offer peer support sessions on a sliding scale (and pro bono), just click here to schedule. 💜🌈💜

To start the new year off strong, I have some offerings I’d like you to know about!

I am SO excited for this brave space. I don’t know about you, but I often have things I’m grieving over (in bad and good ways) because I’m multiply queer. This is not group therapy, but it will be a place for all of us to come as we are, lay down what we’ve been carrying, and find solace in each other so that we may be empowered to have a better tomorrow. Click here to join. This is a *free* event, with suggested donation. I hope to see you there!

My second offering comes in the form of a panel series:

You guessed it, it’s a panel series on polyamory! From the event page:

Welcome to Queer Cult’s Polyamory Panel Series with Jaesic and Andrew: Polyamory 201!
This class was created to inspire conversation about lived experience with polyamory, so that we may feel seen, heard, and valid–so that we may grow together. There are a lot of polyamory discussion/support groups and classes out there, but not many (if any) go beyond Polyam 101. Well, no longer! Our meetings will explore topics that people in the lifestyle come across, both in celebrations and in hesitations. The topics will include:

  • Polyam Basics (to get everyone on the same page, in case beginners do want to attend)
  • When to break up
  • Cohabitation
  • Shame & Trauma
  • Disability and Polyamory
  • Politics and Polyamory

This series will feature panelists of the polyam/non-monogamous community, with a meeting every 3rd Monday for 6 months. If a topic arises during the series that needs further exploration, we may continue the series into 7 months, so stay tuned!
This series is free to the public, though a suggested donation of $5-25 per class is welcomed. Please venmo @thequeercult, or paypal, or cashapp $justjaesic.

This is for beginners and experienced alike, though the conversation will be geared towards those with more experience in living the lifestyle after our first session. Questions will be answered for ~30 minutes after each panel. If more time is needed, or there are questions that are more sensitive, Jaesic is available for peer support sessions, which you can schedule here!

Our next meeting will be January 20th at 7PM EST. Looking forward to being in community with you! 💜🌈💜

If you missed the first session, or can’t make a future one, stay tuned for a post to Queer Cult’s YouTube channel, soon to be published. There we’ll have replays and interviews for you to enjoy!

Hi friends! Happy New Year!

I’m sorry it’s been so long since I’ve written anything. When I first started building this platform, I threw so much energy into that I ended up burning myself out. These things happen, especially amid the neurodivergent community. What’s really cool about this, however, is that I’m finally starting to recognize my cycles for what they are. And now that there’s an observational gap to see the truth of it all, I can start working towards mediating those cycles so that I’m consistent in my work and joy.

Consistency is key! I can’t tell you how many teachers in my lifetime have written on report cards or semester reviews that I’m a wonderful student who’s eager to learn, but would do better with more consistency. That shit is deflating as hell, even just in remembrance, and I get my fair share of it here at home as I live with my mom again (that’s another post of its own).

All this to say: I’ve always wanted to do better. But setting my sight on “doing better” has never worked for me in the past. It shouldn’t have to be about “doing”. Colonialism and capitalism have really worked their magic to convince us all that we’re only worth what we can produce. Humans are meant to create, yes, but monetizing that creation has put a pressure on us that causes self-loathing, depression, anxiety, and dysfunctional relationships. What happened to just BEING?

My life coach training has really opened my eyes to the fact that we are more than our thoughts, feelings, fears, and circumstances. Yes, all of those things are real, and valid, and affect our day to day. But we are not those things; we are the witnesses to those things.

Example: an unpleasant feeling pops up: jealousy. We are not the jealousy itself, because we have a choice in what to do in response to that jealousy. When we access our higher selves, that self allows us to take a healthy action because we’ve observed that feeling.

So in light of all that, I’m wanting to express that I’m finally figuring out how to access my higher self more consistently (believe it or not lol), and not let capitalism determine my worth. As a disabled person, this new mindset is vital to my survival and future thriving. I get to show up as who I AM—compassion, creativity, courage, joy, light—to the circumstances before me, including my own neurology/physiology.

And here’s where the title of this post comes into play: I am so excited for the new year. I have new energy, new connections, other connections are deepened and strengthened, and I have a clearer vision of what I want to contribute to the world. I’m starting a new chapter, one where I put my BEING first and let the rest fall into place.

So this is my promise to you, and to myself: I am going to stay committed to loving myself enough to stay dedicated to my purpose here. It may not look like the typical production of a blog. I may be more sporadic than I’d like, I won’t be doing many “trends”, and I may post content that isn’t always writing. But I’ll always come back here to share my story and to support and build community.

Thanks for still being here. I look forward to being in community with you in this new year.

Much love,

Getting this blog up and running has been quite the process. It’s now been TWO WHOLE YEARS that I’ve been toying with the idea, taking 5 steps forward just to take 3 more back. But at last, we are here! I went from conceptualizing things as this wee babe (I had just come out as nonbinary): 

“I think I’m going to start blogging on my experience as a committedly OUT queer individual…I bring this up because BOY IS IT A BLAST TURNING HEADS LOOKING LIKE THIS IN OHIO”

To fully embarking on this blogging journey as the unapologetically queer little beast that I am:

Needless to say, when I do it up the way I like best, I turn many more heads than that day I met an unwilling Mennonite family in an Ohio pitstop bathroom two years ago.

Anyway, I named this article “Perfectly Imperfect” because I’ve recently been in a coaching program that is teaching me how important that pseudo-oxymoron really is for us to understand. When we keep moving the goal posts farther down the field to obtain “perfection” (in quotes, because it generally doesn’t exist), we keep ourselves from living in the moment and appreciating what is. The only perfection that is obtainable is in perceiving the human experience as whole and purposeful, flaws and all.

I am publishing this blog before I’ve considered myself ready to do so. Not all the menu tabs have content yet, and I have an overwhelming amount of unfinished posts in my Google docs. But, I have been sitting on things for too long. Letting go of the outcome and living in the moment is allowing me to just say

fuck it.

It’s time. It’s time to actively invest in creating a world where we are allowed to be perfectly imperfect, because to be perfectly imperfect is to be human. I may be queer, neurodivergent, and disabled, but the world is hard even on the neurotypical, cisgendered, abled folk. We convince ourselves that it’s healthy to conform to a system that serves a select few in power (read: older rich white men), and I would even bet that those in power aren’t truly fulfilled and happy, save for the sadistic plenty. (I say sadistic, because I don’t understand how most rich people can see all the injustices in the world and not want to be part of the solution.) The system that we live in dehumanizes us on the daily, and I’m tired of it. I’m tired of seeing injustice after injustice, of people not being able to live fully-actualized lives, and worse, not being able to live free of fear and harm.

Bottom line, and I’ll dig more into this “oxymoron” later on, is that I have been holding myself back for at least a year and half now because I was afraid of not having everything “perfect.” I’ve been afraid of others’ judgement, and afraid of my own self-perception should I fail expectations. But now the only expectations I have for myself are to live my truth and speak up for others.

That’s it.

Oh, and to stay perfectly imperfect.