My name is Luthien but you may know me as LVL1 or Luli or the author of the cat-kitty-cat-cat song that was all over tik tok last summer. And you probably already know that I consider myself a queer person: non-binary (agender to be exact) and bisexual. I come from a southern portuary city in Spain called Algeciras, which is not exactly the most modern and progressive place in the world but I was raised in a very accepting household. Growing up, although I was put into the girl category according to society’s norms, I’ve always felt like that was just a random label someone assigned to me. And it’s not that I hated everything girly or tried to avoid feminine stuff. In fact, I have had many hyperfemme presenting moments, but it always felt like I was in costume, having fun, and exploring gender expression.
I realized I was “different” (to the rest of the cis people in my life) when I found out that not everybody feels like the gender label they carry was just randomly assigned to them, and actually do feel like women or men. I really thought everyone kind of just… accepted their fate and played along. I knew I was bisexual since I was a teenager; I realized very early that I could feel attracted to anyone regardless of their gender. And I had no problem with that, I knew many other bisexuals in my circle and it just felt very natural and normal to me. But with being non-binary, things were way different. I had met some NB people before I came out, and saw how hard it was for them to simply exist as they are in the world. Deep inside I knew I was like them, but I was really scared of how my close ones would take it. Or also, even worse, I thought maybe no one would take it seriously.
Going viral and having the chance to put myself out there for the public gave me the courage to present to the world as I am: a trans, non-binary person. Best decision ever. Since I did that, I’ve been learning non-stop many things about myself. I feel like I started a journey of self-discovery that will eventually lead me to the truest, most free, and best version of me. I won’t lie, sometimes it’s very hard. Not every trans non-binary person suffers from dysphoria, but I personally do, and it gets harder the more I observe and listen to myself. And being constantly misgendered, or feeling that no one will ever see you as you really are, gets very tiring sometimes. My advice to myself and to everyone dealing with it is to just take it as a long process, to be patient and kind to yourself, and accept your present as a necessary and beautiful part of your journey. Don’t be scared to experiment with your gender expression, even though you don’t owe androgyny to anyone.
You can also experiment with pronouns to see which ones feel better; I recently tried to see how masculine pronouns felt and I liked it a lot! I personally relate more to the neutral (they/them or elle in Spanish) but I feel like I actually prefer he/him over she/her, most of the time. So yeah, just listening to yourself and seeing what feels good is key. Society’s changing, and luckily we now have more chances to live our life outside of gender if we need to. I know in my heart that it will only get easier from now on. We’re evolving, we’re all as a collective learning and becoming more empathetic. Of course, there’s A LOT to fight yet, and there’s still tons of misinformation and intolerance, but we just have to keep pushing forward.
I know, it sucks that just being alive and existing has to be some sort of political statement. I mean, I just want to be free and make my silly little songs and live my life happily. But if me, speaking about my truth and defending my identity every time I have to, helps any kid out there trying to figure out why they constantly feel like they don’t belong in the world… then fuck it, let’s be political. You are not alone, you don’t have to settle for an identity that’s not yours. You deserve respect, recognition, love, and validation. Just be yourself, surround yourself with people that accept you for who you are, and go live your life freely. It will get better, I promise. Happy pride month 💖
Also, come celebrate Pride with us by listening to this playlist curated by @lvl1, full of bold and empowering tunes by LGBTQIA+ artists and allies, mainly from the electronic music scene.