Ciel from Crashing, by Jonathan Alexandratos

CIEL is a non-binary character in my play CRASHING. They can also transform into a plane. Here, they talk to their new neighbor, PHOEBE, after a moment of connection.

CIEL.
Okay so.
See this toy airport thing?
I’ve been building this since I was a kid.
It all started because I got this one toy. It was one of those Happy Meal toys,
Y’know, like you get from McDonalds?
I was, like, eight, and they had one of those ones:
Barbie or Hot Wheels. Remember that?
Barbie or Hot Wheels.
And the Barbie was the “girl toy”
And the Hot Wheels was the “boy toy,”
Which, I mean,
What a horrible position you put those poor workers in.
Right?
Like, they work 12-hour shifts for minimum wage,
And now they gotta gender your kid, too?
Anyway of course they couldn’t tell with me
Because I looked somewhere between Chucky and Bride of Chucky,
So that meant I got Hot Wheels.
I sat down,
Opened it up.
My mom was furious.
“How could you get a Hot Wheels!?
“You’re a girl!
“You were supposed to get a Barbie! “
Those damn burger-flippers!
“They can’t see a girl when one’s slappin’ ‘em in the face!”
Thank God this was before the era of the cell phone video
Because this shit woulda been all up on YouTube. Anyway, we were asked to leave the establishment,
And I kept my little Hot Wheels plane.
Which I loved!
It was a plane! I thought Hot Wheels was just cars, but here was a plane!
And this little plane created this whole thing where my mom got all upset maybe because on some level she knew I wasn’t ever gonna look like what she expected me to look like.
But also because it was everything I was, just boiled down into a tiny little thing.
They said “she,” McDonald’s said “no,” now I say “they.”
I got a charge outta that.
So I told this little plane that I’d build ‘em an airport and all sorts of other stuff would fly in and out and they could fly in and out
I did that, and, when it was basically done, something kinda crazy happened:
I transformed into the plane
The little toy plane
It felt like a “thank you,”
Like this little toy plane wanted me to feel how it felt to finally have a place to land So it made me into a toy plane, too
And I flew around my bedroom,
And I felt the lift all around me
Holding me up
I controlled my descent and landed so smoothly I could barely tell I was on the strip of cardboard I laid down as a runway.
And once I came to a halt
I was allowed one last wisp of air to course over my wings
And I unfolded back into a person.
That’s when I knew I was a “them.”
Because if there’s an airplane in here,
I didn’t have to just be one thing anymore.
So if my gender is anything,
It’s this little plane.

More information: https://newplayexchange.org/users/3845/jonathan-alexandratos

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Drought, by NewSong

I wrote this halfway through the summer, I share it now that the
drought has ended. Water has been blessing the earth once again, the
fire near our house that burned for months is finally out, the river
is flowing with enthusiasm once again. And I have moved out of that
unknowing vulnerable place where I spent this summer, not knowing if I
would receive that yang blessing from the sky, afraid I was scorching
my land with the asking of my journey.

It is a time of drought-
the river and lake are low,
the winds are high,
I walk where water once licked, kissed, covered.

“But beauty…” you pleaded
as if it were my obligatory gift to the world
so I compromised until I couldn’t.
Under shorn gold ornament,
I found someone I recognized.

Deep underwater
I find a plankton that glows
And if we could find out how to convert its energy,
one small piece could power a town.
If you swim near it,
you can breathe the water slowly and live.

“courageous,” he said.
“brave,” she said.
“A necessary choice made
to soothe the weeping of my soul,”
I said.
finally, formally, as they.

Barefoot,
my toes grip sliding rocks,
the going is slow, tedious, on the steep bank,
and for a moment,
I identify as a 4-legged,
scrambling hands and feet.

A newfound beauty,
Skin shed for comfort,
Strong and confident,
I step through the threshold.
Into-
A confused look,
“tweety bird?”
A stranger to all but me.
I swing between elation and agony,
like the seasons on Mercury.

A swarm of pigeons and seagulls,
take down the plane into a post-apocalyptic world.
I see bodies black from frostbite,
that fill the arroyo where they camped,
fingers clutching each other,
dead because they relied on each other’s bad advice,
So every person for themself,
I isolate myself to survive.

For three days you couldn’t look at me.
The truth spoken and lived,
now you incant loudly,
-a spell to ward off my vulnerability,
that awakens your fear-
speaking of the difficulties of friends,
the scorching sun,
and-

“will it rain?”
the clouds hover,
and I hope for an outpouring
to cleanse and cool the land.

Do clothes make the man?
I had been waiting for this moment,
Fabulous and new,
I stand awkwardly with hands in my pockets.
I had forgotten the loud disconnect of parties.

The eagerness of the willows,
pushing up through sand for air,
tell me this ground has been dry before.
Perhaps the earth will not burn.

More info: Contact newsonghealing (at) gmail (dot) com

They have a blog where they write about spirituality and mindfulness
within their non-binary life at spiritgender.wordpress.com.

>Donate to the non-binary monologues project here

Blue, from The Finality of Tits, by Avery Kester

BLUE. A friend once told me a joke and it was that dating when you’re queer is like looking for a job, you either do it online or you get referred. Pause now for laughter. Like a job too, people always seem to think there are partners everywhere just waiting for you to come and claim them, and when you don’t have one, all of your friends and relatives start telling you about a local place that’s hiring. My long resume doesn’t help me in the dating world, I’ll tell you what. So I have an account on Tinder. And OKCupid, they’re kind of the best ones to be queer on. Kind of messed up really. I’ve still gotten a lot of hurtful messages about how my gender is fake and I’m a liar and an attention whore. But what I’m trying to tell you isn’t really about that, it’s about what are called unicorn hunters. You’ve never heard of them? Unicorn hunters? What is this, dragons and dungeons? Well not quite my friend. Unicorn hunters are straight couples looking for a bisexual woman to join their existing relationship. She has to be into the same kinds of things as they are, but also have her own interests. She must be open to having sex with them, both of them, whenever they see fit. She must want more connection than just sex but also understand her place as an outsider to the relationship. Usually she must also be the picture of femininity and trans girls need not apply. She, like unicorns, doesn’t exist. Which is why they’re called unicorn hunters and not famed unicorn prize catchers. I am not a unicorn for many reasons, but chiefly because I am not a woman. Not a woman. Hello yes it’s me, genderqueer with tits, but distinctly not a woman. Look at me in this suit. This is a man’s suit. Look at me with my haircut. This is a trademarked genderqueer haircut. Really more of a zebra than a unicorn. Real but flighty and introverted. I know about the finality of tits. I understand that because I have them, everyone everywhere will always assume that I am a woman. I can’t afford to lose them anymore than I can afford to keep them, surgery is expensive. I think about cutting them off myself sometimes, when it gets really bad. But I’ll tell you, there is not much is this world that makes me feel as terrible as when I receive a message from a pair of straight folks looking for a unicorn. “Hey there cutie! My hubby and I are looking for a fun loving girl to join us in the bedroom!” Or “My boyfriend says you’re one of the prettiest girls he’s ever seen! Can we take you to lunch?” I am not a woman. I am not a girl. I…. I’m… not a girl. And I work hard at that okay? I have manufactured this look, this walk, this manner of speaking. I know what I’m about and it’s distinctly between the binary. But even though I spell that out in the 500 character about me section on Tinder, they still say things like that to me. I spend so much time hating my body and wishing that it would fuck off. I don’t need the arrows of unicorn hunters to help me with that.

More info: Please contact the playwright Avery Kester (They/Them) at the following email address: averypkester (at) gmail (dot) com.

>Donate to the non-binary monologues project here