School Bus, by Erin Rollman

(written for a genderqueer performer) When I was in junior high, I lived only a block and a half away from school. It took minutes to get there, cut even shorter if I ducked through a hole in the fence and walked right across the small field next to the school building. But every morning I would leave home far earlier than necessary and walk 15 or so blocks in the opposite direction to catch a big yellow school bus. It seems silly to say now, but I did it in an attempt to be normal. I know, I know, but hear me out:

So many kids rode the bus. So many kids complained about riding the bus. It was a part of junior high culture and I was missing out because of the location location location of my home. I mean, I’m sure the proximity to a school is part of the reason my parents got the place. But, each morning I walked in the wrong direction in order to complain about my subsequent bus ride. And each afternoon I rushed out of the building in time to jump on the bus – unable to participate in this after school activity or that one, sometimes dashing out mid-conversation with an “ugh, bus”.

Needless to say, this did not make me ‘normal’. All it did was make my life more difficult. Of course, this should come as no surprise. Normal things – a nerve-wracking phrase, despite or maybe because of its lack of meaning – normal things are always wildly difficult. Isn’t it the case that you never feel more outside of yourself than when you are doing something you think you are supposed to do? Doing normal things is like playing a massive life-encompassing game of follow-the-leader when nobody knows who the leader is – their just sure it isn’t them.

Beat

Here are some other phrases I find nerve-wracking, only some of which have meaning:
fiscal responsibility
hang in there
life choice
truly humbling experience
crystal clear
not an exit
identifies as
and criss cross applesauce … Well, that one’s not nerve-wracking if you really just want me to sit down cross-legged. But if it comes with the assumption that I will be squirm-free and attentive, we might have a problem.

Beat

It actually gives me a little thrill that my young attempt to be normal was, in fact, very, very not normal. I don’t often ride buses at all these days. I sure as hell won’t walk out of my way to hop on an unnecessary one…

I mean that both literally and metaphorically, in case that wasn’t crystal clear.

More info: Erin Rollman is an all-around theatrical badass and incredible human. Learn more about her theatrical work at https://buntport.com/

Donate! Your donations keep The Non-Binary Monologues Project going. We are pleased to announce that we have been selected as an Incubated Artist through Headlong. This means that your donations are now tax-deductible!

Donating is easy. >>Visit this link. Make sure to mention The Non-Binary Monologues Project in the notes section of the form, and you’re all set!

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Ash, from Poltergeist, by Alika Magas

ASH: Shift supervisor at a gay bar; an awesome kick-ass non-binary individual who knows a solid thing or two about the way the world really works. Very mature while somehow utterly inarticulate. They/Them/Theirs.

ASH. Hey Kitt, it’s me. Obviously. Hey, I, uh, well I just wanted to call and see how the

(HEAVY air quotes on this one, even if it’s not with their fingers.)

“hang out” is going. I still think you’re an idiot for doing this, so I don’t know if silence is a good thing or a bad thing and I’m not trying to like be a total queer dad-mom-parent-whatever about this or anything, I’m really not, you’re a big boy, you got this and shit like that. But. You’re always texting updates when you’re like this– Jeez. Sorry. Look at me, getting over involved in my friends again. Wow. Okay. Well, call me or text me or something? Just don’t do anything I’d tell you not to or regret or– goddamn it there I go again. I’m gonna hang up before it gets worse or the voicemail lady cuts me off. Okay. Call me back or something. Bye.

 

ASH. I’m so so sorry, Henry–

(A long beat. Relive the warning, the attempt, the long night in the hospital afterwards.)

–you were my regular for almost longer than Kitt’s worked there, and I– I should have known. Fuck, I was pouring that beer and… something was up, you’re always jittery but not like that and I didn’t do anything I just let you walk out of that fucking bar while I told my story and all I wanted was to get to the end. How messed up is that? You were sitting there, red flags might as well been on fire, and all I can think to myself is: damn, I hope he doesn’t make some dry joke or interrupts, he really needs to hear the end. I really need him to hear the end. But does it matter?

(Another beat.)

What matters is I was thinking that and you were…

(Beat.)

Can we talk about something else?

 

ASH. Hey Kitt, it’s me. Obviously. Y’all are probably still in the air. Lucky fuckers. Still love you though, any way, I just wanted to know if y’all had a safe flight so call me when you land or something and jesus I’m doing the queer dad mom parent thing again and I still really need to learn to stop with that don’t I? I guess, guess we both do actually. Don’t tell Henry I said this, he’d probably get all defensive and stuff, kid couldn’t take a compliment even if I wrote it into a screamo song, jesus christ, but I’m proud of you two. Like a lot. My two little babies are growing up. Okay that one was intentional, I’m not that bad. I’d like to think I’m not. But… uh… yeah. So remember to do some fun things while you’re out there, kay? I’ve heard Casa Bonita is actually a real place so maybe track that shit down and send me a few pictures or something. We could video chat on the Face time maybe? Okay that is like the single most old-person parent thing that’s ever come out of my mouth so I’m just gonna hang up now before I say anything else or the stupid voicemail lady cuts me off. But, really. Have a good break, smoke a joint, don’t let Henry get too angsty and–

(The voicemail lady cuts them off)

Goddamnit.

 

More info: alikamagas (at) gmail (dot) com

Donate! Your donations keep The Non-Binary Monologues Project going. We are pleased to announce that we have been selected as an Incubated Artist through Headlong. This means that your donations are now tax-deductible!

Donating is easy. >>Visit this link. Make sure to mention The Non-Binary Monologues Project in the notes section of the form, and you’re all set!

Candy Heart, by Woodzick

WRENN (they/them, AFAB).

I’m writing this because I’m on the plane and the guy next to me is watching a documentary about Hitler and I honestly don’t know his intentions behind watching it. So, in case I die while on or getting off this flight, I wanted you to read this. I don’t know if I would be able to say any of this in person.

I get that you’re a gay guy. And I guess the thing is that on the inside I’ve always felt like I was a gay guy, too. Gay men are always the people I have been attracted to the most. The ones who break my heart the most. The “oh, if I were straight, I’d totally date you, but I’m not straight, and so….”

I am painfully aware that my outside doesn’t always match my inside, and I don’t know if it ever will in that way. I like the me I’ve become, not a man and definitely not a woman, but instead something that is both and neither at the same time.

The thing is, my heart is on the inside and my heart thinks it could be, would really like to try being with your heart and, I know, I know have the tendency to be naive and idealistic, but on some, basic, human level, isn’t that the only thing that should matter?

So here I am, in front of you, asking you if you think you could be with someone like me. Or try?

I hate being vulnerable and I hate that I keep trying at this and people either hook up with me and tell me it was a mistake or they tell me I’m a mistake and they just don’t think they could ever picture themselves being with someone like me.

I think my heart can only survive so many more of these conversations.

It takes a lot for me to be saying this to you. And, sincerely, I’m not trying to force a certain answer. I just wanted you to know that—this is not something I share lightly. It’s not something I do often.

But I’m doing it because I think you might just be worth it and it’s OK if you’re not. And it’s OK if you don’t think of me that way.

But it’s really rare that I feel this way about somebody, so I just had to try.

 

Donate! Your donations keep The Non-Binary Monologues Project going. We are pleased to announce that we have been selected as an Incubated Artist through Headlong. This means that your donations are now tax-deductible!

Donating is easy. >>Visit this link. Make sure to mention The Non-Binary Monologues Project in the notes section of the form, and you’re all set!

Narrator, from 10 Myths on the Proper Application of Beauty Products, by Buntport Theater in collaboration with Diana Dresser, Miriam Suzanne and Michael Morgan

Narrator (a trans egg):

It’s one of those mornings where you wake up, not knowing where you are in time. At some point Sam dies, but I don’t think we’re there yet. I suppose at some point, we all die, but we’re not there yet either. Have Sam and Herman melded together? Sam had a fever, and Herman sat with her through the night, and by morning they became one. That’s one story. Others say it happened chopping onions for dinner, when Sam slipped in a tad too close, and stuck. I don’t know. People seem to agree that it was something mundane. But that happens later, I think. Sam is alive and alone. Still dressing and undressing for the camera — trying to get it right. In any case, I woke up feeling like people — all of us — are made of complicated stuff. Too hard to understand or fix. So I’m screwed because I am breaking down and unfixable. And, to make matters worse, time is passing. Lots of it. Because nobody has yet figured out how to stop it in such a crisis. Someone should really get on that. So that’s the kind of morning it is. And it took forever to pull pants on over my legs because I didn’t understand what the fuck my legs even were. It’s time I get a handle on this. It’s time that there are no mornings like this. I want to wake up knowing that it’s simple: that I am made of tinfoil and paperclips. So I took initiative and looked it up. “What are people made of” I typed. And nothing is helpful. Because we are apparently made of everything: we are made of calcium, oxygen, carbon, hydrogen, nitrogen, and phosphorus or body, mind, intellect, ego and soul or, according to a Modest Mouse song, nothing but water and shit. Or snips and snails, and puppy dogs tails if you are a little boy or sugar and spice and all things nice if you are a little girl which makes it ten times more complicated because now I am required to think of myself as something more specific than just a people — I mean, a person. (beat) Ha! A little boy, a little girl, a little people. I don’t know… fuck it if it’s that kind of day.

Bunport Theater is awesome! Check out their work and upcoming shows here!

Donate! Your donations keep The Non-Binary Monologues Project going. We are pleased to announce that we have been selected as an Incubated Artist through Headlong. This means that your donations are now tax-deductible!

Donating is easy. >>Visit this link. Make sure to mention The Non-Binary Monologues Project in the notes section of the form, and you’re all set!

Leader, by Lore Burns

LEADER (ze/zir or they/them)

So, this is it. We’ve come a long way, lost people we loved and fought with all our strength. And now we’re trapped, surrounded. Waiting for the end. But do we know this is the end? Sure, there are several hundred killer robots armed to their mechanical teeth breaking in here within the hour. Sure, we’re weak, wounded and completely devastated. But those machines don’t have our imagination. They have no hope or love. And I’m not going to sit here obediently and wait for them to come and slaughter us. Not while there’s a snowballs chance in hell that we can still win this. And don’t you argue with me because not one of you can see the future, can you? In the future we can do anything; in the future we might even survive. You have a choice to make. Fight until the bitter end or hand yourselves to them on a silver platter. We are the only thing standing between them and the rest of the world. And if I’m going to die, I’m going to die protecting it.

Context: This is a standalone monologue and context can be created as needed by the performer, however the basic context is that robots have taken over the earth and are maliciously killing all humans, this group are trapped in a warehouse and hopelessly outnumbered.

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

Donate! Your donations keep The Non-Binary Monologues Project going. We are pleased to announce that we have been selected as an Incubated Artist through Headlong. This means that your donations are now tax-deductible!

Donating is easy. >>Visit this link. Make sure to mention The Non-Binary Monologues Project in the notes section of the form, and you’re all set!

If I Were A Cis Man, a parody by Sandy Sahar Gooen

In 2019, The Non-Binary Monologues Project wants to expand our offerings to include scenes and musical theatre selections. If you have submissions in either of these categories, please send them our way!

Here are the lyrics and video of Sandy Sahar Gooen’s edit of “If I Were a Rich Man,” from Fiddler on the Roof. Enjoy!

If I were a cis man
(Insert yeshivish riffing)
All day long I’d ——
Were I a cisgender man

Wouldn’t have to work hard
To try to pass or live or even hide which school that I am from
If I had a Y instead of X biddy biddy biddy chromosome

I’d take up space but wait don’t worry not too much just more than currently I can. You know, that thing called actual self esteem. As things are now it’s not like I can really do much cept wait to be seen as a real man. Just being accepted is the dream.

I would go out at night
Not worry about safety
Why would I bother with all that
Since I’d be much closer to 6 feet tall
No one would ask me “when are you having kids” “when are you getting a dick” and other very personal things that they don’t deserve to know. I don’t care for that shit at all- oy.

CHORUS

If I were Cis I’d have the privilege I lack to go to ANY synagogue and pray. And not be scared of judgment—- how great is this?
I’d like to add that I’d still count for a minyan if I were Cis but still completely gay. So long as I had you know- a bris.

The most important men in town wouldn’t talk down to me. They would actually respect me. Just like any other guy
They’d say shalom Sahar
What do you think sandy
Instead of sitting blankly there, rolling their eyes
(Chazanut/yeshivish riffing)
And it won’t make one bit of difference if I answer right or wrong
When you’re Cis they think you really know.

I would be able to use my voice for the better to stop toxic masculinity and uplift all my siblings, big and small.
I would be heard and make sure others were listened to other than just guys like me… that would be the sweetest thing of all. Oy.

Chorus

Lord who made the world in just six days
You made me stick out from theatre gays
Would it spoil some vast eternal plan
Were I a halakhic man!

 

 

 

Donate! Your donations keep The Non-Binary Monologues Project going. We are pleased to announce that we have been selected as an Incubated Artist through Headlong. This means that your donations are now tax-deductible!

Donating is easy. >>Visit this link. Make sure to mention The Non-Binary Monologues Project in the notes section of the form, and you’re all set!

Dear Heart, by Elana Lev Friedland

Dear Heart,

Let me tell you about the time I write a story about werewolves living in Colorado. In it the werewolves are Jewish and one of them is queer. One is non-binary and that one is a stand-in for me. Because of course it is. Because what is fiction but a chance for self-insertion? Just kidding. This is how you can know I am a poet. And even that is queer, living somewhere on a spectrum zipping back and forth between fiction and nonfiction. Let us parse out who the “I” is.

I write a story about a werewolf. I name them “Ze’eva.” Literally? This means wolf. But the “A” at the end, that “ah” sound confers a girl meaning. I am lucky to live in a language ungendered. But my given name tethers me, my name meaning tree, girl tree, its “ah” ending roots sunk deep below the Earth’s surface.

Let me remind you. Among Eastern European Jews there is a custom of naming babies for a dead relative. This makes me time machine, carrying with me a grandmother I have never met. To cast her aside would make me uprooted.

But there is a long tradition too of changing names, of re-titling babies to evade the evil eye, to dispel the angel of death as it approaches. And then there is of course my favorite Biblical hero: an orphan girl called Hadassah who becomes Esther to become queen and save her people. If this sounds like I am piling on evidence to prove a case, it’s because I am. Why shouldn’t I save myself? Why deny myself the chance to be royal?

I gift myself a new name. A name meaning lion in Russian; in Hebrew meaning heart. A Russian name for boys, an Israeli name for girls, and me in the middle or skipping laps around them, sometimes one, sometimes the other, sometimes neither, sometimes both. When I rename myself I do it to keep the evil eye at bay, to cling to life in a time when darkness surrounds, to shield myself in a technicolor coat, to mark the end of confusion’s flood with an arked rainbow.

But I keep the old name with me. A name fixes letters, syllables, sounds to a being living in a body. Before we’ve met face-to-fact a name can start to tell my story, hints of what to expect to see when you lay eyes upon my body. I adorn myself with two Jewish names.

Why does everything come back to being Jewish? Why, dear heart, connect yourself to a genderqueer God you may or may not believe in? Maybe it’s because the best my voice has ever sounded is in prayer, in a chorus. Because I’m searching for community, a minyan, a quorum. Even in a religion that sometimes literally builds walls to separate gender, I have found ways to figuratively dash around them, found Jews and queers and Jewish queers who hear me name myself without question. After ten years a dire isolatto, a wolf without a pack, a tree without a grove, I have found myself people who speak the same fluidity. I am a heart still beating. I have found myself a home.

So when friends ask, “Do you want us to call you by your new name?” I know they’ll understand when I answer, “No. Yes. Maybe. I don’t know. Sometimes. Both.

More info: Contact the author at elana (dot) friedland (at) colorado (dot) edu

Donate! Your donations keep The Non-Binary Monologues Project going. We are pleased to announce that we have been selected as an Incubated Artist through Headlong. This means that your donations are now tax-deductible!

Donating is easy. >>Visit this link. Make sure to mention The Non-Binary Monologues Project in the notes section of the form, and you’re all set!

Teddy, from Riot Brrrain, by Caitlin M Caplinger

TEDDY (they/them)
It’s not a swing and maybe that’s how the world has portrayed it like this very lateral process you’re up then down then up down then up down up down and those are your only two modes

                            Deep breath and reveal

bipolar two
literally the name that you’re only occupying these two spaces you’re stripped of that middle the regular the calm
to say nothing of the void that is co-existing pouring in and out of the cracks filling you out making you into one whole lotta
into one whole stunning rich worthy helluva person

                          TEDDY enters into the revolving door (hypomania), moving slowly

it’s more a revolving door where at different times you’re burrowed in a pocket that’s allowing you to conquer the fucking world you are up at dawn who needs food I will accomplish everything in the universe who needs sleep who needs health who needs fucking money spend it all on shit that temporarily grounds me or takes me to the next goddamn level I am above those things I’m the one to take you to the hospital at 3am because I can’t get to sleep because what if someone dies my phone needs to be on I will murder someone most likely me

                 Ducks out and into another door section (baseline), the revolving speeds up

the next pocket is chill cool as a manic pixie cucumber the parts you like the acceptable mode the kind of calm you only feel after a Michelin star orgasm

                Ducks out and into another door section (depression), the revolving speeds up

fuck this pocket

                     The revolving speeds up

but the comforting aspect is that because its spinning there’s this gravity keeping you in one of these 3 pockets so you know what to expect

                    The revolving stops, TEDDY drifts out

it’s the days when gravity stops working when there’s no force pushing me into the center of the door when I could very well float out when the color leaves my cheeks and talking is useless because who would I communicate with it’s the days where you find me unapproachable intimidating because I don’t have an expression on my face or I don’t immediately kiss your ass or I just seem above it all but I suspect actually deep down you can sense there is nothing and that scares the shit outta you

Context: Teddy definitely, 100% has neurosyphilis — oops! To track down the dipshit who passed the pox, they embark on an epic punk-filled journey through their sexual (ok, sometimes romantic) past. Riot Brrrain features an original soundtrack, canonically non-binary and bisexual characters, and loads of biting humor.

This monologue ends the play. After acting some kind of fucked up for 90 minutes, Teddy finally confronts their own challenges and shame: they do not actually have neurosyphilis, its Bipolar 2.

More info: caitlincaplinger.com | caitlincaplinger@gmail.com for inquiries and performance permission

Donate! Your donations keep The Non-Binary Monologues Project going. We are pleased to announce that we have been selected as an Incubated Artist through Headlong. This means that your donations are now tax-deductible!

Donating is easy. >>Visit this link. Make sure to mention The Non-Binary Monologues Project in the notes section of the form, and you’re all set!

Byrd, from Not Funny, by Avery Kester

[A young person sits with a drink in their hand. They’re at their home, maybe in just their underwear, it’s that kind of a night.]

BYRD. Why do straight men always ask me, “What’s the biggest penis you’ve ever seen?” Not a funny question. What they really mean is, “What’s the biggest penis you’ve ever sucked off, had in your ass, held in your hands, yadda yadda… “ and of course what’s under that is, “My penis size is my only indicator of my self-worth and I need to feel validated.” Once again, not funny. Why do straight men always ask me this? Why, why, why, why… and I always give my answer, because I hope it will shock them. I hope they will come away from it thinking “Why do I bother with this?”

[Pause. A drink.]

I always tell people this story as if it’s funny. I’ll say something like, “The biggest dick I ever saw was on a woman. Very petite, slender thing, she was packin’.” People laugh. It’s not really funny. “Shocked the hell out of me.” I say. When I think about it, and to my trans friends, it’s funny because such a big dick was on such a small person. Sometimes I’ll continue that story and tell them about how such a big dick didn’t really fit anywhere… but not always. That’s the funny part. But when I tell most cisgender people that, especially the straight guys, they think the funny part is that a woman has a dick. That’s not what I meant. Not funny. Not funny.

[They’re shifting around, perhaps uncomfortable.]

Maybe the funny part is that these men who ask me, who ask me “What’s the biggest penis you’ve ever seen?” are so insecure about the size of their dicks, desperate for validation, and I get to say “I once fucked a girl with a 10 inch monster dick.” I am careful who hears this story, I don’t tell everyone. I don’t tell anyone who would tell me that this fact makes her not a woman, well not on purpose anyways.

[Pause.]

It’s not funny. She misgendered me while in bed together. The only trans person I’ve been with to ever do so. She misgendered me after we fucked, we were lying in bed tangled up with each other. She asked me how I was, I said good… very good. I asked her how she was, and she said “Well I’m lying in bed with a beautiful girl so… can’t complain.”

[A drink.]

Yeah that was after we fucked. Not funny. I’ve never laughed about it. Lying in bed with a beautiful girl… lying… in. Bed. It did hurt, like a knife to the gut. Why? Why? WHY? We’ve gone through a whole evening coming into night together… whole evening… had a whole ass conversation beforehand. She knew I was nonbinary. Oh yeah, oh yeah, oh yeah, oh fucking yeah she knew. She knew. “Lying in bed with a beautiful girl.” Never do I feel that dysphoria more strongly than when someone misgenders me while I’m laying naked on top of them.

[Pause.]

I always tell people this story as if it’s funny. I didn’t even stay in bed with her the whole night. I threw my clothes on and slept on the couch. Why why why why why… She texted me at 6am when she woke and found me gone, I remember this so keenly… “Come back… I miss you….” Why? I always tell people this story as if it’s funny. Misgendering people… not funny.

Donate! Your donations keep The Non-Binary Monologues Project going. We are pleased to announce that we have been selected as an Incubated Artist through Headlong. This means that your donations are now tax-deductible!

Donating is easy. >>Visit this link. Make sure to mention The Non-Binary Monologues Project in the notes section of the form, and you’re all set!

Z, from Retrograde, by Sav Souza

Z (they/them)
There was this German-exchange student in my class junior year.
She was basically fluent in english
and one day she turned to me really frustrated
and said, “I just talked to the cute boy with the locker next to mine and I’m having this feeling and I have no idea how to say it.”
And I said, “Maybe try words?”
And she said, “No- I know it in German, but there is no word in English.”
So, I was like “Can you use other words to try and explain it?”
And she said, “It’s Verschlimmbessern.”
And I said, “…bless you?”
And she went on to explain that it was the word for that situation when you mess something up and everytime you try to fix it, all you do is make matters worse,
and I was like, “You have a word for that? We just say that entire explanation.”
And she was like, “That is so much work.”
And I was like, “I KNOW RIGHT?! And also so sorry about your mishap with the cute boy.”

So I invited her over for a like sleepover thing and we stayed up all night as she told me all these weird translations of German words that we don’t have an equivalent for.
Some of the highlights were:
Kummerspeck- which literally translates to “sorrow bacon” and is the German word for “extra weight gained from emotional overeating”.
Schadenfreude is essentially that gratifying feeling you get when your piece of shit misogynist uncle’s third wife leaves him for another woman.

The Maasai people of Kenya have- I kid you not-
17 different words for the English word “cattle”,
And there is this language spoken in the Philippines that literally has like 20 for “rice”.
So like!!!
??????????
Don’t even get me started on languages that assign a gender to everything and everyone-
literally everything-
my toothbrush is a boy, my sandwich is a chick-
It doesn’t make sense!
I’m trapped in a box by language and it’s lack of ability to rise up to the complexities of human identity. If our experience and understanding of the world is so heavily based on the language we speak, then why do we limit our understanding with the language we create?

About the piece:
Retrograde is a one act musical that takes place inside of the mind of the main character, Z, as Retrograde Amnesia erases their memories from their brain after an accident. Through the piece, Z travels through memories that were formative in their identity and experience as a human- good and bad. This monologue takes place in the beginning of the play as Z is just getting to know this new world they are trapped in and are wandering and wondering amongst their many thoughts and existential questions about our experiences as humans.

Contact:
Please reach out to contact (at) savsouza (dot) com for inquiries, questions, or interest.

Donate! Your donations keep The Non-Binary Monologues Project going. We are pleased to announce that we have been selected as an Incubated Artist through Headlong. This means that your donations are now tax-deductible!

Donating is easy. >>Visit this link. Make sure to mention The Non-Binary Monologues Project in the notes section of the form, and you’re all set!

>>Donate to the non-binary monologues project here