Introducing…Dear Woodzick

Have a burning question about gender diversity and theatre?

Introducing a new feature for The Non-Binary Monologues Project: Dear Woodzick. (It’s like Dear Sugar for queer theatre nerds and the theatre artists and administrators who want to support them.)

Ask an anonymous question, and Woodzick will post their answer to this site.

>>Follow this link to ask your question. 

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!

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!

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

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! 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!

My Gender Is, by Seraphim Dibble

I am coming out as transgender.
Non-binary.
It isn’t past-tense. Its present and future tense.
I am coming out now, I will be coming out tomorrow.
I will be coming out to people
Who spit the word out like an insult
To strangers asking why I’m in a skirt
To people asking why I can’t just be “normal”
What is my gender, you ask? Let me tell you

My gender isn’t
Stationary.
Nor am I confused
I feel bound neither by the societal confines of being a man nor a woman

My gender is
Whatever the hell I want.
I know what I want
And what I want is to be happy in my body and my soul and my clothes

My gender isn’t
Weewee or hoohoo
Can’t you say the damn word for genitals?
And if you can, what does that have to do with who I am?

My gender is
Non-binary.
My pronouns are they, them, their, and fuck you
Fuck you if you misgender me on purpose because you’re too caught up in your own bigotry

My gender isn’t
Silence.
Nor will I be silent.
I exist in a society that tells me I am not valid, but I am valid no matter what they say.

My gender is
Screaming.
Screaming out at a sudden crisis
A spontaneous fear that I’m not really trans, I just like cross-dressing.
A spontaneous existential crisis
That I’m not non-binary, I’m a woman and am just realizing it
A sudden fear
That I am just wanting to be seen as “cool” or fit in with a group

My gender is
Fitting in.
Not pretending or trying to fit in I’ve been there and there is hell.
My gender is
Fitting in with a group where I finally feel at home and I don’t have to pretend
That I don’t like skirts, pretty nails, and feeling a little feminine sometimes

My gender is
Fuck you.
It’s a middle finger to a toxic masculinity
One that I hid in for twenty five years, and have spent four more shedding

It’s a middle finger to patriarchy
Because what use is it if I’m not using it to oppose the very system that tells me
I don’t exist
I am not valid
I do not deserve happiness
That I should kill myself
It’s an ode to me being who I am and fuck you if you say anything otherwise

My gender is the realization that love is not finite
My gender is the realization that love is not scarce
My gender is the realization that love is for me, for you, for everybody
My gender is the realization that people deserve love, even me
My gender is the realization that it is okay to be mentally ill, and to break down at the smallest thing
My gender is my photography
My gender is marching side by side with me
My gender is hand-in-hand fighting for a better world
My gender is compassionate
My gender cares.
My gender is non-definition
My gender is non-stationary
My gender is non-binary

 

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!

Call for Submissions: The Non-Binary Monologues Project goes to Denver Comic Con!

We are excited to announce that The Non-Binary Monologues Project is going to Denver Comic Con! Thanks to the generosity of Page 23, we’ll be performing in June! This performance is produced in partnership with square product theatre.

We are currently accepting submissions of Comic Con-themed monologues. Please visit our submission guidelines page for details on how to submit your piece. Whether you’re a seasoned playwright or just starting out, we’d love to read your work!

If you’re burning to share some Avengers fan fiction or always wanted to explore Rogue’s inner monologue about the other X-Men, please send us your monologues!

More details on cast, crew and the performance are coming soon.

Deadline to submit: midnight, MST, on May 1st.

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!