In The In Between: Selfies + Myself
"In the In Between" is AC Dumlao’s monthly Hella Pinay column on what it means to be (in(side) the) in between of two places, identities, concepts, constructs, and more. For February 2018, AC shares a foto-column on the self and the selfie.
Here is the truth: I had a whole different February column planned. It was going to be a deep dive on online dating and desirability politics and being non-binary and brown in time for Valentine’s Day. But the stars did not have that plan for me. Instead, February was a huge month of transition. A Big Change happened in my life, and I’ve been trying to find solid ground. While things have become more steady, my body and my mind still the vibrations, the tensions, the confusion, the flux of just a few weeks ago.
But I remain dedicated to this column, even when I am coming up empty. I thought to myself: where have I documented this month? What can I share and reflect on? What do I have available in abundance that I can write about?
Or not write about…
The answer is: selfies. Yes, selfies. And here they are:
In these selfies, I am achingly aware of what I am trying to represent: boyish shyness, sexiness, being able to “laugh at myself,” meta-meme realness, mental health awareness. No matter the “theme,” each of these images has something in common: me.
A selfie is more than “just a selfie,” to me. With a selfie, I take up a little more space up in the world. I make the world a little more brown. Queer. Trans. It has a little more me.
See you in March, loves.
AC Dumlao is a queer trans non-binary first-generation Filipino-American advocate and artist. AC’s work is dedicated to affirming and centering underrepresented people and their intersectional identities. They were profiled by NBC Asian America for the 2017 “Redefine A to Z” list of AAPI emerging voices. AC is also the creator of the social justice Facebook page Call Me They. Their writing has been published by The Huffington Post, Autostraddle.com, and Wear Your Voice Magazine.