On paper, I was born as Maricruz, but I was really born as Cruz: the masculine, broad-shouldered, strong-hearted, comedic, Chicanx, Native American gentle trans [boi]. I wasn’t able to admit that until well over my young adolescent years.
From a very young age, I was always a radical powerhouse. I was always getting into some kind of trouble with a mindset that the world didn’t seem to be used to.
I didn’t grow up in an area with resources on the LGBTQ+ community, I only grew up with slurs used as jokes, and because of that, I didn’t know there was a term for people who felt and experienced the feelings I did. That even though my gender marker said I was “female”, I was a male. I soon realized that I had to be the resources that I did not grow up with and soon I set out on my journey to become just that.
Being able to hide a bruised and bloody face coming home every day from school became a skill of mine when I was eight years old. I was pretty damn good at it, pretending as if I wasn’t getting beat up every day for being seen as “different.” Not even just being physically beat up, but mentally too.
Growing up, I wore baggy shirts and basketball shorts, had my hair cut a bit short, and wore it back in a messy style. I was masculine, and because of that, I was challenged with obstacles others usually don’t have to face. Hitting my adolescent years of around twelve, I began to express my Chicanx and Native American ethnicity in any way I could. Correcting people who stated I was solely white when I was not, expressing my culture and the beauty of it, I stood with who I was from a young age.
There was no safe haven. I simply had to endure the beatings, slurs, and embarrassments that were given to me because of who I was before I even knew who I was. I didn’t just endure the hardships though, I addressed them, I stood up for myself, and I stood up for others.
Over the years, I didn’t focus on what I had gone through, but what I could do to prevent and protect others from the same challenges I had to endure. I grew to an educated powerhouse, advocate, and an even better mentor. I began to work with other LGBTQ+ people, becoming educated and training to be an educator myself. I began educating all ages in schools and events – from topics like their rights, discrimination, different orientations and gender-identities, sex education, self-love and especially intersectionality.
Finding a small support group, the only one in the semi-area, I began to express my own troubles with my gender identity. It was time to address myself and the fears I held.
I was not the masculine, lesbian female I had labeled myself for years. At age sixteen, I first identified as non-binary and used the gender-neutral pronouns, ze/zer/zeirs. Not feeling connected with those pronouns, I began to use they/them/theirs. I was on the right path to my identity and knew I was close.
By the age of seventeen, I had met many different people of all shapes, sizes, shades, orientations, and gender identities. Finally encountering a safe-space I felt okay in, and being educated on my gender identity; I came out as my true authentic self: a genderqueer trans masc [boi]. I was no longer afraid to fear what could happen being out as trans and decided for myself that I deserved to live my best life.
I am just starting to live my best life.
Through my comedy and poetry, I found the joy of humor and expression. I perform comedy to break down and make fun of the ridiculous stereotypes placed against the community from being a POC and LGBTQ+ community member. With spoken-word poetry, recognizing the power one can feel from their tone and choice of words is insanely rad and therapeutic. Going through my continuous transition, using my name in public places like work and coming out to knowingly non-accepting people, confronting the dysphoria I face with my own body and its parts, cutting my hair and standing taller, even having piercings and tattoos I am expressing the man I have always been.