Becoming the woman I am -

___Becoming the woman I am

How does my body define my identity? Or is it more subtle than that? I didn't like my body for many years – I never felt comfortable with it, but I guess many people feel the same. 

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My body is NOT a machine - by Laura -

___My body is NOT a machine - by Laura

Type 1 diabetes is a chronic disease that requires at least five insulin injections a day, or if you're lucky like me, being constantly plugged into an insulin pump. The most basic level of diabetes care means I have to weigh all my food, do some maths and then inject the appropriate amount of insulin to counteract the carbohydrates I'm eating. 

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The power in my name -

___The power in my name

When translated from Sanskrit, my name means 'bringer of victory'. It's powerful and empowering, giving me strength when I feel weak and pride when I succeed. But it also speaks to a line that I tread every day of my life: just Indian enough to evoke my heritage, but not so different from the English 'Jane' to be prohibitively different.

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Weird and wonderful -

___Weird and wonderful

I was bullied pretty much my whole way through primary and senior school for being ‘different’; I hit puberty first and was ‘bigger’ and bustier than the other girls my age. I went through a series of weight gains and losses trying to cope with what I was experiencing.

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Queerly Autistic and Autistically Queer -

___Queerly Autistic and Autistically Queer

I'm Autistic. The A-word. Capital' A' Autistic. No, I'm not good at science, and I won't even begin with how poor I am at maths. I can't predict how a game of Blackjack is going to turn out: if I could, I wouldn't be stuck with nearly this much in student-loans. I'm also Queer, in many senses of the word.

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Who I am -

___Who I am

The words I used to define myself are many and varied: Radiation protection scientist, principal investigator, researcher. Leader, manager, colleague. Wife, mother, lover. Vegan, runner. A non-drinker (just now). Extrovert. Good intentions, kind, easily riled. Not great at recycling, but trying. Happy, some of the time.

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A Journal on Self-Love, A Note to my Sister -

___A Journal on Self-Love, A Note to my Sister

My journey to self-love only started a few years ago. I can remember the exact moment, the phone call, like it was yesterday. I was at work- as a waitress- on a split shift prepping for the evening dinner rush. What should have been a usual catch up became 22 years old me listening to my 18-year-old sister cry and plead that she needed help because she had developed anorexia. And while I didn't know it then, that's the exact moment the journey started, because in having to teach Natalie to love herself, I had to teach myself how to love me.

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I am not a thing -

___I am not a thing

I am a non-binary, hairy, chronically ill, tattooed burlesque performer. I am not a girl. I am not a woman. I am not a piece of meat. I am not here to be something nice to look at. I am not a thing. I am sexy and kinky and dark and gentle and soft and kind. I am a human being. 

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My flawless imperfections are my identity -

___My flawless imperfections are my identity

I have felt that the colour of my skin, my features and my body were not the standards of “beauty” anyone would find attractive being born into western society.

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The power of knowing who you are -

___The power of knowing who you are

Race wasn’t discussed at home which on the one hand seems wonderful and idyllic, on the other, I never really understood who I was, what made me different and powerful. How my lived experience would be different from that of my peers. It meant I didn’t have the fire in my belly to promote change and inclusion. Until now that is!

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I am not a mix, I am my own person -

___I am not a mix, I am my own person

My identity has always been stuck in-between the ends of different spectrums. I am bisexual, femme, and mixed race. The way I present myself as a queer multiracial woman has never really been accepted in the communities I'm part of. Never queer enough, never light enough, never dark enough, never masculine enough to fit the stereotype of women who love women.

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