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My Avatar Explanation

pialamode314's picture

The picture I have for my avatar is one I’ve used a lot for things like gmail accounts, etc. It was taken on a day several summers ago when my older sister and I spent the day tie dying clothes, and thereafter used the extra dye on our bodies, because who wouldn’t love to walk around for a week with their skin stained in rainbow colors? I’ve always liked the picture and I’ve always thought it portrays me in a truer way than any picture of me dressed up in a suit or laughing at a party, but I guess I never explored why that was until now. In trying to explain why I chose that particular picture and how it relates to my self-identity and gender and sexuality, I think one thing that became pretty clear to me was that my gender and sexuality are secondary identifiers for me. I do openly identify as a cisgendered queer woman, but I like the idea of some ambiguity for people who don’t already know me well (for example, internet viewers who may stumble upon that picture). In the picture I’ve chosen, my face is not shown and my clothes are rather androgynous, thus taking the focus off of my gender or perceived sexual orientation. Instead the focus of the photo is the fact that I have dye splattered all over myself and I’m showing it off. I’ve loved making and wearing tie dye since I was little (my parents used to dress me in tie dye onesies), and people know me by it. (I even had to write and perform a love song to tie dye as one of my tasks for Hell Week!) It’s something that defines my personality, quirky and colorful as it is, and is a little piece of my history. I guess when I break it down like that, the reason I love this picture and always use it is because it gives a small taste of the aspect of my identity that I find most significant.