Queer, trans* writer and creative ‘Jay of all trades’. They/them. Eating disorder survivor, fat activist, sex-positive ace. Oh, and a nerdy cat person!

A selfie of a young nonbinary person wearing a suit and tie, smiling.
A selfie of a young nonbinary person wearing a suit and tie, smiling.
A formal selfie of Jay, since they have yet to get headshots taken.

Where I am right now

My bio up there is a mouthful, isn’t it?

I’m the first to admit it’s difficult to describe the various shapes of projects and creative endeavors I immerse myself in. Finding your niche and specializing in it seems to be the prevalent advice, yet I’ve never been one to fit well into boxes.

(Not even those of binary gender.)

Anyway, for now I embrace the diversity of my creativity. I’m a ‘Jay of all trades’, so to speak! Maybe life will lead me to a more well-defined area, but until then I happily follow my Muse where she takes me.

Seeing the world from a child’s perspective has been truly eye-opening.

Foto von The Craft Wonder von Pexels.

There probably are about 9,000 posts about what babies and toddlers have taught Medium writers on this platform already… probably.

I have nothing to back this up, but I still contend it’s a conservative estimate.

I have read none of them.

Why? Because I have an 11-month-old niece of my own to draw from.

Here’s what little Emma has taught me about life within her first 11 months on this Earth.

1. Your desires matter.

Have your mindset on something? Could you make sure you get it? Scream, whine… make puppy eyes. Anything’s fair in Love and Life.

2. Trust your gut.

Whether it’s new people or new…

The content will surprise you.

Photo by JOSHUA COLEMAN on Unsplash.

For the first time in my 29 years on this earth, I’ve connected with a fellow human being in a romantic way.

Yet this debut relationship comes with endless questions — I’m a recovering perfectionist, so I want to do this right. I care for this person, for him, and I don’t want to ruin it with something I could have (should have?) known better.

So when I felt the urge to tell him “Hab dich lieb”, which is German for ‘I am fond of you’ or ‘I adore you’, I didn’t know whether to just, you know… say it.

The clock is ticking, but I won’t try to stop the handle.

Image by Free-Photos from Pixabay.

Earlier today, I video called a friend of mine who has reached her 70s. She’s a comic and a traveler, agile and quick-witted even though most of society would pronounce her dead.

“I’m 70 going on 30,” she says with a laugh, putting her loyal companion, a brown teddy bear, down on her bed.

I set the latest addition of my own stuffed animal family back on my desk, and verbalize what I’ve been thinking for a long time: “Yeah, I can’t wait to turn 30 myself!”

We share another laugh, joke about how silly it is for folks to…

He went from acquaintance, to friend, to brother in the space of a year. And within a handful of weeks, we became something worse than strangers.

Foto von Alex Green von Pexels.

Summer 2018 hangs bright and warm over the city of Berlin. The sunshine makes my depression easier to cope with, yet I am still in the midst of my eating disorder.

That evening, the self-help group I’ve been attending for months convenes on the balcony of our assigned room. One face catches my attention: male, early 30s, scrawny, with a blue zip hoodie over a plain tee and wearing the same model of glasses as I do. …

And what it can teach anyone, regardless of how vanilla you are.

Photo by Deon Black on LetsTalkSex.

Like so many new to the scene of BDSM subculture, I thought that I needed to be dominant if I wanted to remain a card-carrying member of the feminism squad.

Fortunately, the fanfic (i.e. fan-written stories about existing narrative universes) I read in my formative years quickly showed me how equal both parts of the dynamic are. Sure, the lifestyle focuses on a power imbalance, but the give and take of D/s relationships are only possible if both parties consent.

Doms aren’t better than subs and vice versa — it’s the play between the parties that makes this practice come…

After eight years of severe bulimia, I have a lot to learn about a healthy relationship with food.

Photo by Tim Mossholder via Pexels.

When I finally managed to lose a considerable amount of weight at the age of 17, I didn’t expect this supposed success to derail my life into one of constant binging and purging.

Some moments when I was neck-deep in my eating disorder and all my attempts to stop kept failing, I thought I’d never get out of this alive.

Now, at 29-going-on-thirty, I have been over 22 months relapse-free. Time to share — briefly, since our collective attention spans have considerably decreased — some of the lessons I learned during this phase of my recovery.

A quick side note…

Here’s what sharing the truth has taught me about the role of age in romance.

Image by Pexels from Pixabay.

The older you get, the less of an issue a large age difference becomes. Imagine an 18-year-old and a person in their late 40s together. Peculiar, I’d say, bordering on icky. Yet if you put a 50-year-old next to someone in their 80s, it inspires more of a ‘So what?’ reaction in me.

When my sister, who is eleven years older than me, started dating a man who is about 15 years older than her, there were a number of raised eyebrows.

Out mother especially took issue with the age gap.

By now, the two of them are happily married…

Seeing myself in pictures is difficult given my body image issues. So I booked a session with an erotic photographer.

Jay Pendragon, photographed by Marcel Wagner/Fotostyle Berlin.

When I see myself in pictures, my default reaction is to criticize. To ‘compare and despair’.

I spent over a decade obsessing over my body, starving myself, and struggling with bulimia because of it, then tried to achieve “body positivity” at the beginning of my recovery. Being happy about something you’ve actively loathed for so long, however, is tough. Impossible, I’d say.

What I’m aiming for now is what Jameela Jamil and other activists (and Taylor Swift) call “body neutrality”, i.e. being neutral towards your body. I don’t celebrate it and call it beautiful since I don’t believe that. Yet…

I had heard about scat play before but never thought I’d be involved.

Photo by Alexas_Photos on Pixabay.

The moment I enter his flat, I know we’re going to vibe. He has beautiful dark fantasy posters on his walls, a back-lit flatscreen setup, and — be still my nerdy heart — a Sorting Hat replica on the sideboard.

Once we kiss, my instinctual feeling that we’re compatible is confirmed. My body responds to his touches, revels in the scrape of teeth on skin, and I manage something I barely ever do: I surrender myself fully to the moment.

Maybe that’s why my rectum figured it’s okay to expel some poop.

I refuse to be embarrassed about writing this…

Jay Pendragon

Jay is a trans*, queer screenwriter, writer, activist and fan. Currently in eating disorder recovery. They/them. https://jaypendragon.com

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