Agendered and Going On a Bender: Punk Concluded by a Non-Binary Fan


Milo Paul

Man, it’s been forever since I’ve written one of these! Almost three years, in fact. Lots has changed since then, what with the development of a still-raging pandemic and World War 3 almost happening twice and of course, I’ve changed— I’ve seen friends come and go, been in and out romantic relationships, started and exited a few bands. I’ve grown, and with age comes the reality of my finishing undergrad and moving on from WVAU. It’s a sad, sad truth, but it’s my truth, and I’m coming to grips with it. So… let’s have this discussion one more time before I go! Who knows, maybe we’ll even finish it!

Returning to where I last left off, I had been exploring how my personal queerness intersected with my overall creative output or the lack thereof as was then the case. Back then I was experiencing an internal struggle between two separate voices in my head, one encouraging me to scream my truth and another ordering me to leave it to those better-suited. Both were met with mixed reception. On the one hand, examining my gender and sexuality through my music felt like the natural course of action; on the other, I lacked confidence in what I had to say. After all, I came from within a particular vacuum of existence, an upper-middle-class, white collegiate bubble that inherently provided me a solid means by which I could platform my self-expression. Minding that and knowing there were other people undergoing the same queer experiences but working twice as hard as me to articulate them due to their less fortunate circumstances led me to stifle myself for the longest time.

But, as honest as I like to be about the subject of class in its intersecting with public presence, 2019 was the year that allowed me to let go of my inhibitions. I owe plenty of this to the fact that most of the bands I was in at the time being comprised entirely of other queer people devoted to the same goal, undeterred by all else. That passion, along with the highs I felt whilst performing with these outfits, lit a fire in my belly that couldn’t be smoldered by my doubts any further. With the arrival of October accompanied by a slew of show, it finally dawned on me that I was valid. I could speak.

I’m just a very small part of a very big world; I don’t plan to nor necessarily even want to make a difference with music, let alone actually achieving near to said feat. So, I went forward determined to set my world to sound… and then a pandemic hit! Whoopsy! But what can I do? The songs I’ve written between then and now are perhaps the most eclectic, challenging, and stimulating works I’ve produced, at least for me. And, ultimately, that’s what matters. I am thankful.

So, we arrive at the present day. On my phone, there are demos for songs I’ll one day release with titles like “The Receipt”, “Mutually Assured”, “Salad Bone Boy” and more, all lying in wait.

I’m Agender and life is one constant bender. Let’s be Punk and Live.