Che Guevera-esque, just in her manner and countenance.
"What*s up Natashaâ¦ why so serious?" I asked a trifle cautious.
Natasha resembled the Sandman, Spiderman*s enemy as she swirled around my room.
"I hate being bracketed dude, just hate itâ¦ so limiting," she said.
"Care to explain," I enquired, genuinely concerned.
(Deep breath + eye roll).
"So my dad asked my mom âhow I*m doin*," Nats thundered.
"Sounds reasonable, your dad showing concern, very paternal, very normal," I said.
"He had the audacity to ask mom, âhow*s SHE doing*?"
"Fair question I*d say, no reason to get uptight," I insisted.
"He asked âHow*s SHE doingâ¦ what*s up with HER? You find nothing wrong with that?" Nats* decibel level was rising.
I looked Nats up and down.
"Uhm I*m still not fully getting your uhm grouse, Natasha. you are a âshe* and a âher* after all, are you not?"
"I*m not a âshe* or a âher*, got it, bruh. I*m not âshe* or âher*?" Nats yelled.
"Natashaâ¦ I*m so sorryâ¦ if I*m being insensitive, but you*re so feminine, look so beautifulâ¦ never knew that you uhmâ¦ felt like... uhm... that you were considering a... uhm... are you looking to have an..."
"Dude, Rahul! Get with the programme! I*m not considering any of the âthings* you are suggesting."
"Okay! But if you*re not a âshe* or a âher*, are you saying you*re a âHE*?" I asked, now genuinely confused.
(Double eye roll)
"Dude, Rahul. I*m saying âI*m gender fluid*, got it âgender fluid*."
"Gender what?" I queried.
"Gender fluid! I can be âshe*, I can be âher*, I can be âhers*â¦ I can be âhe*, I can be âhim*, I can be âhis*, I can be âthem*, I can be âthey*," Nats rattled off.
I shuddered suddenly. Just the thought of multiple Natashas made me shiver with mortal fear. I imagined, "Rahul bruh!", "Dude Rahul", "Rahul uncle!", multiple eye rolls coming at me from different angles. How can a singular person be a "they"? I wondered.
"Natasha you have me at a loss. Is this some âevolution theory* that I missed? How can you be he, she, him, hers, they, them, how can singular people be âthem* and âthey*?"
(Triple eye rolls + multi sighs)
"Dude, let me slow down for your benefitâ¦. just try and keep up ya?" Nats paused, then continued.
"I may have been born a female, and you may have been born a guy, physically, anatomically, but that*s so limiting. So uhmâ¦ straitjacketed! In our world, the world of Gen Z, you are not defined by masculine or feminine. We don*t abide by societal norms and expectations that classify people within a binary - I*m neither male or female, capeesh?"
"Uhm no, not capeesh. Let me ask you a question, say you have to fill in a form, yes? It asks you your sex. What do you put, male or female."
(Eye roll) "I put He/She/They/Them," Nats said definitively. "I repeat, I believe in gender fluidity."
I was flummoxed. I proceeded hesitantly.
"Uhm... Nats, so are you transgender?
"Hrmmph, dude you*re narrowing the narrative. This isn*t so simpleâ¦ your generation just wants to fit everything complex into convenient cubby holes... this is about how one feels internally... about self- expression..we need to break free of âmale* âfemale* stereotypes."
"So uhm... how do you feel just now... male or femaleâ¦ Natasha or uhmâ¦ Navin?" I asked.
"Don*t kid around, Rahul bruh, this is serious stuff. Gender identity defines who we are.."
I was getting brain fried.
"Okay, Natasha, I have a meeting to go to, I have to leave."
"I gotta bounce too, bruhâ¦ can I hitch a ride?" she asked
"Yesâ¦ LGBT?" I said.
"Whaaaa, what do you mean LGBT? Are you making fun of me? Making a mockery of all that I*ve said to you, Rahul bruh?" Nats yelled.
"No no Nats chillâ¦ LGBT simply means âLets Go By Taxi,*" I said with a twinkle in my eyes.
Nats finally smiled.
Rahul daCunha is an adman, theatre director/playwright, photographer and traveller. Reach him at email@example.com