The Daily Diviner - Special Edition: Pride on the Bay (2024)

The Daily Diviner - Special Edition: Pride on the Bay (1)

It happened on a Tuesday. Although in hindsight, Luca knew it had been happening for several months now. But this Tuesday, Luca decided, was the first incident.

It was a Tuesday in June like any other. Portovenere was always warm this time of year, but the sea breeze made the humidity bearable. There was something about that day that felt off to Luca as soon as he woke up. His clothes rubbed his skin the wrong way, the breeze was a bit too strong even for Portovenere, and the sky was too bright— the bright that seemed to be making up for future rain.

Regardless, it was difficult to be too upset during a day in Portovenere Pride. The Pride flags decorating the town reminded Luca of the year prior when his friend Leo took his hand and brought him down to the Pride celebrations, pointing out a blue, pink, and white banner hanging outside a shop, saying ‘I think that’s me’.

Luca had been so proud of Leo then, but since that day, something had been nagging at him. Something he never fully realized until he was walking along the docks that Tuesday morning, admiring the Pride decorations and the sleepy faces just waking to a bright dawn.

Something he didn’t notice until he caught his reflection in the water lapping softly at the stone. His face didn’t seem to be his own, his clothes unnatural on his body. He looked wrong.

Luca looked away quickly, heart thumping in his chest. Now that he had seen it, it couldn’t be unseen.

After the incident, Luca couldn’t help but stare at the banners strung across the buildings, wondering. Walking down to the port felt like they were being assaulted by possibilities, the blue and white and pink flag that never meant anything personal now making their heart flutter with possibility and a hint of fear disguised as doubt.

“Something happened the other day,” said Luca to Leo, standing at the beach side by side as was their evening custom. It was a way to relax in each other’s presence after a long day.

Leo hummed in response, acknowledging his attention, but he did not turn his gaze away from the boats coming to port. Luca appreciated the lack of eyes or expectations; it helped them clear their thoughts.

“Something was— wrong,” they continued.

“Are you okay?”

Not quite. Luca took a fortifying breath. “I think I’m genderqueer.”

Leo looked over and smiled, brightly at first, then more gently. He stayed silent, giving Luca the space to breathe.

Luca carried on, tangling a hand through their hair and pulling. “It excites me a little. But I don’t know what to do. What if I’m lying to myself? What if there’s no name for what I’m feeling, and I’m all alone?”

Leo stopped Luca there, putting an arm around their shoulder and gently taking their hand away from their hair before they could cause real harm. “It’ll be okay. I promise,” he said gently. “You have all the time in the world to figure this out.”

Luca rested their head on Leo’s shoulder, looking into the push and pull of the waves, and hoped he was right.

Luca first used ze/zir pronouns on a Thursday, staring into the crowds of the town square nervously. Ze wore zirs most comfortable t-shirt, a cozy worn green, with a brand new skirt from the shop on the edges of town. This was its first day of use.

Just a small cafe date with friends, Luca reminded zirself as ze walked through the winding streets. Everyone in Portovenere was supportive and would hardly bat an eye. True to this, Luca’s friends said nothing when ze greeted them in the square. Leo smiled proudly but said nothing.

Ze caught a glance of zirself in the cafe window as they went inside and smiled. Maybe this would be okay.

It wasn’t just any other Saturday morning; it was the morning of the Portovenere Pride parade, and Leo and Luca were walking in it. Lined up in the streets, Leo smiled at Luca as he pinned a button to her dress; pinks, white, black, and blue: the colors of the genderfluid flag. There was a name for what Luca felt, after all.

Afterward, as they sat on the stone wall with their legs swinging over water, Luca stood up and spread her arms wide, letting the wind lift her spirits. She laughed, feeling like a gull flying above rolling waters, free at last. Luca finally felt like herself; shifting pronouns, gender, and all.

The Daily Diviner - Special Edition: Pride on the Bay (2024)


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