Andrea Gibson's powerful new video for their poem "Your Life" is both a love letter and rallying cry — not only to their former self, but to anyone currently struggling with their own identity.
In the video, the poet urges everyone — queer and otherwise — to choose to live a "hard life" that is completely their own over an easy one.
"I went through a period, before writing this, where I was feeling pretty dreamy about the idea of time travel. I was thinking about how comforting and exciting it would have been to be young and have a pep talk from my older self in terms of gender and queerness — the good and the bad of it."
Many of the lyrics reference (very specifically) Gibson's own personal experiences with their gender identity while growing up.
Gibson has identified as many different things over the years — bisexual, lesbian, dyke, queer, genderqueer — and the artist hopes to remind everyone of the influence that language holds over our daily lives — particularly when it comes to gender.
Gibson wanted the video to be a collage of different individuals and expressions of gender. The video's diverse cast is actually made up of Gibson's friends, and friends of friends, instead of actors.
Gibson hopes that people — queer or otherwise — who watch the video and listen to the poem will feel excited about gender and even live a more "genderful" life.
So what is Gibson's advice to queer youth? "Seek out people who will celebrate you and love you exactly as you are, and because of who you are. I've never liked the idea of being loved in spite of who we are."