Purveyor of Pleasure

Delving into my humanity and the joys and pitfalls of an overanalytical nature.

Tag: genders (Page 2 of 8)

Tired

I’m just plain tired. I’m tired of having to explain how I identify, especially to the same people over and over again. I’m tired of people making assumptions about me rather than letting me make my own definitions and letting them know what my labels are. I’m tired of people thinking I’m straight because my partner is cis male or that I’m a lesbian because I enjoy women. I’m tired of people thinking I’m a woman because I dress femme. I try not to let it bother me when someone mislables me, but it hurts every time.

It’s difficult to inhabit middle identities while living in a binary world. There are many days when I wish I could just feel “one or the other” instead of seeing all the wonderful options out in front of me and wanting to have one of every flavor. Call me indecisive if you want, but when I can see the beauty and joy I could get from every option I can’t just pick one, it’s not in my nature.

I’m not straight or a lesbian, I’m queer. Bisexual, maybe, though I don’t like the binary aspect it implies and prefer other terms. Queer is the best description I have. Really I tend to be attracted to other queer people regardless of their gender and specifically because of their intelligence and/or personality. I’ve used intellisexual for quite some time, sapiosexual also fits which is a slightly more common term. I am attracted to people’s brains more than anything else, and usually those brains have to be queer in some way shape or form.

Similarly I do not identify with the term woman. It’s simply not a word that I identify with nor is it a way I see myself or desire for others to see me. While I may often wear feminine drag that does not make me a woman (or any spelling variation thereof). The same goes for girl. My gender identity is genderqueer regardless of the gender expressed within my gender presentation1. My gender presentation is always drag.

While I do associate with the term femme I embrace it as part of my gender presentation. I embrace the gothy glittery drag femmeininity that is all mine most days, though not all days. Femme is my presentation more than anything, but there are also days when I wear my too-small-sports-bra-slash-makeshift-binder and present as fagette. I do think that my “fagette” presentation confuses some people, however, because it still some femininity in it, dressing in boy drag is not a spectrum-banging event for me. I am realizing more and more, though, just how much femme and fagette go hand in hand for me. There are no days when I am femme that I am not a fagette, and no days when I am not genderqueer.

Recently I’ve begun using gender neutral pronouns when I am able and it makes my entire being sing. A friend of mine referred to me using ze and hir without my first requesting it and it nearly brought me to completely unexpected tears to be seen in a way that aligned with my own gender. I catch myself internally wincing when words and identities other than my own are thrown at me in conversation, but often I don’t have the energy or desire to confront the misconception of me in the eyes of others, which just ends up perpetuating it.

I’m trying to get to the point where I am not looking for the validation of others for any of my identities, but it’s difficult not to want that. I want to be seen rather than assumed away as something else. I realize that I am responsible for making myself a whole person in the eyes of others and do not put the responsibility of figuring me out completely on other people but I’m so damn tired of having to correct people. It seems like a petty difference to ask someone to not refer to me using certain language, and yet it cuts me deep whenever it happens. I just haven’t gotten to the point where I am comfortable asserting my gender identity, perhaps because it is such a fluid work-in-progress.

  1. I’m using gender identity and gender presentation to mean two different things. Someone’s gender identity has to do with the internal gender feelings the person has, whereas their gender presentation is the outward gender they show to the world. These do not always go hand-in-hand. []

This Is Gender

I just discovered Kit Yan and Good Asian Drivers today. You may or may not have heard of them or seen them before, but in case you haven’t I have two videos for you. The first is Kit alone doing his awesome piece titled “Third Gender,” the second is Kit and Melissa Li in a piece titled “Queer Nation.” They are both extremely powerful, and I’ll let them speak for themselves.

there may be as many as a million genders, identities, and sexualities,
just floating around, searching for the right person,
to snatch them up,
put them on, and proudly parade around in their new skin,
unrestricted by layers and identity, and
limitations of culture, society, and social construction.
this new gender is a function of inner desire, and
genuine understanding of self to be lived…

Hey, I thought that our people were past this
That everyone was a feminist non-conformist boundry-pushing progressive
and enlightened spiritual being but I’m wrong
to think that queer people were born with an inherent knowledge
that push past the nurture of America
but the truth is that we screw up too
see we still haven’t found our groove on the outskirts of society
we’re still using old blueprints with bad foundations

And for a little more humor…

This Is Not More Difficult, It Is Just Different

This has been posted a few different places including The Femme’s Guide, and I decided it needed to be posted here as well.

It’s not often I’m moved to tears… or maybe it is often when someone articulates something so well as Ivan E. Coyote has here. The title of this post is a line from the first video, “The Femme Piece.”

Through watching the first I found the second, “A Butch Roadmap,” also by Mr. Coyote.

Butch Voices 2010 Regional Conferences

I thought this might be of interest to some of you other than just me. I’m going to try and make the Portland conference, I think, since Portland isn’t too far away or too expensive to get to. I’ll be keeping an eye on further information and posts about the conferences and I hope you do the same. I like the multiple locations of semi-smaller conferences, it makes it more accessible, but it probably also makes each less well attended, so it’s a bit of give-and-take.

Next year we’ll have the second full sized Butch Voices conference to participate in, this year we have four regional conferences.

Butch Voices 2010 Regional Conferences: Call for Submissions

BUTCH Voices is a national organization composed of social justice activists who share a commitment to building inclusive community for self-identified Butches, Studs, Tombois, Machas, Aggressives, our partners and allies.

This year we will be holding BUTCH Voices Regional Conferences in Dallas, New York, Los Angeles & Portland. We invite you to join us for workshops, panels, and performances intended to celebrate our diverse identities.

BUTCH Voices Dallas – June 5, 2010 – contact – bvdallas2010@gmail.com

BUTCH Voices NYC – September 25, 2010 – contact – bvnyc2010@gmail.com

BUTCH Voices Portland – October 2, 2010 – contact – bvportland2010@gmail.com

BUTCH Voices LA – October 9, 2010 – contact – bvla2010@gmail.com

These regional conferences will be an amazing opportunity to create local and regional community awareness, to share butch voices, and critical thinking about who we are. BUTCH Voices Regional Conferences are a place to: talk about why we identify in the ways we do, learn how to tell our stories, address femininity, masculinity, discuss areas of overlap and intersection that are none of the above. We will talk about sex, embodiment, community building, our physical and mental health, and issues that stand in the way of Butch-identified solidarity and justice. Most importantly, BUTCH Voices is the place where we can be ourselves with one another.

This is our Call for Submissions. We welcome workshop ideas of all kinds, films, performances, skill shares, especially on topics which speak to the cultural, sexual, emotional, physical, and psychological relationships that arise in the lives of Butches, Studs, Tombois, Aggressives, Machas, etc. We are open to all perspectives–queer, feminist, womanist, neither or beyond! We particularly encourage proposals by and for people-over sixty, under twenty-one, working-class, and people of color or persons with disabilities.

Deadline for Submissions for BUTCH Voices Dallas is May 15, 2010 and for the other three Regional Conferences is August 1, 2010. Please submit your proposal or abstract to the corresponding Regional Conference (email addresses listed above) in which you wish to present along with a short bio of yourself and any other presenter.

Please forward this widely to all who may be interested in participating.
Thank you,
BUTCH Voices

Quyn (HNT)

While I was in Juneau I bought a sports bra which is smaller than recommended for my breast size. I bought it for the sole purpose of using it as a binder, turning my large breasts into a still-large-but-slightly-smaller chest. I wore it while performing in Julius Caesar and quite a bit around Juneau in general.

I haven’t worn it too much since I’ve been back in Seattle, partially because on days I know I won’t be doing much outside the house I tend to wear things that are comfortable and loose, partly because I have been feeling rather femme lately whenever we have decided to go out, and partly because I’m not completely comfortable showing off this masculine identity to the world yet.

The last few days, however, I’ve been feeling more and more like binding, packing, changing my gender presentation to one that is more masculine. I woke up this morning and just knew I was going to bind.

I’m still not comfortable enough going out here. Juneau was more comfortable, but less comfortable for other things. I don’t know this part of myself well enough to show it to people here yet, but I’m working on it.

Trans and Poly Surveys

Another sort-of call for submissions, but surveys this time. These don’t take very long so I highly encourage you to take one or both depending on which categories you fit within.

This first one was found via Tristan Taormino’s twitter:

“The survey is intended for people who are involved in a romantic relationship. We will ask you about your views of yourself, your relationship with your partners, and your sexual encounters with people other than your primary romantic partner.”

Click here to take the survey!

I found this request via Essin’ Em and wanted to share it. It’s for a book similar to “Our Bodies, Ourselves” titled “Trans Bodies, Trans Selves.” There are basically three different surveys that you can take depending on the category you fit in, so it’s not just for trans people but also partners of trans people or parents of trans people.

Hi everyone,

I’m editing a book and would love your help finding transgender/genderqueer people, as well as their parents and partners for a survey. The answers will appear as quotes in the book, similarly to Our Bodies, Ourselves.

Want to be part of a resource guide for transgender and other gender-variant people?

Trans Bodies, Trans Selves features a line-up of wonderful transgender and genderqueer authors, and they’re looking for your help to make the book amazing.

Take the survey and your thoughts could appear in the book!

Go to http://www.transbodies.com/Survey.html for surveys designed for:

  • Transgender/genderqueer people
  • Parents of gender-variant children
  • Partners of transgender/genderqueer people

Please forward widely.
YOUR VOICE is greatly appreciated!

Laura Erickson-Schroth, MD, MA
Editor, Trans Bodies, Trans Selves
transbodies@gmail.com
http://transbodies.com

Call for Submissions: Stalled

This call was found via Essin’ Em, it’s been a while since I have posted a call for submissions, and I thought some of you might be interested in reading about it and possibly submitting. As I always am when I post a call for submissions, I’m thinking about what I might be able to include in this.

Working Title: Stalled
Editors: K. Bridgeman and A. Lee Crayton
Contact: stalled.the.book [at] gmail [dot] com
Submission Deadline: December 31, 2010

The range of gender non-conforming folks is broad. We are men, women, genderqueers, two-spirits, trans women/transwomen, trans men/transmen, intersex, bois, grrrls, butchs, faeries, FtMs, MtFs, tomboys, drag queens, transvestites, transexuals, queers, none or maybe all of the above?* In a society that preaches gender as rigid, fighting for gender self-determination can be challenging. For some the process is finite, traveling from point A to point B, while others wade continuously through the mire or transcend altogether. But despite the trajectory of our own personal journey, we all experience the polarizing demands of the binary.

One way these demands are evident is in sex-segregated spaces: changing stalls, detention centers, restrooms, group homes, homeless shelters, locker rooms, and security checkpoints.* These places can be hard to avoid, and interaction with them demands we make a choice about how we will present ourselves. With this anthology, we want to explore the sometimes difficult, layered, isolating, heart breaking, frightening, awkward, frustrating, challenging, funny, and/or queer experiences people are faced with in these settings. Stalled is a space for us to share our stories.

Gender-nonconforming individuals of all ages, published and unpublished, are encouraged to contribute to Stalled. We welcome submissions of all types: stories, poems, photos, art pieces; however you feel most comfortable expressing your personal experiences around sex-segregated spaces. Submissions should be non-fiction and based on actual experience. However, we respect the author’s prerogative to maintain characters’ anonymity.

*We recognize these descriptions are not exhaustive and are not intended to be restrictive. We encourage and hope to engage a broad range of experiences and identities.

Submission Instructions:

  • Submissions should be sent via e-mail to stalled.the.book@gmail.com.
  • Written submissions should be 1500 words or less, and submitted as a .doc or .docx file with pages numbered. Illustrations should be submitted in jpeg format.
  • You may submit up to 2 different pieces of work.
  • We welcome both published and unpublished authors; however, if the piece you’re submitting has been published, please note where and when.
  • In your cover email, please include Author’s Name, Pen Name (if applicable), Title of Submission, email address, and a brief Bio (150 words or less).

Submissions will be accepted throughout the year. The final deadline is December 31, 2010 (11:59:59 pm EST). All submissions will be responded to by the end of April 2011. Early submissions are encouraged.

Microfantasy Monday – Role Reversal

On a happier note, here’s a MFM! Not as much a “reversal” as “exploration” but I think it falls under the general category, and it’s what I wanted to write, so there you go.

The idea behind Microfantasy Mondays comes from Ang of Sweltering Celt.

This week’s theme: role reversal.

Though we have talked about genderfuckery this is the first time I’ve expressed the more vulnerable side of me, the one I’m still working on figuring out my own self. I went all out with this one, which seemed like a good idea at first but as I waited at her door I couldn’t help but wondering if she would laugh at me. She didn’t.

The minute she saw me I could see the recognition in her gaze as she looked me over, supporting my gendered choices with a sweep of her gaze and a bite of her lower lip. I saw her take in my black slacks and crisp white shirt over a chest flatter than she had ever seen on me, and the fedora that covered the top of my bright red hair.

My still slightly nervous smile became more of a cocky grin when I saw the recognition quickly overcome by lust and I made my way into her apartment. I quickly pushed her against the wall and tangled my fingers into the soft auburn hair on either side of her head, taking her lips with my own and asserting myself against her. I could smell her, spicy with a hint of vanilla. I was already intoxicated by her and aching for more.

I pressed my pelvis against her so she could feel my cock, an unfamiliar bulge against her thigh. Knowing it was there made me want her lips around it. The silicone was feeling more like my flesh every moment as my excitement mounted. My lips moved to her neck my hand slipped under her skirt to find her cunt, no panties just as I had instructed. She mumbled something about having dinner all ready for us, but I had a different hunger to sate first.

Gender Exploration: Femme Fagette

I’ve been gravitating toward a much more “masculine” gender expression lately, really since we moved to Seattle. I’ve been slowly making my way over, though it’s only selectively masculine, it’s my fagette persona, my feminine masculinity that I’ve been working on developing.

Like my transition from bottom to Top to switch I believe this gender exploration will bring me from femme to fagette to femme fagette. Just as I knew I would end up a switch I had to explore the individual parts of that identity expression before I was able to really claim switchness for my own.

I believe in order for me to truly embrace all that is my gender identity of femme fagette, my own gender phrase and identity, I will end up never staying still in one gender for too long or coming to rest, much like switch is it’s own identity along with being Top and bottom identities and various other aspects of power and sadomasochistic and any other sexuality aspects thrown in. I claim femme fagette in the same way I claim switch, as a identity in perpetual motion, forever morphing and changing to fit my current desires.

The fagette aspect of my gender identity is somewhat femme in and of itself, so the two really are tied up within each other no matter what I do. I have days where I want to pack, wear a binder, and walk with a swagger and other days when I feel like putting on a ruffled skirt, corset, and a wig, and those days might not coincide with the identity automatically assumed.

My gender definitely has to do with both masculine and feminine energies but also a purposeful queering of those energies as much as possible. I often feel the most feminine when wearing traditionally masculine clothing, and visa verse. For me it is less about the specific gender expression than it is about playing with gender and experiencing it in a way that jives with me, however that might be.

As I mentioned in my last post I’m a bit of a chameleon, which is why, I think, I cling to such transitory identities. I enjoy labels, as I’ve gone on about ad nauseum, but the labels I end up claiming tend to be ones that are fluid such as queer, switch, poly, and femme fagette/multigendered/gender fluid, each of these can mean different things depending on the day and my mood.

One thing I worry about with terming myself “femme fagette” is that damned gender binary.

I recently opened FetLife and Twitter accounts for a “masculine” persona, Quyn or Quyntin Ari St. Syr. It was somewhat of a spur of the moment thing and inspired by Mina Meow and her persona Aiden. Ever since I’ve been thinking about what that means to have the two accounts and I know I as a whole am not fully represented now by either Scarlet or Quyn, but I wonder if I’m even partially represented.

I don’t feel like I have split personalities, both Quyn and Scarlet are me but are aspects of me but not the end all and be all of me either. There’s something missing there, and maybe that’s the complexity of how the two personae interact and feed off each other and there may be another aspect of me not yet fully grasped. I occasionally toy with the idea of getting rid of the Scarlet persona and expanding the scope of Quyn, but Scarlet has been such a part of me for so long.

I worry, however, that splitting the personae up in to, basically, a “masculine” and a “feminine” persona isn’t doing justice to what I’m actually feeling and is just working to reinforce the gender binary, as if in order to express an “other” gender identity I have to break it down into accepted gender norms. Though it could have the opposite effect, I suppose, since although I am setting up these two personae I think what I do with them could be potentially gender explosive and bust through the confining ideas of binary gender. I guess it all depends on how it’s perceived and what I do with it more than anything.

I’m still exploring and getting used to my newly embraced identities and I’m excited to see how everything progresses. I have had a lot of time recently to think about myself and my genders are something that I am working on figuring out more.

Body Hair

I’ve always had a love/hate relationship with body hair, I think that’s pretty common.

I’ve had periods of time where I can’t stand any of it, shaving my pits, pubes, and legs once they show even a slight bit of stubble, plucking my eye brows often freakishly goth-thin so that they are barely there (ah, teenagerhood). I’ve shaved my arms as well, though only once and never again since I thought it felt funny when it was growing in. I have tried shaving, waxing, plucking, rubbing, all to see what works best and what feels the best.

Then there have been periods of time where I love it in one form or another, not getting rid of it anywhere, or just shaving one part or another. At one point I was shaving nowhere but my pubic hair, which was kind of amusing. For a long time I shaved everywhere completely, though I’ve played around with different styles “down there” like a “landing strip” or a vee shape (though I haven’t tried using a stencil) and so on.

Recently I’d gotten lax about shaving, it was simply seeming like too much work, so I decided to stop completely. At some point Onyx remarked that this is the hairiest he’s ever seen me, and that’s true. For the majority of our relationship I’ve been pretty dedicated to shaving. One time when I was scratching my head, arm raised, Marla remarked that she thought my tuft of armpit hair was sexy, and I agree.

I suppose a lot of people associate body hair with masculinity, especially considering a “male” hormone is responsible for the growth of it (it is called androgenic hair after all), and growing more comfortable with an “other” gender expression has definitely been a catalyst for my choice to stop shaving. I’m not exactly interested in passing in one gender or another, and a masculine appearance was not my intention in stopping either, it is more about feeling comfortable in my body.

It’s also quite possible that I may change my mind tomorrow or the day after that or the month after that, I may grow tired of having a thick forest underneath my arms or a dark collection of hairs on my legs and take a razor to them. This is just one fluctuating part of that gender equation.

In addition to the rest of my body hair I have been letting the hair on my chin grow as well, instead of plucking it as usual. I have two little tufts to either side of my chin which are excellent for stroking when desiring to appear deep in thought.

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