Issue 54, January 2013
BROAD A Feminist & Social Justice Magazine
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Cover Art: The Death Hole by Sujata Tibrewala
A feminist is a person who answers “yes” to the question, “Are women human?” Feminism is not about whether women are better than, worse than or identical with men. And it’s certainly not about trading personal liberty--abortion, divorce, sexual self-expression-for social protection as wives and mothers, as pro-life feminists propose. It’s about justice, fairness, and access to the
range of human experience. It’s about women consulting their own well-being and being judged as individuals rather than as members of a class with one personality, one social function, one road to happiness. It’s about women having intrinsic value as persons rather than contingent value as a means to an end for others: fetuses, children, the “family,” men. ~ Katha Pollitt
broad | brÔd | adjective 1 having an ample distance from side to side; wide 2 covering a large number and wide scope of subjects or areas: a broad range of experience 3 having or incorporating a wide range of meanings 4 including or coming from many people of many kinds 5 general without detail 6 (of a regional accent) very noticeable and strong 7 full, complete, clear, bright; she was attacked in broad daylight noun (informal) a woman.
broad | brÔd |
slang a promiscuous woman
phrases broad in the beam: with wide hips or large buttocks in broad daylight: during the day, when it is light, and surprising for this reason have broad shoulders: ability to cope with unpleasant responsibilities or to accept criticism City of broad shoulders: Chicago synonyms see: wide, extensive, ample, vast, liberal, open, all-embracing antonyms see: narrow, constricted, limited, subtle, slight, closed see also broadside (n.) historical: a common form of printed material, especially for poetry
Broad’s mission is connectartists, the WSGS program Our witheditorial communities of students, communities ofto scholars, and activists. mission is to provoke faculty, and staff at Loyola and beyond, continuing and extending the program’s thought and debate in an open forum characterized by respect and civility. mission. We provide space and support for a variety of voices while bridging communities of scholars, artists, and activists. Our editorial mission is to provoke thought and debate in an open forum characterized by respect and civility.
WSGS Mission: Founded in 1979, Loyola’s Women’s Studies Program is the first women’s studies program at a Mission: Jesuit institution and has served as a model for women’s studies WSGS programs at other Jesuit and Catholic universities. Our mission is to introduce
Founded in to 1979, Loyola’s Women’sacross Studies is the studies students feminist scholarship theProgram disciplines andfirst thewomen’s professional schools; program at a Jesuit institution and has served as a model for women’s studies to provide innovative, challenging, and thoughtful approaches to learning; and to programs atsocial other justice. Jesuit and Catholic universities. Our mission is to introduce promote students to feminist scholarship across the disciplines and the professional schools; to provide innovative, challenging, and thoughtful approaches to learning; and to promote social justice.
Activism and Academia: This special themed issue on Activism & Academia explores: how activism and Y whether or not they are compatible, what it means to academia are related, LGBTIQ be a part of the academy, what types of education are lacking from academic
This issue explores thetotopics of sexual orientation, sexual preference, gender disciplines, access education and rights to education, how academia relates to identity, gender expression, identityuniversities politics, the queer community, the real world, if there is discrimination, a disconnect between and society at large, andand intersectionality of identities oppression. Lookfor forthe the[A&A] [LQ] symbol how we can make what weand learn matter. Look symbol for for contributions on our theme! contributions on our theme!
BROAD People: BROAD People: Karolyne Carloss
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BROAD Mission: Broad’s mission is to connect the WSGS program with communities of students, faculty, and staff Mission: at Loyola and beyond, continuing and extending the program’s BROAD mission. We provide space and support for a variety of voices while bridging
Jenn Miller Editor in Chief
Brandie Madrid Consulting Editor
Archives & Website Coordinator
J. Curtis Main Consulting Editor
CONTENTS FROM YOUR EDITOR VISITING EDITOR T.J. Jourian VISITING EDITOR Morgan Service WORDS ARE USELESS Plant Alchemy 5
by Saya Woolfalk
Reinventing Privilege: How I Learned a New Way to Dominate and Get Away with It by T.J. Jourian
QUOTE CORNER Dean Spade [LQ] Quietly Coming Out by Morgan Service
FEMINIST FIRES Barbara Gittings [LQ] Bursting the Proverbial Bubble by Lauren Jennings
PEOPLE TELLING STORIES Devonte
by Bryce Parsons-Twesten
[LQ] Real Curves Have Women: Fat Queer Femme and Passing as Non-Binary by Dorian Adams
WORDS ARE USELESS Prismatic Rhythms by Gayle Carloss
EDUCATED GUESS The Right to Write by Abi Wilberding
by H. Melt
BROADSIDE CRACK(HER) NUTS, Why I Prefer the Dyke March over the Pride Parade, & Y U DONâ€™T ASK
by H. Melt
[LQ] You Win Some
by Rebecca Kling
OFF THE SHELF The Queer God: A Book Review by Anna Gentry
QUOTE CORNER James Baldwin [LQ] Opressed Youth Fight Neo-Fascist Police Terror by Leslie Feinberg
WORDS ARE USELESS by Hannah Rodriguez
Married to the Game (All White Everything)
[LQ] Yes, Iâ€™m Still Here. Can you Hear me Now? by Dan Dumont
BROADSIDE Some things have already waited too long to be said, & Untitled by Dan Dumont
QUEER THOUGHTS Deconstruction of the Phallus by Emma Steiber
[LQ] Do you Discriminate? by Linda Lee
by Jenny Saintonge
[LQ] Will Equality for Transsexuals Ever be Equal to Members of the LGB? by Jenny Saintonge
BOOKMARK HERE Bareed Mista3jil by Meem
SUBTLE SEXISMS The Third Sex: Kathoeys in Thailand MADADS Equal Representation or Exploitation? BROADER PERSPECTIVE Examining Rosie Today: Illuminating the Gendered Experiences and Struggles of Men and Women of War
by Karen Ross
[LQ] The Lactation Lounge by Justin Cascio
WLA REANIMATED Athletics Horsemanship
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by Karolyne Carloss
CONTENTScontinued [LQ] The Attempt to Grab at Something by Lee Gardner
[LQ] I’m Sorry by Rebecca Kling
SCREEN/PLAY My Summer of Love
by Brandie Rae Madrid
[LQ] Transitional Relationships by Chase Gregory Jones, Esq.
BROADSIDE Flinging, Feeling, & Flowing by Janna Payne
Reshaping Discourse by Creating the Language of Discursive Formation: Mahasweta Devi and Gloria Anzaldua by Kristen Black
BROADSIDE Prelude to Chance
by Jaisha Garnett
INSIDE R OUT? Vagina vs. Penis: Bathrooms, Dorms, & Sports by J. Curtis Main
by Claudia Typhoon
CAREER CALL Claudia Typhoon
[LQ] The One
by Peter Browne
LEZBIREAL Lesbos Next Door by Eman
by Mansi Kathuria
BROADSIDE Rotating Axis by Bianca Hart
EMBRACING CHAOS It’s Just a Place by Jason Lemberg
QUOTE CORNER The Emergence of Gay Identities in Southeast Asia by Dennis Altman
[LQ] The Frightened Butterfly: Transsexual Coming Out, A Family Affair by Claire Jenkins
BROADSIDE I Wanna be Like You, but Not Really: A Genderqueer Ballad by Sam Allen
ALUM ALERT Jacqui Scott [LQ] Why Religious Extremists Baffle Me by Victoria Lange
WORDS ARE USELESS The Pledge by H. Melt
BROADER PERSPECTIVE Rape by Abeer Allan
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From Your Editor
Dear Readers, I sometimes joke that I will never get to be a bridesmaid because all of my closest friends are gay. It’s only funny because it’s true, although marriage equality laws across the country are (finally) opening up the possibility that my dreams of affirming my best friends’ relationship in front of all of their friends and family will become a reality
(that is, if they should choose to participate in the institution of marriage). As a self-identified queer person, I don’t find it at all surprising that those closest to me are LGBTQIidentified as well. This is not because we’re all members of the same “community” or because we
In many ways, my small group of besties are the only people who truly know me, and I have allowed them to know me in the ways that they do because I know that in my relationships with them, I won’t be subjected to judgment of my personal preferences, my complex identity, nor my nonnormative choices. I can share aspects of myself with this group of friends that I am less likely to reveal to co-workers, colleagues, new friends, and even some family members. I can share myself (queerness and all) with them, honestly and openly, without fear. With other groups of people, fear becomes a factor. I don’t allow this fear to control or manipulate me, but it is present and sometimes, informs my choices. This same kind of fear is a common experience for all of my LGBTQI-identified friends. Fear of rejection, judgment, discrimination, humiliation, loss, maltreatment, ignorance. Fears that should not be an ever-present part of everyday life for anyone, but for most of us LGBTQI folks, they are. But I don’t want to dwell on this fear, I simply want to recognize it in order to illuminate the bravery of my circle of friends, the bravery of every single person who submitted writing or artwork to this issue of Broad, the bravery of all LGBTQI-identified people, whether out or not, who live their lives, not according to society’s proscriptions, but according to their own sense of identity and truth. Although I strive to focus on the positive, we cannot simply turn a blind eye to the discrimination, hatred, and many times, acts of violence, that most LGBTQI-identified persons will experience as a result of some aspect of their non-normative
identities during their lifetimes. Oppression against those who don’t conform is very real, and in too many cases, tangible and visible. We cannot simply ignore the pain felt by the writers, artists, and activists whose work you’re about to encounter in this issue. The pain, the loss, the enormous difficulty of living in a society that does not accept you, that tries to change you, that denies you certain rights, that tells you you’re wrong for being who you are. While the strength, persistence, and hope of our contributors is certainly something to be celebrated, we must also recognize those darker parts of their lived realities that society at large perpetuates, yet refuses to correct. We must recognize both the positive and negative aspects of an LGBTQI life in order to fight together for justice for all identities of humanity. We must recognize that all of the identities represented here share humanity in common. And we must continue to talk about these issues, to bring them into our public discourses, to point out injustice and applaud courage and acceptance, to challenge society to embrace the vast sexual and gender diversity that exists within it. Which is why it is so vitally important that these stories be told. I hope that everyone who reads the incredible stories that follow, stories of perseverance, hope, love, and struggle, will see both what our contributors unfortunately have in common - oppression from a heteronormative society - and also recognize their uniqueness. I hope that readers will see what a broad range of human experience is available to us, in any combination of chromosomes, body parts, gender identity, gender expression, sexual preference, sexual identity, race, ethnicity, and culture. What a beautiful spectrum of identities we have the opportunity to recognize and experience! Truly, Jenn P.S. We had two amazing Visiting Editors on this issue - T.J. Jourian and Morgan Service - to whom I am very grateful! Be sure to check them out in the Visiting Editors section.
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were just more likely to be a part of the same social circles and come into contact with one another. It is not because I am only drawn to people who are similar to myself. And it is not because I intentionally seek out LGBTQI-identified folks when looking to form friendships. It is because they are all amazing people who, because of their unique lenses and experiences, are courageous, empathetic, open-minded, and aware. It is because they are just as accepting of me, with all my flaws, quirks, oddities, and departures from sexual and gender norms, as I am of them.
T.J. Jourian has been a social justice activist, learner, educator, & speaker for well over a decade. He selfidentifies as a pansexual queer Middle-Eastern Armenian trans*man, and his passion lies with supporting, learning from, and participating in social justice work that is intersectional, empowering, and dynamic â€“ much like what he aspires to deliver through his blog and in person. T.J. was featured in the 2005 Sundance docu-series TransGeneration, depicting the lives of four trans* college students during a single academic year at four different institutions. Since then he has spoken and provided trainings at over 50 campuses, conferences, and community-based organizations all over the country. He is currently a first-year PhD student at Loyola University Chicago in the Higher Education program. He received his MA in Student Affairs Administration at Michigan State University, and has 6 years of professional experience in residential life, LGBTQ affairs, student activities & events, womenâ€™s center, multicultural affairs, orientation, and more. T.J. currently serves as the Co-Chair of the GLBT Issues Knowledge Community for NASPA, a leading association for student affairs administrators in higher education, and aspires to be faculty for a Masterâ€™s level student affairs and higher education program.
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Morgan Service received her BA in English and Womenâ€™s Studies from the University of Florida and graduated from Loyola University with an MA in Womenâ€™s and Gender Studies in 2011. She sees her multiple identities as feminist, Christian, Jamaican, and bisexual as all core to who she is. She has a deep interest in reconciling Christianity and feminism and could not imagine being completely removed from either community. She currently works at Sarahâ€™s Circle, a non-profit in Uptown Chicago that serves women who are homeless or at risk of being homeless, as the Development Assistant. Morgan also has a passion for health and nutrition and plans to pursue an MPH degree in the future with the goal of being a health educator in lower income communities. If you or someone you know would like to be a Visiting Editor, please email email@example.com
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Words Are Useless Artist: Saya Woolfalk
Gouache on paper, 40â€?x 30â€?, 2011 Artist Statement: My work considers the idea that symbolic and ideological systems can be activated and re-imagined through collaboration, imaginative play and masquerade. To effect this re-imagining objects, bodies, and landscapes are constructed to immerse us in the logic of another place. In many ways my works become the repository of the dreams and ideas of the many people who participate in producing and imagining the contours of the works. In the tradition of the fable or folk story, I map the desires and ideas of people to create narratives that attempt to be relevant to a contemporary audience.
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Plant Alchemy 5
Reinventing Privilege: How I Learned a New Way to Dominate and Get Away with It By T.J. Jourian
The first time I was invited to a men’s group was barely two years ago, and I can’t say I was expecting it. The group was for Men of Color, and as an oliveskinned Middle Eastern Armenian, the times I am read as a white person are as frequent as the times
I am recognized as a person of color. My own struggles in figuring out which of these US-based social constructions of race or ethnicity better fit me as someone operating with an ‘outsider’s’ lens often meant approaching POC and MOC spaces
woman might see that…” or “let me tell you how women feel about that.” I am doing men a service, right? I am ‘translating’ and cluing guys into the mysteries of the female mind, and by extension doing a service to women by teaching men how not to be jerks.
For the better part of my life, I was socialized as a As far as I have been concerned, I am a godfemale, and so my entry into gender-related work send to these men, an accidental spy bridging the was from the other side of gender communication gap. the binary fence. I value And what I was getting out For the better part of my the lessons I have learned, of it was a unique purpose life, I was socialized as a the experiences I have had as a man and something I and the conversations I have couldn’t access before: male female, and so my entry had the honor to access that But I didn’t really into gender-related work bonding. most men will never know think I had much to learn even happen. And I feel was from the other side of from it all. I haven’t been blessed for being one of a particularly challenged or the binary fence. small segment of people called out for this behavior engaged in gender-related either. Whether this is an work that get to say I know what it took to become accurate assessment or not, I have felt praised, an empowered woman, to become empowered listened to and grateful for. At the very least, I in my gender transgressions and trans* identity, have felt certain no one in the room was going to and now to slowly be learning how to be an voice doubt. How could they? I have ‘expertise’ empowered man. no other man in the room could claim, and thus untouchable. And what cisgender colleague would This also means that I often still find myself feeling dare give a trans* person grief around gender? I or behaving like an outsider being invited to have earned my stripes. observe and sometimes comment on what men have to talk about. I can’t relate to childhood stories And therein lies my own reimaging, repackaging involving “boys don’t cry” type of admonishments and regurgitation of practicing male dominance. It or the pressures to be aggressive or perform well is a version of male privilege that the vast majority in traditionally masculine activities. Dolls weren’t of cisgender men are unable to recognize or taken away from me, I gave them away. So far I challenge in appropriate ways that does not also have compensated for my inability to relate by rely on practicing cisgender privilege. Cisgender doing one of two things: women can’t access the spaces where I practice it, and other trans* people are just not around when • I have sat back and listened, waiting for the it happens. opportunities to jump down another guy’s throat. I mean, we are supposed to challenge each other on our displays of privilege and dominance, right? I entered these intentional men’s spaces with Isn’t that how we get points in this structure, by assumptions about their intent. As a newcomer in proving we are better men than the rest of them? ‘man world’, I could have benefited from listening As someone who experientially ‘gets’ women and to my peers’ stories, not only to hear their content, women’s experiences, I knew I had to be the best but also some of the pain that comes with them. equipped to call a guy out. One of the things I have come to learn is how rare it is for men to feel like they can speak their truth • When I have contributed, I have injected female without fear of judgment, reprimand – including in perspectives and viewpoints into the conversation, the form of violence – or having their masculinity sentences that started with things like “how a questioned.
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with caution and in search of signs of approval. I felt skeptical, unsure if the other men in the group would question the validity of my presence there, and not only as a person of color. After all, it had only been six or so years that I even saw myself as a man.
This led to an even bigger realization for me. If, as men, we are going to work to dismantle patriarchy and dominance, and exercise these towards other genders, we need to also see how these show up and are practiced towards other men. As men, we compete with each other in a variety of arenas: strength, – usually physical – sexual prowess, wealth and income, title, sports trivia, reputation, and so on. In my case, and in a lot of men’s groups, it is about being the least oppressive man in the room.
need to be more intentional in doing so for the right reasons (self-reflection being one of them), in ways that demonstrate humility and compassion, and only in appropriate contexts that necessitate them, challenging myself to also focus on my trans*male and male identities and experiences.
My journey navigating this world as a trans*man and as a man – as those at times coexist, at times overlap, and at times separate – is still in its beginning stages and constantly evolving in its complexity. My lived experiences as a woman are invaluable My lived experiences as parts of my ongoing a woman are invaluable holistic development as a full human being. They parts of my ongoing continue to function as holistic development as a lens through which my understanding of gender a full human being. They and my trans*masculine continue to function as a journey are shaped and at times critiqued.
And when it comes to behavior that is oppressive towards other genders, predominantly women, oppression is the intentional symptom and result of an unrelated goal: to gain the validation and admiration of other men. This begs the question: how differently lens through which my would we behave if we could not count on that understanding of gender Whereas before I thought validation and admiration? that that lens would be and my trans* masculine How many more times the primary (if not always journey are shaped and at the solitary) shaper of that would we interrupt women for example, if instead of our journey that I needed, my times critiqued. contribution getting a “that’s forays thus far into men’s a great point/idea”, we got a groups have demonstrated “I don’t think she was finished”, from other men? that I now have a responsibility to infuse it with a more pluralistic multi-gendered viewpoint, to In much the same way, when I have exhibited maximize the utility of having access to multiple my dominance by acting like I get all women’s gender lenses. To do otherwise if to pretend that I experiences and perspectives just because I happen don’t experience male privilege at all, which I don’t to have one version of them, and I see what I to the extent or in all realms that my cisgender interpret as nodding affirmations and appreciative brothers do, but I still do somewhat. And that looks, I am receiving the validation from other men extent itself is also evolving. that I am seeking. The concurrent result is that I am betraying some women’s experiences by talking I have learned these lessons from other men about feelings of pain, anger, frustration that were (cisgender and trans* alike), not necessarily shared in spaces meant for women’s solidarity and through direct challenge, but from watching them empowerment, not the education of men, without role model these guidelines of (a) right reasons, their permission. (b) better ways, and (c) appropriate contexts in their own approach to gender work and In fact, I was capitalizing on women’s experiences conversation. For someone who so erroneously – including my own – for my personal gain and thought cisgender men had nothing to teach me receiving instant credibility in groups of men that about gender oppression and privilege, these have saw gender-related work as important. This is not been huge pills to swallow and the reasons I will to say that there is not merit at all to sharing some continue to seek out men’s groups and be grateful of what I know and have heard, rather there is a for the ones thus far.
In the queer communities I’m in, valuing friendship is a really big deal, often coming out of the fact that lots of us don’t have family support, and build deep supportive structures with other queers. We are interested in resisting the heteronormative family structure in which people are expected to form a dyad, marry, have kids, and get all their needs met within that family structure.
Let’s be gentle with ourselves and each other and fierce as we fight oppression.
Quote Corner Dean Spade
Power is not a matter of one dominant individual or institutions, but instead manifests in interconnected, contradictory sites where regimes of knowledge and practice circulate and take hold. This way of understanding the dispersion of power helps us realize that power is not simply about certain individuals being targeted for death or exclusion by a ruler, but instead about the creation of norms that distribute vulnerability and security.
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The point for me is to create relationships Oftentimes, in that way law reform stabilizes a based on deeper status quo; it stabilizes and more the existing field of real notions of maldistribution. trust. So that love The idea of trickle up becomes defined social justice is that we should not by sexual exclusivity, ethically start with those who are facing the but by actual respect, worst conditions, who are most losing their lives, those people in prison and immigration facilities concern, commitment to act with kind intentions, and experiencing poverty and homelessness. We should start by figuring out how to solve the accountability for our problems for them and inevitably that will solve actions, and a desire for the problems for everyone, but it’s not the reverse. mutual growth.
Quietly Coming Out By Morgan Service
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“So when did you opposed to seeing church I have unfortunately come out to your as a physical building). parents as straight?” A witnessed the way the I have unfortunately friend jokingly asked witnessed and personally church’s attitude towards me this question as we experienced the way the discussed her sexuality. church’s attitude towards those who don’t fit neatly into I didn’t find it funny. It those who don’t fit neatly the heteronormative category into the heteronormative had happened again— the assumption that I limits, hides, and devalues category limits, hides, and was straight. I’d been devalues these individual’s these individual’s lives. The forced back in my lives. The simple, but personal closet and difficult, change that simple, but difficult, change I was annoyed.This needs to happen is for the happened regularly that needs to happen is for the church to acknowledge though and could I—I, church to acknowledge the the existence of LGBTIQ who presented heteroidentified individuals existence of LGBTIQ beings perfect until I decide to as worthwhile spiritual wear my favorite pair and to tell them loud and beings and to tell them of rainbow earrings— loud and clear “you clear, “you are ok as you are.” blame her or anyone are ok as you are.” I else? Appearance am only just beginning wasn’t the only thing to acknowledge how that trapped me: my Christian faith, my Jamaican important owning my identity as bi is to making identity,and my lack of announcement about my this message commonplace in my specific religious sexual preferences all collaborated to make me communities. invisible as a “not-straight” being. Straight—recognizing that that label of normalcy This talent for concealment was useful for no longer fit me was hard. When I fell in love with avoiding certain negative situations like suffering the woman who would become my first girlfriend, immediate familial hostility (a relative suggested I was very angry, with myself and with God. I didn’t bombing “homosexuals” on an island), being the understand why, how, or when these feelings target of disgust (a friend expressing distaste at the developed and I could not believe how much thought of lesbian sex), or dealing with discomfort they were beyond my control. I felt confusion, produced by a stranger’s judgmental stares. Mostly shame, and immediate alienation from my closest though, this state of default concealment was and friends. I felt desperation and eventually became has been counter-productive.It has been easy depressed by the realization that my relationship to pass as straight and tempting to permanently with this woman would never be accepted by take advantage of this convenience. Allowing those closest to me. I eventually moved on from myself to be comfortable with this straight- bythat dark place but will never forget how that time default perception, however, is dangerous— only of confusion was exacerbated by both the tacit damaging my ongoing mission of complete and outright disapproval of homosexuality shown self-acceptance, and negatively enabling the in my religious community. communities to which I choose to belong in their hurtful discrimination. Even when it was not blatantly said, I knew the few people who knew my “secret” were counting See, as a feminist Christian I think I’m in a good on me to do the things necessary to be straight place to be a voice for change where change is again—pray more, fast more, and above all stay desperately needed in attitudes towards gender away from the girl who inspired my feelings. I was and sexuality—the church (some Christians tend to made to feel that there was no way I could have refer to themselves collectively as the “church” as a thriving spiritual life while still holding on to
these feelings and that belief, more than any other aspect of the alienation I felt, had the most lasting negative effect. I now know this is not the case and am growing daily in this knowledge. I recently came across a fantastic picture of a man at an LGBTIQ rally holding a sign that read “As Jesus said about gay people: ‘_______ .’ ”
It reminded me of a question that I had been mentally asking with some frequency for a while. I wondered if God actually approved of the militant gender and sex policing that is characteristic of the people who claim him. I can’t believe that the answer is yes because I can’t believe that s/ he would be indifferent to the resulting pain and alienation it causes for the people who don’t neatly fit gender binaries or meet heteronormative standards—people s/he created. I can’t believe that s\he would allow a successful spiritual relationship with himself to rest on the basis of sexual identity. In an oft quoted story found in Matthew, a gospel of the New Testament, at the end of the world Jesus separates the sheep and the goats. The sheep get eternal life and the goats are condemned. Why are the goats condemned? Because they did not
guard gender boundaries enough. In fact, God said “Goat # 1 – I created you a man and you acted like a woman, Goat #2 – you sleep with both men and women. Goat #3 – you voted in support of gay marriage. So now none of you can enter the kingdom of heaven.” If that sounds ludicrous, it’s because it is. In the real story the goats are punished because they ignored those in the following circumstances – “I was hungry and you gave me nothing to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me nothing to drink, I was a stranger and you did not invite me in, I needed clothes and you did not clothe me, I was sick and in prison and you did not look after me.” This sentiment is expressed over and over again in scriptural texts, especially those about Christ. Clearly the spiritual emphasis of Christ has not transferred well to many communities who claim to operate under his name. The disproportionate focus on controlling sexuality seems to be manmade. Lately I have found a lot of joy and peace in coming to terms with this—learning that I can pursue whatever spiritual relationship I find fulfilling no matter what my sexuality. I have also been convicted, however, by not being louder about this in my faith communities. Like I said earlier, although it bothered me, I could not blame my friend for automatically assuming I was straight because I had never done much to show otherwise. This will serve as my grand announcement. I intend to be louder about it for the sake of other faith-seeking LGBTIQ individuals, but for now I will just come out here, quietly.
Feminist Fires Barbara Gittings, LGBTQ Activist and Writer
Barbara Gittings was integral to promoting rights for the LGBTQ community. After listening to a speech about lgbt rights in 1963, Gittings became motivated to promote the end of discrimination against LGBT individuals. Gittings also lead a successful campaign to have homosexuality be removed as a mental disorder from the Diagnostic Statistic Manual in 1972. She also petitioned libraries and bookstores to include literature and references which provided information on homosexuality in a supportive and positive perspective. In addition, she also compelled the American Library Association to include lesbians and gays as librarians. She also wrote a book on this: Gays in Library Land: The Gay and Lesbian Task Force of the American Library Association: The First Sixteen Years.
Many other LGBT Activists including Phyllis Leon and Del Martin, who created the Daughters of Bilitis, the first lesbian political and social rights organization; Frank Kameney, who in 1963 made a speech about how there was no valid evidence to prove homosexuality to be a mental disorder, which inspired Gittings to protest against the American Psychiatric Association and the American Library Association.
Is An Inspiration to:
Other LGBTQ Activists campaigning to end discrimination against LGBTQ individuals and earn further gains and rights for others. Barbara Gittings was bon in Vienna in 1932 to a U.S. Diplomat. In high school, she was denied a membership to her school’s National Honor’s Society for “homosexual tendencies”. While studying drama at Northwestern, she spent her time in the library as there were no support structures for LGBTQ students . Afterwards, she decided to learn more about LGBTQ communities, and from there she became an activist. In 1961 Gittings met her life partner Kay T. Lahunsen. They were together for 46 years until Gittings died of breast cancer in 2007. She was also a lover of Baroque and Renaissance music, and a hiking and canoeing fan.
Importance to Feminism:
As Barbara Gittings’ campaigns lead to the removal of homosexuality as a mental disorder, more campaigns for LGBTQ rights have happened since. Because of her work, LGBTQ individuals can enjoy more freedoms of expression. Her work to have more positive references have also made way for more research on LGBTQ issues, which have lead to more explorations on relationships and challenging traditional gender norms and expectations.
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Bursting the Proverbial Bubble By Lauren Jennings My nephew, Baylor, was born on October 3 by his biological mother. Within 24 hours he was brought home by my brother and his wife, Ethan and Allie. I was driving down the highway on my way home from class when I got the call that, officially, we were welcoming a healthy baby boy into the family! Up until that point my brother and
his wife had had their hearts broken by a woman who changed her mind about giving up her baby for adoption after the baby was born, following many months of their preparations to become parents as well as their financial support for both the mother and their unborn child.
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But on that Tuesday afternoon Ethan and Allie’s I kept my gayness under wraps from them until family became a reality and by Friday I was holding the following summer, when Baylor was 8 months his tiny, delicate 4-day-old body in my arms. It was old. I met the three of them on vacation in the Blue a life-changing moment for me. I dreamt about Ridge Mountains outside of Asheville, near their what it would be like to be the cool Aunty LJ that old church camp. For most of the trip I felt like I was let him do all of the things his parents wouldn’t: I deceiving them. They asked me about boys and would let him try a sip of my beer at family dinners dating in college, they wanted to set me up with and later we would sneak off and he would tell a guy from their camp. They were so enthusiastic me about the pretty girls at school that he was too about the idea, which just made me feel guilty. shy to talk to. And then I wasn’t living my truth. I many years down the They asked me about boys was dating a woman at the road, he would hate his time who I was so excited and dating in college, they parents and run away and for them to meet, and to try to live with me in New wanted to set me up with a not even mention her to York City. But being the them felt awful. After the responsible aunt I would guy from their camp. They trip, I decided I had to tell call his parents and let them. I knew it couldn’t were so enthusiastic about them know he was OK be in person, I just didn’t the idea, which just made and everything would get have the balls for that worked out. We were me feel guilty. I wasn’t living disappointment and shock. going to be besties. I thought that if I wrote my truth. I was dating a them a letter in July, by At the time Baylor was woman at the time who I was the time Christmas rolled born, I was already “out around, they would have so excited for them to meet, and proud” with everyone adjusted and life would in my life except Ethan and to not even mention her be back to normal and we and Allie — I knew that would all bake cookies and to them felt awful. they would be the only prepare for Santa to arrive ones that would have a on Baylor’s first Christmas. tough time with it. They met at a Southern Baptist Ethan, Allie, our parents, me, my girlfriend, Baylor, summer camp and Allie’s family was very strict and our other brother. Life would be perfect. Southern Baptist. Ethan was one of my best friends though. We grew up together, he was only 3 years That was almost 6 years ago. We’ve seen each other older than me and his heart was pure gold. Allie once since then and it was for our grandfather’s and I got along really well too, I was her Maid memorial service. Baylor wasn’t there. They’ve of Honor. While I was concerned about coming only been back to our parents’ house once since my out to them, I wasn’t worried enough to keep my grandpa died. No Christmases. No birthdays. The sexuality a lie. I felt like it was the 21st century rest of my family is so loving and supporting and and as a member of the gay community we had the separation of our family has been really hard fought too hard for one more person to live in the on all of us. My parents still visit them, if and only closet, with anyone. I don’t think that my sexuality if my parents travel to the Bible Belt. It’s like they was ever even a question to them — unless you live in a little bubble of white, Christian, straight are a super femme man or a butch woman (and people. Ethan and I exchanged pleasantries on even then, it probably goes right over their heads) the phone throughout a few holidays, but in the you’re presumed straight. But I had never dated past 2 years I’ve decided that I’m not interested anyone before then, male or female, so it’s not like in that superficial bullshit anymore. I sent Baylor they would have reason to believe I was straight, Christmas and birthday presents for a few years, besides assumption. As it turns out I was a late despite my very tight budget, but I got the feeling bloomer. that he either never got them or had no idea who “Aunt Lauren” was, so I stopped sending them.
It hurt too much to pick out a precious little penguin pillow pet and Arctic Legos set and wonder if he had any idea who had given them to him, or what his face looked like when he opened the box.
The loss of my brother and his (now growing) family has been my greatest struggle as a lesbian. Nothing has hurt more than the grieving of someone who I thought loved me for exactly who I am.
I’m 28 years old, I’m practically a different person than I was when I was 22 and in college, yet I still have all of the same qualities I’ve ever had. I have 22 years of memories with my brother, I used to think that we would have grown old together and played pranks on each other in the assisted living facility. Ethan was so funny, he used to say the most hysterical things and everyone loved him. He was such a nice guy, he was voted Homecoming King in high school — he was a huge guy with an even bigger heart. At his high school graduation party we danced together and I cried because I was going to miss him so much. The loss of my brother and his (now growing) family has been my greatest struggle as a lesbian. Nothing has hurt more than the grieving of someone who I thought loved me for exactly who I am. In recent months, Ethan and Allie have been in the process of adopting 2 little girls. I was in a coffee shop in the East Village when my mom called with her exciting news. My heart shattered into a million pieces while I tried to sound bright for her and her granddaughter news. My brother was going to be a dad to 2 little girls. All of the feelings I felt when I held Baylor for the first time raced towards me and punched me in my stomach. Tears fell down my face as I thought about driving down the road at 22, feeling so elated to hear the news of Baylor’s birth, and how all of that was gone.
Extreme religious views are what is left between my brother and me. He believes my life is sinful and I believe that loving someone of the same gender is no different than loving the opposite gender. To me, love is love. And the God that I was raised to believe in would never do to me what Ethan has done.
Lauren Jennings has lived and studied throughout the United States including Los Angeles and New York City. She is a graduate of The American Musical and Dramatic Academy and earned her BA from The University of Central Florida. Currently, Lauren and her girlfriend live in Manhattan’s East Village where they are pursuing their artistic dreams.
People Telling Stories peopletellingstories.tumblr.com
I’m from Lacrosse, Wisconsin. It’s a little more cool and unique to go thrifting in a bigger city just because there’s so many people here that you end up with a bunch of crazy stuff. I just got into the habit of it. I study fashion design. I’m into ready to wear, everyday. I’m trying to do any high couture, or stuff like that. The range I’m designing for is a little more bohemian chic, so sometimes I find cool things here. Bohemian chic is just really eccentric fashion, a lot of earthy tones, a lot of drape clothing, just a little bit more modern twist. It’s been a pretty dominant style for a while. A lot of people are into the whole bohemian look now.
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By Bryce Parsons-Twesten
Real Curves Have Women: Fat Queer Femme and Passing as Non-Binary By Dorian Adams
I’m not a woman I’m not a man I am something that you’ll never understand ~Prince
I heard the oddest question once. In a social media space designed for genderqueer and nonbinary folks to increase their visibility as they wished to be seen, one of the participants was concerned that zie was too curvy to “pass” as
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genderqueer. A long, and frankly quite painful gender; my curvaceous ass is not just queer, but discussion followed, with many people chiming fantastically so. If this conversation had happened in with their ideas of what a “proper” genderqueer even six months earlier than it did, I would have or non-binary person had to look like in order to been devastated, but instead I had an epiphany. really look non-binary or If we take queer to mean It was the first time that I genderqueer. Most consciously challenging descriptions reminded normative values in a way was able to crystallize the me of David Bowie in the that critiques their limits, idea that I was not a failure 1986 film “Labyrinth”: then the place that I have slim, almost but not found that queerness at presenting as myself quite angular, somewhat is multifold, in the because I was fat and have flamboyant, but in a way interstitial space between that was not “too girly.” the gender binary and the a body that shares most in The goal seemed to be range of potential gender common with the Venus of a specific form of deidentities, in accepting feminized androgyny, a my body as fat, and in Willendorf. Where I was look that is often described performing femme as as super model, as able to assert that I am still my gender presentation. prepubescent, and if you not a woman because of my These things are tied to weren’t aiming for that each other in ways that curves, my breasts are not through diet , dress and make each a necessary for some outliers, surgery, part of each other. prescriptions of my gender; then you couldn’t possibly my curvaceous ass is not just I didn’t even know actually be genderqueer or non-binary. Or at least, queer, but fantastically so. that non-binary gender don’t expect for anyone identities were possible else to know that you are. until fairly recently, yet I I guess anyone who had wide set hips was just remember being very young and having a sense utterly screwed. Thus the fat genderqueers and that I wasn’t a girl and that no one should know. I non-binaries, myself included, began to object at wanted to disappear into femininity, dresses, pink, being categorically excluded from appearing nonprincesses, fairies, Barbies. Yet my voice was deeper binary or even being considered as part of the than was considered “girl” by my classmates, and same identity, and questioning why genderqueer no matter how many ruffles my dresses had, it felt had to look one very specific way. Why couldn’t like a costume. I remember being teased for being we see hyper femininity or masculinity as queer? “gay” by other second graders, I didn’t even know Why couldn’t we create an admixture of gendered what that meant. I was always rounded, and as components to tweak the gaze of anyone trying to puberty began, I started to rapidly gain weight. categorize us? Why was exiting (while not really My curves exploded almost overnight, and the exiting) this system of signs the only way to appear accusations of being too boy-like to be a girl gave as oneself even if it required giving up something way to a hyper-sexualized gaze. Ridicule and you felt was part of yourself? objectification entwined in an odd way, leaving me stuck wanting to be skinny and androgynous This absolute trainwreck of a conversation had because my body could disappear then. I had one major benefit. It was the first time that I been taking dance classes since the age of three, was able to crystallize the idea that I was not a and my ideal had always been the de-feminized, failure at presenting as myself because I was fat “sexless” ballerina, androgyny supreme. My dance and have a body that shares the most in common career tanked as puberty seeped in, with my roles with the Venus of Willendorf. Where I was able dropping, and my stage presence becoming more to assert that I am still not a woman because of invisible every rehearsal. As my curves became my curves, my breasts are not prescriptions of my inescapable, I began to disappear.
Being fat, and how fatness is characterized development came hand in hand with a widening culturally, is intimately tied to how my gender ass, the shamed shaking heads of the adults in my identity evolved. We are treated to fatness as life, and the demise of the one place that I felt a moral failing, if you’re fat its because you “let free, I assumed that I felt disgusting because of my yourself go,” made the wrong choices, are slovenly size. As I got older, and found myself unable to lose or careless. Fat is feminine but not in the way that weight, the self-loathing mounted. After a bout with is sexy, sweet and objectified but in the way poverty and a severe eating disorder, I still found that is weak, illogical, a slave to the passions and myself curvy to the point of a regular emotional a sign of corrupted mortality that will bring about meltdown. When I discovered fat acceptance, the end of the world as we know it. Fat needs things started to ease. Realizing that there was to be strictly controlled, tempered by the logic of no reliable way to lose weight and that I wasn’t a scientists paid by the diet industry. You have to disgusting failure because I was fat made a huge at least try to be skinny, and even difference in my quality if you can’t get skinny, you must of life. But something Realizing that there always apologize for being visible, still held me back. I still and portray the narrative of the was no reliable way to couldn’t handle the way good fatty. Don’t eat in public, and in which my belly fat if you must, for God’s sake make lose weight and that touched my thighs, or the sure you’re eating something with way that my breasts hung I wasn’t a disgusting lots of lettuce. And hold the mayo, and swayed. At a book fatso. Exercise as much as you can failure because I reading with prominent to shed that weight, but don’t do fat acceptance activists was fat made a huge it in public and definitely don’t do Marianne Kirby and Kate difference in my it in spandex. Accept that the only Harding, I wanted to ask clothing that anyone will make that them how long it takes quality of life. fits you will be about as attractive from understanding that as a chintz sofa cover because who your fat doesn’t reflect would want to look at you anyway? If you must your worth for the self-hate to stop hurting so dress in something that isn’t ugly, be sure its hiding much. I couldn’t ask, because tears choked my your flaws. Black is slimming, avoid horizontal throat, and feeling like a failure at accepting my fat stripes, and put down those loud colors, don’t you crowded out my words. It still was painful to exist know that you aren’t allowed to draw attention to every day, and an effort to see anything good in yourself? Don’t try and be sexy, or practice visible the saggy curves I felt trapped inside of. I was still self love. Don’t move, don’t dance, don’t try to get in near panics when my clothes felt wrong, and anyone’s attention. If someone calls you a cow on more than one occasion would tear my clothes while riding your bike in public, they just care away from my body because being embodied in about your health. If your doctor insists on making such a loathsome way, with so many meanings, you get surgery that forces your body to starve itself none of them mine, written on every dimpled part before they will treat you for a condition unrelated of my skin, was too much. I felt too real. Too solid. to your weight, be thankful they even cared to be in the room with you. So what if your boyfriend At some point in all this I began internet activism, didn’t quite secure your consent, at least you got blogging and community building. The queer, laid! Add the rigors of puberty into this mix and feminist communities on Livejournal and you have several years of hell. becoming involved with my eventual spouse led me to communities for trans* people and their Being 13 and suddenly having c-cup breasts would partners. I was able to empathize with descriptions be tough on anyone, but for me it was like being of dysphoria, since it sounded so much like the selfdragged over glass shards. I found myself exerting loathing I related to my fatness. I spent a lot of time all of my self control to stop me from cutting investigating myself, slowly realizing that it wasn’t off my breasts with a kitchen knife. Since this my fat I was hating. It was the feminization of my
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fat. It was the ways in which my priests were considered a breasts made me automatically The binary is a creation, middle gender, and while ultra-feminine and sexual in the current translations of a norm that we both eyes of others, their dialogues ancient texts refer to them of sexuality and womanhood as eunuchs, I believe that create and use to etched into my stretchmarks, the is a meaning written by construct the narrative twinge of pain I felt when ever the binary norm, not an someone insisted that I had to of ourselves that is objective interpretation of be a lesbian or a bisexual while their order. recognizable to others. ignoring how I insisted that neither label was right. I kept The binary is a creation, digging, seeing if I could find a man underneath a norm that we both create and use to construct it all. Maybe that was my problem. Yet I couldn’t the narrative of ourselves that is recognizable to confidently say that I was a man, no more than I others. If we could not escape the norm, how could confidently say that I was a woman. I felt would we be able to act in ways that are queer, like my history, my account of myself, my personal as per the definition I used above? If a norm were narrative, had too many dresses and too much truly all-encompassing, we would not be able to pure joy in being pretty and in playing at being see beyond it enough to challenge it. The norms a girl to be a man, yet I was all too aware that we use for signs of recognition have limits due to playing at being a girl was as close as I had ever their artificial nature. Those limits are the space come to actually being one. Scratch the surface, for critique and transformation of those norms. and there was something amorphous, ambiguous, Those liminal spaces, event horizons, where we other. Something I couldn’t define, that I didn’t can begin to glimpse what is beyond our borders, have words for. All I had was a certainty, as sure as are the spaces where we can begin to shift how my heartbeat, that I couldn’t confidently call this we recognize each other, and write new signs. We shifting space “man” or “woman.” Neither fit and can then disseminate those signs back out into I had no idea where to go. the binary, bringing together opposing sides and synthesizing them into a new practice of being. It wasn’t until I came across someone who identified as non-binary, who described similar The recognizability question is at the heart of experiences with their body, but didn’t see any the conversation I mentioned in the beginning. need to define themselves as male or female that The people arguing for defeminized androgyny as I realized something besides miserable woman “passing” as genderqueer were seeking a specific or miserable man was possible. The idea that we way of recognizability, and were allowing the can exit the binary at all is a hard one. We see norm of the binary to dictate a normative way in it everywhere, it is one of the first norms that we which one challenges the binary. While I do not are defined against. The suggestion that we can go mean to suggest that being non-binary cannot beyond or outside it seem antithetical to its very occur in a way that enforces binary generated existence. But the binary does not have an a priori norms, I do think that insisting on a normativity existence. It has a long history, and extensive based in specific binarist ideas of gender identity genealogy, but it is not universal. There are is limiting and does not encompass the full range cultures, from antiquity to present day, that have of human possibility. There is also an undercurrent categorization systems beyond a simply binary of misogyny in the specific idea that one can construction. There are examples of the gender only pass as un/de/non/queer gendered by being non-conforming aspects of occupied cultures being defeminized. It allows the unmarked masculine to forcibly eradicated by European colonizing forces continue to go unremarked upon, and it creates in the Americas and Africa. Ancient Israel had six the expectation that lack of femininity is the categories based on the same secondary sexual preferable if not the proper way to be gender nonand fertility related factors that we rely on today. conforming. It doesn’t queer gender as a whole,  In Ancient Greece, the goddess Cybele’s it merely privileges those aspects we have come
to associate with a form of soft masculinity. This continues to privilege a form of masculinity over femininity, and recreates within non-binary communities the hierarchies that many of us are attempting to escape from. That is not to say that someone cannot find this form of genderqueering to be what works for them, but establishing it as the only true way to look or be genderqueer is only limiting of the possibilities that truly challenging the binary can present us with.
embraced the performance of femme, as a step too The major difference far, as a space beyond the between femme as a acceptable. I modeled my look and my attitude queer performance on female impersonators, of femininity and just glam rockers and drag queens. My femme was assimilating ideas of queer because I was not control of the feminine is a woman, I just played one on TV. My femme the conscious choice to was queer because loving do so, and the conscious femininity is an act of defiance. My femme was choice to not force queer because it makes anyone else to do so. my fat fun, and sexy. My femme was queer because Another possibility for presenting as queer in a it recognizes power imbalances and does not gender sense is that we can relate our performances capitalize on them. and presentations back to the norm by aiming intentionally for unrecognizability. HyperFor me, femme was and is a conscious choice. feminine clothing and makeup, but with full facial The major difference between femme as a queer hair, like the Radical Fairies, is one example of performance of femininity and just assimilating this attempt at countering the panoptical gaze of ideas of control of the feminine is the conscious the binary. Even the unrecognizable is able to be choice to do so, and the conscious choice to not related back to the norm, even if it is just in direct force anyone else to do so. It is an acknowledgment opposition to it. Recognizing unrecognizability is of our cultural, objectifying gaze and a turning of a form of recognition. I know that I don’t know that gaze back into the anonymous power of the what something is by relating it back to what I watcher. To quote the Femme Shark Manifesto: do know. Being recognized as unrecognizable “FEMME SHARKS DON’T EAT OUR OWN. is one way in which a non-binary presentation FEMME SHARKS LIKE TO EAT THOUGH can disseminate back out into society. Seeing the FEMME SHARKS RECOGNIZE THAT unrecognizable has the potential to light a spark FEMMES COME IN ALL KINDS OF SIZES of possibility in the perception of others. It has AND EACH KIND IS LUSCIOUS. WE the potential to result in a backlash of fear and WORK TOWARDS LOVING OUR CURVY, xenophobia as well, and we see that in the rates FAT, SKINNY, SUPERSIZE, THICK, of physical violence against transgender persons DISABLED, BLACK AND BROWN FINE-ASS world wide. However, that violence seems to BODIES EVERY DAY. WE REALIZE THAT LOVING occur regardless of the attempts of the transgender OURSELVES IN A R AC I S T / S E X I S T / H O M O / person in question to be recognizable, so that TRANSPHOBIC/ABLIST/CLASSIST SYSTEM IS AN violence in itself is not an absolute argument EVERY DAY ACT OF WAR AGAINST THAT against embracing unrecognizability. SYSTEM.” Femme was the final piece of this equation. I had always felt that the markers of femininity that I was being sold were a mask, a costume. It was a costume that I loved, that made me incredibly happy and made me feel a joy at existing. The idea that being non-binary meant letting go of that was something that I cannot accept. Eventually I
While writers like Julia Serano posit femininity as something natural to humans, expressions of femme seem to be products of specific temporal and geographic locations. Femme encompasses any expression of femininity while not prescribing any nor excluding certain behaviors as non-feminine. Femme as queer is almost inherent in the concept.
or more progressive, or some other hogwash. Generally, this results in two things: alienating those without these identities or those who find other definitions more fitting, and erasing the ways in which we recreate oppressive hierarchies within our communities. There is a sense of elitism in many non-binary spaces, often exacerbated by the fact that these spaces are rarely safe or welcoming for people of color. The idea of the most radical identity leads to ridiculous arguments about the inability of a white non-binary person to be racist or sexist. It leads to the appropriation of cultural identities of non-binary, like two-spirit.
Femme is as much about recognizing that we will To be clear, when I say appropriation, I don’t simply be altering our appearance in some way no matter mean that a white person is not the right identity to what, so why not challenge be able to use a certain label. the gaze we receive and the I use the term to describe Femme is as much meanings that gaze tries to the adoption without write on us? Why not look about recognizing that understanding and then back at the anonymous perversion of a concept from we will be altering our watcher in the tower who a culture that has less social may not even be there in the appearance in some currency than the culture of first place? In Bentham’s plans the adopter. Because a white way no matter what, so for a Panopticon, control of person will be more likely the prisoners did not come why not challenge the to be seen as an authority from locks on the doors, or figure by society as a whole, gaze we receive and the even from being watched all their misunderstandings and the time with the threat of meanings that gaze tries misinterpretations become punishment if one stepped understood and accepted out of line. Control came to write on us? as the truth about those from the possibility of being concepts, and the people watched, and the uncertainty who live those concepts of whether you were being watched or not. There more directly are left with less of an ability to were no locks on the doors of Bentham’s prison, counter erroneous ideas that are built around and only the threat of punishment. Femme means inscribed on them. Appropriation is when voices opening the door and doing a little shimmy as you that are in a position of privilege are considered walk through it. It means knowing you might be more authoritative on what is the truth than punished for walking out and doing it anyway. It the voices of those responsible for the concept. means looking in the tower to see if there really is Appropriation is when truth is dictated by the a watcher there. And possibly kissing them if they powerful about the lives and existences of the are. non-powerful. When those power structures are maintained, any potential liberation we could One caveat is critical here. It is very easy for have is stymied by relying on structures of racism, any group to feel as though they are somehow classism and imperialism. inherently more true and more radical because of that truth than another group. One thing I have My descriptions of non-binary identity and noticed in non-binary spaces is the idea that nonfemme as queer are how I have taken non-binary binary is somehow more radical and that a nonand femme as not just my identities, but as my binary identity makes someone a better activist, queer praxis. I get nervous about identities as
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Femininty is often seen as false, something that must be built, that isn’t natural. Femme does not accept or deny this idea, but embraces expressions of the feminine as a revolution against the idea that any of us need be “natural.” As one lovely blogger pointed out in a conversation about drag and performance, any modification we make to our presentation is going to be “unnatural” if we take unnatural to mean that humans altered it. Someone with a tidily trimmed beard is merely engaging in a different performance than someone in glitter eye makeup, and who says you can’t perform both at once?
revolutionary because for those identities to Mahmood, Z & Piepzna-Samarasinha, L. (2008). remain, the revolution can never be won. We Femme shark communique. Oakland: Selfsee this in feminist communities, where feminism published cannot be critiqued because people identify with it Serano, J. (2007). Whipping girl:A transsexual so strongly that critiquing the practice of feminism woman on sexism and the scapegoating of becomes a personal insult. Schisms happen, femininity. Seal Press. communities become isolated and any impact they could have had dissipates in the spaces between  Only once. One odd question ever. In my them. I would rather that we find, through our entire life. identities, tools that can be  Unless you’re into that radical and revolutionary. sort of thing. Femme as I practice it Queer, femme, fat, non But I feel fine...just fat. binary...none of these are  Unless you’re into that is queer because it is revolutionary alone. How kind of thing. based in an awareness we see the world because of  For some rage inducing them, the actions we take, stories, check out the blog of the structure around the ethics we form, those can “First Do No Harm”: http:// be the tools of revolution and me, not an uncritical fathealth.wordpress.com/ liberation.  One family friend, upon acceptance of it. The seeing a 15 year old me in questioning begins at What is at the base of queer a bathing suit, clucked her is a critical consciousness of the point of myself. tongue and asked my mother the limits of norms on human what had happened to the possibility. The embracing of pretty little girl I had been. the critique and the effort to be aware of the limits I’m not sure she knows that I heard her. we have imposed on us, and which we impose on  The fantastic S.E. Smith, as a matter of fact. ourselves is the important thing. Awareness is key. Ou writes in many places, but here is a good place Femme as I practice it is queer because it is based to start: http://meloukhia.net/ in an awareness of the structure around me, not an  Kukla, 2006 uncritical acceptance of it. The questioning begins  ...who was quite popular on the island of at the point of myself. I question myself, I question Lesbos, where the Greek side of my family hails myself with the knowledge that I may not be aware from. of the impact I have on the world around me and  Butler, 17 the ways in which I may be replicating oppression,  Mahmood and Piepzna-Samarasinha, 2006 so I work to make myself aware. Foremost in my  I’m not sure I buy her argument, partially mind is the awareness that I could be wrong. because it seems to be more of a statement than an argument. Serano, 2007 Everything I have said, could be wrong.  Amy Dentata, 2012  Foucault, 201 Works cited Butler, J. (2005). Giving an account of oneself. (1st Dorian Adams is a queer theorist and activist, ed.). New York: Fordham University Press. a non-binary, fat, queer femme who works for Dentata, A. (2012) Untitled blog post. Selfcommunity, sustainable living, trans* justice, published. Retreived from http://amydentata. radical parenting and centering marginalized tumblr.com/post/28931190724/archiemcpheevoices. They are currently a grad school applicant these-awesome-portraits-depicting who fills their days with thinking too much, Foucault, M. (1995). Discipline & punish: The birth chasing a small child, and subversive crafting. of the prison. (2nd ed.). New York: Vintage Books. Kukla, E. (2006). Terms for gender diversity in classical jewish texts. Trans Torah
Words Are Useless Artist: Gayle Carloss
Prisma Color Pencils Biography: Gayle Carloss is a professional artist and beloved art teacher in Sugar Land, TX. She received her B.F.A. in Studio Art from the University of Texas and has sold a number of her works in galleries and auctions across the Houston area. Gayle specializes in oil and water-based paints as well as pastel. She has taught in the Texas school system for 15 years and has four wonderful daughters. Gayle believes that â€œWomen should reveal their talents. Art is mine and I cherish it, as it has given me that area of life that has no true boundaries.â€?
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by Abi Wilberding
Educated Guess Asking How, Why, and What the Hell?
The Right to Write Last year, I took a class entitled “Culturally Relevant Literature for Children”. I’m going to spare all of you my academic nostalgia, I promise, but there was a concept brought up in this class that I struggle with everyday and I find relevant to this issue of Broad. We read a boat load of children’s books for our class, as one would expect. Some with cartoon
pictures, some chapter books by Gary Soto, others about border crossing for children, more about superheroes and the war in Afghanistan and even one about a pretty offensive cultural pizza party. With each book we would ask one another: “Is this author an insider or an outsider?”, “What about the illustrator?”, “Do they have the right to write?”.
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These are important questions not just for at best. What knowledge do we own? When is children’s literature, but for our everyday lives. knowledge personal and when is it objective? Can Who has the right to conversations about identity have authority on a really be objective? How Can conversations topic or a background? can we study or understand How do we recognize, about identity really be oppressed identities when respect, and take part our education system is in conversations about objective? How can we steeped in a dominant culture, background study or understand culture traditionally known and identity? These as oppressive? questions, especially oppressed identities when the last one, feel more our education system is I’m concerned with having like something that the right to write, if and when steeped in a dominant you might read in an I have the right to speak an incredibly crappy team culture traditionally known opinion that impacts people building pamphlet. outside myself. I’m also as opressive? In academia, they’re concerned with articulating frequently rhetorical. and opining on sexuality We ask them to prove when what I believe, think, that we’re thinking about them, not because we and feel is both complicated and private. I don’t have all the answers, or any of them for that matter. want to put my sexuality on display, and I don’t want to define it for anyone else. This is a luxury I want to keep the insider/outsider dichotomy in that I have and I find it incredibly disheartening mind though. If we are challenging ourselves and that I have this luxury. The luxury to not have to what we know we are consistently outsiders in identify. The luxury to marry my now partner. The our lives-- learning to navigate situations where luxury to not have to explain my sexuality in order we are uncomfortable, unsure, and frequently to fight for equality. out of place. I find that many people I’ve met choose to socialize and live in homogeneous It seems that, ironically, in order for things to communities that enforce instead of challenge the become equal we have to categorize them. We insider/outsider divide. I don’t blame them, it’s can’t be colorblind, genderblind, sexualityblind, comforting, it’s encouraging, it’s survival. we have to be aware of the gross inequalities that are happening to specific, defined populations. I am a gay rights advocate. I am a feminist. I am Given this need for awareness, however, it student of critical race theory. I think about these becomes difficult to be a person that straddles things in my day to day life, I read about them, identities instead of a person that fits the prescribed I talk about them, I try to understand what I can definition. In a system where we are all clearly do to promote them. But I know none of this is defined and marked as this or as that, being a enough, I can be an ally, I can push for equality, person who questions definitions marks you as a but I do not have the right to write, nor the right perpetual outsider. Even when we incorporate a to speak as if I know what hasn’t been my lived gray identity into mainstream thinking, we create experience. another category for it, making it another accepted definition rather than a process of understanding There are enough books to sink an aircraft carrier ourselves. on being an ally to communities, on supporting equality even though your identity may be from I worry about identifying. I worry about being an the dominant culture. I’m not writing anything new uncomfortable mix of outsider and insider. I worry about being an ally, but I think that talking about about the luxury of privacy, and if I really have the the insider/outsider divide in terms of knowledge right to write about anything at all. ownership is something that is done infrequently
Queerfesto by H. Melt
Attention Queer Writers:
never say it out loud. Until we speak with them. And they compliment our nail polish or suspenders or both.
It is the year two thousand twelve and we are still queer. Meaning that we are still different. Most people If we want to be engaged still do not get us. Which is fine. But people are still in the practice of freeing killing us too. Putting us ourselves and others, in jail. Slapping us around without consent. Giving us we must speak to as dirty looks on the street. broad of an audience Calling us by the wrong names. Gay conversion as possible. In a room camps still exist.
with people who do not look like us. Who are not where we’re from. Who do not cruise the same streets. Who may not already accept us.
There are lots of us writing. We must write about ourselves. About our daily lives. About our outfits and emotions and emotional outfits. About our walk to school or work. School and work. About our families of origin and our chosen ones. About our friends who left us and the new ones we picked up along the way. About our relationships. Sexual or not. Sexual and not. We must read each other, promote each other, write about each other, perform with each other, and sustain each other. But we must not remain isolated within a room full of mirrors. If we want to be engaged in the practice of freeing ourselves and others, we must speak to as broad of an audience as possible. In a room with people who do not look like us. Who are not where we’re from. Who do not cruise the same streets. Who may not already accept us. Or who do, but may
media. This is why we write. To be understood. To be misunderstood. To be questioned. To be answered. To be. No one will do it for us. We must do it. Ourselves. We must do it. Together. With love - h. melt October 21, 2012 H. Melt is a poet, artist, activist and educator who was born in Chicago. They have published, performed and exhibited in numerous spaces throughout the city including: All The Writers I Know, Chicago IRL, Salonathon, Woman Made Gallery, and in (wo)men & me(n)—an exhibit celebrating the first Trans, Gender Nonconforming and Intersex Freedom (TGIF) rally in Chicago. They are currently an emerging teaching artist with Young Chicago Authors and releasing a new collection of poems titled SIRvival in the Second City: Transqueer Chicago Poems on New School Poetics Press in early 2013.
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We are post gay lib. Gay liberation never fully came and it never will because liberation is an ongoing task. Most of us aren’t even gay anyway. Or we are but don’t call it that. We’re lots of other things too. Homosexual is a word that uncomfortable straight people use. That our parents use. We are living in a constant state of evolving language and creating new terms, new hybrid words daily. That language will live or die through our writing. Our histories will live or die there too. And it should be recorded in our own words.
We must not fall into caricatures our audiences and we, ourselves, already know—but challenge them to really see us, really listen to us as individuals and as a community. We must listen to ourselves. And each other. We must challenge ourselves to seek out our truest truths, especially the ones that are not fashionable. We must trust our own truths, even if we do not see our realities reflected elsewhere. Because we do not see our realities, our visions, our faces, our dreams, our nightmares represented in mainstream or even alternative forms of
Broadside Expressions in Poetry via Street Literature Style
By H. Melt
Why I Pr Dyke Ma Over the Pride Pa
Chicago Dyke March is a gra of dyke, queer, bi, and transg -Chicago Dyke March Colle There is no entry fee
I am nuts crack my crack is nuts
No police barricades to hold No beads thrown to strangle No politicians to weakly sha No tribune photographers to No stumbling straights to blo
Uncracked cracker nuts
helium filled floats deflate after they are blown up
I am cracker nuts roasted honey
where are those hundreds of thousands of people the other 364 days of the year?
I am sweet cracker nuts Salty cracker nuts I am Cracker thin c rack her nuts
this year the pride parade straightened its route dyke march stomps a circular path
Bloody c rack her nuts
To create visibility To honor our histories and id To disrupt oppression and do To challenge silence and fear
Padded wall (c rack her) nuts
nothing on display but our b holding hand made signs of s
I am my c rack crac king
horns honk, neighbors wave I have no choice but to smile
Nuts I am crac king nuts.
assroots mobilization gender resilience ective
d us back e our necks ake our hands o snap a headline ock our view
dentities ominance r
and smile e back.
Y U DON’T ASK Y U salt and pepper my morning bagel
Y U charge me $5 more 4 a cut & dry blow job Y U a dress male ms. legality Y U assign woman to pat down suspicions we both enjoy Y U heyyyyyy grrrl repeat sorry under yr breath Y U
centuries old style guyedlines advertising my birth certificate
grammat ick ally incorrect
don’t read bout me dis appearing morning newspaper
Y U Y U
ladies & gents me future tense don’t ask
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refer arch e arade
H. Melt is a poet, artist, activist and educator who was born in Chicago. They have published, performed and exhibited in numerous spaces throughout the city including: All The Writers I Know, Chicago IRL, Salonathon, Woman Made Gallery, and in (wo)men & me(n)—an exhibit celebrating the first Trans, Gender Nonconforming and Intersex Freedom (TGIF) rally in Chicago. They are currently an emerging teaching artist with Young Chicago Authors and releasing a new collection of poems titled SIRvival in the Second City: Transqueer Chicago Poems on New School Poetics Press in early 2013.
You Win Some By Rebecca Kling
July, 2009. The night before I’m scheduled to appear in court to legally change my name. As I go to to bed, I make sure everything is in order: the paperwork, directions downtown, everything.
I wanted a girl’s name, girl’s clothing, to have my hair long and flowing, to change in the girls’ locker room, to wear skirts and dresses to important family occasions…
I go to bed.
July, 2009. The day of the hearing. I gather the documents I need, and get dressed: makeup, jewelry, low heels, khakis, and a scooped v-neck purple sweater. I am undeniably in ‘girl-mode.’
I try to go to sleep. Lying awake at night, growing up, I wondered why my life couldn’t be different. Why I couldn’t wish my way into a different life; wish my way into a different body; wish my way into a different self. You see, once upon a time, I was a boy. I was! At least, people saw me that way: I had a boy’s name, boy’s clothing, had my hair in a buzz cut every summer for years, changed in the boys’ locker room, wore a suit and tie to important family occasions...
I try to stay calm as I get ready, but have a hard time collecting myself. In my nervousness, I leave extra time to get downtown. In my nervousness, I perhaps leave a little too much extra time to get downtown: I slip into room 1214 at the Daley Center, where my hearing is scheduled for 9AM, slightly before 8:30. The courtroom is empty. So I wait. For half an hour. I twiddle my thumbs. I minutely examine my fingernails. I check my email on my cellphone.
I think about the person people saw me to be, growing up. About the person people see me to be today. About how I want people to see me, moving forward. Because I’m not sure how to reconcile the different stages of my life. Do I ask my parents to take down pictures from before I transitioned? Do I want to wipe clean the time before I was 22 or 23? To cover the mirrors which reflect the parts of myself I don’t always want to remember, don’t always want to see?
all the power - refused to respect me enough to gender me correctly. I head down to the cashier’s’ office to get everything certified.
Looking back, though, it’s infuriating that this authority figure - who held all the cards and all the power - refused to respect me enough to gender me correctly.
I wonder why there isn’t a simple clock hanging in the courtroom, but actual individual numbers screwed directly into the wall, with the hands protruding out above the jury box. (I imagine going over and changing the time, so that the hearing will start sooner.) At last, at 9AM, the judge comes in and sits down. He calls my name and I stand up to approach the bench.
Allow for the emotional weight of this So finally, two months and $526 dollars after first filing my petition for name change, I have four certified copies of a document saying I am now, legally and duly recognized by the State of Illinois, Rebecca Rodin Kling.
Transitioning, for me, has been a gradual process. As much as I would have liked to rip off a mask one day and have my entire being magically transformed, life doesn’t work so cleanly. Changing my name is just one step in a long journey, one that may never be definitively “over.” Still, holding those certified papers, complete with the seal of the state of Illinois, feels pretty damn great. Breath
“Present, your honor.” “Yes, your honor.” “No, your honor.”
A month or so prior, my roommate and I had gone bowling. Piet has known me since long before I began transitioning, and was one of the many people in my life who needed to learn to call me Rebecca.
The judge is confirming that, yes, I want to change my name to Rebecca and, no, I’m not doing so for fraudulent or deceptive purposes and, yes, I have all the paperwork. The actual hearing takes about three minutes, during which the judge directs more “Sirs” at me than are strictly necessary, especially given how I’m presenting myself, and what I’m there to do. But - figuring I should know when to pick my battles - I keep my mouth shut. In part, my anxiety that something will go wrong keeps me from speaking up. Looking back, though, it’s infuriating that this authority figure - who held all the cards and
We were discussing silly bowling nickname names. The bowling name I had used in high school was a play on my old (male) name, and we were discussing possibilities for a new bowling nickname. As we were talking, I realized we were going out of our way to avoid saying my old name. I finally said, “It’s not Voldemort. If you say my old name, I won’t burst into flames.” You’re allowed to laugh at that, the Voldemort joke. Piet is overly apologetic and will sometimes tell me a joke about trans people only to instantly retract it, saying “Was that too much? Did I go too far?” It never goes too far with him, because
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“Yes, your honor.”
he is always laughing with me, not at me. Being trans is often absurd, surreal, hilarious, and I’m not too militant to admit it. But I make the Voldemort joke because my old name - my old gender - has been used to hurt me. Names can seem unimportant, right up until someone refuses to call you what you ask to be called. Gender can seem easy, right up until it’s not.
But that ‘F’ I want on my license isn’t just me being stubborn. Well, maybe it’s a little stubbornness, but there are real consequences to not having documentation that matches your presentation.
when looking at my old license, but before he can say anything I interject, “Yes, I know. That’s why I’m getting a new license.” The picture isn’t great, but what drivers license photo is? On the whole, I’m feeling rather pleased: I have four certified pieces of paper confirming my name change, and a new driver’s license to back it up. My name...is actually my name.
Likewise, the name change paperwork - as important as it is - won’t do me much good if I get pulled over with my old license. So off to the DMV, for a drivers license that will - for the first time in my life - truly be mine.
But I really want that gender marker changed on my license. The DMV doesn’t get to decide my gender. The government, some judge, doesn’t get to decide my gender. I don’t need a doctor to tell me something I’ve known most of my life. And now, outside the DMV with a moment to pause and think about the successes and setbacks of the day, I get frustrated. Annoyed. Pissed off. I want that drivers license to say ‘F.’ For once, I want to be able to say ‘I win.’
Between filing my name change paperwork and getting it approved, I went out to a bar with friends. By early 2009, I was Rebecca in all aspects of my life - at work, with friends, and with family. But my documentation hadn’t caught up with reality, so I was forced to hand my old license (with a male name and male photo) to the bouncer. He looked at me incredulously and I said, “Look, I’m trying to get it changed. I promise you that I’m not any happier about having that license than you are about having to look at it.” He let me through, and wasn’t even rude about it, but it made me want that new license all the more. The downtown DMV is just across the street, and getting a license with my new, corrected, name is surprisingly easy: $5 and showing someone the certified documentation. But when I ask about changing the gender marker, I’m told I can’t do that without a “note from a doctor.” Once again, like when standing before the judge, I’m too nervous to protest. I feel powerless. I’m sent to the photographer. The guy taking the photo does a double take
Something occurs to me. I’ve been getting “ma’am”ed more and more. The number of people who do a double-take when seeing me shopping for women’s clothing, in the women’s restroom, out with girlfriends, keeps dropping. What if I go to another DMV and tell a little white lie? I figure, what’s the worst that can happen? They say ‘no’ again? I should go to work. I took the morning off to get this done, but I still need to process payroll and get everyone their paychecks. I don’t have time to take the Red Line home from downtown, and then drive to the Elston DMV and wait in yet another line for who knows how long. But that ‘F’ I want on my license isn’t just me being stubborn. Well, maybe it’s a little stubbornness, but there are real consequences to not having documentation that matches your presentation. It’s the difference between
The gods of bureaucracy are smiling on me, because she looks at the license, looks at me, looks at the license, and says, “Well that’s not right! Lets get that taken care of.” At this point, I need to suppress a grin from breaking out. She types away, “Hmming,” and making me worry all over again. I am convinced the name change hasn’t propagated through the system. She can see my old name. She can see my old photo. She can see right through me. But she doesn’t. She hands me some papers saying, “Take those to the cashier. They won’t charge you for the correction, since it was our mistake, but they need to sign off on it.” Wait, really? In 2009, I was convinced this little old lady at the DMV was simply fooled by my ruse. But, in the intervening years, I’ve started to question that assumption. What if she knew everything - saw
But for all that fear and doubt, I find closets too confining. My life seems too deliciously absurd not to share. And sure, I pick my battles. I didn’t try to explain gender theory to the judge at the Daley Center. I haven’t pushed queer theory on TSA officers. But I am trans. I was a boy (at least, the world saw me that way). But I’m not anymore. And where’s the fun in staying silent? July 2009, I finally get to work. I have time to process payroll, everyone gets their paychecks on time, and I proudly display my brand new license for all to see. Rebecca Kling is a transgender artist and educator who explores gender and identity through solo pieces and educational workshops. She takes the position that sharing accessible queer narrative with a wide audience is a form of activism, and that understanding combats bigotry. Rebecca regularly performs at theatre festivals and schools across the country. For more information, visit www.RebeccaKling.com
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panicking whenever I give my license to a my old name, my old photo, my old license, all bouncer, and simply being let into a bar. It’s the on her computer screen - and helped me anyway? difference between being convinced that the It’s easy for me to list the people who haven’t police officer who pulled offered their support in me over is going to harass my transition: judges and That’s sort of how being and humiliate me, and bouncers and bosses and transgender works: every simply being able to say assholes on the street. “What’s the problem, But what if there’s also an mundane detail of daily officer?” It’s the difference unseen population that has living can become a battle between every TSA security had my back? What if this checkpoint becoming a of bureaucracy, of patience, DMV clerk knew exactly referendum on my gender, what I was trying to do, of keeping your cool. of being terrified that I will but didn’t give it a second be caught trying to smuggle thought? a penis through airport security, and simply making my flight on time. Back in 2009, none of these thoughts cross my mind. I don’’t bother to suppress a grin, and smile It’s the ability to relax just a little because it’s one my way over to the cashier. He sends me to get less thing for the world to pounce on.I don’t have (another) picture taken for my second new license time to go to another DMV, to try my luck again, that day. But now I’m ready, and actually smiling, but I go anyway. and am subsequently handed the most perfect drivers license that ever there was. My number at the Elston DMV is called, and I hand my license to a little old lady behind the That’s sort of how being transgender works: Every counter, explaining that I had just gotten a typo mundane detail of daily living can become a corrected at the DMV downtown and somehow battle of bureaucracy, of patience, of keeping your they had put male as the gender marker, which cool. I’ve been required to justify my presence, my doesn’t make any sense! appearance, my very existence.
Off the Shelf Books, Brains, and Broads
The Queer God: A Book Review
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One of the most useful tasks I was assigned in dialogue for and from heretosexual dissenters” (p. graduate school was to write an academic book 4). review. We were instructed to write the review as if we were writing for an academic journal. Although By using these indecent theologies Althaus-Reid I haven’t had to write one in my professional career brings Christian Theology to a Queer space. She as of yet I probably will if I continue pursing a focuses on pleasure as a way of being intimate career in academia. This is the book review I wrote with God, and just as importantly she values for my Christian Sexual Ethics course (a course I pleasure over the object choice of pleasure. To her highly recommend). This is my final draft from the our interactions with God should be pleasurable class unedited. It is by no means a perfect example and fluid. As the author shows us Queer Theory is of a book review, and I was provided some very a natural place for doing Theology. Althaus-Reid constructive feedback to improve, but I figured uses Queer methods of analyzing institutions, in it might be helpful to see it this way. Also, I have this case Christianity, by using the body as a way started a second Masters degree program this to question, explore, play with, and denaturalize month and time has not been herterosexual Christian on my side. I hope you find this ideological norms. Through the works review informative and helpful for whatever your education or of Marquise de Sade career goals may be. The book is divided and Georges Bataille, into two main parts. Review of Part one deals with Althaus-Reid develops The Queer God identity issues in Queer her excellent libertine By Marcella Althaus-Reid Theology while part New York: Routledge, 2003. two focuses on Latin hermeneutical reading 186 pp. American cultures of scripture by queering $43.95 and the place of promiscuity in a Queer God in relationships by Theology. In the queering the trinity and This is a valuable book for first section Althausthe fields of both Christian examining sexual salvation Reid’s methodological Liberation Theology and approach consists through the Voyeur God. Queer Theory. Althaus-Reid of reading Scripture provides substantial and against/with both important arguments for encountering god outside Latin American and American fiction writers. of traditional heternormative Christian ideologies. Althaus-Reid proposes and develops a libertine God, according to the author, is queer. Althaushermeneutical reading of these texts alongside one Reid uses various brilliant and often theologically another as a way of deconstructing and displacing neglected lenses, what she calls indecent theologies the heterosexual assumptions of the Bible. In the of pleasure, desire, sexuality, identity, and the second section her methodology is in using Latin body, to explore and define a Queer Theology American cultures to provide a context for various based in the first person experiences of self-baring loving relationships and experiences by the Other; diasporic persons and communities. Her central the poor and those excluded from more regular or thesis is that God is along the margins among the “decent theologies.” disenfranchised Other: the poor, the sexual deviant, and all oppressed peoples at all times in homes, gay Section one, “Queering Theology,” is where bars, and everywhere in between. And, in so being Althaus-Reid begins developing the idea of there, these marginalized bodies and spaces are the Deviant Theologian by examining her own places from which Theology should be done with personal experience of kneeling in front of a priest joy. The central goal of this book according to the in Argentina, and analyzing where young boys and author is to “create a new space for a theological girls are located in relation to the priest’s penis. She
draws on Kosofsky Sedgwick throughout the book to show the autobiographical components of Queer Theology and other important aspects of queer theory. Through the works of Marquise de Sade and Georges Bataille AlthausReid develops her excellent libertine hermeneutical reading of scripture by queering God in relationships by queering the trinity and examining sexual salvation through the Voyeur God.
and subversive Latin American cultures AlthausReid provides an image of the Queer God who can be found outside of the church and in the lives of the marginalized and oppressed. The text can be dense in places and I wish that Althaus-Reid would have also written for a more unacademic audience. Her ideas are valuable and could have an empowering affect on the marginalized groups she writes about if only her work were accessible to them. I would highly recommend this book for GBLTQ library collections, and for upper-level graduate courses and experts in the fields of Liberation Theology, Queer Theory, and Gender Theory.
Through her ingenious readings of fiction, Christian ideologies, and subversive Latin American cultures, Althaus-Reid provides an image of the Queer God who can be found outside the church and in the lives of the marginalized and oppressed.
In the section â€œQueer promiscuitiesâ€? she brings the Queer idea of space, creating as well as recognizing uninstitutionalized or unusual spaces, to Theology through providing unique and fascinating examples of Queer places of worship in Latin America. Some of her most poignant examples can be found in this section of the book including her discussion of the divine and bisexual mountains in the town of Moya and examples of queer sainthood like the sanctification of Che Guevara in Argentina. She creatively and engagingly brings theology out of the academic and liturgical settings into bedrooms, dungeons, gay bars, living rooms, salsa bars, etc.... Like other theologians such as Kelly Brown Douglas Althaus-Reid argues for a sexual theology of resistance. Throughout the book she puts writers, philosophers, feminist theologians, and Latin American liberation theologians in dialogue with queer theory though interesting and inclusive ways. Due to queer theories grounding in the body, pleasure, and personal experience it is a perfect vehicle for theological analysis and AlthausReid employs it in intelligent, complicated, and subversive ways. Christian Theology, whether theologians like to admit it or not, is based in the physical world as much as, if not more than, the metaphysical. Issues such as conception, the physical torture of Jesus Christ, and the virginity of Mary are all mired in the human flesh. Through her ingenious readings of fiction, Christian ideologies,
Love takes off masks that we fear we cannot live without and know we cannot live within. I imagine one of the reasons people cling to their hates so stubbornly is because they sense, once hate is gone, they will be forced to deal with their pain.
Quote Corner James Baldwin
It is certain, in any case, that ignorance, allied with power, is the most ferocious enemy justice can have.
Anyone who has ever struggled with poverty knows how extremely expensive it is to be poor.
You know, itâ€™s not the world that was my oppressor, because what the world does to you, if the world does it to you long enough and effectively enough, you begin to do to yourself.
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Oppressed Youth Fight Neo-Fascist & Police Terror By Leslie Feinberg
This article was originally published at Workerâ€™s World: Workers & Oppressed Peoples of the World Unite and reprinted with permission from the author.
The town is in reactionary Rep. Michele Bachmann’s [R-Minn.] home district. Erdely wrote that town evangelicals have created an extremely hostile environment for LGBTQ/+ youths — and those perceived to be. Of the students who ended their lives: “Four of the nine dead were either gay or perceived as such by other kids, and were reportedly bullied.” This means that youths, whose tormentors claimed they would burn for eternity, chose to die rather than live through another day of torture.
LGBTQ/+ students in the Anoka-Hennepin School District are organizing in resistance, with support from other students and other generations, including parents, teachers and activists.
The dominant media obscure where the bullying is coming from, and why the rate of child/ youth suicides is so startling. The news propaganda poses the question of “bullying” as an abstract, relative and unknowable truth. The truth is, bullies are those who target the oppressed and exploited. And it’s not just youths who are being bullied. All generations of those oppressed and exploited are up against reactionary bullying.
Nine youth — students in the Anoka-Hennepin School District in Anoka, Minn. — have ended their own lives in less than two years, Rolling Stone reported in an online article dated Feb. 2. (rollingstone.com) Dan Reidenberg, a child psychiatrist and the executive director of the Minnesota-based Suicide Awareness Voices of Education, declared the Anoka-Hennepin School District the site of a “suicide cluster.” He suggested that suicidal thoughts might be contagious, like a virus. But Rolling Stone journalist Sabrina Rubin Erdely pointed to the political climate and economic conditions in the town. The old logging company town is “in an area where just 20 percent of adults have college educations, the recession hit hard and foreclosures and unemployment have become the norm.”
Erdely stated, “In 1993, Bachmann, a proponent of school prayer and creationism, co-founded the New Heights charter school in the town of Stillwater, only to flee the board amid an outcry that the school was promoting a religious curriculum. Bachmann also is affiliated with the ultra-right Minnesota Family Council, headlining a fundraiser for them last spring alongside
Newt Gingrich.” “[T]he Anoka-Hennepin school district finds itself in the spotlight,” Erdely continued, “not only for the sheer number of suicides but because it is accused of having contributed to the death toll by cultivating an extreme anti-gay climate.” “LGBTQ students don’t feel safe at school,” Anoka Middle School for the Arts teacher Jefferson Fietek reported. “They’re made to feel ashamed of who they are. They’re bullied. And there’s no one to stand up for them, because teachers are afraid of being fired.” LGBTQ/+ students in the Anoka-Hennepin School District are organizing in resistance, with support from other students and other generations, including parents, teachers and activists. Rolling Stone concluded that LGBTQ/+ youths “are fighting back.” For example, five students have filed a lawsuit against the Anoka-Hennepin School District
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Big-business media have reported that an alarming number of white LGBTQ/+ children and teenagers in the U.S. are ending their own lives because they can’t endure another day of harassment and threats due to the rise in violent bullying in schools and on the streets. The coverage sometimes includes heartfelt appeals from older generations to younger ones to “hang on” because “it gets better.” History has proved again and again, however, that the mere passage of time — in and of itself — does not usher in progress.
“alleging the school district’s policies on gays are not only discriminatory, but also foster an environment of unchecked anti-gay bullying.” Rolling Stone reports that the Southern Poverty Law Center and the National Center for Lesbian Rights have filed the lawsuit on the youths’ behalf. “The Department of Justice has begun a civil rights investigation as well.” Anoka officials bill the town as the “Halloween capital of the world.” At this year’s Halloween Parade, some 30 youths were denied their right to march. They had planned to march together as a contingent for Justin’s Gift — “an Anoka-based nonprofit that seeks to provide safe activities” for LGBTQ/+ youths. (justinsgift.org). Officials claimed that “there were already too many walking entrants in the parade,” reports minnpost.com.
McDonald’s face, cutting her deeply. Another of the neo-fascists — who bore a swastika tattoo — died of a stab wound from the struggle that ensued. Supportcece.wordpress.com reports that “the only person arrested that night was CeCe.” McDonald has been punished by police, jailers, prosecutor, judge and prison guards ever since. She is currently in a prison cell in St. Cloud, Minn., where sadistic, white-supremacist, neofascist bullies are uniformed, armed and carry the key to her cell.
The St. Cloud prison warden reportedly locked down all prisoners on Sept. 14, and posted armed SWAT teams at every entrance, to block a group of supporters who had traveled in a motorcycle caravan to visit McDonald. McDonald wrote an Erdely interviewed 19 youths who met for the first organizing message from her prison cell on Nov. Gay Straight Alliance meeting of the school year 20 honoring the lives lost to anti-trans murders. at Anoka Middle School for the Arts. The youths “We need to not only celebrate for Trans Day described what the GSA has of Remembrance, but also meant in their lives. One become self-aware and Bullies- alone or in explained: “It’s a place of ready to put an end to our groupsare cowards. freedom, where I can just be community being the focus of myself.” violence. They attack when they A child with an asymmetrical haircut spoke in a soft voice before breaking down in tears: “What this GSA means to me, is: In sixth grade my, my only friend here, committed suicide. She was the one who reached out to me. I joined the GSA ‘cause I wanted to be just like her. I wanted to be nice and — loved.”
think the relationship of forces is in their favor... It’s not which class or group the bullies come from that defines them as facists. It’s which class their ideology and actions serve.
CeCe McDonald, a young Black (trans)woman and community youth organizer, is resisting ongoing hate crimes — first by neo-fascists on the streets of South Minneapolis and then by those who carry badges. McDonald and her friends were violently assaulted in the street in South Minneapolis on June 5, 2011, by a group of neo-fascists who defined themselves by shouting white-supremacist Klan language, anti-LGBTQ/+ and anti-woman slurs. One of the attackers smashed a glass mug into
“We need for our mission to promote racial, social, and economic justice for trans youth, with freedom to selfdefine gender identity and expression. It won’t be long before I’m out and I want to be involved with all those who are willing to step up and get ready for a revolution, and it will not be televised!”
Bullies — alone or in groups — are cowards. They attack when they think the relationship of forces is in their favor. When they instigate violence against an oppressed person, the bullies are confident that bigger bullies — the forces of violence that help keep the 1% in class rule, including police, courts and media — are behind them. It’s not which class or group the bullies come from that defines them as fascists. It’s which class their ideology and actions serve.
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Klan and Nazis, neo-fascists and their militia, — the largest syndicate in the profit-driven prison corporate police and mercenaries — all these system. CCA receives taxpayer dollars for each bullies are being emboldened and bankrolled prisoner. “That means, for each prisoner, CCA by billionaires as the makes a profit,” Mint Press Youth of color and economic crisis deepens News reported. (mintpress. for oppressed people/s net, Nov. 29) working-class youth and the working class. Fascist ideology attempts are caught between re“In 2011, CCA made $1.76 to whip up divisive blame billion. When locking enslavement in racist toward people of color, people up is a main source immigrants, LGBTQ/+ mass incarceration in the of revenue, the motives people, youth, women, the arrests, charges prison-industrial complex, behind disabled and ill, workers and incarcerations are or the economic draft into and unemployed — in questioned. With many order to divert attention prisons across the nation the military-industrial from the economic and becoming privatized, their social crimes of capitalism. complex- where they are actions are being watched with a close eye, especially ordered to kill or be killed. The director of Issues when they involve students Analysis for the American in public schools.” Family Association, Bryan Fischer, has repeatedly issued a public call for a terrorist network to abduct Youth of color and working-class youth are children from their same-sex parents. Adding deep caught between re-enslavement in racist mass racist insult to injury, Fischer calls this organized incarceration in the prison-industrial complex, kidnapping an “Underground Railroad” — the or the economic draft into the military-industrial means by which African peoples self-emancipated complex — where they are ordered to kill or from white-supremacist enslavement. be killed. Students face indentured servitude to crushing debt. Youths are at the front-line Unarmed youth of color are being lynched in barricades, leading struggles today that are shaping cities across the U.S. — Oscar Grant, Trayvon tomorrow — from Cairo, Egypt, to Port-au-Prince, Martin, Jordan Davis, Ramarley Graham — by Haiti; from San Juan, Puerto Rico, to Montreal; armed vigilantes and police, who hide behind the from Oakland, Calif., to Baltimore. claim of “self-defense.” Oppressed youths in the U.S. are confronted by apartheid passbook laws A clear view of these struggles would inspire and violent attack by Immigration and Customs hope for many oppressed youths that the fight for Enforcement (ICE) agents, and are stopped, frisked change is already being waged, with youths in and brutalized by police. the leadership. Youths need jobs; live-able wages; affordable education, health care and housing; Police, armed white supremacist vigilante groups recreation and transportation. Oppressed youths and other neo-fascist bullies enforce unofficial have a right to walk together in the streets without curfews for oppressed youths — as well as official curfew; the right to meet, to make music and other ones. Vigilantes and mercenaries are being art in public; to organize in collective defense. increasingly hired, armed and “deputized” by the banks and corporations directly, for private armies Anti-slavery abolitionist Frederick Douglass and prisons for profit. summed up this historic truth: “Without struggle, there is no progress.” Douglass, enslaved as a Corporate cops took part in a police raid on students laborer in Maryland, had attempted to escape at Vista Grande High School in Casa Grande, Ariz., repeatedly. As punishment for teaching other on Oct. 31. The “deputized” mercenaries were enslaved African laborers to read, Douglass was hired by the “Corrections” Corporation of America sent to be whipped by a paid “slave-breaker.”
Douglass fought back and beat the “slave-breaker” to the ground. He successfully emancipated himself from slavery in 1838, with collective help from the Abolitionist Underground Railroad. He was 20 years old. When he was almost 40 years old, Douglass elaborated on the lessons of his own life and centuries of struggles for social/economic justice with these powerful words: “Let me give you a word of the philosophy of reform. The whole history of the progress of human liberty shows that all concessions yet made to her august claims have been born of earnest struggle. … “Those who profess to favor freedom and yet deprecate agitation … want crops without plowing up the ground; they want rain without thunder and lightning. They want the ocean without the awful roar of its many waters.” Douglass concluded, “This struggle may be a moral one, or it may be a physical one, and it may be both moral and physical, but it must be a struggle. “Power concedes nothing without a demand. It never did and it never will.” Leslie Feinberg came of age as a young butch lesbian in the factories and gay bars of Buffalo, N.Y. in the 1960s. Since that time, Feinberg has been a grass roots activist and a journalist. Ze is known in the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender movements in the U.S. and countries around the world. The lesbian magazine Curve named Feinberg one of the 15 Most Influential.
Words Are Useless Artist: Hannah Rodriguez
Married to the Game (All White Everything)
Biography: Hannah Rodriguez is a Chicago based artist, seeking a BFA degree at School of the Art Institute of
Chicago. She uses multiple mediums to make social and political work pertaining to gender and racial identities. Many of the images in her work queer these identities to exploit the problems of defining and terming parts of the human experience that have crossing paths. Her work explores ideas of intersectionality, social hierarchy, and makes facetious jabs at masculinity and gender expression.
This piece comes from a body of work that critically responds to the self-hatred and anti-femme messages perpetuated in rap music. This particular collage is specific to Young Jeezy’s famous single, “All White Everything,” which uses the language of different forms of whiteness to convey status. The chorus reads: “Married to the game/ She even got a wedding ring/ Six white cars and I put that on everything/ White benz/White porsch/ White bent/ White range/White vet/ White brains/ All white everything/ I’m ‘bout to kill ‘em this summer/ I’m doin’ all white everything.”
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Digital Collage, 2012
Yes, Iâ€™m Still Here. Can you Hear me Now? By Dan Dumont
Ghosts of moments past. Empty spaces. Tuesday afternoons, alone. Bumbling mumbling about the house. Brush of a cat on your leg. A story with a trans theme. A life with a theme of
gendered moments. Awkward glances. Knowing by familiarity, recurrence, without understanding. Familiarity without connection. What is it that makes me different? Some learn to look down. Some learn to bare teeth early, quickly, to be ferocious and untameable. I look down.
“Most days I feel like loose wires that dangle, but with you I connect.”* I look up. You see me, I see you. Zap! Heart starts beating again. Resuscitated. Brought back to life. I wasn’t dead, just... elsewhere. Dangling. You know?
Phantom limbs, phantom lives, names of ghosts past. Let me tell you who I was growing up. Picture this. Jaws drop, heads tilt, lips tighten. Let me make you look downwards. Tables turn. What will you do with this terrible violent knowledge? Does it split you open? Do you know who you are? Can you see me now? This is what I have done. This is what it took for this body to blossom. Is it a sacrifice? A modern medical miracle? Is it cosmetic, or corrective? Is it ethical? Isn’t it beautiful? Is it what you would do if we were in each other’s shoes? I can’t possibly tell you the difference it has made.
Life goes on. Post transformation I am legible to the world. Scorn, shame, hundreds this body to blossom. Is Choices made in moments of shades of disapproving it a sacrifice? A modern of desperation rarely turn glances, have drifted out for the best. My moment quietly away from me, medical miracle? Is it of desperation stretched into so many small sore cosmetic, or corrective? Is from approximately age memories. That should 11 onwards. I couldn’t it ethical? Isn’t it beautiful? make me happy, solidify picture a future me, I my triumph, bolster Is it what you would do if we couldn’t face the present my confidence, prove me. I took what I could my righteousness. But were in each other’s shoes? get. I looked down. I that terrible knowledge felt angry, said nothing. I can’t possibly tell you the persists. I am legible, but Shame, loathing, desolate, difference it has made. by a thin margin. The barren. Yet feisty. One of rug could be pulled out the fun things about years from under me again. No of desperation is the sense that there is nothing person is truly free unless all people are free. That to lose. Freedom: lack of expectations, guidelines, doesn’t seem very likely, does it? I wish I thought boundaries, limits. Slipping silently around the ties I was free. I wish I could forget what it felt like that bind others, by being “other.” Grim resolution, before. I wish I could let it go, accept what I’ve keen perspective, both odd, out of place for got, accept what I’ll never have. I wish I could youth. But where else could I have gone with all move on. Life goes on but I stay right here. those empty moments, awkward glances, missed connections, small sighs, disapproving looks, and *from Gregory Douglass missing explanations. I would have given anything for an explanation, for a moment of kinship. What is it that makes me different? Dan Dumont lives in Nashville TN, works in accounting, hosts a weekly meditation group, Transgender. The word entered my soul like a and volunteers with Just Us, the local group for knife, doubled me over, dead parts sliced through, LGBTQ youth. raw, bloody, reborn. All at once there I was, with fresh new hope, cut free. Left one hell of a scar though. Scar tissue itches, and big scars are the worst. Without feeling, missing the proper nerve endings, you can never quite scratch it.
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Who wants a story with a trans theme? I never did. The word entered my life like an avalanche. Buried, numb, disbelieving, I had no choice but to start my life anew. No way to unrecognize, unlearn, unidentify, push the intruder out. Blissful ignorance gone like a balloon into the sky, not coming back. Shit, that’s me. Awful, violent knowledge, This is what I have done. ruining everything, forcing This is what it took for me forward.
Broadside Expressions in Poetry via Street Literature Style
By Dan Dumont
Some things have already waited too long to be said Deep down I’m tired & disillusioned of it But yet I seek it out sensationalized media proclaiming the latest sign of a degenerate society NEWSFLASH Transexuals exist! they live among us they are not just scary demons in stories made to keep children tame. Look out world here we are our secret lives revealed How did you know? When did you know? What did your mother say? Gawk at us on the TV now as well as on the streets. We’ll pretend not to hear the echoes of you yelling from your armchairs now too or staring silently, swallowing loudly the threat of us sinking in
Wow! We exist! I need this sometimes too to gawk, to see from afar to stay far from myself to get away from the inescapable intimacy of the self. Every morning noon & night here I am. In all my glory. WHY WHY WHY HOW HOW HOW am I this way? COULD IT BE? YES “IT” IS I need this replayed for me a neutral affirmation observation, really Yes it is Yes it is Yes it is Yes it is Yes it is female Yes it looks male AMAZING over and over a steady rhythm a steady beating a thousand small wounds opened then reopened never ever healing the hollow knock of it distracting in a relaxing way like tap tap tap tapping on a baby’s bottom it jarrs me to sleep I need my sleep my daily reality erased Avoiding Intimacy Daily Fluid moments full of doubts. Questions. What does it feel like to be a woman?
Despite all that I’ve been through all I’ve been told & shown all the violence & humiliation both threatened & experienced I could find no better way than this. What does that imply for the human race, & for this culture? What does that mean to the man who sold me my first suit, that fit my female body like a glove right off the rack BAM Have you ever seen such a gorgeous man? What does that mean for you? It feels damn good to me Though unexpected, uncertain, undesired, unwelcome I found a way to look nice I don’t fit in. I stand out. Can’t win em all. How would you know? You would just know.
Untitled Snuggled in bed I held you you tensed you cried you looked at someone who wasn’t there pupils big eyes wide Our naked bodies together I held you We were in different places But we were together I was scared scared for you scared to mess up scared that I didn’t have any answers that he wouldn’t go away What if he came back? What should I do? Truth is we were both alone moving towards something totally new holding onto each other tight
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How do you think about your maleness? What is the weight of it? Where do you carry it? and where does it sit in your body? Can you feel it when you laugh? Or when you move your hands? Or when you tie your shoes? When you sneeze? When you smile at your lover? Where is it? How do you know? Mine doesn’t make sense Can you share yours with me?
Dan Dumont lives in Nashville TN, works in accounting, hosts a weekly meditation group, and volunteers with Just Us, the local group for LGBTQ youth.
By Emma Steiber
Queer Thoughts A Transgressive Approach
Deconstruction of the Phallus Giving the phallus a physical image to connect it with seems to be the norm or an accepted, commonplace action. Sexual experimentation has included giving actions a physical image to equate it with. To some, the finger and toys, such as the vibrator, become imagined penises to play with. While the phallus was ever present in my sexual activities, my sexual identity was more
complex than what societyâ€™s standards of appeal taught me in films and videos. Before I discovered queer identity and bisexualism, confusion over my sexual identity and what came to represent it in the bedroom grew. Whether it was a dildo or a penis, why could I not shed or deconstruct the phallic symbolism behind it?
Kate Bornstein, gender theorist and author of Gender Outlaw, discusses and emphasizes the
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In our driven heterosexual society, the phallic deconstruction of gender in identity. Among her identity is driven by male dominance. Yet in my discussions on queer theatre, the “third space,” bedroom, strapping on the dildo and tightening and one’s identity, she responds to the phallus. “I the elastic band destabilized the heteronormative see the phallus as a symbol of a misuse of power in identity. I felt that a sexual act with a dildo both shed this world, one that has become linked to penises.” and reinstated the phallic power of male-driven Bornstein relates this to transgendered people who society. In the beginnings refuse the phallic gender of my sexual exploration, LGBTQ can be a dichotomy or who create a it was difficult to rid my new meaning to it, yet still limitless playroom identity of the misperceived keep the physical penis for one. Strapping on male dominance and create intact. Bornstein gives new my own intelligence on meaning to one’s sexual male dominance can the matter. Yet I began to identity by broadening it realize I could play with and be a form of play and and making it limitless. deconstruct sex by using such By overcoming gender’s a deconstruction of the toys. That one could enter a limits, a broad identity is woman with a rubber dildo phallus itself. I like the established. didn’t make me think of male phallus as a dominant dominance, but made me Drag theatre, another think I could destabilize the symbol, a genderless subject Bornstein discusses, phallus symbol and turn it is a perfect example of dominant symbol. into degendered sexual play. gender play. By dressing in drag, a person can become I was told by one girl on a an exaggeration of gender date that bisexuals had trouble choosing a side and, in effect, can shine a light on the gender and just wanted all the fish in the sea. But I didn’t. binaries. By playing with gender, whether it is It was quite the opposite in my identity. I am both done through drag, sexual reassignment surgery, attracted to men and women, but it’s more than or sexual exploration, images such as the dildo the gendered sex of the individual. I am picky, can be disconnected from the phallus image or which is why I had trouble with dating growing give the phallus symbol new meaning. up. I am attracted to the physical body, whether it is male, female, or transsexual. From strap-ons to penises, I find that the phallus image portrayed in both can be de-gendered. Some see my IQ as low because of stereotyped Dominance does not have to be gotten rid of notions of bisexuality, but to me it is high because because acts, such as S&M, top-bottom, and I can overcome and disregard the exclusivity that more, are part of an endless list of sexual play. some make of sex. My first encounter with a penis Rather than make gender an all-consuming part of furthered my identity. Going from a dildo to a penis, people, their identity can be based on the playing I was able to see the gendered norms as irrelevant. of it, the reconstruction of it. If male-female roles I could dominant my boyfriend in the bedroom are a turn-on, then use this, but dominance should and vice versa without feeling constrained. not be constrained to one side. By playing with Through this act, playing with gender can be seen binaries and changing symbols, fun can be found as important. LGBTQ can be a limitless playroom in the result--an expansive identity. for one. Strapping on male dominance can be a form of play and a deconstruction of the phallus itself. I like the phallus as a dominant symbol, but a genderless dominant symbol.
Do You Discriminate? By Linda Lee Preface: Toastmasters is a voluntary and inexpensive group where people improve their communication and leadership skills. My company formed two clubs at its Chicago office in 2011 which we treat as one. I gave this speech in 2011. See http://www. thetaskforce.org/reports_and_research/ntds for the report mentioned in the speech.
Our Pride group couldnâ€™t convince HCSC (Health Care Services Corporations runs Blue Cross Blue Shield plans in IL, TX, OK, and NM, and is merging with MT) to cover transsexual procedures in 2013, which is why I hope to get a job at a company with an HRC CEI (Human Rights Campaign Corporate Equality Index) 100 rating in 2013, though Iâ€™ve heard that you may still have to fight to get coverage for all procedures even though HRC standards say insurance should cover all medically necessary procedures.
• The disorder is not a symptom of another mental disorder or chromosomal abnormality. Transsexuals think they have a treatable condition, not an abhorrent disorder. That’s why next year’s Diagnostic and Statistical Manual will replace gender identity disorder with gender dysphoria. The American Psychiatric Association uses the DSM to classify mental disorders.
There is less overt and more subtle discrimination now. But there’s a group who still suffers from lots of overt discrimination of all kinds. You will learn who they are, the discrimination they face, Imagine you wore and how you can help. Imagine you wore a label that identified you as the opposite of your true gender. Imagine that because of this, you faced discrimination everywhere and from everyone: home, schools, work, insurance, shopping, hotels, doctors’ offices, hospitals, courtrooms, landlords, cops, service providers, and so on.
a label that identified you as the opposite of your true gender. Imagine that because of this, you faced discrimination everywhere and from everyone...This is no dream. This is the nightmare of the transgender minority who has gender dysphoria.
This is no dream. This is the nightmare of the transgender minority who has gender dysphoria. The World Professional Association for Transgender Health says, “Gender dysphoria refers to discomfort or stress that is caused by a discrepancy between a person’s gender identity and that person’s sex assigned at birth. Treatment is individualized. This process may or may not involve a change in gender expression or body modifications.” The International Classification of Diseases version 10 (ICD-10) identifies transsexuals by three criteria: • Transsexuals desire to live and be accepted as a member of the opposite sex, usually accompanied by the wish to make his or her body as congruent as possible with the preferred sex through surgery and hormone treatment. • The transsexual identity has been persistently present for at least two years.
Transsexuals reluctantly accept this diagnosis because insurance companies need codes to cover services. But even with codes, many companies do not cover transsexual treatments to make the body agree with the mind, despite the fact that groups like the American Medical Association back these surgeries that have high therapeutic success rates.
WebMD says, “If not addressed, the disorder can cause a poor selfimage, social isolation, and emotional distress. Untreated, the disorder can also cause severe depression and anxiety, and can interfere with an individual’s ability to function, leading to problems in school or work, or with developing relationships.” Just as others with “mental disorders,” transsexuals suffer a stigma from that label. The diagnosis should be anxiety, because transsexuals would feel much better if society did not treat them so badly. How bad it is? The National Center for Transgender Equality and the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force released survey results this year from 6,450 transgender respondents in all 50 states, D.C., Puerto Rico, Guam, and the U.S. Virgin Islands. There were hundreds of dramatic findings on the impact of anti-transgender bias. Here are just a few.
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Mr. Toastmaster, let’s poll you Toastmasters and guests. Who wants to discriminate against others? Raise your hands! It’s good to see none of you like to discriminate. I’ll test you at the end to see if you mean it!
Those in grade and high school reported alarming rates of harassment (78%), physical assault (35%), and sexual violence (12%). It was so bad that 15% left school at all levels.
and policies that treat all transgender people equally.
For example, you saw how gender dysphoria is an accepted diagnosis with an accepted treatment Respondents lived in extreme poverty, being that many companies like HCSC do not cover. nearly four times more likely to earn less than When HCSC surveys us, especially about health $10,000 than the general population. They like the current Motiva survey, tell them to live suffered unemployment at up to their platitudes twice the rate of the general about diversity, helping ...tell them to live up to population. 90% reported underserved populations, harassment, mistreatment, their platitudes about and valuing employees. Tell or discrimination on the them to cover transsexual diversity, helping job, or hid who they were treatments. Insurance to avoid it! 47% said they underserved populations, already covers many of experienced an adverse these for other diagnoses. and valuing employees. job outcome such as being Why discriminate against Tell them to cover not hired, fired, or denied gender dysphoria? a promotion because of transsexual treatments. being transgender. How many will do this? Insurance already Raise your hands! Those 19% reported medical who did not flunked my covers many of these for personnel refused care test. You learned about the because of their transgender other diagnoses. Why transgender minority, the status. 50% had to teach horrible discrimination discriminate against doctors about transgender they face, and how you care! Respondents had gender dysphoria? can help. If you cannot do over four times the these simple things, maybe national average of HIV you should have been infection! Respondents postponed care because honest with us and yourself, and raised your hand of discrimination (28%) or inability to pay (48%). at the start saying you favored discrimination. Not surprisingly given all these negatives, a staggering 41% attempted suicide vs. 1.6% of the general population.Yet 78% who transitioned felt more comfortable at work and their performance improved, despite nearly the same rates of harassment as the overall sample. This shows that less discrimination including the all-important work and insurance issues has hugely positive effects on this marginalized population. How can you help? Sign a pledge on www.EndTransDiscrimination. org. You pledge to respect transsexuals being their true selves. You pledge to make your community a safe and welcoming place, and protest when others discriminate. You pledge to support laws
Linda Lee has been a computer programmer for decades. She knew she should be female in junior high, but delayed acting on it because of worries about the cost, trouble, risk, and and if she could develop a female voice. She started HRT (hormone replacement therapy) in August 2010. Her plan is to get top surgeries in a year, and live fulltime as a female after that. Then get her bottom surgery a year later.
BroadSide Expressions in Poetry via Street Literature Style
Transitioning By Jenny Saintonge
In my cocoon, I plan my life. My hopes and dreams my social strife. I see the changes happening to me, My mind and body are finally free. To be the person I was born to be, I must give up everything that once was me. As I view my life that was once me, I see a person that was never me.
Jenny is an Advocate and Activist at the grassroots level of the Transsexual Movement. She is deeply involved with the Transsexual Community in their efforts to be separated from the Transgendered Umbrella. She is also an Advocate and Activist for Civil as well as Human Rights, as well as Equality for all.
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My cocoon has hatched, and what do I see? A beautiful butterfly that now is me. I am the change I have always wanted to be, Now my battle will be for Equality. The battle has begun, it is my war, To fight this fight, this social war. We will be heard, we will scream it loud, I am Transsexual, and I am proud.
Will Equality For Transsexuals Ever Be Equal To Members Of The LGB? by Jenny Saintonge
way than most. Our lives are often torturous on many levels. This begins as a child who has no understanding of gender difference. We simply do not identify with the clothes, toys, or why our siblings are treated different. We grow up being trained to be exactly the opposite of how we feel or view ourselves. As our life progresses we learn to build walls between ourselves and others out of self preservation.
This is the beginning of a life that is mentally There are those in our own community who often tortuous and one we often keep buried deep use bully tactics, misgendering, and transsexualinside of ourselves until the day comes we can no phobia to beat us down and try to silence our longer live with ourselves as we are. This is the voices. In a statement made when interviewed period I like to refer to as our cocoon. As we leave RuPaul did exactly that. When Comedienne our cocoon and begin our journey as the butterfly Vicki Lawrence asked, “Hey Ru, what’s the we are reborn as a human being. The transition difference between a drag we begin will often lead to queen and a transsexual?” As we leave our cocoon loss of family, loss of friends, RuPaul laughingly replies, loss of jobs, and in 41% of and begin our journey “About twenty-five thousand our cases, suicide. For those dollars and a good surgeon.” as the butterfly we are of us who do not commit This may be funny to those suicide we struggle with life reborn as a human being. who watch his show, and daily. really know little about The transition we begin transsexuals, but to the Our transition begins with will often lead to loss of transsexual community there obtaining a Psychologist or wasn’t any humor to be family, loss of friends, Psychiatrist who will help found. to change our lives and in loss of jobs, and in 41% many cases save them with Statements such as those of our cases, suicide. the beginning of 12 visits voiced by RuPaul are very and our letter for Hormone For those of us who do damaging to our community. Replacement Therapy. Once I will now explain the not commit suicide we we have this letter and can differences between the drag get an Endocrinologist to struggle with life daily. queen and the transsexual prescribe our HRT for us, in a realistic manner. A drag we learn all of the dangers queen is a gay man who of HRT which to name a few dresses as a female for the purposes of entertainment. are an elevated risk of Stroke, and greatly increased A transsexual person is “a marked incongruence chance of cancer. These are risks we take gladly, between one’s experienced/expressed gender and because for many of us to not take the risk and assigned gender.” The modern official medical remain as we are is just not an option. diagnosis of transsexuals is Gender Dysphoria. The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental With our Gender Dysphoria diagnosis and our Disorders, or DSM-V recently replaced Gender newly acquired HRT program we move forward Identity Disorder with Gender Dysphoria. into our transition and begin to live fulltime as a female. This is where society rears its ugly head. A transsexual is much more than a medical For many transsexuals who have a hard time diagnosis however. We are people who through no passing as a female which includes almost all of fault of our own were born in a uniquely different us, we face very hard cruel treatment. Society can
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This is a question many of us who are members of the Transsexual Community debate amongst ourselves daily. We face many challenges which are much more intricate than members of the LGB for many obvious reasons. Crossing the gender barrier is difficult to say the least. Before we go any further into the transition that all Transsexuals go through, let me give a bit of insight into what we face from members of our own community, and with this I mean members of the LGBT.
be very vocal as well as physically abusive towards us. This has contributed to 265 deaths amongst Transgendered people worldwide in 2012. If we are lucky enough to keep our job or to even be able to be hired while beginning our transition our next step is Facial Feminization Surgery or FFS.
RuPaul. I think it is quite obvious that our lives should not be marginalized, as we have been to this point. Our desperate fight to be who we are should be taken a bit more seriously than â€œtwentyfive thousand dollars and a good surgeon.â€? The transsexual community is not only treated like an unwanted step child by the likes of RuPaul. Many Once a transsexual is lucky enough to be able to in the LGB have little respect or regard for us. We have FFS, their transition will become a bit easier. are often overlooked in many areas of protection By this time it is hoped one and even equal rights to would have already done As a member of the those of the Lesbian and Gay the legal name change and Communities. Many of these Transsexual Community people will openly speak social security change to your matching gender. This I have the deepest hope unkindly about and to us. will make obtaining a job a little easier if you have work and optimism that the As a member of the experience that is more mistreatment of my Transsexual Community appropriate to your now I have the deepest hope brothers and sisters will and optimism that the matching gender. For many this is not the case. Often we eventually find equality mistreatment of my brothers do not plan out our future and sisters will eventually on our side...We simply because we never envisioned find equality on our side. We we would ever reach the day want the same treatment stand ready and thankfully we transitioned. The next step more vocal to our own needs as any other member of in our transition is Gender and rights. We simply want Reassignment Surgery or the LGB and any other the same treatment as any GRS. After investing twenty other member of the LGB to fifty thousand dollars to citizen for that matter. or any other citizen for that this point we can add on the matter. We want to walk into simple twenty-five thousand a place of business and know additional dollars RuPaul finds so easy to shell we have a fair chance at a job. We want to be out as if we are all some big money making able to go to a hospital and know we will get fair entertainers. treatment. We want to walk through a mall and not be looked down on or have a mother pull her Many find it nearly impossible to make it to the children closer to her. We demand to be seen as point of obtaining GRS. Most take their own lives equals to any other citizen and entitled to all rights prior to this day. There are almost no provisions for and opportunities. When this day happens our insurance companies to help us in this endeavor. nation will benefit from all of the potentials we I find it incomprehensible that those of us who have. We are smart, we are funny, we are caring, have this condition that is only treatable with HRT we are capable, we are proud, and we are loving. and Surgeries to be able to move forward in our lives have no help from the Medical Community Jenny is an Advocate and Activist at the grassroots as a whole. This is not something we woke up and level of the Transsexual Movement. She is deeply decided to do for fun. This is our lives, our pursuit involved with the Transsexual Community in their of happiness. We absolutely must have all of these efforts to be separated from the Transgendered treatment procedures done to be completely, Umbrella. She is also an Advocate and Activist for happy, and whole. Civil as well as Human Rights, as well as Equality for all. I think the differences between a drag queen and a transsexual are much greater than implied by
First Published: 2009
Current Publisher: Ciel
LGBTQ non-fiction/ memoir
»» Coming Out, Homophobia, Family, Self-Image, Relationships, Sexual Diversity, Religion, Self-Discovery, Emigration, Activism, and Community
About the Book:
“Bareed Mista3jil,” which translates into English as “Mail in a Hurry” is a collection of 41 true and personal stories from the experiences of lesbians, bisexuals, queer and questioning women, and transgender persons (LBTQ) from all over Lebanon. Covering a wide range of topics and issues from coming out and relationships with families to self-discovery and discrimination, “Bareed Mista3jil” aims to introduce the Lebanese people to the real-life stories of one of the country’s most hidden and ostracized communities. This long-awaited publication comes to dispel the myths surrounding these questions and to reveal a glimpse of the lives existing invisibly and silently in different Lebanese communities. The stories are about love, pain, identity, suffering, overcoming, and the intricate complexities of the human heart. And above all, these stories are about hope. “Bareed Mista3jil” is published by Meem, a community of LBTQs that was started in August 2007 to provide support for sexual and gender minorities in Beirut, Lebanon.
The book shares rich and diverse stories that capture the intersectional lives of Lebanese queer people, across sexuality, religion, gender identity and class, with a couple of stories (“My Saturday Journeys” and “When You Burn”) focusing on the experiences of queer women from a low socio-economic background. The stories are personal, vibrant, and incredibly dynamic and intimate, and force the reader to acknowledge that there is no singular queer experience in Lebanon. This book is a great contribution to the studies of sexuality in the Middle East, and an addition to the diversity of queer narratives worldwide, and the stories themselves are a beautiful read. By providing feminist and queer stories from a Lebanese perspective, the book resists UScentered dominance in queer literature, and highlights racism and xenophobia in US queer spaces.
The book does fall a little short around trans* and genderqueer narratives, including narratives from transmen and a person who identifies as genderless, but no transfeminine people. As transmisogyny and misogyny are intimately connected, this is an unfortunate and problematic exclusion. There is also a lost opportunity to include stories across generations, with almost all authors in their early and mid twenties.
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by Karolyne Carloss
Subtle Sexisms Challenging the isms and schisms of politics and culture
The Third Sex: Kathoeys in Thailand In a review of the cultural landscape of Thailand, the existence of a large transgender population or a “third sex” in contemporary society emerges. The Thai culture does not impose the hegemonic gender binary typically found in the West, but rather embraces gender fluidity. The Buddhistmajority Thailand exhibits what may be the most tolerant attitude towards transgenders that can be found internationally. In a recent 2002 Gender Dysphoria report, “as many as 1 in 180 Thai
citizens identified as transgender” (Winter). This ubiquitous subculture, labeled kathoey, embraces any man who contravenes gender role expectations for males, with an emphasis on transgender females. Kathoeys are a remarkably ordinary and visible part of society, staffing the work place, competing in beauty pageants, topping the music charts, starring in TV shows, and winning athletic matches. This visibility stands in sharp contrast with the attitudes of the West, where transgender
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individuals are rarely attitudes. An examination of discussed or accepted. the nature of these attitudes Because kathoey Thailand’s pioneering has the potential to eradicate represents a familiar part gender reform challenges the marginalization of the pervasive transgender transgender persons. of Thai society, contact discrimination of the West. Moreover, such research The polarity that exists and association with could be indispensable between these two regions transgender individuals to mental health care may have its roots in professionals who wish to is a typical aspect of religious and cultural work more effectively with differences, and though it gender identity issues (Hill everyday life. is difficult to translate one & Willoughby). culture by the terms of another, it is worth exploring the reasons for this Because kathoey represents a familiar part of Thai schism in an effort to find possible solutions to society, contact and association with transgender bridge this divide. individuals is a typical aspect of everyday life. A kathoey or drag queen “in full female regalia is Due to the dominant dichotomous gender a common sight on the streets of Bangkok and paradigm, the discussion of the transgression provincial towns alike” (Jackson). On the silver of the male-female binary model evokes a screen, effeminate men commonly play minor considerable amount of controversy. Yet, if we roles in television soap operas and in Thai movies. do not insist on evaluating negative attitudes Kathoeys are seen in virtually every sector of Thai towards transgender individuals, transphobia and society, staffing travel agencies, grocery stores, discriminatory acts against transgender persons and government departments. Kathoey’s compete will go unchecked. A substantial amount of in televised beauty pageants and walk the runway evidence via personal accounts reveals that in notable fashion shows, while an all-kathoey negative reactions to transgender issues are pop group called the Venus Flytrap tops the pervasive throughout Western society. Anecdotal music charts. Famous kathoey athletes include a evidence of “discrimination ranges from overt kickboxing champion and a volleyball team, the incidents such as numerous attacks and murders Iron Ladies, which won a national championship of transgender women (individuals who are in the mid ‘90’s. born male, but identify female) in the United States and Canada, to more covert examples of Most recently, Kampang High School in northern discrimination of transgender individuals in the Thailand introduced a third bathroom to arenas of housing, public accommodations, and accommodate the high number of students who access to health care” (Hill & Willoughby). The identify as transgender. These facilities feature pandemic of focused prejudice is indisputable: an intertwined figure of a male and a woman to however, little research has been conducted to represent what many locals calls “phuying prahpet explore the origins of this discrimination. song,” or the “second kind of woman”. Similarly, kathoeys are petitioning for a third sex to be added A “hierarchal regression analysis revealed that to passports and other official documents, and high levels of religiosity, traditional beliefs about legislative efforts are already underway to allow the roles of women, homophobic attitudes towards kathoeys to change their legal sex if they have lesbians and gay men, and a lack of exposure undergone sexual reassignment surgery. to transgender individuals appeared to predict negative attitudes toward transgender people” In a 2006 analysis of Thai transgendered females, (Cotton-Huston & Waite). Furthermore, contact a survey showed that many participants began to with transgender people and attribution of the identify as “non-male by middle childhood” and cause of transgender identities to biological rather by early adolescence were living a transgendered than social factors were both related to positive life (Winters). This early transition is nearly
unprecedented in a survey the Old Testament, which In Buddhist tradition, a of prepubescent boys and identifies only two sexes, girls in the West. According male and female. In third [gender] category is to the participants of the Buddhist tradition, a third present that is interpreted 2006 analysis, “62.9% of category is present that is mothers and 40.6% of fathers interpreted not as a deviant not as a deviant of either accepted or encouraged their of either male or female, child’s transgender from its male or female, but as an but as an independently first expression” (Winters). existing sexual identity. independently existing Once again this statistic Thus, the concept of more stands in sharp contrast sexual identity. than two sexes would with the humiliation or appear to have been misunderstanding that many inherent in Thai culture Western parents express when their child reveals right through from ancient to modern times. transgender tendencies. In the aforementioned These scriptural references to alternative gender study, gender analysts postulated that positive identities that transgress the European-American attitudes towards the transgender community might gender binary indicate that kathoey have long be the result of traditional religious beliefs as well been an integrated part of Thai culture. as the attribution of transgenderism to biological causes rather than social ones. An examination The traditional Buddhist belief system also of these origins could prove important in locating presents an account of how a person becomes a the basis of the difference attitudes towards kathoey. According to this teaching, the kathoey transgenders in the East and West. identity is “predetermined from birth and is the direct result of karmic debt accumulated through Roughly 95 percent of Thais are Buddhists. misdeeds committed in a former life” (Totman). Since it was embraced as the country’s official An individual is re-born kathoey because of religion on the thirteenth century, Buddhism has sexual transgressions performed in an earlier life. been the cornerstone of Thai society. The culture Because karmic consequences are unavoidable, of Thailand has been greatly influenced by being born a kathoey is inevitable and they are Buddhist tradition. From a Buddhist perspective, thus not to blame (Jackson). Moreover, Buddhists tolerance is considered to be of the utmost value. do not vilify kathoeys because of the fundamental Consequently, it is no surprise that this principle belief that everyone is born kathoey in one life or has become a hallmark of Thai society as well. the next. The concept of transgender as governed by biological causes is not only rooted in Buddhist While this overriding emphasis on toleration tradition, but also modern Thai modern medical plays an important role in Thailand’s positive practice. In an interview with three doctors at a attitude towards transgenders, a more compelling popular sexual reassignment clinic in Thailand, rationale exists in the earliest Buddhist creation all three medical practitioners had “reached a stories. The Buddhist creation legend makes conclusion through their own experience and their reference to four different gender types, “male, interpretation of research that has been done, that female, ubhatobyanjanaka, and pandaka”. the condition of kathoey is present at birth and Ubhatobyanjanaka is most accurately defined as therefore a consequence of events in the womb” an individual who exhibits “the characteristics of (Totman). both sexes, or a hermaphrodite”. A pandaka, often equated with kathoey, is defined as a “man who Unfortunately, the opposite position is the takes pleasure in having relations with other men opinion of the Western medical community. while feeling that they are like a woman” (Totman). The revised Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders: Fourth Edition defines This creation legend is the antithesis of the Christian Gender Identity Disorder as: “a profound account of the creation of the world detailed in disturbance of the individual’s sense of identity
are we able to recognize that their “differences” do not necessitate demonizing “othering”. By engaging in dialogue and considering personal narratives of transgendered individuals, our society will begin to discover universal truths about human experiences and recognize familiar reflections of ourselves in one another. Only then, will we end the stigma of sexual difference, the imposition of compulsory heterosexuality, and begin to create positive change.
The media only reinforces the pathologization of transgenders, illustrated clearly in the movie, “Silence of the Lambs”. Throughout the film, “Buffalo Bill is presented as a would-be transsexual, By engaging in dialogue a transvestite, and a Sources: and considering homosexual queen who hunts and skins his victims” personal narratives Cotton-Husten, A.L. & (Cotton-Huston & Waite). Waite, B.M. (2000). AntiThese sorts of stereotypes of transgendered homosexual attitudes condition the viewer’s minds individuals, our society in college students: and inevitably propagate the Predictors and classroom misinformed conceptions will begin to discover interventions. Journal of of the transgendered universal truths about Homosexuality, 38(3), community. However, 117-133. the growing awareness of human experiences transgender issues is evident and recognize familiar Hill, D.B., & Willoughby, in recent films like Boys B.L.B. (2005). The reflections of ourselves in Don’t Cry and Transamerica, development and which portray transsexuals in validation of the genderism one another. a thoughtful and realistic way and transphobia scale. and exhibit the post-modern Sex Roles, 53(7/8), 531reconceptualization of gender in America. These 544. advancements should not go unrecognized, but the West still needs to realize greater reform Jackson, P, (1998). Male homosexuality and if we wish to better accommodate our own Transgenderism in the Thai Buddhist tradition. In transgender community as well as compete with Leyland, W. Ed.) Queer dharma: Voices of gay the progressive gender reconceptualization of Buddhists. San Francisco, USA; Gay Sunshine Thailand. A reclassification of transgenderism as Press. a pathological disorder and a routine check of the transgender depictions generated by the media Totman, R. (2003). The third sex: Kathoey: is necessary if we wish to disrupt the systematic Thailand’s ladyboys. London: Souvenir Press discrimination and violence against transgender persons. Winter, Sam (2006) “Thai Transgenders in Focus: Their Beliefs About Attitudes Towards and Because the West lacks the overwhelming Origins of Transgender”, International Journal of Buddhist influence characteristic of Thailand, we Transgenderism, 9:2 47-61 must compensate by increasing our awareness to transgender communities by other means. We must World Health Organization (1992) The ICD-10 look at this community as individuals with unique Classification of Mental and Behavioral Disorders: stories, rather than a group of sexual deviants that Clinical Descriptions and Diagnostic Guidelines. occupy a marginal community of affliction and World Health Organization. Geneva. disseminators of disease. Only by consistently focusing on the legitimate uniqueness of their lives
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with regard to maleness and femaleness” (The World Health Organization). This definition, becomes problematic as it seems inevitable that classifying transgenderism as a disorder justifies the demonization of the transsexual community.
MADADS Busted Advertising, Bustling Economy
Equal Repr or Explo
Do these advertisements provide multiple perspectives on the LGBTIQ community? Are these advertisements helpful in allowing the LGBTIQ population to become more mainstream, or harmful as they exploit stereotypes? Why is that when a community gains recognition, media outlets incorporate them into exploitative, hypersexualized ads tailored to the dominant cultureâ€™s tastes? Can consumerism be advantageous for LGBTIQ activists? Can it be argued that promoting the stereotypes of LGBTIQ individuals can also be positive, as it promotes awareness? What do you think?
MadAds contributed by Julia DeLuca.
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Examining Rosie Today: Illuminating the Gendered Experiences and Struggles of Men and Women of War By Karen Ross
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For centuries, the military that is liberative instead has served as a fundamental repressing. This is not In every ceremony, training of site for the construction only important for the and reproduction of program, and practice flourishing of women— gender, intertwined who historically have been of the military there with loaded ideas of the most marginalized nationalism, power, and lies a certain gendered and silenced in political religious identity. As I and military decisionassumption that directly was sitting at an annual making—but also for men military ball as the date affects the way that war is who are bound by the of my high school friend, almost impossible standard carried out and the way that military messages rang of hyper-masculinity loud and strong, from the cultivated by the military. patriotism is portrayed. opening addresses to the prayers said before dining. Women and the Corps: I became increasingly aware of the conflicting Military Wives and “Butch” Women messages about patriotism, religious identity, and above all- gender. As I observed the military culture Military families are perhaps the most heroic and around me, I wondered not only about the lives of self-sacrificing of families—giving up holidays, the women who stood alongside their husbands/ birthdays and even births themselves so that dates, but also about the few women who stood all other families can have these cherished, in uniform among the men as fellow soldiers and safe moments with their own loved ones. The combatants. How were their gendered experiences picture of the loyal military wife exudes an aura shaped or formed by a military ideology largely of femininity, strength and perseverance for the focused around hegemonic masculinity, and how sake of something greater than herself. The iconic were these traumas ever addressed, if at all? Many model of “Rosie the Riveter” represents this type of gendered experiences of women during war and woman who heroically holds down the homeland post-war are not properly addressed in peacewhile the men are off to fight. What is not often building processes or in the time after a soldier mentioned in the “Rosie” tale is that when men returns home from war; thus, illuminating the returned home from World War II, women were stories of trauma and struggle of military women relegated back to the domestic sphere again, (and men) not only presents a different cry for despite the fact that they had occupied traditionally justice, but calls us to action in order to promote “male” roles for years (successfully!). During holistic human flourishing for all members of post-war reconstruction, women also hold the society. duty of caring for the men who return home with injuries and often paralyzing post-traumatic stress. In every ceremony, training program, and practice Despite the support groups and family therapy of the military there lies a certain gendered that the military provides in order for women to assumption that directly affects the way that cope with grief, loss and anxiety, there is perhaps war is carried out and the way that patriotism is a greater battle that needs to be fought in terms portrayed. While certain idioms like “Be a man” or of liberating them from the confined gender roles “Do it all for God, Country and Corps” encourage imposed on them by military culture. a sense of purpose and serve as useful tools for building morale, it is crucial to note the masculine When I asked some of the dates around me ideologies and the imperialistic mindsets involved (many of whom were fiancées or wives) about in instilling these messages. By breaking down how they felt about being in a military family, the gendered, imperialistic assumptions that they responded with pride and honor, naturally. undergird military thought, and by bringing to Military balls and ceremonies are the time when light the traumatic stories of women of war in wives, fiancées and girlfriends are able to celebrate particular, a more positive peace can come about the accomplishments of their significant others,
as well as celebrate “masculine” characteristics The stereotypical “butch” themselves. By in order to compete and skimming through blogs survive. image illuminates and military websites designed specifically for hegemonic masculinity “Be a Man” and other women, it is astonishing impossible standards prevalent in military to see how much time culture: women are forced is taken in preparing One of the major for such occasions. On to reconstruct their gender assumptions in military certain websites for culture that is shared by identities when joining “new dates” there are society at large is the idea even dos and don’ts for the militia, most resorting that there is a “natural” behaving like a proper link between males and to adopting “masculine” date and military woman. violence, and females with Seemingly harmless tips peacekeeping. The “boys characteristics in order to about how to act and will be boys” mentality compete and survive. dress like a lady, how serves as both a justification to walk, talk and smile, and an expectation in and even what sorts of warfare for violence and conversation topics are appropriate reflect the aggression, even if it is unjust. The hegemonic underlying gendered assumption about what it masculinity that is the undercurrent of military life means to be a military wife or date. Throughout and culture does a disservice to the full human military language and culture, military women are flourishing of not only women, but men as well. seen as silent strong partners to be shown off at The ways in which a limiting and oppressive form of these grand occasions, but their lives are portrayed “masculinity” is taught and enforced in the military as just that—defined by the man that is being extends from the uniforms to the terminology. honored. Phrases about “being a man” imply severe control and repression of emotions traditionally linked Today, women comprise approximately 20% to femininity: sorrow, care, vulnerability, fear, of the United States military, with even greater etc. The military culture demands a form of percentages in the militaries of developing hyper-masculinity distinct from the masculinity countries, particularly during guerilla warfare. In demanded of civilian men in which the binary the book Gender Camouflage: Women in the U.S. lines of gender may not be crossed for whatever Military, the term gender camouflage is used to reason at any time, especially during warfare. In convey the gendering strategy that women employ both official settings and informal settings, banter when becoming members of the military, since in among fellow soldiers almost always includes a sense they are entering a “no-woman’s-land.” some type of gender bashing that equates being Much of this camouflaging occurs in downplaying weak, sensitive or compassionate with femininity aspects that are typically associated with and/or homosexuality. These types of insults are femininity and taking on traditionally masculine not only indicators of a greater heteronormative, characteristics. This is useful not only in gaining patriarchal ideology at play, but indicators that respect from male comrades, but also in avoiding especially in the military, there are even stronger any unwanted advances in the form of verbal, repercussions for straying beyond the tight confines emotional or sexual harassment for being female of “masculinity.” (or, more accurately, for not being “male” enough). The stereotypical caricature of a military woman The demands in the military for the controlling presenting a “butch” image illuminates hegemonic of emotions extend to even the most strenuous masculinity prevalent in military culture: women and distressing circumstances: death, dying and are forced to reconstruct their gender identities recovery from psychological trauma. Psychological when joining the militia, most resorting to adopting studies of ex-young servicemen have shown that
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in military settings, hegemonic masculinity is today as both a fighter and a woman? How is so embedded in the construction of a soldier’s her specific gender experience addressed (if at identity that soldiers often lack the language or all) in light of a military ideology largely focused emotional tools with which to express distress around hegemonic masculinity? Furthermore, after experiencing trauma. how are the constructions  Presently, the U.S. of masculinity enforced by While men, women and Department of Veterans the military harmful to men Affairs estimates that around children are all affected in their own experiences of 11% of those who served trauma? For the love of the by gender socialization in Afghanistan and 20% of people that I know who are those who served in Iraq have and the inequalities that part of military families, I think been diagnosed with Postthese questions deserve a stem from it, the specific that Traumatic Stress Disorder closer look, for the full human upon returning home, with gendered experiences flourishing of men and women many more exhibiting signs. who fight for justice, dignity, of conflict, loss, and  Military wives and and peace. families are undoubtedly pain differ for men and the people most affected We must fight for the sake of women in the military. by soldiers returning from the Rosies on the homefront war unable to fully heal and and the Rosies in the trenchesrecover from experiences of trauma. The virtues of when we do so, we are fighting for their men as silence, strength and power on the battlefield seem well. almost irrelevant in the face of severe depression, debilitating anxiety and recurring nightmares that This article is dedicated to the men and women affect even the most macho of soldiers at home. of war, especially my friend Nick, who fights for I argue that the lack of knowledge about healthy justice so I can have the luxury of writing about it. ways to heal from PTSD, as well as the lack of resources available for men and women of war in the Church, family and greater community Karen Ross is a Doctoral Student in Theology and represents a failure to note the traumatic effect Ethics at Loyola University Chicago. She received that hegemonic masculinity in the military has on her Bachelor’s Degree and Master’s Degree from the human spirit. the University of Dayton. She currently lives in Chicago, IL and is proud to call Kalamazoo, MI While men, women and children are all affected her home. by gender socialization and the inequalities that stem from it, the specific gendered experiences of conflict, loss and pain differ for men and  Laurie Weinstein and Francine D’Amico, women in the military. One major reason for Gender Camouflage: Women and the U.S. Military this is that the military represents a microcosm (New York: New York University Press, 1999), 5. of the greater society around us—a society  Gill Green, Carol Emslie, Dan O’Neill, that clings to traditional notions of gender, to a Kate Hunt and Steven Walker, “Exploring the hyper-masculine sense of what courage is, and Ambiguities of Masculinity in Accounts of an imperialistic notion of God and the modern Emotional Distress in the Military Among Young nation-state. The military’s unique and privileged Ex-Servicemen, Social Science & Medicine 71:8 position as a proverbial “city on the hill” makes (October 2010), 1480-1488. it not just a mirror of gender relations in society,  “PTSD: A Growing Epidemic,” National but a fundamental site for the construction and Institute of Health (Winter 2009) http://www.nlm. reproduction of gender; that is, the defining of the nih.gov/medlineplus/magazine/issues/winter09/ boundaries of behavior for men and women. articles/winter09pg10-14.html. The questions must be asked: Where is “Rosie”  Weinstein and D’Amico, 5.
The Lactation Lounge
By Justin Cascio
This article was originally published by the Good Men Project at www.goodmenproject.com
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You wake up to the sensation of a mouth suctioned As you slip back down into the covers, you to your nipple. It’s a familiar sensation, and remember long ago, before you had a baby, when opening one eye, you see your infant son at your you had morning sickness. Months ago, in your breast, his body wrapped in yours, his jaw and first trimester, you flew over your husband in your throat working in occasional haste to the toilet, to hurl up spasms although he appears any vestige of last night’s meal. You are meat and milk to be entirely asleep. You You would heave until you fall asleep together like this, to a helpless infant were tired, until you brought sometimes, especially at night up thick green fluid with your too young to be a real when you wake, anticipating forehead braced against the person to you, yet you his cry before it breaks from seat. Someone finally told his throat. Last night, without you to eat crackers in bed, can’t stay away from remembering or thinking, so you’d have something to him. He hardly even you lifted him in the darkness throw up, and that helped. and brought him into the bed Every day, you did that before opens his eyes, but with you, between yourself work. You had room in your when he does, his gaze and your sleeping husband. day for your baby and your One hand unhooked the job, then. locks on yours and you nursing bra cover as the other guided your son’s tiny head are riveted. A different kind of mindless, to the revealed nipple. Only animal love than the one that in retrospect do you realize brought you to this bed now that you have achieved black belt status as a brarules you. You are meat and milk to a helpless opener. No hook will ever befuddle you; it will be infant too young to be a real person to you, yet like typing, or driving standard, forever after. you can’t stay away from him. He hardly even opens his eyes, but when he does, his gaze locks At first, nursing was simply novel. You didn’t know on yours and you are riveted. You’ve never wanted if you’d know how, but like sex and childbirth, to take care of anyone like this, not even when you find out that you do know, after all. You are you were first falling in love and would only stop learning tricks no book taught you. You didn’t used having sex long enough to make sandwiches and to sleep in a bra, for instance, but breastfeeding dreamy plans for the future. makes your breasts leak at any sensation—the sheets rubbing your sore nipples even trick them “Sorry,” your husband says when he comes out of into releasing droplets. You woke your first few the bathroom and sees you are awake. “I thought mornings at home, wrapped in milky sheets. Now you were still nursing.” you wear a nursing bra with round absorbent pads in the cups, as if you were still insecure about the You remember marrying this guy, but it seems like size of your breasts. As if. They’re two cup sizes a long time ago. Now you wake beside him and larger than before you were pregnant. are merely grateful for his tender concern. All of your thoughts revolve around the baby who sleeps You can’t twist far enough to see the alarm clock between you. The same hormones that got you without waking the baby, but from the quality of both into this mess, continue to hold you captive. the light entering the room, you know it is time to You’ve gone back to work, too, but you feel flabby get up. Risking infant protest, you slide one finger and tired; your heart’s not in it. down your breast and into your son’s mouth to break the seal. You turn and look at the clock. It’s The baby has woken again and is hungry. Lying on nearly six. While your back is turned, you hear the your side, you give him the nipple closest to his click as your husband silently slips from bed and face. Both breasts ache, but only slightly. The top into the adjoining bathroom. breast is leaking and because of your angle, the milk isn’t absorbed by the nursing pad but instead
drips down into your cleavage in a tickling stream. You press the pad closer with your free hand.
breasts will be hard and it will feel like the skin is cracking from the force, that the milk is bruising every corpuscle in your breasts. When you arrive Before the baby was born, you were a multitasker: to pick up your baby, your first thought will be of you ate lunch while driving, talked on the phone nursing him. You will hope that he was not recently while ironing a shirt. In the weeks after childbirth, fed. The formula that you are forced to buy and for half an hour every two hours, you have sat or give to the child care with your tablespoons of lay and held him close, and watched your son’s breast milk, change his scent. The top of his head jaw and fingers work at your smells different. It seems to breast as he nurses. You make him less yours. Even have nothing better to do Hunched on a toilet the contents of his diapers than observe. You meditate behind a metal door become more foul. on his face, on the drawing sensations, how your nipple with your son’s picture Hunched on a toilet behind gets thicker and longer as a metal door with your son’s taped to it, listening to he draws on it; you can tell picture taped to it, listening to the wet wheeze as you that it is nearly at the back of the wet wheeze as you work his throat, and have a sense work the pump with the pump with one hand, you of how much milk comes believe that equality between one hand, you believe with each pull. Once, out the sexes is impossible, while of curiosity, you and your that equality between we are all held to the standards husband both taste it: thin of a narrative ignorant of and sweet, you decide, like the sexes is impossible our warmblooded natures. sugary skim milk. Not bad, while we are all held At best, there is equity out and in its way better than of recognition that all things you thought it would be. to the standards of a are not equal. For equality, Even your infant’s bowel narrative ignorant of our there would have to be no movements are soft and mild, hormones, no pregnancy, warmblooded natures. inoffensive in odor. no pain at making way for another to pass through us; or When his efforts begin to it would have to be the same fade at one breast, you switch him to the other. for both, the mother and the father. We are not that Eventually, he tires altogether and you lay him way. It is like this, instead. down to sleep. Your breasts are softer, relieved; they appear flattened against your chest, deflated. You cry. The milk flows. Without your noticing, while you go about showering, brushing your teeth, making coffee, Justin Cascio is a Senior Editor of The Good Men your breasts will fill. In the first days of your son’s Project Magazine and editor of The Good Life. He life, you could nurse him at will, but now that you’ve also writes for the blogs One in Six Trans Men, returned to work, you visit what you sarcastically Justin Wants to Feed You, and Tin Foil Toque. You refer to as the lactation lounge. It is the middle of can follow him on Twitter, Google, and Facebook. three toilet stalls in the women’s restroom, where you have taped up a picture of your baby’s face, to look at while you apply the breast pump and will your body to pretend, so it will let down your milk into plastic bottle liners that you give to the day care. You can never quite manage to pump anything more than a few tablespoons, and it makes you feel like a failure: at being a good mother, at being a good worker. Later today, your
WLA Re-Animated Artifacts from the vaults of the Women’s & Leadership Archives
1935-1961, n.d.: “Athletics Horsemanship” Description: Two women from the Mundelein Horsemanship Club atop of their horses, wearing suits. Commentary: The women pictured here are wearing riding attire that in any other circumstances during this time period, would be considered men’s wear. Today, gender identity, specifically as expressed through accouterment, is not as clear-cut. People of all gender identities have much more freedom in the choice of attire that expresses who they are, and traits considered ‘masculine’ and ‘feminine’ are being altered and challenged everyday.
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WLA Mission Statement: Established in 1994, the Women and Leadership Archives (WLA) collects, preserves, organizes, describes, and makes available materials of enduring value to researches studying women���s contributions to society.
The Attempt to Grab at Something By Lee Gardner Central Michigan University
The attempt to grab at something, to cling to Northern Michigan. Lacking in diversity, this someone, to connect, is perhaps indelible. To be is where I teach. My students are white. The stared at is nothing new, but in these circumstances occasional African American, Pakistani, or Asian the panic and chaos in my chest is restless and student will sit in my class. But this, however, is proceeds to take over my thoughts. 110 students occasional. To gain respect from students that mean 220 eyes. 110 brains, 110 hearts…what are disrespect me from first look is problematic. They they thinking? What do they judge and in turn I judge. They think about me? I am who may be ignorant, but I am Seeing a student refer I am, but perhaps this isn’t Trans. The bliss of ignorance enough, perhaps it isn’t right. to me as a dyke in may be preferable to being a The feeling of being “wrong” victim of their ignorance. her homework makes permeates my every move. Lee Gardner is an adjunct me wonder. Hearing Things don’t get better as lecturer for the English a student refer to a you get older, they just get Department at Central different. The silly things I Michigan University in Mount character in a movie as once cared about. The girls Pleasant, MI. He received his a fag makes me wonder. B.A. in English from Michigan that now mean nothing but a sore spot. The girls with their The stares make me State University and his “first times” are now with M. A. in English Language wonder. It is true that I husbands and babies. They and Literature from Central mean nothing, they mean Michigan University. Lee may not get beaten on nothing. Until I see them, recently began his F to M the way to my car, but think about them, remember transition in June of 2012. them. Then they mean it doesn’t mean I don’t something.
They say that this gets better generation after generation. Perhaps this is true. Seeing a student refer to me as a dyke in her homework makes me wonder. Hearing a student refer to a character in a movie as a fag makes me wonder. The stares make me wonder. It is true that I may not get beaten on the way to my car, but it doesn’t mean I don’t fear it. The physical beating may be preferable. It is after all tangible, something I can feel with my body, not just my head, my heart. A new semester means new students, new looks, new stares, new questions.
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Needing to be liked, the importance of this is overwhelming. To be able to shrug off dislike would be a blessing, but for now I can only assume it is because I am Trans. They may not like me because I am mean, or I grade hard, or I am boring. However, regardless of the reason, to me it is because I am trans. Trans. Trans. Trans. What defines me, to me, must define me, to them.
I’m Sorry By Rebecca Kling No matter how much I explain my transgender identity, all the art and all the education won’t change some people’s minds about “people like me.” Which is only fair, I suppose. Trans people are weird. We’re icky. Confusing. Bringers of “uncomfortable conversation.” To those people, I think it’s time for me to apologize for being trans. On behalf of myself, and on behalf of all non-normatively-gendered individuals. I am sorry for being confusing. For being scary. For being strange. For being icky.
I am sorry for raising awkward questions about what female and male mean. I am sorry for not fitting into one box or the other. I’m sorry for questioning the need for boxes at all. I’m sorry for androgyny and ambiguity and flexibility and spectra and rainbows of infinite possibilities. I am sorry for my body. I’m sorry for having breasts that are the result of orally-taken hormones and not of gonadally produced hormones. For having skin that is smooth due to those hormones and
thousands of dollars of hair removal. I’m sorry for having a penis between my legs, being able to pee standing up, being an outie instead of an innie.
I’m sorry for being so insistent. For refusing to use the private, single-stall bathroom and demanding to use the women’s room. For making a stink about names and pronouns. For calling you out when you get it wrong, over and over and over again. For being a voice of frustration and angst and depression.
I’m sorry for being so angry. For letting it boil and bubble and spill out of my mouth and onto the page and the stage and into my voice and through of sexuality and your my spine. For standing tall I’m sorry for my physical and walking down the street. sense of yourself. strength, something I’ll I’m sorry for my bitter tone, always doubt is from working my condescending look, my out and assume it was from the testosterone frustrated sigh. I’m sorry my anger has crept up my coursing through my system for twenty-plus years. body and through my veins and into my hair and I’m sorry for my wide shoulders, my big feet, my my fingernails and my tear ducts until, like playhairy toes. I’m sorry for my occasionally ambiguous doh being squeezed through a tube, every pore of voice, for still occasionally getting “sir”ed on the my body exudes my rage. phone, for causing double-takes. I’m sorry for wanting more. Legal protection, I’m sorry for being a sexual person. For enjoying medical coverage, equal rights, safe bathrooms, to fuck and be fucked. In my mouth, between my safe jails, safe treatment from police and teachers legs, up my ass. For bending partners over and and students and peers and strangers on the street. being bent over. I’m sorry that the sex is better than I’m sorry that I won’t step back, step aside, step it ever was before transitioning, that my moans down. might keep you up at night, that the drawer next to my bed is filled with lube and vibrators and straps I’m sorry, but that isn’t enough, it’s not good and butt-plugs. enough, I don’t see your point, I can’t compromise. I’m sorry that I’m tired (exhausted, really) of I’m sorry that I know my sexual topography better explaining at great length to you what seems so than you will ever know yours, because I’ve been obvious to me. forced to explore mine, blessed to explore mine, like a brave adventurer entering a strange new Rebecca Kling is a transgender artist and educator land. I’m sorry that my nipples grow like my cock who explores gender and identity through solo grows like my need grows until it makes me want pieces and educational workshops. She takes the to scream and orgasms wreak my body until I position that sharing accessible queer narrative vibrate like a tuning fork. with a wide audience is a form of activism, and that understanding combats bigotry. Rebecca I’m sorry for turning you on, making you wet, regularly performs at theatre festivals and schools making you hard, for confusing your sense of across the country. For more information, visit sexuality and your sense of your self. I’m sorry you www.RebeccaKling.com have to “figure some things out,” that you “aren’t sure what this means,” that you’ve “never been with someone like me before.”
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I’m sorry shopping is such a chore, that I can’t wear those yoga pants or that ever-so-cute dress without I’m sorry for turning tucking my cock up between my legs and securing it with you on, making you wet, medical tape, I’m sorry my making you hard, for boobs are nice and perky because they came in at 23 confusing your sense instead of 13.
by Brandie Rae Madrid
SCREEN/PLAY SCREENing films for entertainment value and diversity to decide whether or not to press PLAY.
My Summer of Love
It has always been a challenge to find a thoughtful lesbian film that is not just a coming out story. Ditto that for all queer cinema, yet there are even fewer quality lesbian films than gay films. Think about the Hollywood gay films— Brokeback Mountain, Milk, Capote, and maybe a handful of others that have garnered some attention. For lesbians there is… The Kids are All Right. That’s all that comes to mind.
Often when a queer film features religion, there is a strong sense of opposition and an ironic moment when someone realizes that that their religion has been preventing them from being on the right side of morality. Although My Summer of Love threatens to go that route, it’s refreshing that any realizations from the religious camp are met equally with realizations from the queer camp, and that there is not quite a diametric opposition in goals and judgments.
Re-Watchability: This film offers drama, passion, musicality, beauty, and insight. It might be worth watching more than once. Where to Find It: Netflix, Facets Multimedia, and Specialty Video.
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The lesbian couple Tamsin (Blunt) and Mona (Press) are thrown together immediately, the former a bored rich girl home from boarding school and the latter a working class girl living in a saloon with her brother. We first see her brother Phil pouring out all the liquor in their establishment, a testament to his born-again status that seems a penance to his life before prison. Just as Phil’s transformation would be How about this… have you heard of The Devil seen by many as an attempt to hide from the real Wears Prada? Yes, I know it’s not queer cinema, work of facing his sordid past and his uncertain but I realized the other day that this lesbian future, the fevered romance that strikes up movie I had been eyeing for some time stars between the class-clashing young women strikes who I would consider to an escapist note. Their be the breakout actor in affair is not a reaction to What stands out most that love-it-or-hate-it film intolerance from anyone. In in comparison to usual about stilettos and ambition: fact, intolerance barely plays Emily Blunt. Yet her first a role in the film, especially queer cinema is a script real role was actually this as the catalyst for dramatic much of it unwritten little lesbian flick called action. Rather, it is the My Summer of Love. And conflict between Tamsin and before shooting began I’d say there’s a lot more Phil—two people who lie to and improvised by substance there than in her themselves and others about role opposite Meryl Streep their drinking, their beliefs, the actors - that is not in Prada. and their sexuality—that overbearing or preachy. create the most tension. To begin with, in My Summer of Love Blunt and Mostly, Mona is along for her co-star Natalie Press the ride, no matter who is shine in their subtle yet complex roles. Their doing the driving. She comes across as a simple chemistry on-screen is breathtaking, rivaled only working class girl who seems to only own one by the timeless cinematography and powerful outfit of pink terrycloth, but she is entirely selfsoundtrack penned by Goldfrapp. What stands aware of her economic situation and the dreary, out most in comparison to usual queer cinema hard-working life that probably lies ahead of her. is a script—much of it unwritten before shooting She comes to realize that being with Tamsin (or began and improvised by the actors—that is not becoming her) will not erase the difficulty of life, overbearing or preachy. Which is funny because just as her brother realizes that faithless worship there is a lot about religion in the film. will not expunge his guilt or loneliness.
By Chase Gregory Jones, Esq.
Arguably, one of the most difficult aspects of gender transition has to be the toll it takes on relationships. We all like to believe that we know our friends and family at least well enough to predict their reactions to various events in life. However, what transitional individuals will quickly
learn is that everyone in their lives will land in one of three reactive categories and this will force us to make choices about friendships and familial relationships as well as professional and even casual ones as we move through transition.
Category 1: Whenever I am in a group of people their transition. Generally they have a very real who have been in transition for a while and I understanding of the unconditional part of love explain this dynamic to those who are still exploring and they will embrace your choice, even if they do transition, there seems to be a consensus among not agree with it. They will call you by your chosen those of us that have been doing this a while, that name without a complaint, they will be the first to the people in this category stand up and stand by you, almost always are people you they will respect your choice They will call you by your without condition and they initially thought would be among the most accepting. will make you feel like you chosen name without They can be very cruel, rude belong. These people are complaint, they will be and even go out of their way non-judgmental, they tend to strike out at you because the first to stand up and to be very people-centric as they are uncomfortable. opposed to making surface stand by you, they will However, the discomfort they assumptions and they feel is an internal self struggle provide safe spaces. respect your choice and usually has nothing without condition and to do with the transitional Rarely do those who have individual. These individuals never experienced such a they will make you feel will claim their god and/or gender disconnect in their like you belong. their morals as their reasons lives ever have a need for opposition. Many in this to compartmentalize the group just prefer to keep people in their lives, but their head in the sand and will quietly fade away. transitional individuals will find it necessary for This group is not just casual acquaintances, but their safety and emotional stability. can also include close family and even parents.
Category 3: These are the best people transitional individuals can have in their lives and the more of these people that are a part of their lives, the more support they will have throughout and after
Chase Gregory Jones, Esq., is 43 years old and an attorney in Orlando, Florida. He is originally from Houston, Texas and began his transition 3 years ago. Chase has two sons ages 18 and 16 and is active in the community mentoring and providing support at the local LGBT Center and on YouTube.
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Category 2: This is the category that the majority of people fall into in a transitional individual’s life. This is the widest range of people and they go from still speaking to you, but struggling with your name or pronouns, to those that genuinely try but just can’t go “that” far. For example, my sister is on one side of this spectrum. She talks to me, tries to avoid using my name, and will never consider me to be her brother regardless of how many years go by or how masculine I appear. She also continues to use the incorrect pronouns and then brushes off anyone’s attempt to correct her. My mother is on the other side of this spectrum. She has accepted my name and tries very hard with the pronouns and she spends time with me, but she will never be able to accept me as her son. This is the category where those that can’t accept your choice, but love you too much to walk away from you will generally land.
Broadside Expressions in Poetry via Street Literature Style
By Janna Payne
in all seasons watering, wishing, planting, plotting, throttling, surrounding me. watching me sway from side to side, dancing, throwing myself at you. growing higher and higher, further and further away. further still. wild yet ruly, i stand. selfish and sacred, i stand, realizing i have abandoned you. you, my worldview. you, my livelihood. seized by the thrill of summer, the thrill of new bodies and beings. i am no longer. we are no longer. no longer one with the land or one with one another. i am no longer recognizing myself in you. i have ventured into the land of uncertainty.
standing and venturing in herpresence, i feel passion—all of my passi evoked from within. within, around and beyond. with my entirety, i am hers. and, so it is, i look down. i avoid eye contact, and plan my escape. i prompt myself before seeing listing off the facts and figur the art and science of why i ’m staying put, why i ’m staying with you. i vow to choose knowledge ov vow to choose you over her. look down, shuffle around her, pretend my body isn’t tensin remind myself i am carried, carried by you. yet, i am caught by her knowing e her words and her between t notice my hand shaking, my body betraying you, betraying me. again and agai vow to choose certainty over to still my hand, to choose you over her. then the unexpected waverer, offer another glance in her d
Janna Payne writes from Cork, Ireland. She is a poet and master of divinity candidate in the Institute of Pastoral Studies at Loyola University Chicago. To keep an even keel and to tap into her seductive side, she reads Jeanette Winterson’sWritten on the Body every summer.
ver mystery, .i
ng up. i
eyes, the words. i
in, i r uncertainty,
branches and vines flowing along the forest ceiling. arteries and veins venturing in and out of an interconnected web. feeling our bodies warm and tighten, blood and charm running between us, as she makes the lavish comparison between bodies and branches. her wanting to kiss me— the me—who isn’t totally against it yet isn’t totally for it. Stand for something or you’ll fall for anything. therei stood, my heart fell while my legs held their own. mid-affair and mid-embrace, i started replaying lines from written on the body, reminding myself of sexual fluidity, flexibility and freedom, reframing my story, reframing myself, and reframing my sexuality. leaning in, flowing toward her, feeling our bodies warm and tighten, blood and charm running between us, I, the unexpected waverer, venture into an interconnected web. wild yet ruly, i venture.
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g her, res of my partnership.
Reshaping Discourse by Creating the Language of Discursive Formation: Mahasweta Devi and Gloria Anzaldua By Kristen Black
French philosopher Michel Foucault approached the term ‘discourse’ from a social constructionist perspective where he emphasized examining language texts not simply as descriptions of the way things are, but in how the texts themselves are productive of the very phenomena they are seeking to describe. The importance lies not just in asking what a concept means, but “how and to
what effect is this concept deployed; what does it do?” (Valentine 30). In order to be analytical of language in this way one must seek the situated histories, politics, and social practices that have enabled the meaning of such concepts. In this vein, discourse is implicitly constructed and enacted by a people affected by and productive of its meaning. Discourse is as much an action as
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it is a description. Mahasweta Devi and Gloria Those specific contexts within intersectionality are Anzaldúa use languages in their writing that carry clashed within the heterogeneous style of writing situated meaning; they break the rules, create in Devi and Anzaldúa’s works, providing a more new rules, and ascribe new semantic meaning to authentic experience of what intersectionality affect, inspire, and recreate embodies. discourse. Discursive ...interesectionality formation is understood as For a deeper understanding the regularities that produce - while intended to of the kinds of analyses that discourse (Spivak xi). Devi influence this paper and expose and diffuse and Anzaldúa shake up the enhance theory surrounding hierarchies - can still regularities. discourse, it is important to cover some literature on this privilege those with I am interested in exploring topic. One such method of power and thus maintain analysis is Critical Discourse the intentionality behind the mixture of languages in (CDA). One of the a hegemonic discourse. Analysis the writings of Mahasweta founders of CDA, Norman Devi and Gloria AnzaldúaFairclough, has described it each seeking to confront power structures within as aiming: prevailing, reality-producing discourses- by asking what their use of language describes, and what it To systemically explore often opaque relationships produces. A feminist perspective examines the of causality and determination between (a) power structures within societies that produce discursive practices, events and texts, and (b) privilege and oppression, and feminist discourse wider social and cultural structures, relations seeks to dismantle the power structures that and processes; to investigate how such practices, continually privilege and oppress by employing events and texts arise out of and are ideologically reflexive methodology and implementing shaped by relations of power and struggles over intersectionality. Intersectionality states that power. (Locke 1) there are numerous categories of social identity operating within various and varying levels of CDA “views the systemic analysis and privilege and oppression, depending on the sociointerpretation of texts as potentially revelatory of historical-political context of each individual. It ways in which discourses consolidate power and explains that no one category can be analyzed colonize human subjects through often covert in a vacuum, i.e. gender is affected by race is position calls” (Lock 2). Because language is a affected by class is affected by sexuality is affected part of everyday existence, the power constructed by location. This concept is not only exercised by within may be quite insidious. Critical Discourse Devi and Anzaldúa in their writing, it is further Analysis focuses specifically on: expanded upon. Structural relationships of dominance, discrimination, power and control as manifested Intersectionality by definition is holistic in the in language…CDA aims to investigate critically understanding of acting oppressions, and yet social inequality as it is expressed, signaled, because of this is not often critically examined constituted, legitimized etc. by language use (or in for its potentially damaging effects on discursive discourse). (Wodak 1) formation. It is important for its inclusion of race, class, gender, sexuality in situating an individual, CDA asks: How is power linguistically expressed? but it cannot be excluded from the critical analysis How are consensus, acceptance and legitimacy of language- for the very terms on which it relies are of dominance manufactured? Who has access also produced within a specific context. With this to instruments of power and control? Who said, intersectionality- while intended to expose is discriminated against in what way? Who and diffuse hierarchies- can still privilege those with understands a certain discourse in what way with power and thus maintain a hegemonic discourse. what results? (Blommaert, Bulcaen 449). Critical
Discourse Analysis seeks to answer these kinds of affecting the tribals (peasants) (Spivak 7). Devi’s questions by maintaining a commitment to certain uses specific characters’ language to reveal the principles and aims. Some of these principles complexity within the heterogeneous coalition. include: political commitment, relationship For example, the language of Dopti (Draupadi) between language and the social, interdisciplinary is incomprehensible, “Samaray hijulenako mar research, inclusion of the goekope…hendre rambra historical perspective, The emotions [Devi] keche keche” (Devi 21), to discourse as action, and the Captain, the character evokes in her writing are the social construction most notably symbolizing of meanings (Wodak colonialism. telling of the frustrations 3). Because Devi and Anzaldúa bend the power one may feel while being Devi’s combination of structures within literary at the margins answering Bengali and English is discourse, it becomes clear intentionally structured to the dominant, exclusive that this form of analysis is in a way that provides imperative in understanding discourse shaping reality. political criticism within the works of Devi and the context of colonialism, Anzaldúa, in a literary and also forces discomfort sense. With this background knowledge the depth in the reader by generating unintelligible moments and intentionality within their writing becomes unaligned with prevailing discourse. Within this even more rich and ingenious. process of discomfort she is also providing a critique of First World to Third World ideologies. The language used in Devi’s “Draupadi” is both We the western reader, the “enlightened” reader, Bengali and English. In the English translated text want to logically understand and then fix the there are English words italicized to represent the Third World. Her writing evokes frustration and words in the original text that are also in English. confusion, but also produces a new kind of reality The Translator’s Note: in the confusion. The emotions she evokes in her writing are telling of the frustrations one may All words in English in the original have been feel while being at the margins answering to the italicized. This makes the English page difficult to dominant, exclusive discourse shaping reality. Her read. The difficulty is a reminder of the intimacy writing is meant to provide a sense of solidarity-of the colonial encounter. Mahasweta’s stories are an equal playing field. Devi’s writing embodies postcolonial. They must operate with the resources intersectionality in that is privileges different of a History shaped by colonization against languages through different contexts, making the the legacy of colonialism. The language of the reading active, shifting the discourse. practical everyday life of all classes (including the subaltern), profoundly marked by English, mimes Gloria Anzaldúa is most notably known for her the historical sedimentation of colonialism by the concept of “borderlands”, as illustrated in her degree to which the words and phrases have been book, Borderlands/La Frontera: The New Mestiza. lexicalized, and the degree to which, therefore, She goes beyond the understanding of “borders,” they exist ‘independently’ in Bengali (Spivak 158). that which are dividing lines, into the notion of borderlands- a social and cultural, psychological, The setting of “Draupadi” mirrors the 1967 spiritual terrain where the possibility of uniting all peasant rebellion in the Naxalbari area of the that is separate occurs (Keating 187). Anzaldúa northern part of West Bengal. In this successful writes: rebellion, there was a coalition made of peasant and intellectual. The success of the coalition was I intended Borderlands not only to spread but also inevitably ended by the political powers of the to produce knowledge. The whole time I’ve been Indian Prime Minister who essentially did away in school the producers of knowledge have been with the rebellious sections, most significantly middle- and upper-class white people- those with
intellectually, emotionally, or In her writing Anzaldua physically. (Keating 190). In her poem Anzaldúa sought to critique mixes English with Spanish, “Spanglish”, and her own hegemonic means creation of spanish. She of knowledge and plays with capitalization and punctuation. And it is all to to create a shared affect the reader: to make the knowledge that reader experience the text; to make the reader experience embraces the diversity subjective meaning; the of each individual. consequences of meanings, In her writing Anzaldúa the consequences of sought to critique hegemonic means of knowledge understanding certain meanings. Like Devi, her and to create a shared knowledge that embraces writing directly confronts culture, and embedded the diversity of each individual. Her position was in this confrontation is the tension of mixing that, “we need to create poetry, art, research, and cultures. The tension of Borderlands is the tension books that cannot be assimilated, but is accessible” we all subjectively experience. Her writing takes (Keating 210). language from different contexts and melds them onto a new plain. She takes language from the A poem from Borderlands/La Frontera: Anglo world and juxtaposes it with language from To live in the borderlands means you the Indian world, with language from Spanish are neither hispana india negra española roots, and creates consciousness of worlds “inside” ni gabacha, eres mestiza, mulata, half-breed of the reader. caught in the crossfire between camps while carrying all five races on your back Another example: not knowing which side to turn to, run from; I To live in the Borderlands means knowing slithered shedding that the india in you, betrayed for 500 years, my self is no longer speaking to you, on the path that mexicanas call you rajetas, then that denying the Anglo inside you looked back and is as bad as having denied the Indian or Black; contemplated Cuando vives en la frontera the husk people walk through you, wind steals your voice, and wondered you’re a burra, buey, scapegoat which me forerunner of a new race, i had discarded half and half--both woman and man, neither- a n d a new gender… (Anzaldúa 33). was it the second or the Of her writing, Anzaldúa expresses that she: two thousand and Intended to problematize the relationship between thirty-second the reader, writer, and text- specifically the reader’s and how many me’s role in giving meaning to the text. It is the reader… would I slough off who ultimately makes the connections, finds the before voiding patterns that are meaningful for her or him…such the core passages in Borderlands arrest the reader and if ever make her think of her own experiences, especially experiences where s/he has been abused or violated
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power in the universities, science establishments, and publishing and art houses. They produce the theories and books that we read. They produce the unconscious values, views, and assumptions about reality, about culture, about everything. We internalize, we assimilate, these theories. (Keating 88).
In her creativity she subverts the discourse of upperthe challenge and inspiration to create societies of class, white academia by intentionally defying its tangible acceptance and love by simply beginning homogeneous origin and sustained production. with our everyday use of language. In combining her poetry with prose Anzaldúa challenges meaning from the visualization of Works Cited text. She challenges the structure of language Anzaludúa, Gloria Evanjelina. Borderlands/La that promotes one mode of formatted text. She Frontera: The New Mestiza. 3rd ed. San Francisco: embraces intersectionality by providing the space Aunt Lute Books, 2007. Print. for the reader to prescribe her own meaning upon Blommaert, Jan., Bulcaen, Chris. “Critical Discourse reflection, while simultaneously dismantling the Analysis.” Annual Reviews Anthropology 29 sustaining power structures (2000) : 447-466. Print. of discourse by privileging Devi, Mahasweta. Breast In direct response to the no one (not even the author). Stories. Trans. Gayatri reality which discourse Chakravorty Spivak. Wodak of Critical Discourse Calcutta: Seagull Books, produces, Mahasweta Analysis writes, “resistance 1998. Print. Devi and Gloria Anzaldua Keating, AnaLouise, ed. The then is seen as the breaking of conventions, of stable Gloria Anzaldúa Reader. propose a way to change discursive practices, in acts Durham: Duke University the structural impositions Press, 2009. Print. of ‘creativity’ (2). Through the creative acts of both Locke, Terry. Critical of paternalism in Devi and Anzaldúa, each Discourse Analysis. are resisting and therefore language by changing the New York: Continuum changing discursive International Publishing language itself. practices that continue to Group, 2004. Print. privilege one over another. Valentine, David. Imagining Their work fulfills the Foucauldian perspective of Transgender: And Ethnography of Category. an active discourse that not only describes but also Durham: Duke University Press, 2007. Print. produces. In direct response to the reality which Wodak, Ruth. “Critical Linguistics and Critical discourse produces, Mahasweta Devi and Gloria Discourse Analysis.” Handbook of Pragmatics (1995) : 204-210. Print. Anzaldúa propose a way to change the structural impositions of paternalism in language by changing the language itself. In the combining of and creation Kristen is an MA student in Women’s and of new language, Devi and Anzaldúa create a Gender Studies. She will complete her degree new reality that confronts the intersectionality of in August 2013, and is currently working on everyday existence. The work is not just creative, her MA thesis evaluating gender programming but is political. It is critical of colonialism and in the Cook County Juvenile Temporary imposed hegemony, of forced assimilation. By Detention Center and its effects on recidivism. recreating the language of discourse, by changing reality through the reshaping of discourse, Devi and Anzaldúa enhance the lives of those in the margins while promoting solidarity of the ruling apparatus and the people of everyday existence. It is a dismantling of power structures that decide the what and who of meaning, and is the creation and dream of a reality that truly values shared knowledge. In this issue devoted to LGBTQ discourse, I cannot think of two writers, and visionaries more fitting for
BroadSide Expressions in Poetry via Street Literature Style
Prelude to Chance i. I am 18 when I loved her first when I am lost in the blur, my hands shake with each snap to my skin & slam against my ribs if I breathe too deeply I will break combust shatter Short breaths, staccato I pull the notes back again and they spring up accusing plucking and pulling the music from my fingers
Jaisha Garnett is a 20 year old student, activist and sometimes poet from Ohio. She is an unabashed cinephile and a book collector who dreams of moving to Chicago and starting a 5 piece rock band.
ii. I want to tell you how I can’t stand her silences, the clicking and the crunching that is building up & bleeding into my space that has spilled onto the floor between us like a knocked over glass I want to tell you that it feels like I’m dying here; partitions and closed doors never did much to keep the monsters out and I’ve put time on a treadmill now I’m just waiting for it to run out I am taking apart my life and handing it to you in piece. I am leaving you a copy of a copy, a brown square of negative space. I would tell you about vanishing points if I knew how, about lines that expand like bubbles and dissipate on the horizon I would tell you about goodbyes & endpoints. But you believe in a forever that is unfading as the noise of children My face is inked with guiltiness, with lies I didn’t tell. This is fiction, I tell you because it didn’t happen to me— this isn’t my life that I’m laying out on the floor This is fiction fiction fiction fiction With enough repetition, I’m sure we’ll both believe it.
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by Jaisha Garnett
by J. Curtis Main
Inside R Out? White? Male? Feminist? YES.
Vagina vs. Penis: Bathrooms, Dorms, & Sports Women’s and men’s bathrooms. Co-ed dormitories. Men’s and women’s sports. These are just some of many of the current and powerful segregations based in sex and gender that occur in most colleges and universities. Many people might find separating people by their genitalia and gender identity as completely normal and even preferable. I find it dangerous and strange. The deep normalcy that still exists in the US in maintaining binary sex and gender can be found almost anywhere with anyone. The purpose of my column for this issue is to explore options for us to break away from these potentially harmful divides, specifically in higher education. Maybe you are not convinced there is an issue? Maybe gender and sex divides are ok with you and work well in your life? Many people feel this way. Consider the issue in another way. What if our college sports teams were separated by race?
What if we had the brown and yellow team and the white team? Like the sexes (from a dominant paradigm), physical differences may arise in patterns between ethnicities and “races,” such as average height, melanin amount, hair color, to name some. But do these patterns outweigh the vast differences inside the genders and races we have created, so much that we split them into teams, bathrooms, and living situations? Or, we could split bathrooms between heterosexual and LGBTQ . Certainly, many people could find reasons why this would be a good idea, and how it would benefit everyone needing a bathroom. Justifications are often easy to make if we limit ourselves to stereotypes, defining “others,” and ignorance. Maybe with dormitories we could separate, per floor or suite or room, students by their religious beliefs, or their class levels, or their grades? Sometimes understanding the harm of
by force. Having grown up with male and female siblings, we rarely had issues living together, using the same bathrooms, and playing sports together. Though we did segregate at times, at a For us to continue to divide groups of people base level we all came together to explore and based on penis and vagina and masculine and enjoy life. It pains me deeply to see so many of feminine results in one overall, powerful reality: us, and by us I mean people in general, moving maintenance of sexism, toward binary sex and heterosexism, and gender in social settings. For us to continue to patriarchy, not to mention Often, with our intimates, divide groups of people justifying and supporting we share our lives across the segregation of people sex, gender, and other based on penis and based on loose and often differences, especially in our vagina and masculine untrue parameters. At homes. the college and university and feminine results in levels in the US, forced As a student affairs one overall, powerful segregation by sex and professional at Loyola gender is still accepted University Chicago, I hope reality: maintenance of by most, whereas forced to see increased efforts sexism, heterosexism, and segregation based on race, in eradicating forced religion, and other social segregation by sex and patriarchy... locations has for the most gender. Gender-neutral part been considered bathrooms, much like the harmful and unjust. bathrooms in our homes, in my opinion, should be normal. Gender-neutral housing assignments In order to cease separation by sex and gender, and dormitories, again, much like our homes however, we must stop buying into notions in in many instances, should be common. Sexboth of the following ways: one, that sex and and gender-neutral sports and teams? This is a gender differences are real and important; and tougher one. But tough is good; overcoming this two, that if there are physical differences on a large challenge of having nonsegregated athletics large scale, such as hormone levels or the ability might shock us with the growth we would find to create and carry a human being, we do not socially, personally, and professionally from such give them enough power to make us divide exploration across so-called differences. ourselves into two classes of humans. Sure, on a large scale, people with XX chromosomes tend Allowing these spaces to be free of binary sex to form into our notions of female who are often and gender might help all of us realize, as able to bear children. Yet many, many millions individuals, just how unique our sex and genders of people exist—maybe you, your friend, your are, to each of us. I know that I have yet to ever family member, your coworker—who do not fall meet a person who falls even comfortably in line into the neat paths of binary sex and gender I with male or female, woman or man, masculine know I sure don’t! Although, sometimes I do. or feminine. Sex and gender ideologies The areas of gray are for more important to me have resulted in incredible systems of human than when and if I fall in line with binary sex and control and stratification, and I look forward gender. to our bodies, minds, behaviors, interests, and personalities not being reduced to two sexes And maybe the radical feminist in me, or or genders. This will take great work—at times the exploratory queer, or a number of life painful—but I truly believe that what will experiences have influenced me to hold the discover is more liberation, human connection, current opinion that humans ought not be and social justice. segregated by binary sex and gender, especially
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sex and gender segregation requires considering what segregation may look like along different parameters but in similar settings.
Queering By Claudia Typhoon
I don’t recall a defining moment in time in which I learned the term queer, but I do remember asking the person who self-identified as such what it meant. They explained how they felt themselves to be and what queer meant to them non-chalantly and it just clicked for me. I define myself as being attracted to multiple gender I identify as and sexual identities.
I marry a man and give her grandchildren, it did not matter what I was. This angered me. When I was about 15 or 16 I learned of the concept of BDSM. Unbeknownst to be, I had been engaging in BDSM lifestyle activities since I was 5, which I explored mostly with men. When I moved to NYC I learned the term queer and became queer a Domina. I continue to explore my own sexuality and because it makes the to educate others. I find that most sense based upon “normal sex” rarely happens; in my own life and of those my current schemas. around me. The perpetuation As I evolve and learn of people having puritan sexual relations with each more I may identify as other is a farce, especially something else or choose with those that are the first to condemn the sexuality of not to identify at all. I am others.
I identify as queer because it makes the most sense based upon my current schemas. As I evolve and learn more I may identify as something else or choose not to identify at all. I am LGBTQ and an ally. I have been best friends with Curtis for 15 years and we have grown and supported the evolution of our respective sexualities over the years. I support the growth and exploration of every individual, as long as it remains safe, sane, and consensual. The evolution of my sexuality is one of a long conscious of its being. When I first became attracted to a particular sex I found that the curvaceous women in my parent’s Playboys were what did it for me. When I started to masturbate I thought of jungle cats mounting me as they would with any mate—teeth, claws, and blood included. I told my mother I was bisexual when I was 14. She looked scared and after a pause said that as long as
To learn more about Claudia, please see her feature in Career Call on the following two pages!
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I find that the more I learn about sexuality, the less I can be defined by my own proclivities. Complex sexual identities are conversations, not short answers. Most people don’t “have time” to learn and accept the identities of others. Even worse, condemn it because it doesn’t fit into their current LGBTQ and sexual context. I’ve found that the most backlash I’ve received are from individuals that noticeably have sexual interest that come under criticism of others; such as a “hot wife/cuckholdress” or homosexual individuals that tell me that I am selfish for not selecting just one gender to be attracted to, “just pick one already.” It’s strange to me that those that come from non-linear sexualities would condemn me for having a non-linear sexuality myself.
Career Call Memos from the Workforce Becoming a professional Dominant is a pretty straightforward path. For me it certainly was, which I take it to mean it was meant to be. I had been interested in BDSM since I found out about it at 15. Once I had moved to NYC, becoming a professional Dominatrix seemed to be something more attainable than the South I was raised in. One day while looking for jobs on Craigslist I found an ad for women to work at a dungeon in Manhattan, no experience necessary. I called and set up an appointment for a few days later. The large and unfriendly woman asked me a series of questions; “what’s your level of experience, knowledge, interest in BDSM?” BDSM meaning Bondage, Domination, Sado-Masochism. She seemed to be testing me, watching my body language as she informed me that I had to be comfortable with bodily fluids and touching the assholes and such of strange men. Later this would equate to a handshake instead of an eyebrow raising comment. When she felt satisfied that I do not scare easily, she set up my schedule with me. I would work at least 3, 8 hour shifts per week. No guarantee
I find my occupation to be a very satisfying one. Each new interaction, each new session I learn more about sexuality, myself, and how no one has “normal sex.” of income, but $80 per session with potential for tips outside of that. The dungeon charged $220 per session, (industry standard is currently $250 in NYC), the dungeon kept the other $140. Since I had two other jobs at the time, I wasn’t worried about making money. Dominant women, much like typical men in positions of power, are competitive and have erect egos that tend to bump into others and become irate when others do not move from their path. I chose to remain quiet and out of the way my first few weeks, asking questions of the other women I felt may actually give me information instead of angry blast of insults. My first session was a smoking session. Something I enjoy, but my first was a departure from any subsequent ones I would have. This was a forced inhalation smoking session. The gentleman (who was a very lovely man) had an apparatus that was strapped to his face. There was a tube that led to his mouth and nose. He could only take in air through this hose. I smoke cloves occasionally, but I loathe cigarettes. I figured I could pull the cigarette smoke into my cheeks and blow it into the tube without inhaling much smoke. It made my nose run terribly, which I blew into my hand and smeared on his thighs. He thought that action wonderful. We both laughed and had a great time. I felt I had a great session, but when I got home later, I had an asthma attack like no other. I couldn’t take in air and my roommates called the EMTs to give me oxygen. This reinforced my hatred of cigarettes; but hooked me on becoming a Dominatrix. For the next few years I would work professionally both in and out of a dungeon setting as a Domme. I find my occupation to be a very satisfying one. Each new interaction, each new session I learn more about sexuality, myself, and how no one has “normal sex.”
Employee: Claudia Typhoon Title: Dominatrix Field/Career: Sex Work
competition. Also, being a Dominant means that you need to be empathetic, able to read body language exceedingly well, and have at least base knowledge of psychology. Understanding how the experiences people go through shape them sexually is very important. Each person is unique, but over time you will notice certain patterns emerge. For example, people in powerful positions tend to be submissive in their sex lives because they need somewhere they can be vulnerable and have Being a Domme doesn’t simply mean that I whip people someone else take charge and make decisions. and bind them in chains. I can’t remember the last time I’ve used if even seen either. Being, becoming, Domina, Domme, Dom, Dominatrix, Dominant. These and maintaining as a Dominatrix comes with the words seem interchangeable but carry with them understanding of and climbing a very steep learning curve. subtlties. A Dominant is a person in a social or sexual Other Dominas don’t want to give out their knowledge as situation that is in the position of power. A Dominatrix is its hard to come by and they do not want to encourage typically a female that practices BDSM for an income. A Dominatrix may or may not enjoy BDSM in her own life. A Domme is a female Dominant, a Dom, a male Dominant. A Domina (which I identify as), is a female that practices ...being a Dominant BDSM both professionally and in her private life. I’m sure means that you need to be you also notice that the D is capitalized. In D/s, BDSM conversations it is typical to have the Dominant person empathetic, able to read indentified as being the person in power by capitalizing body language exceedingly the D or the letter(s) of their name. The submissive shows their position by referring to themselves in lower case or well, and have at least base using language that places them as being the person that knowledge of psychology. does not make decisions or holds any power within the D/s relationship. Interestingly enough, the submissive Understanding how the holds a great deal of power within the D/s relationship. I experiences people find that the submissive is the medium in which I express my sexuality. The D/s dynamic is a beautiful and fulfilling go through shape them when the chemistry is right between two individuals.
sexually is very important.
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I assure you its not the most glamorous of occupations at all times. I spent a lot of time writing emails and scheduling sessions. I put a ad about once or twice a month. I have a session at least once a week, as an independent in nyc that means $100-$300 per session. Granted I get lots of spare time because of this to plan my Domme career, work on my art projects, socialize and such, but being an Domina is not a guaranteed income and that is hard for a lot of people. To be a successful Domme you need to have a website, videos, perhaps sell “merchandise,” feature in magazines, model, et cetera. This is what I am working on currently and will continue to build my reputation.
The One By Peter Browne
Last week I had a long discussion about relationships with my best friend. Romance has always been the ultimate question mark. We were talking about where we were in our lives and where we wanted to be in a couple years. I’ve never wanted to have kids or get married. It’s not something I’m totally against, it’s just never been something that was really important to me. I always like to know the
thing people want most out of life, the ingredients for happiness if you will. For some it’s a job, for others, it’s a family, a husband or wife. This friend of mine wants a partner. He wants to have kids with someone. Being the devil’s advocate, I asked what they would do if they never found a partner, and they said they wouldn’t have kids, it would be too hard.
I thought about that think as soon as you stop People say when you find conversation while I looking for something it was up at my cabin and the one, you know. But who’s will find you. decided I felt the same to say there’s just one person I watched Juno again way. Maybe I’m too selfish, but I never want to for you anyway? What if recently and there’s a have kids. I kept thinking scene in the end that there’s like 50? Or what if about my friend and how really stuck with me. Juno great he was, how he’d there’s none? When I think comes home and tells her be a great dad regardless. Dad she needs to know it’s about my life, I’ve only ever People say when you possible for two people find the one, you know. to stay happy together had one great love and it But who’s to say there’s forever, or at least a few clearly wasn’t “the one.” I just one person for you years. He says to her: “In anyway? What if there’s mean, if it was, I would still my opinion, the best thing like 50? Or what if there’s you can do is to find a be with him right? none? When I think about person who loves you my life, I’ve only ever for exactly what you are. had one great love and it Good mood, bad mood, clearly wasn’t “the one.” I mean if it was, I would ugly, pretty, handsome, what have you, the right still be with him, right? I think about getting older person will still think that the sun shines out your and how someday it would be pretty cool to have ass. That’s the kind of person that’s worth sticking a companion. Someone to stay in with and watch with.” movies. Or go out on an all night bender with. You know, whatever. I agree.
A relationship is a commitment, you choose to love that person and you choose to stay with them. I think that’s the most important thing. Sometimes, I do get lonely. I’ve got the coolest friends and family, but sometimes I think it would be nice to wake up next to someone in the morning, make breakfast. But I’m not in any rush, You can’t make yourself want something unless you actually want it. Yeah, I’m always looking for love I guess, but I
Peter Browne is a writer, artist, actor, and filmmaker originally from Minneapolis, Minnesota. He spent time living and working in Chicago, Amsterdam, and Italy, before returning to Minneapolis, where he continues to pursue his artistic dreams. His next stop will be New York City!
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But if it never happens, that’s okay too. My dad talks about me wanting to have intimacy in my life. That’s his word. He got married when he was 41, so I say check back with me in 13 years. That’s how old I’ll be then. Single or not, I’ll probably be at some coffeeshop still writing about the constant dilemma that is romance. I don’t believe you can go through life counting on most things to happen. I mean, if you really want to get married and you haven’t found “the one” there’s still plenty of people you can marry. How can anyone ever know they’ve found the right person? Who’s to say you won’t meet the man of your dreams when you’re with someone else.
LezBiReal No approval necessary.
Lesbos Next Door
question or stumble over their words asking if we both lived there. We repeated our answer and the conversation abruptly ended. Then one neighbor was a bit more curious and as she asked about our shared custody of the kids, she proceeded to say, “wow there must be so much drama.” My girlfriend and I both, almost in sync reassured her that all parties involved, including the kids, are as happy and healthy as can be. Then our neighbor decided it was time for more wine.
Even regarding the few I think that before my I think that before my estranged “friends”, I girlfriend and I began can’t help but feel if I was girlfriend and I began investing more into our a new boyfriend instead relationship and actually of a girlfriend, no one investing more into our started building a life would be as concerned together, those who knew us relationship and actually of the children’s welfare, were very nonchalant about started building a life or assume that there is our gay union. Now that our drama, or blame the potty together, those who knew training issues on us. Yes, relationship resembles more of a traditional marriage, us were very nonchalant I was told that our 4 year I have noticed changes old has accidents only on about our gay union. from friends, family and the weeks we have him associates. The refreshing and I was told not to take it part has been that most of personal. my close friends and family have embraced us and supported us even more; then there are the others I think that college and my circle of close friends who gradually began to reach out less and less. I do and family created such a bubble of protection not deny there is resistance even in heterosexual from judgement and homophobia for me that I families when there are step parents and step kids may have been a little too optimistic about the involved, but people are just so damn inquisitive real world. It’s a long road ahead for all of us as or assuming when they realize we are raising kids a human race to continue to be more accepting that were not conceived in our relationship and and less judgmental. My partner and I exude so yes the father is equally involved. much love towards each other and our babies. To us, love is all that matters, and I’m quite sure that Just to give you an idea of what I’m rambling being a mom, dad, and kids with a white picket about: We live in a new community where most fence isn’t always what it appears. Accept our properties are over 300K, most closer to 500K. family too. The families are more traditional with a mom, dad, kids and pets. The father is the main breadwinner, and the mother may hold a part time post or be a full-time homemaker. We decided to head over to the monthly block party with our boys. As we were meeting and greeting our neighbors, everyone was asking each other general questions about who owned which house and whose kids belonged to which person. Every time we told someone we lived in that house together (pointing down the street) our neighbors would reiterate their
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Hello readers! Happy 2013! What a great year 2012 turned out to be. For myself at least, I felt it was such a year of house cleaning (sometimes literally but mostly figuratively) and preparation. It was my girlfriend’s and my first year settling into our new house and having shared time with her two boys. As I assumed a step mommy and partner role more and more, I was faced with new realities about raising a blended family with one set of parents being same sex and encountering certain homophobias and stereotypes.
Queer By Mansi Kathuria I usually use the word bisexual because it’s easier. People already know what it means. I don’t have to explain what queer does or doesn’t mean to anyone. I use the word bisexual because I’ve already spent months looking in the mirror and practicing saying it. It’s okay now. I love that the LGBT community has reclaimed the word queer. I love that it’s purposely ambiguous and allows us to own our sexuality, to not be forced to market it. Still, something about it troubles me. I don’t think my desires are queer. I don’t think the fact that I’m sexually attracted to men and women is abnormal. I don’t think the fact that I question my gender sometimes, or that I occasionally wish I had a penis is abnormal. I don’t think the fact that I want to deconstruct ideas about gender, sexuality, marriage, family, relationships,
and sex is abnormal. I think everyone thinks about sex and sexuality in their own way, and we’re all free to form our opinions, find our own places on the various spectrums. And none of those opinions or identities should be considered queer. I want them all to be okay. I want to stop writing dictionaries of terms we want to use to describe ourselves. I want to stop fighting about how the term bisexual is damaging and we should all identify as pansexual even though nobody outside the LGBT community has any clue what it means. By definition, I am pansexual, as most bisexuals and queer folk are. I don’t feel the need to label myself that. I don’t want to label myself anything, really. I just want to be.
BroadSide Expressions in Poetry via Street Literature Style
Rotating Axis by Bianca Hart
Perhaps there are only so many years that the heat can last And I am standing on the wrong planet where all life has passed Move to the place where the waters flow and all is green Even when I often I want to be the closest one planet can be Burning from your warmth at an extreme intensity But I’ll keep a respectful distance for my saftey and yours And I’ll seek you for light and to be adored And I’ll cool your sun spots when the pain boils to not be ignored I’ll be your faithful moon never to leave so when you feel more like a planet I’ll protect from your sun And we’ll be so insict that astronomers may accuse are rotations to be one Not sure who pulls the other But somehow linked together in unison, in universe Forever and ever
Bianca Hart earned her BA in Psychology from Bowling Green State University and is now the Volunteer and Education Coordinator at Sarah’s Circle, a non-profit in Uptown Chicago that provides services to women who are homeless or at risk of being homeless. She is “a proud bisexual that attempts to be active in the LGBT community by standing up for our rights and attending local events.” Poetry has been a passion and outlet for Bianca since childhood—“Poetry has helped me through my journeys in life, especially as I was finding myself on the LGBT continuum.” When she isn’t working Bianca is simply “enjoying Chicago and spending each day living as if there is a musical in my head, because there is “no day but today.” She also enjoys long walks on the beach and giving foot messages, so ladies if you’re single…
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The fate of the universe consipires in my eyes Foolishly we break down Possesed by our past lives The depths of being earnest may come to a surprise But I will tell you in a metphor because similies I despise The rotation of planets match the sparkle of your eyes Fueled by reptition and that has left you scarred but wise I manuveure slowly to reach past the icy rings that keep all the pain from further expanding But don’t tell me I’m not a planet, when I’ve been here all along Pining to move closer to you, my precious sun But I often wait in vain and linger in the back Trying desperately to be on orbit with your track Don’t persucute my fault lines as they begin to show They represent my history, my moments of growth Yes, I want to remove the astroid belt you keep wrapped above your thighs And move past Uranus to help you rotate on your side But there’s more to my desire than to mark your fields as mine For you’re not just a “small step for mankind” You are the sustenance of life, You are sunshine! Yes, sometimes I get the feeling that the glow that I see Is a reflection from lightyears ago where it used to be
by Jsaon Lemberg
Embracing Chaos Catching Words in the Wind
Itâ€™s Just a Place Straight like the paths of the allley-way horders. White like the snow on Chicagoâ€™s muddy corners. Male like the edge of congressional borders.
The ubiquity of Western rhetoric means that many of the informants use the language of the West to describe a rather different reality.
Quote Corner Dennis Altman: The Emergence of Gay Identities in Southeast Asia
In much of urban Southeast Asia it is easy to see parallels with the West several decades ago: existing ideals of male homosexuals as would-be women are being replaced by the assertion of new self-concepts.
But in a world where more and more cultural styles are imported and assimilated there seems no reason why a Western-style gayness should no prove as attractive as have other Western identities.
American ‘queer theory’ remains as relentlessly Atlanta-centric in its view of the world as the mainstream culture it critiques.
One would expect lesbian movements to develop in conjunction with the In many countries such transgendered development of middle-class feminism, not necessarily to communities are institutionalized and have won an accepted, if belinked to developments marginal, social status, often as amongst heterosexual men, providers of personal services which seems the case for both (hairdressing, beauticians etc.) Thailand and the Philippines. which may include prostitution.
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The Frightened Butterfly: Transsexual Coming Out, A Family Affair By Claire Jenkins
In 1999 I was still married to my wife and was a father of four children. When I changed my sex and gender, we became estranged. We were all distressed by this event, which reflected nearly half of all transsexual transitions (De Cuyperea et al., 2006, Whittle et al., 2007). The experience made me decide to investigate what had happened to our family because there seemed to be very little help available to help us deal with this rare situation. Doctors, therapists and academic researchers were equally uninformed and were unable to help families. I was a husband and father who had become a female spouse and parent, all of us were confused and upset by this strange experience. In 2007, I decided to begin an investigative doctoral study into transsexual transition at Sheffield University (UK). The research involved
me interviewing 13 transsexual and 12 close family members (some in the same family). I simply asked them to tell me their story of what happened in their family when the intention to undergo transsexual transition became known. I used telephone and Skype interviews as the interviewees were spread throughout the United Kingdom and with some in the United States (modern families are often widely dispersed). I analysed their stories using an approach similar to that used by Ken Plummer, (1995) when he studied gay, lesbian and transgender coming out stories. The following account is based on part of my research which investigated how transsexual people came out to their family members. In other areas of my study I investigated the impact of transition on family members.
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Coming out or emerging as transsexual is similar point on, everything was done in secret. to coming out as gay but is a more intimate process. Close family members need to be told if This pattern of hiding has been identified by familial relationships are to be preserved. Usually researchers (Gagne et al., 1997) and clinicians, gay/lesbian people form Lev (Lev, 2004, Brown and intimate relationships outside Rounsley, 1996). Transsexual children the family but for transsexual people it was more of a often realise from an As these children develop familial affair. Transsexual they fear losing those who are early age that they do emergence is a serious issue closest to them, those they not belong to the sex for both the transsexual person love, and they often become and the family member. For distressed. Recent they were given at birth extremely instance, wives of male-toresearch in San Francisco female transsexual people so, for example, as a showed that in a sample of will need to reconsider their 515 transsexual people almost little girl they begin to status as a wife, mothers will a third attempted suicide have to switch from having a understand that they (Clements-Nolle and Marx, son to having a daughter or 2006), most however, do feel that they are a boy. from having a daughter to a not suffer this awful reaction son, and a lesbian partnership because they find creative might need to be reconsidered as a straight ways of dealing with the situation (GIRES, 2008a). relationship. For example, a female-to-male transsexual called Steven used music composition and a male-toTranssexual children often realise from an early female Michelle used storytelling and film as a age that they do not belong to the sex they were means of release. Eventually the distress becomes given at birth so, for example, as a little girl they overwhelming and the transsexual person is forced begin to understand that they feel that they are a to consider doing something about the situation boy. In a Western society, this situation is confusing and to begin emerging as transsexual. Michelle for the child and is often accompanied by shame managed a bookshop in the city, she had been and secrecy. restless for a while, knew something was about to happen. When she returned from work one The bewilderment results from the children evening and was alone at home: learning very quickly that they are different from Michelle: I just knew, I had to sit down and watch other boys and girls around them. We are taught a film that I had seen about ten times one of my that boys should behave like boys and girls like favourite films You got Mail. There were lots and girls. Not doing this make transsexual children lots of parallels in this film. Normally whenever I vulnerable to ridicule and in some situations got really emotional I was able to hold it in again bullying and violence. The children quickly learn and put that in a box and what happened was that to keep their cross-sex identity secret especially she, in character, crying on the screen with all from those who are closest to them. Lianne, a these parallels with my life suddenly it all came transsexual woman put it this way: out. I had no control and I started to cry for her Lianne: I first realised that there was something and her character and then it was very obvious different about me when I was about 3 years that I was crying for me. I never cried like that old, which was pretty young for me and I started and this was worse, completely out of control and dressing up in womenâ€™s clothes and being quite I couldnâ€™t stop it. Every time it subsided then it girly at that point, which my parents didnâ€™t like it. started up again. That was the start and I just knew They sort of put it down to being a youngster at the that I had to sort myself out. time and as I got older I carried on and mother got quite angry about it all and found a stash in my To remain hidden can be risky and damaging for room. I had to chuck it all out and then, from that all involved, the transsexual person and their close
family members. I shall now consider the strategies sex situation and oscillated between the male and used by transsexual people to begin transitioning female sexes and genders whilst they did this. to the opposite sex. Some of the transsexual Nigel was trying to balance his need to transition women studied made it known to a close family against his commitments to family and career (see member by explicitly announcing that they were also Hines, 2007) and James was struggling to transsexual whilst others engaged in significant explore his maleness. cross-gender behaviour such as cross-dressing or James: I watched this documentary and I started making it known that they experimenting and different visited transgender websites. All the relationships I stuff and wearing. I think I All the relationships I cut my hair a different way, studied changed when studied changed when the a slightly more tomboyish transsexual person began the transsexual person style, the last few years, kind transition. Debbie (was the of getting slightly more and began transition. sister of a transsexual woman more male clothes. I was called Samantha) had a trying to experiment with my new sister; Sandra and Sally’s husbands became personality as well. I kind of felt like for so long women, they readjusted but Sally’s relationship I had rewired my brain to act like a girl, how ended. All cis (a term used to describe someone to walk like a girl and then it was almost like, who is not transsexual) family members except really, really, confusing for a long time. So I kept Debbie had a negative reaction to the emergence. experimenting and I kept flirting with the idea of Debbie, Samantha’s sister was a lesbian so her transitioning. It became more and more inevitable reaction was different because of her lesbian that I would have to do something about it because identity and the fact that there had not been any it wasn’t going away. I wasn’t sure whether I was previous sexual intimacy between them. Debbie androgynous or male or how far to go with it. I was also helped because she was able to connect was a bit confused with trying to be a girl. with the other non-transsexual identifications of her sister, which were as a film lover and a Chelsea I argued that James might have had a background (English) football team supporter. Debbie told me knowledge of ‘Brian Sex’ theory (GIRES, how she reacted when Samantha revealed that 2008b) and the ‘Wrong Body’ narrative she was transsexual through an announcement at (Stone, 2006:231). Oscillation between the Christmas: conventional sex/gender binaries was easier for Debbie: He went straight on to say ‘I am still the Nigel and James, as transsexual men, than it was same person, I still like movies and I still like for Daniela a transsexual woman (Whittle, 2006, Chelsea football club.’ She loves football always Lev, 2004, Kessler and McKenna, 2006). Michelle has and still does which means that now I have to also attempted some oscillation at various times be one but I can never be as much a one as she is during the long pre-transition period of her life but obviously. found that family members ignored her, unusual feminine, transgressions (Hall, 1996, Hockey et When a transsexual person disclosed their al., 2007; see also chapter 4, Stacey, 1991, Stryker, transsexuality to family members they did not 2006). usually suspect the transsexual identification but often assumed homosexual identifications. Lianne, a transsexual woman, adopted a boyish Transsexuality was still frequently confused with lesbian identity whilst she integrated her new sex/ homosexuality (Hirschfeld, 2006). gender identifications into her more public social interactions. She considered that her femininity Some of the transsexual people disclosed and female body were more important than her their transsexuality to family members whilst lesbian sexuality. experimenting with minor body and gender modifications. Nigel and James (both transsexual Kimberly (a transsexual woman) and Nigel involved men) struggled to come to terms with their gender/ their partners to help them emerge into their mew
(Smart, 2007), personal autonomy and their familial obligations whilst maintaining independent flexibility and choice within their daily lives. The early stages of transition was facilitated by frequent telephone conversations, a slow gentle approach to the transitional changes in sex/gender identification and a reduced commitment to the transsexual person’s pre-transitional sex.
For example, Nigel grew up in the Far East with his mum and his sister and they were a small nuclear family. He repeatedly told me that his relationship with his mum and sister was important and he frequently considered this relationship and telephoned them regularly: Nigel: Currently, with the Elizabeth, Nigel and Lianne (all two of them they are just The dilemma they transsexual people) exhibited, saying well ‘you are still later in their transitions, greater faced between our medical clinician/sister.’ gender fluidity because gender They accept it in so far as revealing their status assertion had become less urgent this is something that makes and the fear of loss as transition progressed and me happy but they will not embodied sex became more accept that I am their son of close intimacy was congruent with desired gender; or brother. I have not seen distressing. they were confirming earlier them since before I took empirical findings (Dozier, the hormones, they have 2005, Cromwell, 1999, Brown, only seen the occasional 2009, Devor, 1993, Devor, 1997, Rubin, 2003). photos and they are beginning to recognise my However, Lianne, like Elizabeth, found their [masculine] voice on the phone. My mum’s finally socially unusual gender role strange because decided to come to visit me in a couple of weeks’ even though they were transsexual women they time. I suppose in a way they have relaxed a little understood sex/gender roles more traditionally. bit. The only thing they did ask of me was that I When I asked Lianne (a transsexual woman remain open with them with regards to what I was partner of a lesbian woman) about her new family doing and when I was going to do it. situation, as a lesbian couple, she told me: Lianne: Yeah we are, which is kind of weird, but it I began by discussing the build-up to the revelation allows me to still have a masculine side as well, to by a transsexual person that they intended to an extent. So I can still mess around on my bike, transition. My study revealed how transsexual still do my sports and stuff. People don’t see it as people lived their early lives subjected to everyday anything weird, so that’s fine. Tracy (her lesbian understandings of sex and gender. The dilemma partner) likes to be a little bit masculine anyway, they faced between revealing their status and so we are seen as a lesbian couple. In a way, that the fear of loss of close intimacy was distressing. was quite a weird thing to get used to. You go Furthermore, when cis family members reacted from a transgender label to a lesbian label. emotionally on disclosure of transsexuality this might have been because they experienced the Finally, living apart from family members helped loss of their previous, pre-transition, relationships both the transsexual person and the cis person with their transsexual family member. to come to terms with the changes in sex/gender embodiment of the transsexual person. Family members were able to retain their relationships
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sex identity. Kimberly used art work to present a socio-biological argument for her transsexuality and Nigel ritually involved his partner (Beth) in his first cross-sex hormone (testosterone) injection. Beth: He had said something in the text [a mobile phone text] like, ‘this is your transition as well and I don’t mind waiting if it makes you feel more comfortable about it,’ which I thought was really good. I am sure a lot of people would have been just excited about it. They would have wanted to get it done straight away, regardless of what other people felt about it. So yeah, I was there for the first injection and I was glad that I was there but it wasn’t really a big deal, I suppose, because nothing changes at that instant.
BROWN, M., L & ROUNSLEY, C., A 1996. True selves: Understanding transsexualism-for family, friends, co-workers and helping professionals, San Francisco, Jossey-Bass BROWN, N. R. 2009. The Sexual Relationships of SexualMinority Women Partnered with Trans Men: A Qualitative Study. Journal Archives of Sexual Behavior 39, 561-572. CLEMENTS-NOLLE, K. & MARX, R. 2006. Attempted suicide amongst transgender persons: The influence of gender-based discrimination and victimisation. Journal of homosexuality, 51, 53-69. CROMWELL, J. 1999. Transmen and FTMs: Identities, Bodies, Genders and Sexualities, , Champaign IL, University of Illinois Press. DE CUYPEREA, G., ELAUTA, E., HEYLENSA, G., VAN MAELEB, G., SELVAGGIC, G., T’SJOEND, G., RUBENSA, R., HOEBEKEE, P. & MONSTREYC, S. 2006. Long-term followup: psychosocial outcome of Belgian transsexuals after sex reassignment surgery. Sexologies, 15, 126-133. DEVOR, H. 1993. Sexual orientation identities, attractions and practices of female to male transsexuals. Journal of sex research, 30, 303-315. DEVOR, H. 1997. FTM: Female-to-male transsexuals in society, Bloomington IN, Indiana University Press. DOZIER, R. 2005. Beards, breasts, and bodies: doing sex in a gendered world. Gender and Society, 19, 297-316. GAGNE, P., TEWKSBURY, R. & MCGAUGHEY, D. 1997. Coming out and crossing over: Identity formation and proclamation in a transgender community. Gender and Society, 11, 478-508. GIRES 2008a. Guidance for GPs and other clinicians on the treatment of gender variant people. In: HEALTH, D. O. (ed.). COI for Department of Health. GIRES 2008b. Medical care for gender variant children and young people: answering families questions. In: PUBLICATIONS, D. (ed.). Department of Health. HALL, S. 1996. Who needs identity? In: HALL, S. & DU GAY, P. (eds.) Questions of cultural identity. London: Sage. HINES, S. 2007. Transforming gender, transgender practices of identity, intimacy and care, Bristol, Polity Press. HIRSCHFELD, M. 2006. selections from The Transvestites, the erotic drive to cross-dress. In: STRYKER, S. & WHITTLE, S. (eds.) The transgender studies reader. London, New York: Routledge. HOCKEY, J., MEAH, A. & ROBINSON, V. 2007. Mundane Heterosexualities: From Theory To Practice, Basingstoke, Palgrave Macmillan. KESSLER, S. & MCKENNA, W. 2006. Toward a theory of gender. In: STRYKER, S. & WHITTLE, S. (eds.) The transgender studies reader. New York and London: Routledge. LEV, A. 2004. Transgender emergence: Therapeutic guidelines for working with gender-variant people and their families, New York, The Hawthorn Clinical Practice Press. PLUMMER, K. 1995. Telling sexual stories: Power, change and social worlds, London, Routledge. RUBIN, H. 2003. Self-made men: identity and embodiment among transsexual men, Nashville TN, Vanderbilt University Press. SMART, C. 2007. Personal Life: new directions in sociological
thinking, Malden MA, Polity Press. STACEY, J. 1991. Promoting normality: Section 28 and the regulation of sexuality. In: FRANKLIN, S., LURY, C. & STACEY, J. (eds.) Off-centre, feminism and cultural studies. London: Harper Collins Academic. STONE, S. 2006. The empire strikes back, a posttranssexual manifesto. In: STRYKER, S. & WHITTLE, S. (eds.) The transgender studies reader. New York, London: Routledge. STRYKER, S. 2006. (De) subjugated knowledges, an introduction to transgender studies. In: STRYKER, S. & WHITTLE, S. (eds.) The transgender studies reader. London and New York: Routledge. WHITTLE, S. 2006. Foreword. In: STRYKER, S. & WHITTLE, S. (eds.) The transgender studies reader. New York
WHITTLE, S., TURNER, L. & AL-ALAMI, M. 2007. Engendered Penalties: Transgender and Transsexual People’s Experiences of inequality and Discrimination. The Equalities Review,Great Britain [Online]. [Accessed 01012008].
 Put very simply, Brain Sex theory attributes the cause of transsexuality to be due to differences in brian structure.  The wrong body narrative is that transsexual men believe that they are men trapped in a woman’s body and transsexual women believe that they are trapped in men’s bodies. A bit more about Claire: In 1992 I took the significant decision to leave a successful career in school teaching in order to undergo transsexual transition. Over the past twenty years I have been a transgender activist promoting transgender equality in the trade union movement and in education. In 2006, I gained a MA with a dissertation studying transsexual transition in the film Transamerica. I have just submitted a doctoral thesis investigating transsexual transition in a family context. I have presented my research findings at European and global conferences.
BroadSide Expressions in Poetry via Street Literature Style
I Wanna be Like You, but Not Really: A Genderqueer Ballad You have your path I have mine. You look great and I look fine I think. I think I see myself in the mirror sometimes. I think I see someone else in the mirror too. When my life is going right, a glimpse, an eyelash, a nose that is who I can be, who I could be maybe.
by Sam Allen
I wanna be like you but not really I wanna look like you but not really. Your voice it glows and growls in a way that I want but not really Your face I see it it’s you becoming you and I think, is that me? No, not really. Or maybe I’m me and yeah, I’m objectifying you yeah really because....you’re a possibility a change that I could want and that I envy that could be me but that I don’t think, I dont think, I really want.
Sam allen is a dadisit entrepreneur from California’s great central valley. In her ample spare time, she enjoys herding kittens, pretending to tune pianos, and editing the works of kin and strangers alike. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
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I wanna be like you, but not really. I wanna look like you, but not really.
Alum Alert Re-connect with WSGS Alumnae
Broad Magazine caught up with 2010 grad Jacqui Scott this month! Tell us a little about yourself and your time at Loyola. My name is Jacqui Scott and I graduated with my MSW and MA in Women’s Studies and Gender Studies from Loyola in May 2010. I decided to go back to graduate school after working in the social work field for about 6 years after college. I was a Women’s Studies major in college and when looking at graduate programs it was important to me that WSGS be a component of my graduate education. Loyola’s dual degree program in Women’s and Gender studies and Social Work seemed like it would be a great fit for me. What are some of your favorite memories from the program? I was primarily connected to WSGS by being in the graduate program, but I also served as the graduate assistant to the director for two years. My best memories all involve my fellow graduate students. I couldn’t have made it through without them. I will never forget our late night discussions about queer
theory or how feminism and religion could possibly intersect. Some of my best memories also include our WSGS grad night out at FKA, my internships with Jayna and Perri both at the Center on Halsted and Deborah’s Place, late nights studying with Niya at Winston’s Café, and my WSGS Feminist Methodologies course with Prue and all of the students in the class! Tell us what you have been up to since graduation. What was it like seeking work? As I mention below, I began volunteering for RVA in June and continued to work at a wine bar in my neighborhood while I was looking for a fulltime job. I am not going to lie; it was very difficult to find a job after graduating and I even began my search three months prior to graduation. Where are you currently working? Did your WSGS degree prove beneficial when getting the job? I currently work as a medical and legal advocate for Rape Victim Advocates (RVA), a rape crisis center in Chicago. I also recently received my LCSW. I began volunteering for RVA 2010 in June and accepted a fulltime position with the agency in November 2010. I think that I was able to secure the position because I was a volunteer with the agency, but I believe my education and past work experience were also important components. As an advocate I provide crisis intervention counseling, emotional support, and medical
What do you consider the strengths and weaknesses of your education? What could have been better? What has helped you? How do you apply feminism in your everyday life? I believe that the dual degree program provided me with a strong foundation to embark on my career path, but every program is not without its challenges. I strongly believe that the WSGS program should be its own department with fulltime faculty. With that said I am grateful for the amazing faculty including the director and graduate program director who helped shape a positive educational experience for me. I believe that my relationships with these individuals and my ability to advocate for myself was most helpful. Feminism is the lens through which I see the world. Therefore it is something that is part of my everyday both in the work I do and my interactions with those around me. Do you have any suggestions for current Loyola students? What do you miss or what would you have done differently? I am not sure what I would do differently if I had to
go back. I might take a few different courses, but
for the most part I am satisfied with my graduate experience. I miss many things, but I mostly miss being a part of an incredible network of students. Some advice for current students: 1.) Take an internship! Work experience is so important and it can give you some insight into what type of work you might want to do if you are not on an academic path. 2.) Even though you are busy try to get involved in the undergrad or graduate student groups. This not only helps you stay connected to other students with similar interests, but it provides you with an opportunity to put your feminism into action on campus through various activities. 3.) Speak up when you are frustrated with something or donâ€™t feel you are getting the most out of your education. Talk to your fellow students, faculty, and program director. Graduate school is all about creating your own education and advocating for your specific needs. 4.) Take care of yourself! Alum Alert contributed by Julia DeLuca
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advocacy to child, adolescent, and adult survivors of sexual assault and abuse seen in the emergency department. In addition, I provide legal advocacy for sexual assault survivors including information about and accompaniment throughout criminal and civil justice proceedings. I also assist with institutional advocacy efforts and professional trainings for medical personnel and criminal justice staff including the local Chicago Police Department districts and Oak Park Police Department. I provide outreach to the Austin Community and surrounding area regarding program services and sexual assault resources. Finally, I provide advocacy services for women charged with felony prostitution through a specialty court in Cook County called Women in Need of Gender Specific Services (WINGS).
Why Religious Extremists Baffle Me By Victoria Lange
There’s just one thing I don’t get about religious fanatics, something made even worse considering what I have to live with every day. What I don’t get is why religious fanatics claim that it’s a sin against God to be a part of the LGBT community. There’s two reasons why I don’t get this. The first is that I don’t understand their hatred for trans individuals. You’d think that wanting to correct a mistake like being born in the wrong body, especially if that individual sees themselves as a member of the opposite sex who is straight, would be applauded by the extremists, since they’re ‘correcting’ what they (the extremists) say is wrong: homosexuality. But apparently not, since they still seem to get hatred from them. Why? Apparently they’re still ‘wrong’ in their eyes because they’re not truly the gender they feel they are. They tried, especially since medical technology has yet to create truly convincing and anatomically correct genitalia for trans individuals. And then there’s my other reason: why the hell would an all-knowing and all-powerful being even care about creatures so small, they could easily nest
under said being’s thumbnail think about other tiny creatures that just happen to love someone who has the same genitalia as themselves? If you’re omniscient and omnipotent, you’d probably have more important things to do than to worry about what little specks are doing in their bedrooms. This also brings up another point: doesn’t the Bible say something to the effect of, ‘those who live in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones?’ It’s kind of hypocritical to preach about the ‘sanctity of marriage’ when straight marriage is about as sacred as a penny. Then again, who am I to talk about what God probably thinks when I can’t even get the concept of freaking body language? Victoria Lange is twenty-one years old, has Asperger’s Syndrome or high-functioning autism, and lives in Los Angeles, CA. She is currently in her eighth semester at Pasadena City College and hopes to become an author who specializes in writing young adult fiction featuring strong female protagonists. She lives at home with her mom and three cats.
Words Are Useless Artist: H. Melt
White-out on Polyester Flag, 2012 Biography: H. Melt is a poet, artist, activist and educator who was born in Chicago. They have published, performed and exhibited in numerous spaces throughout the city including: All The Writers I Know, Chicago IRL, Salonathon, Woman Made Gallery, and in (wo)men & me(n)â€”an exhibit celebrating the first Trans, Gender Nonconforming and Intersex Freedom (TGIF) rally in Chicago. They are currently an emerging teaching artist with Young Chicago Authors and releasing a new collection of poems titled SIRvival in the Second City: Transqueer Chicago Poems on New School Poetics Press in early 2013. Website: http://hmelt.tumblr.com/
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Rape By Abeer Allan
You don’t have to be quiet about it anymore, fight for yourself, because whoever is doing you wrong is a worthless piece of trash. Screw society, screw what people think, and screw everything else but your free soul.
Yes, that non-stopping act by animals, excuse me animals -I don’t think you can act like that- so let me rephrase that; it’s the crime that is committed by the most ignorant, heartless and weakest creatures who surrender to their desires. Anything taken from a girl against her own well is rape; even a kiss by force is rape, so imagine every act that exceeds that! This is beyond what the body and soul can take.
A woman who is being put in such place needs no sympathy, needs no words of comfort, what she truly needs is to be understood,and a shoulder to cry on, assuring them that the world can be good again. And yes, they do want those criminals to be punished, and their punishment shouldn’t be easy. They should feel weak, powerless, and taken advantage of. Girls shouldn’t be raised like they’re living in a safe world and that guys may be bad so “be careful”. No, this is not how it goes. Girls should be treated like human beings, which is what we are, and be taught that everyone is after them, and not only that they need to be protected by family and friends, but they should be taught to be strong and fight for themselves because when they’re put in such a situation, family and friends will do them no good, it’s only their mind and physical strength that will help them defend their soul. So for all the girls out there - who were mistreated, are being mistreated, or still safe- you should all learn how to fight for yourself, because at the end of the day, no one will protect you but you…
There are so many girls who are being mistreated, and yet they do nothing about it. Well, guess what? You don’t have to be quiet about it anymore, fight for yourself, because whoever is doing you wrong is a worthless piece of trash. So screw society, screw what people think, and screw everything else but your free soul.
We, all girls, are human beings with rights, we have the right to live in a safe environment just as men walk down the street with no fear of being raped by the next woman who looks at them, human beings with feelings, in which men should be raised in a society that acknowledges that, takes it into consideration and makes sure men treat women as humans not objects. We should live in a society that fights against sexual harassment. A society that makes it OK for women to speak out and demand for their rights. Women are sent from up above to give beauty to this world. Sent in different shapes and colors to make this world a beautiful colorful portrait, we are not only the rainbow in this portrait, we are the rain, the sun, the moon, the breath-taking nature, the heart of giving, the soul of hope, the reason there’s still good in this world, we add life to desert… We are what keeps this life going…
Abeer Allan is a free-lance writer at Oasis Living Magazine. She is starting a new campaign “Inspire and Make a Difference” (IMD). She is passionate about supporting women and writing about them. For more details on the campaign which will be a part of a new book please visit: abeerallan. blogspot.com
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Most women are being targeted and mistreated by most men in most countries, and no I’m not exaggerating here nor generalizing this common situation. Women are being treated as weak creatures, and I’m only focusing here about one main thing, that is, rape.
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