girls are supposed to be soft and delicate, full of sugar and spice and everything nice. girls wear pink dresses, lace, and shame. we have been spoon fed “boys will be boys” for every meal. boys digest dominance, never docility. what happens when people are raised on this but do not resonate with it? how do we put an end to gender restricting our identity, appearance, and expectations? to put an answer simply, we fight back. we educate. we acknowledge gender’s manifestation in our everyday lives. this zine works towards deconstructing a binary ideology of what people are supposed to be.
this is a zine about gender
An overflow of gratitude for the execution of this zine goes out to Alexandra Amato, Kamal Bassma, Marissa Gonzalez, Haley Gorycki, Chris Fusco, Peri Lapidus, Bianca Marrinucci, Lindsey Miller, Hannah Musson, Lindsey Norden, Nathaniel Ross, Julianna Sy, Johan Urrea, Zoe Vermette, Jensen Wainwright, and Christie West.
Do you ever wonder what it would be like to be a man? The question almost escapes my lips as I stare at his face, so masculine and sharp. I don’t ask under the fear that he’ll worry about me, that he’ll worry about losing who he knows and loves. More importantly, worry about losing his girlfriend. But then I remind myself that he doesn’t imagine being a man, it’s all he knows. I guess the proper question for him would be if he ever wonders what it would be like to be a woman. I keep looking at him, counting all the things in our faces that are different. His pores sink in more than mine, but he doesn’t seem to care. His jawline is stronger, the hair on his face is more wiry, more defined, more real than the peach fuzz on my skin that makes me ugly. His lashes are also darker, longer, almost fluttery; I wonder if that’s because they haven’t been tainted by the chemicals of makeup. I run my fingers over them, watching as they fall back into their beautiful places. I wonder to myself again, what would it be like to be a man? Would being a man mean not worrying about the size of my pores or the length of my eyelashes? My mind runs wild with all of the possibilities: would it mean wondering what being a woman was like? If I were a man, I think to myself as he holds me and plays with my hair, would I have more room in my brain to worry about war or politics, and not about my pores? If I were to adopt the title of “man” and keep my feminine form, would all my problems would go away? Would that only cause more?
When a Man Tastes Me He smiles at me, I see him studying my face, and I wonder if he is thinking about my details. I know he is because he tells me. He tells me I’m beautiful, that I have nice eyes, soft skin, pretty hair. I can’t help but wonder if he thinks of it more than just beauty, I wonder if he sees how different we actually are. I think about our forms, and how we are built to live. His hands, so big and strong and rugged placed on my soft belly and wide hips. I think about fucking, and how we are so mechanical. I wonder what it would be like to fuck me, and not as another woman, but as a man. I want to feel a woman’s body and have it feel foreign. To see her and be taken aback by a beauty and complexity I couldn’t find in myself, to taste flavors I had never tasted. I want to know what a man tastes when he tastes me. I’m not sure how long I’ve been blankly staring at his face. How long I have been playing with his fluttery lashes and feeling his deep pores. How long have I been fantasizing about being a man? I wonder if he’s noticed, if he thinks something is wrong. I wonder if he is having thoughts parallel to mine, if he is not expressing them to out of fear of worrying me. I want to get inside his head and to curl up there, I want to occupy that space. I never stop wondering what it would be like to be a man.
1: Can’t believe that I was scared to be in my own bed tonight Can’t believe that I gave you head tonight Cause I felt sick the whole fucking time Went to the bathroom, started to cry Vulnerability has always been something that scares me I have no idea how to present my disproportioned body I fear you’ll find the scars and the fat to be way too ugly So I wear clothes that could never be called “sexy” Please don’t undress me I just want to watch tv I just want to sleep I just want you to be Happy WITH me Not ON me
Gonna take back my body No more seizures No more gender Gonna take back my body I’m the humble queen And the pacing king I’m the perfect amorphous being Woke up from the narcolepsy dream Full of Keppra and amphetamines Just mix in some caffeine And I’ll be a well oiled machine The white boy feels threatened by my flexibility From masculinity to femininity The white boy feels threatened And I feel iridescent
2: You got bored and took the hat off of my head I told you that it suits you best You got bored and said you’d like to see me in a dress and I said yes You got bored and you made me your project But I’m stressed and I’m depressed Why did I give you my consent To take me back into your bed You got so far into my head But silence isn’t confirmation Couldn’t you see that I was nervous Lost my voice, you lost your patience Took what wasn’t yours, no hesitation Goodbye to innocence Three showers the next morning Couldn’t get me clean again
A Botanical Conversation
â€œMy series intends to illustrate through images of flowers how differences in gender or variances in self-expression are completely natural and beautiful. Through the variety of flowers I have photographed and how no two images look the same, I hope to address the conversation on self-expression in a natural, accepting light.â€?
a zine exploring gender