Topic #199: List the 5 most important books you’ve read
Over the past six months or so, I’ve encountered a number of books that have deeply influenced how I think — to the point that my list of most influential books has changed almost entirely from what it was even a year ago. While I reflect on those changes, here is my previous list of most important books: Continue reading
EXPLORING TRANS — TUESDAY, MARCH2, 2010, 1:48 AM
“All gender is drag,” Riki Wilchins writes, in an essay entitled “A Continuous Nonverbal Communication.” To a certain extent, I understand Wilchins’ argument. Sometimes I can even manage to treat clothing as nothing more than a costume, a way to play with the ways that people view me. At the same time, something like the Drag Ball that my college’s rugby team recently hosted complicates the issue. It becomes more than a matter of mere clothing—societal expectations and messages about who I am become tied up in the question of what I should wear. Suddenly, the question of what form of drag I’m going to wear to Drag Ball seems a matter of paramount significance to the overall question of my gender identity, and I feel overwhelmed and nearly incapable of deciding anything.
Posted in Exploring Trans, Trans/Queer
Tagged BMC, Bryn Mawr, clothing, college, drag, Drag Ball, gender, identity, postaday2011, Riki Wilchins, trans, transgender
GenderQueer: Voices From Beyond the Sexual Binary
(Edited by Joan Nestle, Clare Howell, and Riki Wilchins)
I refer to this book, and the collection of essays in the front by Riki Wilchins, constantly. It’s a wonderful anthology, and it shows — in real people’s voices, not just academic theory — that there’s so much more to gender than merely “man” and “woman.” It’s one of the first trans-related books I ever read; I bought it, Wilchins’ Queer Theory, Gender Theory, and Leslie Feinberg’s Trans Liberation at the 2009 MN Trans Health and Wellness Conference.
Perhaps one of my favorite quotes about gender is in Wilchins’ essay “A Continuous Nonverbal Communication:” “In fact, throughout our entire waking lives we are carrying out a continuous nonverbal dialogue with the world, saying, ‘This is who I am, this is how I feel about myself, this is how I want you to see me‘” (12). To me, that statement sums up why it is so important to allow people to identify and express their gender as they will — to do otherwise would be to render them invisible and deny who they are. Continue reading