Tag Archives: societal norms

Listening to the Right Voice

EXPLORING TRANS — THURSDAY, JULY 1, 2010, 12:38 AM

It sometimes seems as though there’s this societal insistence that gender can only be either personal or social. It’s either directly due to people as individuals, or it’s solely the result of socialization. Furthermore, I, at least, have felt a message that it needs to be individual, in order to be “real” or “authentic” or “legitimate.”

There’s this idea that how I feel about my gender, or how I present myself, isn’t real if it’s influenced by society. It’s only considered legitimate if I do something because it’s what I want for myself, not because I want others to view me in a certain way. And while I understand and respect the importance of staying true to oneself and not being too bothered by the rest of the world, it’s an undeniable fact that we’re influenced by society. Continue reading

Reclaiming Masculinity

In many ways, when I first came out as trans, I was very much alone. I was attending a women’s college — and while not everyone there identified as a woman, from the people I knew or knew of, the openly trans / genderqueer / gender-variant population of my college was roughly one-half of one percent of the college’s undergrad population. I was sort of making things up as I went along. Continue reading

Riki Wilchins Is My Hero


Riki Anne Wilchins and Me

Riki Wilchins is so amazing. So acessible and approachable, humorous, totally spot on. So real and down-to-earth. Just incredible.

When I was just beginning to explore the idea of gender beyond the binary, and what it meant to be trans, one of the books that most influenced by thinking was GenderQueer: Voices From Beyond the Sexual Binary, edited by Riki Wilchins, Clare Howell, and Joan Nestle. In particular, Wilchins’ four essays in the beginning of the anthology made an enormous impact on me, personally and academically. They were the perfect example of kind of trans that was forming in my mind — a trans concept very different from the classic narrative — and I relied on them heavily as I began thinking about, and writing, my thesis. Continue reading

Actually, No, Violence Is Not The Answer

The person here at ninebullets.net claims that the whole “wear purple to show solidarity” thing is stupid. I agree that it doesn’t work as a response to bullying; purple shirts worn on the 20th of October don’t have magic powers that stop people from getting bullied. However, that doesn’t seem to be the reason why people wore purple shirts yesterday. It was symbolic. It was in solidarity. Perhaps it was more for the people wearing the shirts than for the people being bullied — a way to make some kind of statement that bullying is wrong, even if the people being bullied don’t see that message. Continue reading

“Open” Does Not Mean “Cheating”

Polyamory n : is the non-possessive, honest, responsible and ethical philosophy and practice of loving multiple people simultaneously. Polyamory emphasizes consciously choosing how many partners one wishes to be involved with rather than accepting social norms which dictate loving only one person at a time. . . . [Xero]

So, polyamory. It’s a fairly taboo subject about which to talk, right? Even more so, in a lot of ways, than queer stuff or trans stuff, race or class (although those can also be really sensitive subjects). That’s kind of silly, though.  Continue reading