Genderfluidity

This is a really interesting personal story piece about being genderfluid:

I Am Genderfluid by Astrophe on Jezebel

I found it yesterday, and a lot of it really resonated with me.

I’m genderfluid.

I think. I mean, I don’t know what else to call it.

My gender exists in some sort of quantum state.  It’s Schrödinger’s cat, unknown unless I examine it.  Boy day or girl day?  Let me open the box and check.  These days it’s usually a boy day, but there have been long stretches of time when I’m usually girl, and I’m sure there will be again. Sometimes it’s neither; I open the box and can’t tell whether the cat’s alive or not.  And frequently, it’s both at once.  A tuxedo cat, black AND white all at the same time, not sometimes black and sometimes white.

Someone once compared being genderfluid or genderqueer to being a superhero, and I think that’s brilliant. Your identity encompasses both at all times, no matter how you are presenting at the moment. The way Bruce Wayne and Batman are the same person all the time, but are still different identities.

This cat: genderfluid avenger of the night!

Basically, I am this cat.

I believe gender is a thing that is 90% imposed on us from outside, and it begins so early – the very moment we are born – that most people (in my culture, anyway) literally cannot conceive of the idea that the chasm that separates “male” and “female” is really more like a bike tire track in the mud. And despite years identifying as female and not questioning that, I somehow managed to trip and fall on both sides of it.

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Dreams: The Underground Tower and the Child Who Lived There

Around the first week of January of this year I had a pair of dreams, one night apart, that have tugged at me ever since. I finally found the personal journal entries where I wrote about them, and found that they are as relevant now as they were then. I want to share them with you because they’re so beautiful, and because there are things I need to talk about that relate to them both, and I think I’m ready to do that now.

The second dream is here.

I lived in an underground wizard’s tower. Like a deep, deep stone-lined shaft with lovely arched entryways leading into a warren of corridors and rooms. It was huge. There was a waterfall down one side, and a meditation garden at the bottom full of mossy rocks big as bulls, and a lily pool, and small statues hiding in the roots of the twisted trees that grew there. Though the sun never reached more than halfway down the central shaft, it was never dark. Lights hung among the branches or glowed near paths and benches. It was immensely peaceful and quite lovely.

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“Men” by Nir Arieli

This suite of photos by Nir Arieli “places men in traditionally feminine spaces and postures, illuminating the human characteristics that have, over time, become decidedly feminine traits.”

For the most part I don’t find the pictures, the settings, or the people in them particularly gendered, but for someone with more traditional views of masculinity and femininity this might be challenging. I like them more every time I look at them.

You know those papers are going to attract cats, right?

Hanno, portrait by Nir Arieli.

Arieli, like all good portrait artists, has the ability to bring out the raw humanity of his subjects. Hanno is my favorite. Ariel and Kayode make me especially happy, and are the only two that, to me, contain undeniably coded-as-feminine elements: the sequined shawl and the explosions of cherry blossoms.

Matt, though, is probably the best portrait in the group. That one is hard to look at. Not because there’s any gender stuff going on, but because it’s a confrontationally emotional and nakedly human portrait, and that sort of thing is nearly always difficult to look at directly.

My hope is that someday, portraits like this won’t be perceived as feminine, because softness, openness, and vulnerability won’t be perceived as exclusively feminine traits.

Respecting Ignorance: Nope.

Once again from the turgid sea of content that is Tumblr, I bring you something relevant to my interests.

The (lovely and you should be following her) Iridessence got asked the following question.

In response to your “Respect Gender Pronouns” post. I can respect the proper pronouns, but not everyone knows them or is able to tell what someone is. I don’t like it when people get seriously offended when they are called the wrong pronoun by someone that they don’t even know. How is that person supposed to know what you want to be called?

Can there be respect for ignorance too? For those that are old fashioned or just plain unaware of new pronouns?

Respect ignorance.  That’ll be a bumper sticker any minute now.

Iridessence’s excellent answer: “You should probably ask a trans person, since even if it were my place to answer, I’m not sure how to.”

It didn’t actually address the asker’s concerns, though, so here’s my answer, edited slightly for clarity.

Respect Gender Pronouns patch from TheChurchofHotCoffee on Etsy.

This awesome patch and many others are available from TheChurchofHotCoffee on Etsy.

I’m female-leaning genderfluid who was born female and passes as female. It ain’t my place to speak for everyone, and I have a shitton of privilege and am sort of waffly on where exactly I fit in, so I don’t know if I can rightly put forth an opinion on behalf of trans* folks, but I have to say, as a member of other marginalized groups:

“Can there be respect for ignorance, too?”

NO.  Indulgence and possibly understanding, and respect for the people themselves, but for the actual ignorance, no, not ever, NEVER, respect.  You do not respect ignorance.  Ignorance is the water that passively allows the poison of hate to fucking spread, and as it is harmful, it is not something that compels respect. Continue reading