True confessions: I take provocative photos of myself and post them on my Facebook page. And this behavior intersects with my life in any number of interesting and troubling ways.
These are my work shoes. The one on the left is a women’s size 12E, the one on the right is men’s size 10 1/2.
Both of these shoes fit me quite nicely, The men’s shoe can accommodate my foot with a thick sock; the women’s shoe, a bit more snug, requires thin hosiery.
The women’s shoe is noticeably shorter than the men’s. Part of this is due to the fact that it’s tilted upward by the heel, but it also has less room at the toe. It’s not cramped, it’s just designed to fit my foot more closely. By the same token, it’s also narrower.
So why am I prattling on about footwear? Read the rest of this entry »
So I’m out and about in the world, having spent an inordinate amount of time to get my new bangs just right, my dangling earrings swaying in the breeze, a hint of lipgloss and an ambiguously femme shirt on… maybe not presenting all-out female but certainly strongly hinting in that direction. And I’ve got that little extra sway in my step and arch to my eyebrow because it’s a nice day and I’m a happy girl.
Then I step into the drugstore to grab a Coke or something. I walk up to the counter, looking at all the colorful geegaws, waiting my turn, then I set my bounty down and reach for my wallet. The clerk locks eyes with me, and in a voice as cold as a winter night in Fairbanks says, “Can I help you, sir?”
I wilt. Behind the polite words of that simple phrase is judgement, and contempt, and constrained rage. I mutter and duck my head, pay for my purchases, and scurry out into a day whose magic has been rudely dispersed. Read the rest of this entry »
The erasure of women throughout history is pervasive. From Hypatia to Grace Hopper, there have been brilliant female minds working towards human progress who were relegated to the footnotes by men who minimize their contributions. This is one of the dynamics that drove the modern women’s movement.
But that movement has done its own erasure. In 1969, Betty Friedan warned about the “lavender menace” in the women’s movement, referring to the presence of lesbians in their ranks. Uncomfortable with lesbians, she rationalized her personal aversion into lesbians presenting a threat to the movement as a whole, and she was able to garner enough support in some quarters that lesbians were excluded, squelched and ignored, and the enormous contributions they had made to the cause were downplayed, straight-washed or outright ignored.
I am gender fluid.
Gender fluidity is the state of not having a fixed gender identity. At any given time, I may identify as male, female, both or neither.
Gender fluidity falls under the broad definition of transgender, the one that encompasses any person misaligned with the gender assigned to them at birth.
I originally told this story at a storytelling event in Ultima Online, but I didn’t write it down. It’s been a few years since then, and I just had an itch to put it in a less ephemeral format. So, as best I remember it, and perhaps a bit more embellishment: