Welcome: A Statement of Intention

Dear Passersby,

Welcome to Genderfork! This is a new blog — please add it to your feed reader and make yourself at home. Within this space, we’ll be exploring androgyny and other gender intersections. My name’s Andi*, and I’ll be your host.

I have two personal goals for this project:

  1. To compile all of the genderforking resources, imagery, and ideas that I come across on the web into one beautiful repository. I want to experience a sense of cohesion with these concepts — they all too often feel scattered and disparate.
  2. To encourage a conversation around the grey areas of gender with friends, with strangers, and with strangers who need to become friends.

…because I think we can all agree: Gender is a loaded word.

In some communities, it is sacred territory — we are assigned a gender at birth, it is a given, and there’s just no need to discuss it after that, thankyouverymuch.

In some communities, it feels under attack — we are assigned a gender at birth, and then some people take it upon themselves to change their genders, and then we feel very embarrassed when we don’t know what pronouns to use.

In some communities, it is Play-Doh — we are assigned a gender at birth but we recognize that it’s a flawed system, and so we turn it into a malleable and fluctuating medium for expression and try to have fun with it.

(This is an oversimplification, I know, so I hope you’re still following me.)

Sometimes, these communities have to interact with each other, and that often involves anger and pain. I know this because I am a member of all of these communities. And I hope that all of these communities will feel welcome here.

I want to help humanize this conversation. I believe connections break down community walls and create new spaces for growth. Because of this, you will see a lot of photographs of faces and bodies here (most of them blogged via flickr with respect for copyrights). Some will be beautiful. Some will be uncomfortable. All will be real people with real lives and real stories to tell. You’ll find that I am more interested in experience than academics. I like to look people in the eye.

So I’m just gonna set up shop here, at this fork in the Gender Road, and see who passes by. I do hope you will come join me for a glass of lemonade, a conversation, and some lovely people-watching. Really, it’s a beautiful day to be inspired — you can’t argue with that.

And I am glad you’re here.

Much love,
Andi

* The truth is out. My real name is Sarah.


Posted by on September 16th, 2007 at 03:57 pm

Category: thoughts 4 comments »

4 Responses to “Welcome: A Statement of Intention”

  1. RW

    Thank you for your welcome. I’ll be hanging around to see what you do.
    If you have chance I’d love to see some more writing.

    [Reply]

  2. andi

    Hello RW and thanks!

    I’d like to put more writing up, too. Thanks for the nudge, and please stick around!

    Love,
    Andi

    [Reply]

  3. Emma

    I liked the three communities you identify in the intention statement. I struggled with figuring out how to be “girly” growing up, since I was raised by my dad and my two brothers, but I didn’t struggle with who I was, genderwise – just how to fit in. I am “normal” looking enough that I don’t provoke any kind of confusion in people. But still I have always been interested in and resonated with the ideas and struggle to complexify gender and create more social space to be different than “normal” and express just exactly whoever you are. I certainly get the alienation and isolation and have lived through a lot of that, for other reasons not related to gender. I feel though that not having the gender identity or presentation that puts me “on the front lines”, or the dedication to study all the issues and pronouns, I feel embarrassed and under-informed and like one of those “well-meaning but clueless” people. I know I’m not completely clueless—but sometimes it feels like if you don’t know everything about every issue, are aren’t personally affected every day, then maybe you should just keep your mouth shut. And if I find androgynous images and people beautiful, am I just objectifying their “otherness” like some kind of exoticizing colonialist whatever? Erg, I thought I had white-guilt problems, now I have gender-“normal” guilt too. Argh! This is why I find identity politics problematic. And I don’t think academia helps much in this regard. So I am glad to hear some acknowledgment of the gray space there and a desire to humanize the conversation. =)

    [Reply]

  4. Becky EnVérité

    Just discovered your blog, it looks like it’s going to be fascinating reading. :)

    [Reply]


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