Profile: Erica


You can call me… Erica

I identify as… someone who is growing to be less concerned with sex (meaning male or female) and more concerned about why certain gender roles exist and why people follow them.

I’m attracted to… someone who tries to break out of their gender box and live how they want. Someone who can accept that in other people and doesn’t let it bother them. Someone who challenges why they do what they do rather than go with the motions like everyone else. If we’re talking about physicality, then I love me some androgynous-looking people.

When people talk about me, I want them to… want to think about their own actions and feelings about gender in the same way that I do rather than just go “Ew, what a fucking gross hippie dyke.”

I want people to understand… that gender roles don’t make sense, and they don’t have to abide by them.


About Erica
I’m Erica. I’m not a transsexual. I am a female, and I’m just someone who doesn’t really understand gender roles.

Posted by on February 20th, 2009 at 04:00 pm

Category: profiles 11 comments »

11 Responses to “Profile: Erica”

  1. Anonymous

    “I’m Erica. I’m not a transsexual. I am a female, and I’m just someone who doesn’t really understand gender roles.”

    This statement implies that transsexuals are not female. While certainly not all are, the statement strikes me as particularly insensitive given the nature of this site.


  2. Andro-jenny

    in response to anonymous above, i think Erica may have simply meant that she doesn’t identify as a transsexual and that she prefers to identify as androgynous instead, but i don’t believe s/he meant it to be exclusionary. just my opinion. i though Erica’s photo and profile were lovely and thoughtful.


  3. Sarah

    Thank you both for these two comments, and thanks again Erica for the profile.

    I spent some time talking with Erica before running this profile to make sure I understood where she was coming from. You’ll notice that the usual line about pronoun preferences isn’t included here. We agreed to take it out because it wasn’t the right question for what she needed to express.

    I think what you can see in Erica’s language here is a tension between worlds. She’s trying to express that she feels like she belongs in this stream of content, even though she doesn’t feel like she can claim a trans identity. In queer circles, it can be hard for someone who doesn’t visibly pass as queer to find community.

    I know (because I asked her) that her intention isn’t to suggest that transsexuals aren’t female, but I can completely see how it may look that way. Language for this stuff is tough, and she’s using what she has.

    Suggestions for how she could phrase it differently?


  4. winknight

    this is a really beautiful project. it’s made my day…


  5. raphael

    how about “i’m erica. i’m not transsexual. i’m a cissexual female, and i’m just someone who …”?

    because that puts transsexual/cissexual as parallel words, rather than implying that transsexual/female (or transsexual/male) is the dichotomy.


  6. raphael

    oh, and i removed “a” from the phrase “a transsexual” because it’s preferable to use the word as an adjective — modifier — rather than a noun — definite description. first and foremost a person is a person, not “a transsexual.”



  7. Sarah

    You’re absolutely right, Raphael. “Cisexual” is the word she was missing, because it’s the only parallel word we have right now. (Second best would be “non-trans”, which is defining by making a negative, which so-not-ideal.)

    To pick a small fight, though: outside of circles like these, that word is pretty useless because nobody’s heard it before. I agree that one way to fix that problem is to use it more often.

    I also think we need some better layman’s terms here.


  8. raphael

    well thanks, sarah!

    it is indeed problematic that the cis- prefix is generally unknown to most people, but coining new words is very very slow. language is funny like that. if i remember right, “cis-” (used with reference to gender) was first used in the ’90s, but it’s becoming more recognized now. overall i think it’s more helpful to say cis instead of digging around for something else which would take even longer to get going.

    so that’s something to chew on, erica, eh? i like your peacock feather.


  9. Sarah

    Fair points. :) I like the way you think, raphael. Thanks for being here.


  10. Erica

    I’m sorry that I never replied about the profile. My computer got a virus, and I haven’t had to chance to get online until now.

    As soon as I can get back online I’ll read the rest of the comments and reply. Looking back on this, it does sounds insensitive. I’m bad at explaining myself.


  11. Erica



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