Recommendation: Additive Gender

maymay recommends…

prom date

Additive Gender
A prom photo.

Additive gender is the idea that by amplifying signals from one gender, you don’t necessarily negate the existence of others. Here’s a picture from a close friend’s prom in which she goes as one of her same-sex friends’ date. She plays a masculine role but rather than decide to try and pass by, for example, binding her breasts, she decides that it’s more self-expressive to keep all her femininity present and simply add masculine overtones.
I think it’s stunningly sexy.

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Posted by on October 20th, 2009 at 08:00 am

Category: photos, recommendations 7 comments »

7 Responses to “Recommendation: Additive Gender”

  1. Adisson

    Sexy Sexy. ^_^”


  2. Samson

    Wow, thank you so much for this. I feel like there’s a lot of pressure sometimes (at least in my life/social sphere!) on trans/genderqueer/androgynous/etc. folks… that you either need to:
    appear gendered/transgendered in one direction only,
    look completely genderfucked,
    or appear perfectly genderless.

    It’s nice to see someone appreciate a little of this and a little of that all together.


  3. freiya

    I can only echo the comment above about how lovely it is to see someone appreciating the best of both…and i love the photo, your friends expression is so very cool :)


  4. Gabe

    Oh, this post makes me so happy. For me it’s been about piling on the gendering, so I love seeing that others are working that way as well. Yay!


  5. kyprieth

    This is how I feel a lot of the time. Unfortunately, for a female-bodied person in a community that is not dominantly queer, most people just see that as “tomboy”, not genderfuck. :(


  6. maymay

    for a female-bodied person in a community that is not dominantly queer, most people just see that as “tomboy”, not genderfuck.

    Interesting, kyprieth. What do you suppose the reaction would be if the person presenting with additive gender were male-bodied instead of female-bodied?


  7. B-Rae

    I think sometimes genderfuck is only validated if it is overt / in-your-face / etc…at least that’s how I’ve felt based on my experience. I see genderfuck here…it’s just more peripherally subversive, more refined. More…look, stop, think, double take, register, light bulb [but turned up with dimmer, not just snapped on.] A-ha…smile. It’s just a different vibe. I like it lots.


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