Queer in distress

Submitted by Sydney.

“It’s distressing that many people think of being gender queer as a joke, or are quick to hop on the bandwagon. This is important to me. I’ve only recently come to terms with being gender queer. Some day’s I like to wear lipstick and more feminine clothes. On other days I prefer to bind my chest with ace bandages and wear button ups. It all depends on how I feel that day. I like the way I am, most days. My family is supportive of me loving women. I don’t think they would think of me differently if I came out as gender queer rather than a lesbian. But I don’t know. I will leave it where it is for now when I’m less confused about this. I’m a girl as well as a boy. I don’t think it matters. I’m Sydney and I want to be loved as so.”

Posted by on February 26th, 2011 at 10:00 am

Category: faces 20 comments »

20 Responses to “Queer in distress”

  1. Chökhor


    From one genderqueer to another, Sending understanding and unconditional love your way for you, as you are.



    Jessica replied:


    People look at me sometimes like I’m the biggest problem in their life. Why? I am not asking anything from them. Some people treat me like I’m perpetrating some trick on them. I am not. Their distress jumps the gap to me. It isn’t fair.


  2. Nazza

    There will always be people who jump on the bandwagon, but to me that’s better than the old days when being queer was incredibly taboo.

    You’ve been wise to focus on your own development and your own sense of identity. Mine is in a never ending state of evolution.


  3. Kim

    This idea that people are just going along with someone else, mimicking them, whether in regards to gender or sexuality, is something I find deeply offensive. If we are in a position to decide the legitimacy of other people’s identity, then they should get the same decision over us.

    If the way a person identifies isn’t right for them, they’ll move on. But their identity should be respected in the meantime as though it will last their whole lives. To get respect, we must also give it. Otherwise, we’re hypocrites.


    Adrian replied:

    Seconded. I keep hearing this “fad” thing in regard to genderqueers and feminine trans men. And maybe there has been a lot of visibility of them lately (in queer-themed online spaces, mind), but that hardly makes any young gender-variant person just “hopping on the bandwagon.”


    Jessica replied:

    I am sick of hearing people disbelieve in transgenderness. Androgenous genderqueer people (of the bio female bodied persuasion) do not wish they were men and femme genderqueer people (of the bio male bodied persuasion) do not want to be women. If they did, then they’d be transsexual, not genderqueer.


    Kim replied:

    “Transsexual” and “genderqueer” aren’t mutually exclusive.


    Jessica replied:

    That is, true. But those of whom I was speaking are people who “become” their adopted binary identity and believe that my condition (genderqueer) is s phase I am going through – very analogous to the gay/lesbian folks who view bisexual identification as an incomplete stage of development into what they are.

  4. Lia

    I understand the “bandwagon” feeling, because I sometimes feel the same.

    But we should look at it for what it is : it is the reason some feminists lesbians don’t accept butch/femme lesbians, it is the reason some early 20th century Jews in the UK were against eastern European Jewish immigration, it is the reason some transsexuals look down on the rest of the gender communities…

    We want to be taken seriously, but instead of challenging those who don’t take us seriously we blame it all on people from our own communities – that it’s their fault we are not taken seriously.

    What you are feeling is not wrong – but you are choosing the wrong target.


  5. Anonymous

    I worry that I’ve imagined the whole thing and psyched myself into someone elses train of thought and will get everything done and be like, oh…nope I want to wear dresses now the first time in my life, now that I have no curves and a beard… thats my fear, that I will make the wrong choice and so I don’t make any choice, because I worry I made the whole thing up…that scares me a lot…that I have friends who think I didn’t fit in as a normal straight feminine girl, so I became a dyke, who decided lesbians make lousy company, will become a man, and will then decide to date guys, until they become boring and will be back to women–it does happen…I just want things to be simple. I just want to feel comfortable but I don’t want to make other people so uncomfortable that I’m alone at the end.


    Jessica replied:

    Yeah, be careful what you wish for. It is seldom possible to know enough about the destination when you start the trip. Sometimes my partner asks me why I wanted to make my body an object of ridicule – and I do not have a great answer to this question.

    It’s just what I am. If that makes me disgusting or ridiculous to some people, then so be it. Did I have to do it? Truthfully, no. There wasn’t anything at all wrong with where I started out. I was just indifferent to it, not even actively hostile to it. But as I have changed and learned, and appreciated new and different things because I have been transgendered, I have come to find things in myself I am not indifferent to.

    I have also come to more clearly appreciate what I am risking losing. That is frightening.

    I keep thinking of Puddleglum’s speech in the Silver Chair, where he and his companions are being drugged by the witch:

    “One word, Ma’am,” he said, coming back from the fire; limping, because of the pain. “One word. All you’ve been saying is quite right, I shouldn’t wonder. I’m a chap who always liked to know the worst and then put the best face I can on it. So I won’t deny any of what you said. But there’s one thing more to be said, even so. Suppose we have only dreamed, or made up, all those things – trees and grass and sun and moon and stars and Aslan himself. Suppose we have. Then all I can say is that, in that case, the made-up things seem a good deal more important than the real ones. Suppose this black pit of a kingdom of yours is the only world. Well, it strikes me as a pretty poor one. And that’s a funny thing, when you come to think of it. We’re just babies making up a game, if you’re right. But four babies playing a game can make a playworld which licks your real world hollow. That’s why I’m going to stand by the play-world. I’m on Aslan’s side even if there isn’t any Aslan to lead it. I’m going to live as like a Narnian as I can even if there isn’t any Narnia. So, thanking you kindly for our supper, if these two gentlemen and the young lady are ready, we’re leaving your court at once and setting out in the dark to spend our lives looking for Overland. Not that our lives will be very long, I should think; but that’s a small loss if the world’s as dull a place as you say.”

    It may be that my translife will unravel everything I ever hoped for in my life, but having done so, even dying friendless and alone, I will have lived better than if I had chosen ease, welcomed surrender, and accepted a living oblivion.


    Samson replied:

    Oh, thank you for reminding me how much I loved/love the stories of Narnia. I loved that quote and it rings truer than ever after the dozen or so years it’s been since I first read it!

    I send hugs and love to you too, and prayers if you’d like them.

    Here’s to becoming beautiful piles of unraveled yarn together, if that’s our calling. I like to think we’ll all have each other, at least, us queers–that we’ll never have to worry about dying alone. Kate Bornstein talks about having a tribe; I like to think we look after our own.


    tigr replied:

    I feel you; I could’ve written pretty much the same. -.- “I worry that I’ve imagined the whole thing”, that is on my mind a lot… And “I just want things to be simple. I just want to feel comfortable but I don’t want to make other people so uncomfortable that I’m alone at the end.” Yes!!
    But, hey, at least we’re not alone in this.:)


  6. Anonymous

    Well I’ve made an appointment for tomorrow so it had better be the right path. I’m so awkward, thinking of how aslan is basically metaphor for jesus… and laying here I’m thinking of praying the first time in years, the first time since I kinda thought maybe god made a mistake, and s/he doesn’t make mistakes, so maybe there’s a clear absense of faith in my life, always seems to be the thing that pushes me from what I want, knowing even though I don’t believe in hell, I don’t want to go to hell, not when there are people who intentionally hurt eachother, sometimes in the name of religion and all I want is to feel normal…and then I feel like I’m in hell already, going to stay up til my brain is too tired to think and likely pray because I’m terrified but can’t keep living this way.


    Jessica replied:

    I was using the quote from Puddleglum because I resent people telling me I’m making up this transgender thing up in my head. I feel that a non-transgender existence for me would be to accept the witch’s story and live in hell.

    But if you do believe in God and you believe in a God who does not make mistakes, then you have to accept that God has given you a special challenge, to grow and adapt to the changing circumstance of your life, to find a way to get along in harmony with others who will want to persecute you for being who you are. In Christian terms, these are great gifts.

    Myself, I love CS Lewis’ stories, but I’ve always been more of a Taoist:

    A person of sure fitness,
    without making a point of their fitness,
    Stays fit.
    A person of unsure fitness,
    assuming an appearance of fitness,
    Becomes unfit.
    A person of sure fitness never makes an act of it
    Nor considers what it may profit them.
    A person of unsure fitness makes an act of it
    And considers the profit of every action.
    However a person with a kind heart proceed,
    They forget what it may profit them.
    However a person with a just mind proceed,
    They remember what it may profit them.
    However a person of conventional conduct proceed,
    If they are not complied with,
    Out go their fists to enforce compliance.

    Here is what happens:
    Losing the way of life,
    people first rely on their fitness;
    Losing fitness, they turn to kindness;
    Losing kindness, they turn to justness,
    Losing justness, they turn to convention.
    Conventions are loyalty and honesty gone to waste;
    They are the entrance of disorder.
    Therefore a sane person dwells on what is real
    And not on that which is on the surface –
    Stays with the fruit
    Beyond the flowering:
    They have their no and they have their yes.


    Samson replied:

    Sending hugs and love and prayers for you. Hang in there, friend.


    Jessica replied:

    Back at you, too.


  7. Anonymous

    I just want to be enjoy the body I’m living in, that’s all…a second want would be, for it to not alienate me from the people I care about…that’s all I want and I suffer because I worry I can’t have both


    Anonymous replied:

    Yeah. I know what you mean.


  8. that same anonymous

    I have a consult with a plastic surgeon, and we don’t know what’s covered or not yet, but I am hoping it’ll run smoothly, if not I’ll need a new plan, that’s all. I booked a bunch of appointments today, including a new tattoo… I am pretty excited, this month has been better than the whole year to date and it’s only the first day of march.


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