Indochine have quite a few songs about being gender-variant, including Playboy, 3ème sexe (literally translates to “third sex”), and Ladyboy. Revolution is kind of about gender. Juliette’s Silences and Unisexe are somewhat about gender, but focus more on relationships.
Indochine is an incredibly gender progressive band. Unfortunately, they do only sing in French. Still, their songs have a pretty clear meaning!
I think labels are still useful. Before I started calling myself an “MTF butch” or a “butch woman”, I felt like an insignificant outlier society doesn’t even care enough about to label, which made me feel completely alone. While I agree we are all unique individuals and shouldn’t limit ourselves by putting ourselves in boxes, it’s nice to feel like you’re part of a team: like the way you feel and the challenges you face are shared by others in the world.
Labels can separate people, but used appropriately, they also have the power to bring people together.
I think the author described it much better than I could have: “Gladys Bentley was a blues singer, piano player, and drag king who performed bawdy tunes in Harlem nightclubs throughout the 1920s and ’30s. Despite the social obstacles she faced as a black, openly queer woman, her outrageous and energetic act became a mainstay of the Harlem cabaret. In 1952, under the oppressive social conditions of the McCarthy era, Bentley publicly renounced her previous identity and claimed to have found happiness as a feminine housewife.”
As the title says, this is a photo shoot of men wearing an outfit from their girlfriends. From the photographer’s description: “He wanted to make images that showed not only the equality of balance in heterosexual relationships, but also the feeling of confusion the male may be experiencing with this change.”
I think Genderfork readers will appreciate this because of the portrayal of cis-gendered men in a feminine aspect and the reactions that may evoke. For example, one of the commentators on the original website said that the portraits made him feel uncomfortable yet curious how his girlfriend may have influenced his own gender expression over time.
What I want input on is how to go about asking all people how they identify; I don’t want to assume.
Thing is, you ask a cis person their pronouns or ‘how do you identify’ and you (may) get some really strange looks. Then they get offended that you seem to be questioning their femininity/masculinity. You ask a trans person their identity and they (may) get another pang of sadness that they aren’t passing as how they want to be perceived. You ask a genderqueer person and you (may) get a smile in return – but you can’t just ask those who are ambiguous, because that’s simply your perception. I may perceive someone as female when they’re not, and to assume is bad. I may perceive someone as ambiguous when they’re not.
Where’s the right balance? Am I even asking the right questions?
I’d be thrilled if somebody asked me how I identify, but that’s unlikely since I have a beard.
I just want to get it right the first time, so a person gets that feeling of acceptance and satisfaction over being correctly identified.
Maybe I just ask everybody and live with the results, and become friends with the people who understand. And some people can have their understanding broadened. Perhaps.
“While this may seem like a simple selfie, there is so much more to it for me. This is one year after coming out as trans and in the beginning of a transition to living my truth. On this night, I met old friends out for drinks and I’m driving home, so incredibly happy, and put the top down on my car to be even more out and open.”
I have always identified as female, but I have always been a bit of an odd ball. I keep my hair short, I despise wearing make up for any reason, and I even had an online friend who was convinced I was male by my profile pictures because I never took any pictures showing my chest.
I’ve thought long and hard about my gender identity, and have thought that I would prefer to be male… But now that I am in college and finding more and more genderqueer people, I realize that what I really want is to be completely gender neutral. I don’t want breasts, and I don’t feel the need for ovaries. I never want to have kids, and consider myself completely asexual.
I just wish that this idea was more widely accepted. Most doctors won’t do top or bottom surgery unless one has gender dysphoria, but that isn’t the case for me. I am female. I know I am female. I don’t feel like I am the WRONG gender, so much as I would rather not have a gender at all. It isn’t even LABELS that I have a problem with. I don’t care if people call me female, male, she/he, whatever. I just don’t want to BE a gender.
I don’t care if society changes…I just want to change.
Submitted by Jo-I-Dunno, the model and photographer.
“I was born and raised a boy but always knew that wasn’t quite right. Once I hit age 18 I started taking female hormones to transform my body into that of a woman. I hoped hormones alone would make me a woman to the world but that hasn’t quite happened yet. Most people still see me as a boy (albeit a young one with smooth skin and a strangely feminine figure), and for now I’m okay with that.
I’ve tried dressing like a woman and wearing makeup, but I hated it! That’s not who I am. It never will be.
I hope one day I’ll look and sound enough like a woman that people see me as one despite my masculine fashion and personality, but until then, I’m enjoying all the stages in-between.”
‘Annabel’, by Kathleen Winter, is the story of a child born in 1968 on the edge of the Canadian wilderness. The child is born a hermaphrodite. Shortly after birth, the decision is made to raise the child as a boy, christened Wayne. The child’s true biological status is kept a secret by the parents and the local medical community. Maintaining this secret causes many problems for the child and parents.
Submitted by roadstermom, the model and photographer.
“I am raising and trying to understand what genderqueer is as my daughter is now a he. I just want humans in general to just BE. I do think we are the only ones who have the power to judge ourselves. I am a 105 lb woman and I prefer simple dresses. I do not wish to be treated as lesser than a man when I am dressed this way and my muscularity and vascularity are not visible. Yes it took many years of my life to grow into this attitude.”