01 02 03 Genderqueer Chicago: Is this gay? 04 05 15 16 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 31 32 33

Is this gay?

The article linked is about a child who wanted to dress up like Daphne for Halloween. The "catch" was that the child was assigned male at birth. The mother let the child, and was very supportive. Which is great by the way.

However, what irked me was that the story was only framed in terms of the child being possibly gay not gender-variant. I am not saying the child is gender variant, I don't know and don't want to speculate on that. What I am saying is that gender variance was not spoken of (only that this was a "cross gendered situation") and that discussions of a male body expressing femininity automatically went to the topic of sexual orientation and excluded gender variance from the discussion. Though in defense of the article, gender variant activities (such as painting ones nails) were not see as problematic, which is nice. However I am still critical of the focus on sexual orientation at the expense of gender variant identities.

I think this kind of overall discourse adversely affects both gay and trans/gender-variant bodies. It pigeon holes gay bodies into this narrow conception built upon assumptions of the campy gay and it erases trans/gender-variant bodies completely from the conversation. More to the point, it collapses gender and sexuality into one category and contributes to the popular discourse that trans is just "super gay."

What do others think?


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