Monday, December 27, 2010

Wrap It Up: A Safe Space Discussion

What's on your mind at the end of 2010? Tie up those loose ends in an OPEN TOPIC Safe Space discussion this Wednesday!

Wednesday, December 29th
The Gerber/Hart Library (1127 W. Granville)

People of all ages and abilities are encouraged to attend!

Sunday, December 26, 2010

now's out of reach

by: mr anon

cracks like a whip and
stings like pinwheel
sounds familiar but
my voice is too deep
high pitch, long stretch
to reach
gather, individuals
pit patter on lone
some roof tops
screech like car tires
coming to a halt
that else no one would hear
on gravel
dirt roads
those are the ones i chose here
just to see
different colors of my gender
on any given day

Friday, December 24, 2010

Red Without Blue Screening Canceled :(

Due to some technical difficulties, our film screening scheduled for December 30th at the Logan Square Library has been canceled. But don't you cry--we'll be back with a bigger and better event in the New Year!

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Female Secret, Male Truth

Breasts pushed down and out
Bound in elastic
Hidden by layers
To look masculine

Hips in fitted jeans
Just perfectly so
As not to disclose
An undesired truth

Voice deepened to hide
The true pitch it holds
Just so the world won't
View me as female

Hair kept at short lengths
At all times, always
For fear of letting
This secret public

Why all this labor?
All this extra work?
Just to be seen for
Who I am inside


Sunday, December 19, 2010

The Only ____ in the Room: A safer space discussion

With the holidays we are often placed in situations where we become hyper-aware of our identities. Sometimes our identities can cause the spotlight to be thrown on us and make for uncomfortable moments or sometimes you want to say something to someone but don't want to "out" yourself in an unfriendly space.

Join us for a safer space discussion about how to navigate the twisted road of identity within groups.

ACCESS LIVING Conference Room
115 W. Chicago Ave.
Wednesday, Nov. 10

Meetings are welcoming and inclusive of people of all identities and abilities. Researchers and reporters are asked not to attend in their professional capacities but may contact for more information.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Trans-Cis-Queer: without words

Over at The New Gay a blogger writes an article about her own experience as a cisgender girl dating a transgender boy, and the problems posed by the available language for relationships from a queer perspective.

Many other transpeople I know have had both positive and negative experiences dating cispeople, and it is always worthwhile to have a discussion about the internal and external complications language poses for such relationships and for queerness general. Our current language is far too limited for the inclusion and recognition of queer relationships and queer lives.


Thursday, December 16, 2010

The Betrayal becomes the Love of Two Worlds

By: Mad Rabbit

It is like the betrayal. Every time I open my mouth, I say, "my name is [blank]" because these are my elders and they've just asked me what is my name and my mother's here, and more importantly, my grandmother's here. And for the rest of the day and for the entirity of my trip when they ask for me, when they call for me, when they expect me to respond to this name, this old name of mine, I do. I do because I've trained myself to, because I am not out to them completely. They love me and I believe if I asked them to, they would in fact call me by the name I've chosen for myself. But I don't ask them to understand, to change. My parents are my biggest fans, my parents, in short, are amazing. But a name, a name is everything, and they won't call me that.

A while back I decided I liked the name I overheard myself say over the telephone as a pass code. I thought, "I like this." It's a family name, I don't want kids, I want to be called this, I decided. I began to use this name, later calculating all the ways my gender had been shaped and formed by the name I formerly went by. But that was later, first came the simple fact that I like like the name, that I got to decide, I chose and that at the time, for me, was everything. The transition was miraculously easy, for the most part. At the time, I was living in chicago and the community I surrounded myself with was familiar with the name changing process. So I felt affirmed and I was, without realizing it changed.

I studied psychoanalysis in college, a very specific branch. Lacan believed in the repetition of language, that words and names shape our world, and I take after this thought as my belief. A name is EVERYTHING. So at Thanksgiving, in a room full of people I love, that love me, I kept thinking, why the betrayal? Why not just say? What is so sacred and so coveted about keeping this name right now? Without moving forward and making the next step, am I not still myself if I go by something else?

Every time I realized that I wouldn't much longer be able to be a part of this family without outting what some, most of them, dont know about me, I would stop. I would think, "stop," I know better than to go there. To go there would mean to fight, to fight would mean to battle. The betrayal sometimes becomes the survival. And to survive means to live, and in this particular case I exist with two names, in two worlds that are so full of love for my being. I can't help but try to survive it. The love is there, in two worlds.

Monday, December 13, 2010

GqC Movie Night: Red Without Blue

Join Genderqueer Chicago for a screening of Red Without Blue, a documentary about the bond between two identical twins when one decides to transition from male to female.

Thursday, December 30
Logan Square Library (3030 W. Fullerton)

This event is FREE and open to the public. People of all ages and abilities are encouraged to attend!

Find this event on facebook here.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Compromise: A Safe Space Discussion

When the going gets rough, we don't always have the privilege or the energy to be our most fabulous selves. That's when we compromise and move through the world in disguise.

So when do we compromise our beliefs, our actions, and our choices for the sake of others and why?

Join us for a safe space discussion this Wednesday!

Wednesday, December 15th
The Gerber/Hart Library (1127 W. Granville)

People of all ages and abilities are encouraged to attend!

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Why Ronen is a Time Lord

by Ronen

(If anyone is super-confused by what I've written below, ask me about or look up Doctor Who. It's awesome.)

(Also, a bit of self-promotion. This is a cross-post from my own gender blog: )

I recently got back in touch with my spiritual side, something I'd been neglecting for several months. As part of this I did a tarot reading, just to get an idea of where everything was at. The reading told me several things, but one of the larger lessons I took away was the one presented by the card Temperance: forces needed to be united, barriers dissolved. In order to soar above a coming upheaval, to stay positive and learn as opposed to succumbing to despair, I needed to bring together all the various bits and bobs of my life and make them harmonious.

There's three major labels that I believe describe me accurately: I am a pagan, a queer, and a geek. Since that, I've been playing mixologist with my varied identities. I've sprinkled a dash of spirituality in with my gender musings, thrown gender studies in with pop culture, mixed pop culture with magic...

...and I've muddled my geekiness in with my gender.

"Geek" in American society could almost pass for a gender on its own, or at the very least a gender qualifier. Loads of people describe themselves as "girl geeks" or "boy geeks," but "geek" all by itself is a fair enough descriptor. It comes with just as much stereotyping and baggage as when someone describes themselves as a man or a woman. A geek probably knows a good deal about computers and/or video games and/or the internet and/or science, probably reads a lot, probably watches a lot of sci-fi television, probably owns at least a few prop replicas from their favorite films, probably has played D&D at least once in their lifetime. All of this, by the way, is true of me, which is why I'm so comfortable accepting and embracing the "geek" label.

There's more to it than that, though. During the bar-hangout time following a recent meeting of Genderqueer Chicago, I found myself in a discussion about people who even occasionally identify their gender as something imaginary or non-human. These are the folks who will call themselves unicorns or dinosaurs or faeries. Once you've spent enough time in the gender-variant community, you're bound to run into one of these folks, and if you think you haven't yet, well then... Hello!

The conversation basically boiled down to whether these kinds of genders could or should be taken seriously. Most people agreed that they should, at least to some extent, but the real question is how seriously do the unicorns and dinosaurs themselves take it? Is that sort of identity something with real meaning, or is it something to take with a wink and a smile?

As one of those mythical creatures, I can only answer for myself, but I believe the answer is: Yes. Yes it's meant to be taken with a wink and a smile, and Yes it is something with real meaning.

My name is Ronen Mark, and I am a Time Lord.

Go ahead, have a little smirk at that. I know I do. However, that doesn't make it meaningless. If it were meaningless, I could call myself anything. I could call myself a Vulcan or an Elf or a sand worm, but I don't because those specific identities bear no personal importance to me.

When I call myself a Time Lord, I'm simultaneously identifying myself as a geek, and someone who likes to have a good laugh at the expense of the gender binary (or any other structure of normalcy). I'm identifying as someone intensely interested in the world and the way it works, and people and what makes them tick. I'm identifying as an adventurous spirit, someone whose mind is often slightly off in its own little world, someone who's a bit tough to get at emotionally but is a fiercely loyal friend to those who've managed to do it. I'm an old soul with a young heart, a "madman with a box" - which takes on a delightful double meaning when you apply it to gender!

You might say claiming this identity is pointless since a lot of people, especially those who aren't familiar with Doctor Who, aren't going to get all that just from two words. But you could make a similar point about any identity, even "man" or "woman." When someone claims a label, you have no way of knowing what, exactly, that means to them. You learn by getting to know them as a person.

Time Lord isn't the only label I claim for my gender. My true identity is fluid. But when I say that I am one, I am being in equal parts ridiculous and deadly serious... much like a certain Doctor I know.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Women's Golf Says Yes to Trans Athletes

In a landmark vote this week, the L.P.G.A. (Ladies Professional Golf Association) voted to allow transfeminine people to compete on the tour.

The vote could change the way many people talk about professional sports and gender for years to come.

To read more, check out this NYT blurb.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Open Topic Discussion at Access Living THIS WEDNESDAY!

Join us this Wednesday for an OPEN TOPIC safe space discussion at Access Living. Continue the discussion about dating horrors and triumphs from our last meeting at AL, or bring up something else that has been weighing on your mind.

ACCESS LIVING Conference Room
115 W. Chicago Ave.
Wednesday, Nov. 10

Meetings are welcoming and inclusive of people of all identities and abilities. Researchers and reporters are asked not to attend in their professional capacities but may contact for more information.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Our people

**Warning this poem deals with issues of violence that may be triggering to some readers.**

By Anonymous

Our people are peacemakers.
Late nights spent curled under covers,
Nights when flashing lights brought fear of who would be left.
We have scars to trace our fear of conflict.
We grew into people who aren’t worth the fight.

We are community makers.
We make spaces that bear witness to trauma.
We grasp onto things we don’t know how to hold
Because we’ve held hotter before and
The calices haven’t gone away.

We are backroom people.
Tucked behind the dim glare of computer screens,
Behind fantasical scenery backdrops
Making things go smoothly and hoping not to be noticed
By the wrong people.

Sometimes our people have fought too much to know when to stop
Have spent too many night muscles-tensed
In rooms that have never been homes.
Sometimes violence is too familiar to be strange
To our people.

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