Monday, February 28, 2011
Forget the images you've learned to attach
To words like cock and clit,
Chest and breasts.
Break those words open
Like a paramedic cracking ribs
To pump blood through a failing heart.
Push your hands inside.
Get them messy.
Scratch new definitions on the bones.
Get rid of the old words altogether.
Make up new words.
Call it a click or a ditto.
Call it the sound he makes
When you brush your hand against it through his jeans,
When you can hear his heart knocking on the back of his teeth
And every cell in his body is breathing.
Make the arch of her back a language
Name the hollows of each of her vertebrae
When they catch pools of sweat
Like rainwater in a row of paper cups
Align your teeth with this alphabet of her spine
So every word is weighted with the salt of her.
When you peel layers of clothing from his skin
Do not act as though you are changing dressings on a trauma patient
Even though it's highly likely that you are.
Do not ask if she's "had the surgery."
Do not tell him that the needlepoint bruises on his thighs look like they hurt
If you are being offered a body
That has already been laid upon an altar of surgical steel
A sacrifice to whatever gods govern bodies
That come with some assembly required
Whatever you do,
Do not say that the carefully sculpted landscape
Bordered by rocky ridges of scar tissue
Looks almost natural.
If she offers you breastbone
Aching to carve soft fruit from its branches
Though there may be more tissue in the lining of her bra
Than the flesh that rises to meet itLet her ripen in your hands.
Imagine if she'd lost those swells to cancer,
A car accident instead of an accident of genetics
Would you think of her as less a woman then?
Then think of her as no less one now.
If he offers you a thumb-sized sprout of muscle
Reaching toward you when you kiss him
Like it wants to go deep enough inside you
To scratch his name on the bottom of your heart
Hold it as if it can-
In your hand, in your mouth
Inside the nest of your pelvic bones.
Though his skin may hardly do more than brush yours,
You will feel him deeper than you think.
Realize that bodies are only a fraction of who we are
They're just oddly-shaped vessels for hearts
And honestly, they can barely contain us
We strain at their seams with every breath we take
We are all pulse and sweat,
Tissue and nerve ending
We are programmed to grope and fumble until we get it right.
Bodies have been learning each other forever.
It's what bodies do.
They are grab bags of parts
And half the fun is figuring out
All the different ways we can fit them together;
All the different uses for hipbones and hands,
Tongues and teeth;
All the ways to car-crash our bodies beautiful.
But we could never forget how to use our hearts
Even if we tried.
That's the important part.
Don't worry about the bodies.
They've got this.
Sunday, February 27, 2011
It keeps coming up anyhow
Don't decoy, avoid, or make void the topic
Cuz that ain't gonna stop it
Now we talk about sex on the radio and video shows
Many will know anything goes
Let's tell it how it is, and how it could be
How it was, and of course, how it should be
- Salt n' Pepa
What else can we say, by popular demand we're talking about sex!
Saturday, February 26, 2011
Wednesday, February 23, 2011
I have spent a long time existing outside of myself. My new found gender variance and trans identity (like picking up a shiny coin) has snapped me into a sense of awareness of myself, of me as my body. But I now find myself resisting the trope of bodily discomfort. My discomfort.
Am I just running in circles here? Is there something about being more aware of my body that translates to discomfort? Is comfort an illusion, an ignorance of my body? I don't think it has to be. But I think that my lifetime outside of myself has not prepared me for my body.
edited and re-posted
I used to believe I had some sort of essential gendered energy emanating out from my entire being, like an aura that can only be captured by one of those cameras at the state fair. I used to believe that this gendered energy could be sensed and interpreted correctly by other people, regardless of how I looked, dressed, or acted in the moment. So when people read me as a man or a woman, as straight or gay, as cis or trans, I used to believe their assumptions had any bearing whatsoever on what I “really” was.
Coming out bisexual/pansexual taught me how artificial are distinctions between genders, how so much more diversity exists between individuals than between Gender A and Gender B. Coming out androgynous has taught me how totally full of shit most people are about gender in the first place.
In the space of an average day, I pass through plenty of gendered spaces. I’m assumed to be a butch lesbian, a femme gay man, a 14-year-old boy, a straight woman, and people interact with me accordingly. In a social/relational sense, I am what other people want/need me to be.
Furthermore, what others want/need me to be often has far less to do with how I am physically presenting than with where they need me to exist in the gendered hierarchy of the moment – is this person socially above or beneath me? Are they a potential ally, or a potential threat? And, most importantly, can I fuck them and maintain my current investment in systems of power?
Guy at the gym, to me: Whoa, I’m glad you’re female. I was thinking “Oh shit, that’s one pretty guy.”
Would it make me less of a man to fuck that?
Woman I’d been flirting with in a queer bar: Wait. Are you… TRANS?
Would it make me a slutty, dirty, morally compromised bisexual to fuck that?
I’m beginning to learn that this involuntary gendering can be pushed back on, flouted, or “worked.” For example, my partner’s favorite hobby is frightening cis people. In the name of good comedy, I have given hir standing permission to gender me in whatever way will freak a stranger out the most.
Dudes on the street: Hey, your girlfriend’s really pretty.
My partner: Yeah, everyone’s gay for him.
Tuesday, February 22, 2011
by: glimmers & change
I've been thinking a lot about anger
about how angry I am
How I was maybe
born into this
I watch my mother sometimes
she is beautiful
in every light
but she is nervous
and does not always use her voice
My father speaks over me a lot
I am constantly defeated
by my own silence
With these two initiatives
I try to reconcile
talking in between
and not speaking at all
Is a constant battle
a struggle, towards acceptance
I am working
to be visible
And to approve of myself
As easily seen
in shadows of the same light
of a different time
Monday, February 21, 2011
Your Own Personal Genderqueer: A Safe Space Discussion
The word genderqueer is an umbrella term for gender-variant folks and has many different meanings depending on whom you ask. What does genderqueer mean to you? Have you always seen genderqueer in the same way? How do, or don't, you personally identify with the word?
Access Living (115 W. Chicago)
7-8:15pm (we start and end on time)
Genderqueer Chicago welcomes ALL people who want to think and talk about their genders, with the slight exception of researchers and reporters in their professional capacities (aka, we're not your homework...).
Saturday, February 19, 2011
Genderqueer Chicago is actively seeking new organizers to add to our team!
What is a GqC organizer?
-While everyone who participates in GqC has a significant role in the group, organizers make sure the day-to-day runs smoothly. GqC is entirely peer-led and volunteer run. We have almost no money and few resources, so organizers work in creative ways to make GqC a sustainable group. Organizers post community work to the blog, book spaces for meetings, plan events for the group, serve as advocates for attendees, facilitate weekly meetings, and build relationships with our larger community.
Who can be an organizer?
Anyone who lives in Chicago, can attend weekly meetings, likes to work in a team, is reliable and on-time, and has attended a few more GqC meetings can be an organizer. If you've never been to GqC or only just recently started coming and think you might want to organize, shoot us an e-mail, anyways and let us know.
What if I'm not sure if I want to be an organizer?
STILL INTERESTED? WANT TO LEARN MORE?
Come to our new organizer orientation to learn more! You don't have to commit to being an organizer, but strong interest is recommended.
New Organizer Orientation will be held:
Saturday, March 5
On the North Side of Chicago
(please e-mail email@example.com for location information and details)
Thursday, February 17, 2011
This project, made possible by all-volunteer energy and community donations, has launched!
HERE'S THE PRESS RELEASE:
CHICAGO- In an unprecedented effort to make the city of Chicago safer for transgender individuals, local youth organizers have launched the “T-Friendly Bathroom Initiative,” a grassroots community project that challenges business owners to protect gender identity in their public restrooms.
In 2011, more than 500 businesses and organizations will be asked to sign a pledge that commits them to allowing gender-variant customers to use the bathroom of their choice. Businesses that sign the pledge will be awarded a window decal, so that gender-variant people can easily identify trans-friendly businesses.
“We expect this will dramatically improve the way transgender people experience our city and state” said Kate Sosin, Co-Founder of Genderqueer Chicago and a project organizer. “We want business owners to understand that under the Illinois Human Rights Act, it is not just their right to protect transgender people in bathrooms, it is their duty.”
Gender identity and expression is protected under the Illinois Human Rights Act, but everyday, countless transgender people are harassed in public restrooms for not "passing" as male or female. This policing often results in violence against gender-variant people. It can also mean health complications for those who are not allowed regular access to bathrooms.
"This project is a critical reminder that trans folk can empower themselves to achieve something positive," said fellow organizer, Christina Kahrl of Equality Illinois. "What we're getting to do here is change the dynamic, so that we don't just limit ourselves to protesting against those businesses and organizations who wrong trans folk.”
The initiative was spearheaded by youth organizers in Genderqueer Chicago, and is endorsed by Join the Impact-Chicago, Equality Illinois, Video Action League and others. For a list of complete participating businesses, organizations and other information go to: http://friendlybathrooms.wikkii.com/wiki/Main_Page.
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Wednesday, February 16, 2011
Monday, February 14, 2011
Sunday, February 13, 2011
Back in 2009, This American Life aired an episode called "This I Used to Believe" that featured stories of people who, for one reason or another, let go of their firmly-held convictions in favor of new ideas.
Saturday, February 12, 2011
For the last four years, Humbolt Park-based organization, Vida/SIDA has held a beauty pageant for transfeminine spectrum youth.
Now, that pageant has been documented by filmmakers, Josue Pellot and Henrique Cirne-Lima, in I am the Queen.
The film is screening for FREE this Friday, Feb. 18 at Roberto Clemente High School (11147 N. Western Ave.). A reception fundraiser for Chicago's first LGBTQ shelter will be held after the event (for information can be found at http://www.vidasida.org.
Friday, February 11, 2011
Every day it tries to undermine me a little bit more, every day it slowly turns into something I don’ t want it to be.
I know many people have body issues, but are their bodies fundamentally wrong. Are their bodies the exact opposite of what they should be? If my body were right I wouldn't be picky about it. I wouldn’t mind if it was too heavy, if my nose was a little crooked, or if my breasts were too small. Because, at least I’ d have breasts. At least I wouldn’t grow facial hair. At least I wouldn’t have a penis.
I fantasize about what it would be like not to have the wrong body. I would fantasize about having the right body, but that is a concept so foreign to me I can’ t even begin to imagine. My thoughts about my body are so warped that I can only settle to imagine what the lack of discomfort is like; the presence of comfort is mystery.
Sometimes I think about hurting my body. I think about cutting it. About stabbing it. About slicing it. About hurting it. I want to punish my body; I want to make it hurt just like it hurt me. I want to get revenge for putting me in a men’ s locker room filled with jeers about the women’ s bodies I wish I had. I want to get revenge for the times it made me feel jealous, then guilty about my girlfriends’ bodies when we had sex. I want to get revenge for the time I cried after I understood I would never have a period. I want to get revenge against it for everything its ever done wrong, and them some.
Sometimes I think that killing my body would be the only adequate revenge. Because my body came pretty close to killing me emotionally. And is emotional death of the spirit not the equivalent of physical death of the body?
Fortunately, my body didn’t kill me. It didn’t for one simple reason: I am stronger than my body. We had quite the fight; my body has scars that will never go away. Likewise, I have thoughts that I will never forget. But, in the end, I won. And not only did I win the fight, I gained control. Control of my body to make it how it should be.
When my body is how it should be I won’ t take it for granted. I won’ t abuse it. I won’t hurt it. I will respect it. Most importantly, my body doesn’t have to be perfect; it just has to be right.
Tuesday, February 8, 2011
Riki Anne Wilchins, gender activist and author, is coming to Chicago this Thursday afternoon to Loyola to speak with Judy Shepard on Hatred and LGBTQ Community Support.
Riki's book, Read My Lips: Sexual Subversion and the End of the Gender largely inspired the founding of Genderqueer Chicago and informed its mission to be fiercely inclusive and affirming across identities. Wilchins also edited GENDERqUEER: Voices from Beyond the Binary, and authored Queer Theory, Gender Theory. Wilchins was a founding member of the Transexual Menace, Camp Trans, and GenderPAC.
Those who want to attend must register to do so. Click here for more information.
Monday, February 7, 2011
Sunday, February 6, 2011
Thursday, February 3, 2011
Tuesday, February 1, 2011
Due to the blizzard, Gerber/Hart Library will be closed tomorrow.
As such, our regular Weds. meeting is canceled this week. Help us spread the word by telling people you know who come and posting this message to Facebook!
Please check back for information about next week's meeting.
Also, please stay safe and warm!
See you next week. <3
Website graphics and design by Andre Perez