Monday, December 31, 2012

Resolutions: A Safer Space Discussion


Resolutions are about changes we want to see in ourselves. For a lot of people that's something as prosaic as giving up a bad habit or dropping a few pounds. But a resolution can also be a decision to make a change that shapes the way we're perceived and how we move through the world. What resolutions are you making this year?

Wednesday, January 2nd, 7:00pm to 8:15pm
Center on Halsted, 2nd Floor (ask for room number at reception desk)
3656 N. Halsted St. 

Genderqueer Chicago is as safe a space as we can make it. To help with this, we have some working agreements that we would like all who come to meetings to keep in mind while within our safe space meetings. Please check out our working agreements here.

Safe space meetings are strictly closed to researchers and reporters in their professional capacities. Meetings are open to anyone else wanting to talk and think about gender! For more info, give us a shout at genderqueerchicago@gmail.com!

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Navigating Public Spaces: A Safer Space Discussion


It's a dangerous business, going out of your door. You step onto the road, and the people you meet there may stare, or catcall, or get in your face... Do you expect to be hassled, and does that affect whether you go out at all? How do you handle it if you are? Are there things that you do to prevent it, or even to encourage?

Date fixed, sorry!

Wednesday, December 19th, 7:00pm to 8:15pm
Center on Halsted, 2nd Floor (ask for room number at reception desk)
3656 N. Halsted St. 

Genderqueer Chicago is as safe a space as we can make it. To help with this, we have some working agreements that we would like all who come to meetings to keep in mind while within our safe space meetings. Please check out our working agreements here.

Safe space meetings are strictly closed to researchers and reporters in their professional capacities. Meetings are open to anyone else wanting to talk and think about gender! For more info, give us a shout at genderqueerchicago@gmail.com!

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

NO MEETING - CPD Transgender Order Town Hall

There will be no meeting tomorrow, November 13th. Instead, please attend a Town Hall meeting about trans people's experiences with the Chicago Police Department and the new policy they have in place, from 6pm until 7:30 at 430 S. Michigan Avem Room 244.


The Civil Rights Agenda, People's Law Office, Transformative Justice Law Project, Loundy Human Rights Project, and Illinois Gender Advocates will be hosting a discussion and town hall regarding the new policy of the Chicago Police Department's treatment of transgender individuals. The discussion will involve a review of the new policy as it stands and explanation of specific points and the individuals rights associated with each as well as the exploration of similar policies across the country. After the discussion, the floor will be opened up to the audience for questions and personal experiences with the Chicago Police Department.

This event will take place in the Auditorium Building - Room 244, 430 S. Michigan Ave.

Friday, December 7, 2012

A Request from the Transformative Justice Law Project of Illinois

The Transformative Justice Law Project does free name-change mobilizations for trans people at the Daley Center on the last Friday of every month, among their many services aimed towards where gender-nonconforming collide with the law. Please help them out if you can!

Hello Friends of TJLP!

As a volunteer-run organization, we rely almost entirely on community support to sustain our prison abolition activism and holistic legal advocacy for criminalized trans and gender nonconforming folks. This holiday season, we are asking our friends and allies for stamps in order to correspond with our incarcerated clients, as well as CTA cards to help our clients on the outside with vital transportation needs. Even one CTA card will help folks get to and from our office! If you have access to these supplies, please mail them to us at:

Transformative Justice Law Project
4707 N. Broadway, Suite 307
Chicago, IL 60640

Thank you for the generous support -- ABOLITION NOW!

In Solidarity and Gratitude,
TJLP Collective

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

hair: a safe space discussion


it may seem silly but hair actually plays a huge part in how we’re perceived in society. it’s presence, it’s absence, it’s length, it’s style: all of these can be sources of aggravation or open doors to empowerment. it can change the way we’re read (for good or for ill).

Wednesday,December 5th, 7:00pm to 8:15pm
Center on Halsted, 2nd Floor (ask for room number at reception desk)
3656 N. Halsted St. 

Genderqueer Chicago is as safe a space as we can make it. To help with this, we have some working agreements that we would like all who come to meetings to keep in mind while within our safe space meetings. Please check out our working agreements here.

Safe space meetings are strictly closed to researchers and reporters in their professional capacities. Meetings are open to anyone else wanting to talk and think about gender! For more info, give us a shout at genderqueerchicago@gmail.com!

Saturday, December 1, 2012

LGBT Needs Assessment Results Presentation in Hyde Park on December 11

The results of the 2011 Chicago LGBT Community Needs Assessment! will be presented on December 11, 6pm in Hyde Park. More info and online registration can be found at http://lcnahydeparkpresentation.eventbrite.com/.


About the event:

The LGBT Community Fund, an initiative of The Chicago Community Trust, is pleased to announce a data summary presentation and community forum regarding the Chicago LGBT Community Needs Assessment. The event will take place in the lobby of the School of Social Service Administration at the University of Chicago, 969 E. 60th St., Chicago, at 6 p.m. on Tuesday, December 11, 2012.

The evening will include remarks from representatives of The LGBT Community Fund, The Chicago Community Trust, and Affinity Community Services; a presentation of the data report; and a question-and-answer forum with Mary Morten, President, Morten Group and Christina Smith, LCSW, Senior Consultant, Morten Group. Jim Alexander, Co-Chair of The LGBT Community Fund, will serve as moderator of the event. Light refreshments will be served.

This event is co-sponsored by Affinity Community Services, the Chicago Black Gay Men's Caucus and the Office of LGBTQ Student Life at the University of Chicago.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Open Topic: A Safer Space Discussion


It's been two weeks! What do you want to talk about?

Wednesday, November 28th, 7:00pm to 8:15pm
Center on Halsted, 2nd Floor (ask for room number at reception desk)
3656 N. Halsted St. 

Genderqueer Chicago is as safe a space as we can make it. To help with this, we have some working agreements that we would like all who come to meetings to keep in mind while within our safe space meetings. Please check out our working agreements here.

Safe space meetings are strictly closed to researchers and reporters in their professional capacities. Meetings are open to anyone else wanting to talk and think about gender! For more info, give us a shout at genderqueerchicago@gmail.com!

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Reminder! No meeting.

This is a reminder that there will be no Safe Space Meeting this week. A few people in the area are hosting gatherings for those of us who will be in town, check the Facebook Group for more details.

Monday, November 12, 2012

The Internets! A safe space discussion


It's a privilege and a near-necessity in today's society. It's a refuge, a resource, a tool, and a hive of scum and villainy. The Internet: Discuss.

Wednesday, November 14th, 7:00pm to 8:15pm
Center on Halsted, 2nd Floor (ask for room number at reception desk)
3656 N. Halsted St. 

Genderqueer Chicago is as safe a space as we can make it. To help with this, we have some working agreements that we would like all who come to meetings to keep in mind while within our safe space meetings. Please check out our working agreements here.

Safe space meetings are strictly closed to researchers and reporters in their professional capacities. Meetings are open to anyone else wanting to talk and think about gender! For more info, give us a shout at genderqueerchicago@gmail.com!

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Holidays: A Safer Space Discussion


Holidays can be a time of joy and reunion with your loved ones... or a time of stress, fighting, or hiding if they don't accept your identity. Do you find holidays a time to look forward to or a time to avoid? Are they better spent celebrating with your chosen family instead? Come talk with us.

Wednesday, November 7th, 7:00pm to 8:15pm
Center on Halsted, 2nd Floor (ask for room number at reception desk)
3656 N. Halsted St. 

Genderqueer Chicago is as safe a space as we can make it. To help with this, we have some working agreements that we would like all who come to meetings to keep in mind while within our safe space meetings. Please check out our working agreements here.

Safe space meetings are strictly closed to researchers and reporters in their professional capacities. Meetings are open to anyone else wanting to talk and think about gender! For more info, give us a shout at genderqueerchicago@gmail.com!

Monday, October 29, 2012

Costumes: a safe space discussion


"Once a year, most of the population put on a costume, while the rest take it off." It's a special Halloween edition of Genderqueer Chicago! Participants are invited to come in costume (or out of it) and bring their thoughts about what dressing up for Halloween means to them. PLEASE ALLOW FOR EXTRA TRAVEL TIME as the festivities may already be starting on Halsted.

Wednesday, October 31, 7:00pm to 8:15pm
Center on Halsted, 2nd Floor (ask for room number at reception desk)
3656 N. Halsted St.

Genderqueer Chicago is as safe a space as we can make it. To help with this, we have some working agreements that we would like all who come to meetings to keep in mind while within our safe space meetings. Please check out our working agreements here.

Safe space meetings are strictly closed to researchers and reporters in their professional capacities. Meetings are open to anyone else wanting to talk and think about gender! For more info, give us a shout at genderqueerchicago@gmail.com!


AFTER THE DISCUSSION: Instead of our usual post-safe-space hangout, we will be heading to the In-One-Ear Open Mic at the Heartland Cafe, at 7000 N Glenwood Ave just north of the Morse red line stop. Cover is normally $3 but, for their Halloween show, anyone who comes in a costume gets in for free.

For anyone who might consider getting onstage, the crowd at In-One-Ear is very welcoming and they love performers of all kinds!

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Critters! A Safer (and Cuddlier) Space Discussion

From http://antioppressivebabyanimals.com/

Kittens! Puppies! Platypodes! Red pandas! Whathaveyou! People! They're all adorable (and the want you to be anti-oppressive).

Wednesday, October 24, 7:00pm to 8:15pm
Center on Halsted, 2nd Floor (ask for room number at reception desk)
3656 N. Halsted St. 

Genderqueer Chicago is as safe a space as we can make it. To help with this, we have some working agreements that we would like all who come to meetings to keep in mind while within our safe space meetings. Please check out our working agreements here.

Safe space meetings are strictly closed to researchers and reporters in their professional capacities. Meetings are open to anyone else wanting to talk and think about gender! For more info, give us a shout at genderqueerchicago@gmail.com!

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Coming Out: A Safer Space Discussion

It was that day again! A celebration of where we are, or implicit shaming of people who can't be out right now. A celebration because of the years where we couldn't be out or looking forward to the day when we can. Share your thoughts, share your stories.


Wednesday, October 17, 7:00pm to 8:15pm
Center on Halsted, 2nd Floor (ask for room number at reception desk)
3656 N. Halsted St. 

Genderqueer Chicago is as safe a space as we can make it. To help with this, we have some working agreements that we would like all who come to meetings to keep in mind while within our safe space meetings. Please check out our working agreements here.

Safe space meetings are strictly closed to researchers and reporters in their professional capacities. Meetings are open to anyone else wanting to talk and think about gender! For more info, give us a shout at genderqueerchicago@gmail.com!

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Energy: A Safe Space Discussion

It can take a lot of effort to move through the world as a gender variant person and sometimes it may feel as if there is just no energy left to answer, "Are you a boy or a girl?" and, "But that's a boy/girl name!" upon meeting folks. Have there been times that you've felt like all your energy has been spent? If so, how do you recharge your batteries? If not, how do you keep from getting burnt out?

Wednesday, October 10th, 7:00pm to 8:15pm
Center on Halsted, 2nd Floor (ask for room number at reception desk)
3656 N. Halsted St. 

Genderqueer Chicago is as safe a space as we can make it. To help with this, we have some working agreements that we would like all who come to meetings to keep in mind while within our safe space meetings. Please check out our working agreements here.

Safe space meetings are strictly closed to researchers and reporters in their professional capacities. Meetings are open to anyone else wanting to talk and think about gender! For more info, give us a shout at genderqueerchicago@gmail.com!



Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Role, Expression, Identity: A Safer Space Discussion


As gender-conscious people, we are well acquainted both with how it can be performative and when it is innate. We each have our own identities, flexible and difficult to pin down as they may be, but how they reach the world is through our actions and the roles through which people interpret them. How do those roles shape you back? What might mediate your expression? Do people see your identity as you would like, or are they confused or mistaken? Come share your thoughts.

Wednesday, October 3, 7:00pm to 8:15pm
Center on Halsted, 2nd Floor (ask for room number at reception desk)
3656 N. Halsted St. 

Genderqueer Chicago is as safe a space as we can make it. To help with this, we have some working agreements that we would like all who come to meetings to keep in mind while within our safe space meetings. Please check out our working agreements here.

Safe space meetings are strictly closed to researchers and reporters in their professional capacities. Meetings are open to anyone else wanting to talk and think about gender! For more info, give us a shout at genderqueerchicago@gmail.com!

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Open Topic Safe Space Discussion (Part 2, Electric Boogaloo)


What do you want to talk about? Something been on your mind? Something from a previous meeting that you wanted to keep talking about? A topic you haven't seen happen yet? We want to hear!


Wednesday, September 26th, 7:00pm to 8:15pm
Center on Halsted, 2nd Floor (ask for room number at reception desk)
3656 N. Halsted St.

Genderqueer Chicago is as safe a space as we can make it. To help with this, we have some working agreements that we would like all who come to meetings to keep in mind while within our safe space meetings. Please check out our working agreements here.

Safe space meetings are strictly closed to researchers and reporters in their professional capacities. Meetings are open to anyone else wanting to talk and think about gender! For more info, give us a shout at genderqueerchicago@gmail.com!

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Open Topic Safe Space Discussion



What do you want to talk about? Something been on your mind? Something from a previous meeting that you wanted to keep talking about? A topic you haven't seen happen yet? We want to hear!



Wednesday, September 17th, 7:00pm to 8:15pm
Center on Halsted, 2nd Floor (ask for room number at reception desk)
3656 N. Halsted St.

Genderqueer Chicago is as safe a space as we can make it. To help with this, we have some working agreements that we would like all who come to meetings to keep in mind while within our safe space meetings. Please check out our working agreements here.

Safe space meetings are strictly closed to researchers and reporters in their professional capacities. Meetings are open to anyone else wanting to talk and think about gender! For more info, give us a shout at genderqueerchicago@gmail.com!

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Jokes: A Safer Space Discussion


Humour can be a great way to deal with a stressful situation, but all too often we are the butt of the joke. How does humour help you, and when does it hurt? When does it ring true, and when false? Any particularly apropos jokes to share? Come laugh with us.

Wednesday, September 12, 7:00pm to 8:15pm
Center on Halsted, 2nd Floor (ask for room number at reception desk)
3656 N. Halsted St. 

Genderqueer Chicago is as safe a space as we can make it. To help with this, we have some working agreements that we would like all who come to meetings to keep in mind while within our safe space meetings. Please check out our working agreements here.

Safe space meetings are strictly closed to researchers and reporters in their professional capacities. Meetings are open to anyone else wanting to talk and think about gender! For more info, give us a shout at genderqueerchicago@gmail.com!

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Fluidity: a safe space discussion

How do we experience fluid identities? Is it an internal feeling, or something enforced by external influences? How do we - or don't we - compromise with a larger society that wants us to stay static? Come discuss with us!



Wednesday, September 5th, 7:00pm to 8:15pm
Center on Halsted, 2nd Floor (ask for room number at reception desk)
3656 N. Halsted St. 

Genderqueer Chicago is as safe a space as we can make it. To help with this, we have some working agreements that we would like all who come to meetings to keep in mind while within our safe space meetings. Please check out our working agreements here.

Safe space meetings are strictly closed to researchers and reporters in their professional capacities. Meetings are open to anyone else wanting to talk and think about gender! For more info, give us a shout at genderqueerchicago@gmail.com!

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Call for submissions to 'Trans Bodies, Trans Selves'


Are you an immigrant or refugee, or do you come from a family of recent immigrants? Do you identify as transgender, or express your gender differently than is expected in your culture?

The upcoming book Trans Bodies, Trans Selves is looking for contributors to its chapter on intersections of transgender / immigrant identities. We are interested to hear about your experiences with gender in your culture and as an immigrant. If you would like to share your story, please email it to kate@transbodies.com by September 20th, or mail to Laura Erickson-Schroth, 564 First Avenue, 14D, NY NY 10016 (Email is preferred if you have access).

We are looking for pieces 300-800 words in length. Please also include the name you would like to use (pseudonyms are fine) and your age. If you feel comfortable, also include where you are from originally and where you live today. (Example: Chad, 37. Originally from Burma, now living in Arizona, USA.) The book will be in English, but if you strongly prefer to write in your native language, we will do everything we can to translate for you. If your story is chosen to be included, we will email you the text we plan on using so you have the chance to approve it.

Trans Bodies, Trans Selves is a resource guide for the transgender population, covering health, legal issues, cultural and social questions, history, theory, and more. It is a place for transgender and gender-questioning people, their partners and families, students, professors, guidance counselors, and others to look for up-to-date information on transgender life. For more information, visit www.transbodies.com or email kate@transbodies.com or amanda@transbodies.com with any questions or comments.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Loneliness and Companionship: A Safer Space Discussion


Questioning gender can be a lonely journey, especially before we find other people like us. It comes from other places too, but we need companionship just the same. How did you handle it, how is it going now? Do you not actually mind? Come together to discuss!

Wednesday, August 29, 7:00pm to 8:15pm
Center on Halsted, 2nd Floor (ask for room number at reception desk)
3656 N. Halsted St. 

Genderqueer Chicago is as safe a space as we can make it. To help with this, we have some working agreements that we would like all who come to meetings to keep in mind while within our safe space meetings. Please check out our working agreements here.

Safe space meetings are strictly closed to researchers and reporters in their professional capacities. Meetings are open to anyone else wanting to talk and think about gender! For more info, give us a shout at genderqueerchicago@gmail.com!

Monday, August 20, 2012

Obstacles: A Safer Space Discussion



What do you feel is getting in the way in your life? It could be as simple as a dress code and as complex as a personal fear of judgement. The unfortunate thing is this: when it comes to expressing gender, life is often not as accomidating as it should be to any of us. Join GenderQueer Chicago as we explore the obstacles in our lives, be they jobs, friends, or even ourselves.

Wednesday, August 22, 7:00pm to 8:15pm
Center on Halsted, 2nd Floor (ask for room number at reception desk)
3656 N. Halsted St. 

Genderqueer Chicago is as safe a space as we can make it. To help with this, we have some working agreements that we would like all who come to meetings to keep in mind while within our safe space meetings. Please check out our working agreements here.

Safe space meetings are strictly closed to researchers and reporters in their professional capacities. Meetings are open to anyone else wanting to talk and think about gender! For more info, give us a shout at genderqueerchicago@gmail.com!

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Organize with us!

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 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?
Read on...!

STILL INTERESTED? WANT TO LEARN MORE?
Shoot us an email or contact one of the current organizers. You don't have to commit to being an organizer, but strong interest is recommended.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Arguing: A Safer Space Discussion


Sometimes we get into disagreements... or even fights. How do you deal with these, especially when they're with people close to you? How does it affect you? How much lasts, and how much can you leave behind? Come vent with us!


Wednesday, August 15, 7:00pm to 8:15pm
Center on Halsted, 2nd Floor (ask for room number at reception desk)
3656 N. Halsted St. 

Genderqueer Chicago is as safe a space as we can make it. To help with this, we have some working agreements that we would like all who come to meetings to keep in mind while within our safe space meetings. Please check out our working agreements here.

Safe space meetings are strictly closed to researchers and reporters in their professional capacities. Meetings are open to anyone else wanting to talk and think about gender! For more info, give us a shout at genderqueerchicago@gmail.com!

Sunday, August 12, 2012

A message from the Transformative Justice Law Project of Illinois


Dear Friends, Allies, and Lovers of TJLP,

After three years of renting an office space from In These Times magazine, we are officially moving our office to the Uptown neighborhood of Chicago! Our new space will help increase our capacity by being more conveniently located for both our clients and the TJLP Collective, and will be wheelchair accessible. As of August 11, 2012, our new address will be

4707 N. Broadway
Chicago, IL 60647

Thank you for all your support, and we look forward to the magic that this transition will bring!

In Solidarity,
The TJLP Collective

Unfamiliar with TJLP? You can find information at their website, here.

Monday, August 6, 2012

Strength: A Safe Space Discussion

What does strength, or being strong, mean to you? How has strength, or the appearance of having strength, helped or hindered your gender journey? What do you do to regain strength during tough times?

Wednesday, August 8, 7:00pm to 8:15pm
Center on Halsted, 2nd Floor (ask for room number at reception desk)
3656 N. Halsted St.


Genderqueer Chicago is as safe a space as we can make it. To help with this, we have some working agreements that we would like all who come to meetings to keep in mind while within our safe space meetings. Please check out our working agreements here.

Safe space meetings are strictly closed to researchers and reporters in their professional capacities. Meetings are open to anyone else wanting to talk and think about gender! For more info, give us a shout at genderqueerchicago@gmail.com!

Monday, July 30, 2012

Empowerment: a safe space discussion


What does it mean to be empowered? How do we define it and seek it out on an individual basis? How do we (or can we) find empowerment through ourselves or through a community? How have our gender expressions empowered us, and in what ways do they still present a struggle?

Join us for this week's meeting, and hopefully we'll all leave with our heads held a little higher.


Wednesday, August 1, 7:00pm to 8:15pm
Center on Halsted, 2nd Floor (ask for room number at reception desk)
3656 N. Halsted St. 

Genderqueer Chicago is as safe a space as we can make it. To help with this, we have some working agreements that we would like all who come to meetings to keep in mind while within our safe space meetings. Please check out our working agreements here.

Safe space meetings are strictly closed to researchers and reporters in their professional capacities. Meetings are open to anyone else wanting to talk and think about gender! For more info, give us a shout at genderqueerchicago@gmail.com!

Sunday, July 29, 2012

This weekend: WHAT'S THE T


In WHAT'S THE T, internet personality/trans activist/fierce community leader Ms. Ma uses her YouTube page to create community, live glamour, and spread the good word about queer safe spaces in Chicago.  Inspired by issues of race, gender, age and class in Boystown, WHAT'S THE T incorporates true stories and interviews from LGBTQA young folks in and around Chicago.  Here’s a look at the show! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w7STk0yDREA&feature=plcp

WHAT’S THE T runs August 3 & 4 at the National Museum of Mexican Art (1852 W. 19th Street).  Tickets are $25 for supporters of About Face Youth Theatre, $15 General Admission, and $5 for students.

To purchase tickets and for more information, visit the box office at https://web.ovationtix.com/trs/cal/1411 or visit http://aboutfacetheatre.com/.  Space is limited for performances, so get your tickets today!  If you have any questions, contact James at james@aboutfacetheatre.com.

About Face Youth Theatre (AFYT) was developed in 1999 in response to the murder of Matthew Shepard as a safe space for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer young people to tell their stories and create community.  AFYT is an educational program designed to engage LGBTQ youth ages 14 through 21 in theatre and leadership development.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Open Topic: A Safer Space Discussion



What do you want to talk about? Something been on your mind? Something from a previous meeting that you wanted to keep talking about? A topic you haven't seen happen yet? We want to hear!



Wednesday, July 25, 7:00pm to 8:15pm
Center on Halsted, 2nd Floor (ask for room number at reception desk)
3656 N. Halsted St. 

Genderqueer Chicago is as safe a space as we can make it. To help with this, we have some working agreements that we would like all who come to meetings to keep in mind while within our safe space meetings. Please check out our working agreements here.

Safe space meetings are strictly closed to researchers and reporters in their professional capacities. Meetings are open to anyone else wanting to talk and think about gender! For more info, give us a shout at genderqueerchicago@gmail.com!

Monday, July 16, 2012

Shapewear: A Safe Space Discussion



Binders and breast forms, gaffs and packers, wigs, corsets, and STPs - there are many clothes and accessories we wear that can change the shapes of our bodies. What have you tried, or want to? Did it help, or possibly make things worse? Any tips, tricks, or homemade solutions you'd like to share?


Wednesday, July 18, 7:00pm to 8:15pm
Center on Halsted, 2nd Floor (ask for room number at reception desk)
3656 N. Halsted St. 

Genderqueer Chicago is as safe a space as we can make it. To help with this, we have some working agreements that we would like all who come to meetings to keep in mind while within our safe space meetings. Please check out our working agreements here.

Safe space meetings are strictly closed to researchers and reporters in their professional capacities. Meetings are open to anyone else wanting to talk and think about gender! For more info, give us a shout at genderqueerchicago@gmail.com!

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Science: a safe space discussion

Scientists are desperately trying to come up with explanations for why people are the way they are with regard to gender. Though it seems like such discoveries may prove to some cis-gendered people: "Look, we exist, and here's how," it can also feel alarming that science is trying to classify things which can themselves, feel isolated and succinct. Do developments in scientific understanding of gender play a role in your own perspective? Are such developments more a boon or bane to understanding and dealing with gender in our society?

Wednesday, July 11th, 2012
7:00pm to 8:15pm
Center on Halsted (3656 North Halsted)

Genderqueer Chicago is as safe a space as we can make it. To help with this, we have some working agreements that we would like all who come to meetings to keep in mind while within our safe space meetings. Please check out our working agreements here.

Safe space meetings are strictly closed to researchers and reporters in their professional capacities. Meetings are open to anyone else wanting to talk and think about gender! For more info, give us a shout at genderqueerchicago@gmail.com!

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Crowd Sourcing & Porn: it's not just for cis people anymore


I have a sorted relationship with porn, be it primarily written or visual. As a queer trans woman often the porn I enjoy is full of people with bodies unlike mine. That's because the porn with bodies “like mine” is too often full of really broken language such as “chicks with dicks,” “shemale,” or use “tranny” like it's going out of style. This is also almost always directed at straight cis men (though the same is the case with a great deal of lesbian porn out there).

There is an emerging queer porn movement and what made me start thinking about this again is a kickstarter for a new project by Tobi Hill-Meyer. I'll talk a bit more about why that project has become a catalyst for my thoughts and hope of challenging cissexist porn culture later.

Overall throughout my life and journey of sexual and gender self-discovery I have found that in many ways my sexuality has been robbed from me before I was even aware by mainstream porn culture. This has of course negatively impacted my mental health. But, it's not just the porn itself which I did watch and read but the discussion of sex and sexuality as it relates to trans people. Or more often how it DOES NOT relate to trans* people (unless they are props in someone else's fantasy).

Even if I choose to not watch or read most porn, the dialogue around trans bodies is ever so present in our society that I can't avoid it affecting me. I'm not saying I would not be dysphoric otherwise, but I can't say that the sex-negative culture I live in has helped. We do live in a very sex-negative culture, but that does not mean sex is not everywhere. Many people view America as a rather prudent society, but that in itself lead to a proliferation of sexuality. Chastity is inevitably the catalyst for thinking about sex. I could make an academic argument as to why, but I think the best explanation came from a comedian.

When you hear the Jonas Brothers talk about their promise rings, just try and not think about them having sex or about their sexuality. If I say don't think about the Jonas Brothers fucking, what is your first thought?

With trans* people, the moment we are robbed of any say in our sexuality we are forced to think about it. This is done even by other trans* people. We grow up in a society that makes us ashamed of our bodies and in turn often form a very tense relationship with our sexuality.

What got me thinking a lot about my relationship to porn and erotica is a kickstarter campaign started up by Tobi Hill-Meyer for a new project called Doing it Again: In Depth. The project is an erotic documentary which will go through the actual lives of trans women with their partners and splice explicit porn with interviews where trans* people can speak about their own relationship with sex. That's what I really love about this project, it does not shy away from how trans* people negotiating our daily lives is often part of negotiating our sexual lives.

I really suggest everyone reading check out the kickstarter, watch the preview, and consider donating. I would really like to see as much self-representation of our bodies as possible and if we don't do it I don't think the cissexist culture we live in will step up.

Crowd sourcing can show the power of our community to make our own decisions about what we want to see in the world around us. Crowd sourcing by no means gets us beyond cultural engagement and is not a perfect solution by any means. We queers are systemically poor and ideally should not have to be using our limited resources to challenge the myopic visibility of those with the power making us poor.

Though instead of viewing this as a new type of voting with our wallets, I choose to see it more as expressing our numbers. If every queer gave a dollar here this project would be filled many many times over. And to those who say “it's just porn we should spend our resources on more respectable things,” what could be better than showing a young queer kid it is possible to love their body and have it be loved in return?

And in the vein of using the words of comedians: “For us to have self-esteem is truly an act of revolution. And our revolution is long-overdue.” -- Margaret Cho

I might still have an awkward relationship with porn. I will probably once again be reading a really good erotic fan fic and have to stop midway though because I'm feeling a panic attack coming on. However, I'm sick of internalizing all of this and want something to show the value in reclaiming of sexual voices.

My sexual self-respect is not a trivial matter.

-b

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

No meeting July 4th


Due to the holiday, there will be no meeting this week. Enjoy the day in whatever way you see fit, and we'll see you next week!

Saturday, June 30, 2012

processing…processing…[dealing with invalidation as an anti-stealth]…processing…processing…

Originally posted here:

i would not be surprised if this is what my face looks like to other people:
it’s certainly how i feel.
kinda all the time.
too many interactions in my life cause my brain to jump into hardcore “processing mode”.  and it kinda sucks.  i sometimes wonder if it’s an improvement over the visceral, emotion-based reactions i used to have.  or if it’s worse.  or if it’s just an entirely new beast all together.
i am certainly glad that i don’t [usually] feel like someone kicked me in the groin HARD when they invalidate my gender in any of the myriad ways that happens every day.  it’s a hard thing, that going through life feeling like everyone is kicking me in the balls.  or maybe i still do feel that way, but i recognize it and move on.  my groin is resilient.
but the issue now is that “moving on” doesn’t mean “putting it down.”  oh, no.  not at all.
instead, my brain moves on to:
“why did that happen”  “what does that *mean*?”
in a proximate sense, it’s great ’cause i don’t uncontrollably burst into tears in the middle of conversations [usually] any more.  no that just happens when people titty tap me [jeeeesus dude, that hurt].  but that’s a small price to pay for having my brain really wrestle with what just happened.  brain-wrestling is an endurance challenge.  and my brain really likes to wrestle with things.
sometimes it’s awesome to get a chance to really think through gender stuff.  i mean, shit, i am well-trained in critical thinking and gender is certainly something that one can critically think about for a long time.
but most of the time, i’m like “brain, stfu.  i want to think about other things”.
good lot of nothing that does.  turns out my brain has a mind of its own.
— — — —
in the midst of a group conversation focused around another woman’s inability to find clothes that fit her right [she's about as tall as i am], she responded to my empathy with “yeah but you’re a guy.” [despite the fact that we had just been having a conversation about my being trans*].
instantly,
i didn’t respond.  not because i was ashamed.  not because i was scared.  not because i didn’t want to correct her.  but because my brain was already hard at work trying to figure out what the fuck had just happened.  certainly this was something that could have felt like a kick in the groin.  but it didn’t.  go figure.
the key point is, the person who said this to me, she knew i am trans*.  we had been talking about it not that much earlier in the night.  [this kind of shit comes up in conversation normally now.]  but [i'm pretty darn sure] she had known about it for a while.
and yet it still happens.  she invalidated my identity.  not on purpose, but she did.
believe me, this is not an isolated incident.  it happens all the time: someone who knows that i’m trans* still invalidates me.  invalidates my identity.  it’s not that i think they do it on purpose [although some do, and i know who are.  jackasses.], no no.  it’s just their instinctual reaction.
and i think i finally get it.
most people have a cultural stereotype of/template for/awareness of gender non-conformity to some [relatively small] degree.  ya know, tom boys and drag queens and such [some level of not conforming to "traditional" gender roles].   and certainly most everyone has a cultural stereotype of/template for/awareness of transgender people [in a more strict, non-* way].
but not of transgender people that are also gender non-conforming.  that’s a new one for lots of people.  they expect transwomen to be high femmes and transmen to be bears.  not that there’s anything wrong with either!  i love femmes and bears!  and femmebears!  but just as not all ciswomen aren’t high femmes, not all transwomen are either.
but these things work countergradient to each other.  and that’s a difficult one for lots of people.  that sentiment can [crudely] be boiled down to: “why would you transition from being a man to being a ‘masculine’ woman?”
good question.  but it’s one that requires much unpacking.  there’s a lot wrapped up in that question there.
not the least of which is trying to figure out why people feel like it’s their right to have a CLEAR explanation of someone else’s gender when they’ve never had to explain their gender to anyone else.  and if they don’t get a clear explanation, they don’t quite understand, and if they don’t understand, it’s harder for them to break habits.
that’s a basic thought pattern: it’s a lot easier to do something if you “get it”.
it would be much easier if i “passed” or “presented” or whatever…if i were femme, it would be easier for them to get me, to believe me, to understand me.  and they would be more prone to validating me.
i’m not out to shame anyone, i think this is just the situation we’re in.  i don’t think many people i know and interact with want to be sexist [or "cissexist"?] in such a way.  it’s just a pattern of semi-innate behavior that some folks have. in order for them to validate me by default, they have to understand me, and a large component of their understanding is how well i conform to their notion of what they think i should be like, given that identity.
it’s a shitty thought pattern.  and they have to overcome it.  we all do it to each other.  and we should all work to overcome it.
the validity of ones identity should not hinge on others’ understanding of what that identity means.
but it does.  and now i know it.  and that’s why i wear myself on my sleeves.  that’s what i’m open and out and have shit about gender all over the place… “like a rash” a friend said.
yeah.  exactly.

Monday, June 25, 2012

Assertiveness: a safe space discussion


Some of us are already well-equipped to defend ourselves when confronted or questioned, whether by relatives, coworkers, or acquaintances. Some of us still can't muster up the right words, even when we know we should speak. Have you always been assertive, or was it something you had to learn? Are you still learning? How have our gender journeys helped us become stronger individuals, and how can they help us become stronger still?

Wednesday, June 27th, 2012
7:00pm to 8:15pm
Center on Halsted (3656 North Halsted)

Genderqueer Chicago is as safe a space as we can make it. To help with this, we have some working agreements that we would like all who come to meetings to keep in mind while within our safe space meetings. Please check out our working agreements here.

Safe space meetings are strictly closed to researchers and reporters in their professional capacities. Meetings are open to anyone else wanting to talk and think about gender! For more info, give us a shout at genderqueerchicago@gmail.com!

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

T and GQ OUT Mic


T and GQ OUT Mic
Every Third Thursday of the Month @ 7:30pm

Center on Halsted Youth Space (2nd floor, behind computer lab)
3656 N. Halsted (at Waveland)

Upcoming Open Mic Dates:

THIS Thursday, June 21st, 7:30pm
Thursday, June 21st, 7:30pm


T Out Mic is pairing with GenderQueer Chicago to host an all together awesome open mic and spoken word monthly event open to all. We encourage all gender variant folks, their friends, and allies, to bring a talent, thought, or rant to share. Each performer gets 5 minutes to do their thing and we may have time for encores.

All GQC events are no-cost, cta accessible, and wheelchair accessible.
Transport: EL: Redline to Addison. Bus: #8 Halsted. Street Parking.
See you there!

TranSquat App

Billy wrote to us:
Friends, and friends of iPhone. Hi, my name is Billy. I come from Chicago. I wrote an iPhone app called TranSquat. In a nutshell, it is a gender neutral bathroom finder that locates bathrooms that are gender free relative to your current location. You can search, add and share safe locations. It was written by and for the trans community. It is powered by data from safe2pee. You can help build the app by downloading and adding locations in your own communities. 
On a personal note, I wanted to write an app for the trans community.... It is also my fundraising goal to get 3000 downloads to help finance my top surgery with Dr. Charles Garramone...hopefully later this year. Please help support the trans community and help me reach this goal by downloading this app. As of now, I only need 2984 more to go!!! If you could share this with others whom might find this app useful and would like to support this project that would be much appreciated too!!!

 The TranSquat app can be downloaded here.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Hindsight is 20/20

I spent most of my childhood, out as a boy. Although, I had a girls body, that didn't stop me from expressing myself as the boy I truly was inside. I was considered just a tom boy by most all of the people around me, but none of them had any idea the waters ran much deeper than that.


When I was in grade school, I would often be approached by other children with the question "Are you a boy or a girl?" I loved these moments because even at an early age the thought of being a boy excited me, and that others saw me as a boy was even more so.

As I grew up and started developing, I worked even harder for that masculine image. I started binding regularly by age ten and trying to pass as a boy in most of my day to day life among people who didn't know me. I longed to be included in my older brother's social circles, feeling that I was a boy the same as all of them and wanted to do all the same boy activities. I developed a lot of simular interests to that of my brother and his friends to gain acceptance to that exclusive boys club they seemed to have formed for themselves.

As a teenager I struggled with my sexuality, while still feeling my deep seeded masculinity. I was confused about my feelings toward girls wondering to myself "Am I a lesbian?" and when I told that girl I'd been in love with for years how I felt about her, she responded with "I'm sorry but I'm straight", to which I replied in my head "But I'm a guy."

In my early to mid-twenties I still thought of myself very much as that boy I had always been, although I didn't as actively express my feelings outwardly as I had done in the past. Upon getting a job at GNC I discovered a different side of my masculinity, through health, fitness, and body building. I used to research the nutrition and science involved in body building and longed to be like the men I read about in the books I sold on the subject. This is also where I met my beautiful wife, who taught me about being transgendered, and that there was such a thing as being born in the wrong body. It is because of her, (and other influences) that I am the man, I am today.

What are some of the ways you have known throughout your life that something, wasn't quite right? How did you learn about transsexuality and that transitioning was an option? How did you decide transitioning was right for you? For those of you who are simply Gender Queer, when did you realize you didn't identify within the gender binary, and how are you living your lives today to match your gender identity?

Written by Malcolm Cameron Aschebrook-Kealiher


Saturday, June 16, 2012

Pride: a safe space discussion

Pride is upon us. Let's talk about what that means for us. What does it mean to have pride in a fiercely normative society? Do you have pride? Do you not? Is it easy to cultivate your pride? What is the mainstream conception of this word? How is your experience similar? How does it differ? Come share your thoughts, stories, and questions.

Wednesday, June 20 th, 2012
7:00pm to 8:15pm
Center on Halsted (3656 North Halsted)

Genderqueer Chicago is as safe a space as we can make it. To help with this, we have some working agreements that we would like all who come to meetings to keep in mind while within our safe space meetings. Please check out our working agreements here.
Safe space meetings are strictly closed to researchers and reporters in their professional capacities. Meetings are open to anyone else wanting to talk and think about gender! For more info, give us a shout at genderqueerchicago@gmail.com!

Website graphics and design by Andre Perez