Sunday, March 25, 2012

Genderqueer Role Models: A Safe Space Discussion

Folks often have someone they look up to and/or aspire to be like, however this can be a bit of a task in the genderqueer community as there doesn't seem to be too many folks who have already been down the path we are on for us to draw inspiration from. Do you have a role model or someone you look up to in regards to gender? What is it about this person that you admire ? Why do you admire it? If you don't have a role model/someone you look up to in terms of gender, why?

Wednesday, March 28th, 2012
7:00-8:15PM

Access Living (2nd floor)
115 W. Chicago Ave

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, March 24, 2012

Transgender (Mis)Education

I found this article by Ira Gray, a trans*/queer activist and writer (you can find more from Ira on his blog That Blog About That Queer Kid), on Huffington Post. He discusses how queer folks should take the time to break society's misconceptions of trans* folks, specifically the notions that trans* people are "trapped in the wrong body," that we hate our bodies, and that our gender(s) are binary, falling into the male/female dichotomy. I think the following excerpt sums up the article pretty nicely:

"Trans* folks have nothing to lose and everything to gain by educating the public about our existence and about the true diversity of our narratives. Within the GSM (gender and/or sexuality minority) community, trans* people are the most likely targets for assault. We have the highest unemployment rate, suicide rate, and homelessness rate. What do we have to lose?"
- NFS

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Queerer options for OkCupid with OkChoices!

I was looking through profiles on OkCupid and found this awesome script called OkChoices that allows for more gender/sexuality options for your profile other than male/female or gay/bi/straight. The list is somewhat limited in terms of identities, but it's much better and more inclusive than OkCupid is normally.

These are the current options:

Gender
[[Agender]]
[[Butch]]
[[Femme]]
[[Gender Fluid]]
[[Gender Neutral]]
[[Genderless]]
[[Genderqueer]]
[[Intersex]]
[[Neutrois]]
[[Transgender]]
[[Trans man]]
[[Trans woman]]

Orientation:
[[Asexual]]
[[Demisexual]]
[[Grey-Asexual]]
[[Heteroflexible]]
[[Homoflexible]]
[[Pansexual]]
[[Polyamorous]]
[[Queer]]

- NFS

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Open Topic: A 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? New ideas for gender variant liberation? We want to hear!

Wednesday, March 21, 2012
7:00-8:15PM

Gerber/Hart (1127 West Granville Avenue)
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 atgenderqueerchicago@gmail.com!

TODAY! Self Education Empowerment & Defense at Center on Halsted!


Soy Quien Soy, a queer collective of trans* folks from a variety of cultures, backgrounds, and experiences in Pilsen, is hosting a free self defense workshop starting at 5:30PM TODAY at Center on Halsted! The program is as follows:

Introduction (5:30PM)
Anti-Violence Project Information
Zuri Rose - Physical Self-defense
Van Binfa - Mental Self-defense
Resources & Events Program Survey (6:30PM)

Check it out if you have the time! Also, it will be in both English and Spanish!

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Trans & Genderqueer Open Mic TOMORROW!

Center on Halsted and GqC are proud to present...

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:

TOMORROW, March 15th, 7:30pm

Thursday, April 19th, 7:30pm

Thursday, May 17th, 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!

Monday, March 12, 2012

Queer Rights March Planning Meeting!

As some of you may have heard, on Saturday, April 21st, Chicago will be taking place in a worldwide effort to raise awareness to injustices, both socially and systematically, that LGBTQQIAAP identified folks are subjected to. The overall purpose for the event is as follows:

"This is an event that everyone needs to put aside all differences and come together as one unified LGBT Community, along with our straight allies, as this event will definitely drive home the point worldwide that the LGBT are poised to demand and acquire our full civil rights that all other sectors of society enjoy, as well as live within the same laws and guarantees enjoyed by all other citizens, including marriage equality."

"The Chicago march shares the same goal, though I personally would like for there to be more visibility from the rest of the LGBTQQIAAP (lesbian, gay, bisexual, queer, questioning, intersex, asexual, ally, and pansexual) family. Most groups tend to focus on the L, G, B, and T (even though the T is often overlooked) and forget that there are more than just those three or four identities that are also marginalized and oppressed." - Noa Shayden, Lead Organizer of the Chicago event.

There will be an open organizational meeting on Thursday, March 22nd. All are welcome, and ENCOURAGED, to attend to be a part of the event planning process. The goal for this meeting is to include as many different folks and as much community feedback as possible and that can't happen unless folks show up!

Please email Noa at noa.shayden@gmail.com or RSVP on Facebook to get the address for the meeting.

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Allyship: a safe space discussions.

We're all affected by various contours of power and privilege in our society, both within the queer community and without. Some examples i've been thinking about lately: non/binary identities, masculinity/femininity, dis/ability, race, class, education level, cis/trans, occupational status, the list goes on and on. Folks often talk about how they are allies for this or that, but rarely break down what that means. Let's talk about allyship. How can we convey our stories and our needs in a way that allows others to effectively express allyship? And, i think more importantly, how can we cultivate openness and allyship within ourselves? Come chat!

Wednesday, March 14, 2012
7:00-8:15PM

Access Living (2nd floor)
115 W. Chicago Ave

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!

Friday, March 9, 2012

developing resiliency: the story of and the fallout from my first gender-associated bathroom incident

Originally posted at charismatics are dangerous

last thursday night, i was at a local establishment [in upstate new york] for “queer night”, which btw, is a usually a really awesome and fun thing. i was enjoying a few beers and chatting with some friends and generally having a good time, until i decided to use the restroom.

this particular establishment has two restrooms (“ladies” and “gentlemen”), but they’re both single-stalled, so there’s really absolutely no reason to gender them. [avoiding digression...] so here’s the thought process that went through my head:

“neither of those words describes me, but i need to pee. the line is longer for the ladies room. but i can’t bring myself to use a mens room right now. and the lock is busted on the mens room door… and these are single stalled, so surely i won’t upset anyone. and it’s queer night, so i would think probably >95% of ppl here are either queer themselves or allies…so hopefully everyone’s cool with gender-non-conformity…” [apparently somewhere in there, my logic failed...]

so i went and stood quietly in the line for the ladies room. instantly, i got looks. from the other people in line for the ladies room.

while i was waiting, women cut me in line twice, and both times, i very nicely, very quietly informed them that i was waiting in line. the looks that popped on to these ladies’ faces were pretty priceless. as much as i can interpret the body language of someone else, these expressions said to me: “wtf? why is this *guy* in this line”. i don’t necessarily fault anyone for having that response [i don't necessarily look anything but "male" to most people], but it still sucks hard to be on the receiving end of it.

i weathered the storm and waited the 10 minutes until it was my turn. during at least 4 of those minutes, there was no one in the guys room.

finally, it was my turn: the bathroom door opened and i went in, locked it, and breathed a gargantuan sigh of relief. i had made it.

until the pounding on the door started.

think ‘POLICE! OPEN UP!’-style pounding. although it was accompanied with the statements ‘WHO’S IN THERE?’ and ‘WHY ARE YOU IN THERE?’ and ‘WHAT ARE YOU DOING IN THERE?’ and so on. fits and spurts of pounding and yelling for the 3 minutes i was in there. almost to the point that i couldn’t actually pee. shiiiiiiiit.

and as soon as i opened the door to leave, the two women who had been in line behind me were standing right in front the door. they quickly stepped back. and from me, they got a ‘what the fuck? that is not cool at all. i was trying to use the friggen restroom in peace!’ there was a quick attempt from them to deflect it on to someone else, but in a way that made them seem redhanded. so i explained to them my situation ["there are words on those doors, and some people don't associate well with either, and so we have to choose something in order to pee."] and how very rude harassing someone through the door like that is. and then i left the space.

as a side note: i don’t know who did it. that’s why it’s so insidious, harassing someone through a door. i assumed it was those two ladies. that was an assumption, but not a baseless one.

i was not at all feeling comfortable or safe or happy about my body and myself. being rejected in a space full of marginalized folks is perhaps the most dejecting thing i have ever felt. i wouldn’t expect a grab bag of society to understand me very well right now. but the queers? how could they not? there is only one word i can think of to describe what i felt at that time: shame.

generally speaking, i am fucked right now. and for the immediate future. and, if i am right in my thoughts on my gender, for basically the rest of my life. i am a (pink) triangle peg that doesn’t fit neatly into either the circle or the square hole. but the world is full of two-hole options [gross], and i don’t have the energy to change every fucking social institution that asks people if they are male or female. as a few friends of me recently pointed out, it’s a lot already for me to work on just getting the people in my life to understand me. ‘railing on the system’ doesn’t necessarily help the situation, and definitely drains energy. and internalizing other peoples’ issues with me is very destructive, so i can’t just deal with it by myself.

so i’ve got to let it go. but i have this energy about it. and what i FINALLY realized, come friday morning, is that i could use that energy, which had derived from such a negative situation, for positive momentum.

it might sound trite or trivial to a lot of people, but the clothing i have worn to work [grad student...teaching!] since then has been a huge, albeit subtle, step forward for me. on friday, i had visually obvious crossing shoulder straps under an untucked dress shirt. today [wednesday], i rocked the tanktop/cami combo and some newly painted finger nails. things that i otherwise wouldn’t have done, because i would have been to ashamed/embarrassed. but i had this energy, and i used it get over that feeling.

as trite as that may seem to many people, it was a big step for me. really in ways that i can’t explain in words. but i think anybody who’s ever tried to change some behavioral part of themselves [so everybody] knows what i’m talking about. for example, i used to be a klepto when i was a kid. i even got caught stealing when i was like 12. and it made me want to change my behavior, so i did. and for like 6 years, the fact that i could walk in and out of a store without pocketing something was so huge to me. but to other people, i was just acting normally.

unfortunately, i feel like a lot of basic, important things in my life have that shame energy behind them. and it’s hard enough to overcome that by myself without also having to deal with rude people.

but now, now i know how to make those rude people work for me. because now i can draw positive energies from negative situations. i am becoming resilient.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Featured Book: Take Me There

Tristan Taormino sent Gqc this book to get our opinion. One of our organizers lets us know what they thought.

"There is nowhere near enough gender-variant erotica out there..well that is affirming, consensual, real-bodied etc. I wasn't sure what to expect with Tristan's book but I didn't get what I expected. This book has all the big names- Kate Bornstein, Sinclair Sexsmith, Julia Sorano, the list goes on. Some are about getting you "in the mood" but others queer, challenge, and affirm all sorts of sexual and gender expression. It's a playground that I would recommend for the intellectual and smut fiend alike."

Read it too? Comment below and let us know what you thought.

Trans & Genderqueer Open Mic


Center on Halsted and GqC are proud to present...

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:

Next Thursday, March 15th, 7:30pm

Thursday, April 19th, 7:30pm

Thursday, May 17th, 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!

Monday, March 5, 2012

I’M NOT TRANS ENOUGH *** VIDEO


I had to re-upload this video do to copyright problems on the song I used in the last one. I used my own song, “Love ‘Round The World” for this re-upload so I won’t run into the same problem and this video can continue to inspire and help others. www.ryancassata.tumblr.com
I came across this video and absolutely loved it. Though I want to make a video from a MTF/trans* feminine/MAAB genderqueer perspective. Anyone with ideas post a comment or drop me an ask on my personal tumblr http://sometimescoherent.tumblr.com/

-b

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Intimacy: A Safe Space Discussion


Join us this Wednesday for a discussion on intimacy. Intimacy can encompass a wide range of emotions and activities. Intimacy does not need to be sexual. It can be platonic, romantic, squishy... whatever words you want to use. How do you define intimacy and what are barriers to it in your life? Where do you find intimacy in your life? Cuddling, BDSM, reading a book with someone? It's up to you. Let's talk it out.


Wednesday, March 7th
7:00-8:15pm
Gerber/Hart (
1127 West Granville Avenue)

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, March 1, 2012

Passing for the effeminate trans guy.

"If you’ve been out for more than a month you’ve probably heard the standard passing tips. They haven’t changed since I came out and I’m pretty sure they were old even then. In fact, I wouldn’t be surprised if they date back to when the first group of butches figured out that they were actually straight guys.

Now, there’s nothing wrong with these tips really, they’re just not the greatest if you ever want to wear something other than baggy stripped polos and cargo pants. Me, I couldn’t handle that. I figured if I was going to come out I should at least be able to wear what I wanted. Some guys are cool with sacrificing personal style for passing ability until they start T, I’m just not one of them. This is for all the guys who feel the same way."

Check out the tips here.

Skill share is in the works!

Got a skill that you'd like to share with the rest of the GqC group? Want to learn skills that you've been meaning to pick up but haven't had the chance to? Well, we can help with that!

Yes, yes. We know. We've been talking about doing a skill share for months now (possibly over a year) and we're finally putting it together! Potential dates for this event are Saturday, March 31st or Sunday, April 8th. We're seeking input from members as to which date would be most convenient, so please let us know by either commenting on this post, emailing us at gmail.com, or by letting us know at our safe space meetings!

Website graphics and design by Andre Perez