amberite_archive: (gender ftw!!!)
You know where you wake up, drop back to sleep and have a dream of getting done all the stuff you need to get done that morning, then wake up again and realize you have to do it over? I'm sort of having a weekend like that. I owe one of you some sparring (challenged honorably! and looking forward to it) and more of you some posts, many of which I wrote in my head but didn't actually convey forth into internet-land, but my priority this weekend over any and all of that is to finish writing a story, the deadline for which I've missed slightly but can probably wiggle into if I write it now. Which of course means I'm nervous/guilty/having to wrangle my brain around the long way.

Mostly right now I'm trying to get back in shape for dancing, and preparing the long list of what I'll need to do and acquire and become.

It seems an odd thing, doesn't it? I'm worried people I care about will see this, and me, the wrong way. I managed to explain this morning on the phone with my people exactly where I'm at with gender. I said to John that I was worried about the social reactions, and he said, "Well, I imagine it will be like when I was vegetarian for six months and then went back to sucking meat off the bone," and I said, "That's what I'm afraid of. I'm not going back, not reverting from anything. I'm responding directly to things I've learned, and going forward..."



For a long time I believed in two paradigms of gender, and I couldn't reconcile myself in them. In one, gender is a game, all costumes and roleplaying and light and noise. In the other, gender is an essential truth about a person.

I agonized about these things a lot. I played the game, but played it half-heartedly. I came to understand that if a gender is an essential truth about me, I am closer to male than female. I adopted that paradigm for a while.

But then life moved around me and I came to understand some other implications of that way. A lot of things are part of the game that I hadn't noticed were part of the game. A lot of socialization is part of the game. Worse, working a job is part of the game.

And as a player, I'm better at female.

It doesn't have to be the deep core truth of my being. In the game, in the world of lights and sounds and costumes, I actively enjoy playing the lady.

It's a disguise, and for most of my life, I've thought that was a bad thing.

Then I stripped away all the disguises and it became a lot clearer why we have them, why it's good and OK to have them, what I'd been getting out of them all those years.

And so I'm going undercover again, with a new interest in inhabiting my role. I used to be afraid that femininity would rub off on my personality, would change me somehow in ways I didn't want. I'm not afraid of that any more. I know who I am.

And I want my friends to respect that deep down inside, it's a lot more complicated, and always will be. Not everyone will notice that I'm crossdressed as a girl, and that's a little difficult for me, but it's OK. I still prefer neutral pronouns. I'm still, well, me.

upgrades

Aug. 31st, 2007 01:50 am
amberite_archive: (chaos)


That is a testosterone molecule on the left, fyi. (Ganked crudely from Wikipedia.)

You may repost with credit.
amberite_archive: (chaos)
I've been really depressed today, caught in a stupid loop. So I'm going to see my therapist. See! something smart and useful! I'm tagging it here rather than rant since it's the same bloody rant since January. In which getting a job around here is like pulling hens' teeth. Off a four-dimensional dog.

--

This song is really hitting the spot. There's no comprehending / Just how close to the bone and the skin and the eyes / And the lips you can get / And still feel so alone / And still feel related /
Like stations in some relay
....

And the air conditioned cubicles / And the carbon ribbon rides / Are spelling it out so clear / Either he's going to have to stand and fight / Or take off out of here

I have that day sometimes. I have that day a lot.

--

Unexpected Effects of Testosterone Dept: so, men are supposed to be more visually stimulated, and I've been noticing that, yeah, though I'm still primarily a textual person. But what really gets me is the color RED! Like the way bulls are supposed to see it, except that's an urban legend. It's not that it makes me horny, or angry, or anything in particular: it's just *brighter*. It makes me *notice*.

Especially in people's hair, especially bright unnatural reds, especially in the sun. But clothing too. It's like it's slightly more than three-dimensional. Which I'm sure can translate to horny or angry or anything which occurs as a result of noticing someone more than usual. I think this is kind of quirky and cool, actually.
amberite_archive: (eye)
So, this afternoon I was helping [livejournal.com profile] teriel and [livejournal.com profile] lupabitch move in upstairs, making us a building entirely of Pagans with one or more other freaky qualities on the usual list of freaky qualities. FTW. I'm super-happy about this -- it means that we get more for our overpriced heating dollar (the rent is OK) than just a place to live; a place to live in a building occupied entirely by allies is much, much better.

----------

This maneuver was not without its cost, as I, arrogantly testing the boundaries of my newfound upper body strength, discovered.

My Arms: Yay! MUSCLES! Can lift many heavy book boxes now! *lifts many heavy book boxes*

My Lower Back: Um, excuse me, arms?

My Arms: What? We're doing fine. MUSCLES!!!!111

My Lower Back: And what is supporting you?

My Arms: Um, ...

My Lower Back: Hello GRAVITY k thx. Is fucked now.

Me: Ow ow ow. *is fucked now*


I probably should have spent today lying down, but spent it going out and poking around instead, and now have to spend tonight cooking food and doing my laundry since there's no-one else here and I do need clean underwear. Whoops! Ow ow ow. I've never actually injured my lower back before. I've never actually had the upper body strength to lift things in an idiotic fashion, and have had to settle for bracing them on every available corner. But now, MUSCLES! and forgetting gravity, and oh. damn. Learning Experience Time.

I wonder if anyone can guess at (a) what I did and (b) how to take care of it, other than the lying down? It was sudden in onset; hurts when I walk, and has sort of gradually gotten worse over the day, rather than doing what I expected it to do, which was go away in a cloud of happy shiny butterflies. Durr. I was carrying my laptop bag earlier and it hurt less when the laptop bag was balanced directly on my lower back. I only seemed to find recommendations on how to prevent your employees from hurting their backs when I tried to look for diagnostic information earlier -- it always seems harder to find info on injuries than diseases encyclopedically, and I have the feeling this is a topic with which more than one of my friends will have personal experience to share.
amberite_archive: (harlequin)
I want someone to make me a knitted penis. Something like the one here, but doesn't have to be from that pattern. Especially since said pattern costs forty bucks, which is just stupid. Cock and balls preferable.

My usual talents are up for trade. No "which talents do you mean?" jokes, please.
amberite_archive: (Default)
I think the most wonderful and confusing thing is dealing with gender through language. I see everything in terms of language -- it's almost my first sense, before vision or hearing or touch -- and gender is a form of language itself, plus there's a large set of English devoted to nuances of female and male.

I'm pretty amazed with this. It's like experiencing the sequence where the Matrix code expands out into the existence of what is going on.

Oh, and if you didn't see the last post, then you must be a journal-lurker. Comment here if you care to learn about this stuff and I will add you.
amberite_archive: (king)
What are some good transgender books or gender study books that are NOT essentialist (I want to avoid statements or thought patterns like "Girls are", "Boys are", "Being a woman is", "Being a man is") and are more detail-focused?

I am looking for books that talk about issues like the difference between body-dysphoria and role-dysphoria, gender as an experience in the third person (experiencing the space created by others' perceptions of one's body) vs. first person (the space created by one's own body), the different gender projections that are NOT Boy and Girl, Man and Woman (who thinks to be a bearded lady anymore?) and the extraordinarily complex symbology inherent in clothing. I want to read more about process.

(Yes, I know Gender Outlaw is one of these books, but I've read some of Kate Bornstein's writing and it's frequently more general than the sort of thing I'm looking for. I guess I'm looking for descriptions of the individual presentations that occupy the territory of "gender variant", rather than descriptions of the territory. Like, not just general info about being a "not-boy not-girl", but about individual kinds of not-boy not-girl and what ways there are to portray these concepts in the public social realm. Does that make sense?)

I'm interested in variations on how people read different gender presentations, and many of the gender studies I find are the standard born into the wrong box, found the other box, got happy narrative.

Which is fine if you like the boxes.

I mean, they're cool boxes. It's like, say I know I should have wings. That's a very nice car and all. Yes, I know a minivan is useful for toting stuff and a sports car can go really fast. Yes, I know it can go even faster than a person with wings. But it's a car. Cars go on roads and highways.

Yes, I do want to go on roads and highways sometimes. Yeah, I need wheels for that, right. Got that part. But I'd rather be able to skip around. What? Why are you staring at me like that?

Maybe if I get sorta half-assed wheels and half-assed wings, I can take the surface streets and fly when I get tired of the traffic. Okay, maybe that's pushing the metaphor a bit far.

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