rhivolution: David Tennant does the Thinker (Default)
Rhi. ([personal profile] rhivolution) wrote2010-06-05 10:46 pm
Entry tags:

Variant, queer, blend, mix...

ETA: To anyone coming from Hack Gender...my apologies for not allowing anon posting on this journal. OpenID does work, though.

I've never been very good at being a girl.

Now, lots of people, lots who identify as women, say that. But the fact that we all may have trouble, even in the smallest amounts, with our gender display, doesn't mean it's not true every single time.

This isn't to say that I'm absolutely terrible at it, or that I hate feminine things. In fact, that would almost make things easier, because then I could label myself, instead of hanging out here in the void. At Smith we always went on about how labels are a bad thing, but to be honest, I find them handy to refer to myself in certain cases. Identifiers, in my mind, make up part of me, like a signifier makes up part of a sign in semiotics. Not that I'm going to impose this on anyone else...but it works in my head.

But at the same time, I don't particularly like identifying as 'woman'. I don't personally feel 'womanness' in any sense of the word that I've previously encountered (as I said, I went to Smith, I've seen loads). I don't do feminine particularly well. But I am not overly masculine, I know I'm not 'man' either. I'm not even butch, or boi, or tomboy or whatever.

What I am...well, genderqueer maybe, and I use that label at times, but at the same time, I feel like that identity implies more fucking with display of gender than I usually do. I'm lazy. I could do more if I wanted to. But I seriously cannot be bothered, either with makeup or with wearing a hat.

Instead, I have short hair, but not overly short; it's short because it's easy to deal with and because I look far better with short hair anyway. My preferred uniform is jeans and a t-shirt--which must fit well but not too tightly, much to the chagrin of most of the current style in Britain. And I'm fairly happy with the female body I got at birth. (Happy enough, that is; I don't know anyone of any sex who is perfectly happy with their body all of the time.) But I'm also tall and not overly curvy, with a strong nose and chin. I sing second alto and my grandparents used to mistake my brother and me on the phone before his voice broke.

I am stuck in the middle, a cypher.

So I'm an opportunist. I pick and choose when I feel like it, but everything that I wear feels like drag. Dresses are drag. Suits are drag. When I worked in Corporate America, I fully knew and felt the meaning of the term 'corporate drag', though it probably was more keen for me than others. I like lipstick and fedoras and a-line skirts and pinstripes, and to hell with the stuff I don't want.

This is, of course, a very privileged place to be, on so many levels. As a white, middle-class American with a supportive partner and a relatively open culture, I have the privilege to play around a little bit, though my mother gives me hell if I don't shave my pits. I don't directly face a lot of the danger that comes from not meeting the societal sense of 'normativity'. I do try to continually fight the insistence on binary that seems to permeate the cultures I inhabit, and I want the haters to get to the goddamn left.

But under it all, I'm selfish. I want to know what the hell I am, and 'just you and that's good enough' isn't. Because when you don't know if there's anyone else who feels this way, it...it hurts. And much as I hate to sound like a whiner when I have things relatively good, the pain is still there.

Edit (again): [personal profile] littlebutfierce has a good post on this topic too.
littlebutfierce: (ouran haruhi)

[personal profile] littlebutfierce 2010-06-06 06:46 am (UTC)(link)
Thank you for this post.

You hit on a lot of things that I have been thinking about lately: like not feeling like 'woman' is right, but not really feeling that bothered about any other identification. And I feel like I can't be arsed to identify as genderqueer--I just don't care.

I will probably end up quoting from this post whenever I write the one I posted last night about posting, if that's all right!
littlebutfierce: (ouran haruhi)

[personal profile] littlebutfierce 2010-06-06 09:15 pm (UTC)(link)
Yeah, after thinking about it, I figured since it was unlocked it was fair game, so I'm glad it's okay. ^^;;;
sophygurl: Lamb with cute face, with text "What's up?!" (Default)

[personal profile] sophygurl 2010-06-06 07:59 pm (UTC)(link)
Getting a label for something can totally be a good thing. I've felt that way about getting diagnoses for illnesses, for finding words to match my philosophical outlooks, and for finding terms that worked for my identities... So, yea, labels can be problematic, but they are also really really helpful in ways. And not having one for something - yea, it's hard. To not have the language to talk about something so essential to your being? Hard to make community out of that, hard to process it, hard to fight oppression of it, hard to really DO anything with it. And some folks are more comfortable in that kind of space, but me? I always like having the words and labels. So, yea, this post made a lot of sense to me.
jagienka: (christian binding)

[personal profile] jagienka 2010-06-07 11:40 pm (UTC)(link)
The "everything feels like drag" is something that has resonated with me a lot, but then I'm sure you know that.
riverlight: A rainbow and birds. (Default)

[personal profile] riverlight 2011-12-29 12:34 am (UTC)(link)
Followed this from the sticky at the top of your journal, and just wanted to say (even though it's, what, nearly two years later) that this really resonates with me, and I'm really appreciative that you chose to write it out!

I'd say "I hear ya, sister," except there's that frustratingly-gendered vocative on the end of that phrase. Damn it all.