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30 Day Genderqueer Challenge Day 23

19 May

Write a poem about being Genderqueer (if you struggle, try a haiku, acrostic poem with your name, or just a stream of consciousness paragraph).

I am a genderqueer
Nor boi grrl but in between
Pronoun “they” not “she”

*with thanks to http://writeahaiku.com

Adapted from the 30 day Trans challenge and the 30 day [GSM] challenge

30 Day Genderqueer Challenge Day 22

9 Feb

Discuss how your clothes do or don’t reflect your gender.

I am so pleased I got asked this question because it has been on my mind since I had a discussion with a friend about gender, clothes and femininity. We had begun to talk about starting T and I talked about my own experiences and how initially I felt I was trying to be ‘seen’ as genderqueer, which meant changing what I wore and binding my breasts. Now I dress less masculine, however I am still not 100% comfortable with wearing dresses or skirts again, unless it is for a fancy dress event. As we were talking my friend mentioned that they had a female jacket that they didn’t feel comfortable wearing yet because it was too feminine. Somewhere between them telling me about the jacket and my brain mulling it over I realised how sad it was that clothes were being perceived to have a gender.

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30 Day Genderqueer Challenge Day 21

9 Jan

Your first queer crush or relationship?

I cannot remember exactly who my first queer crush was, but the following names come to mind:

– a queer person I met online who I later met and now know personally
– Hilary Swank in “Boys Don’t Cry”
– Veronica who used to catch the school bus with me in Rome ( I have no idea if she was queer but it was her androgynous look that I liked)

As for my first queer relationship, that would have been someone who I met online through a website called Mogenic. It was a brief relationship, solely due to my own stupidity, but it was one that taught me a lot about myself and who I wanted to be.

My first queer crush was probably on a few drag kings that would perform at the Star Hotel on Hoddle Street on Friday nights back in the day. In those days there were many drag kings that would then become men and genderqueers, making me wonder if it was a crush or a secret knowledge that I wanted to be like them in some way.

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30 Day Genderqueer Challenge Day 20

17 Jan

How has your relationship with the cisgender people in your life changed?

I am not sure that my relationship with the cisgender people in my life has changed that much, then again now I think about it I think it actually has.

Before I started T cisgender people who aren’t queer in my life saw me as a lesbian/dyke, while those who were part of the LGBTI/queer community too saw me as androgynous/tomboy, female.  Now, I feel queer cisgender people see me as trans* or ‘different’ because they hear my voice has changed or that I have facial hair.  Non-queer cisgender people, such as family and work colleagues, see me still as possibly as a lesbian but I don’t really know because I dare not think or ask what they see in me. So in a way I’ve pulled away from some people because they don’t understand and in a way I don’t know what to say or how to explain.

I feel I can’t be genderqueer around my queer cisgender friends or acquaintances because they don’t ‘get’ what it means. I can’t be trans* because in their eyes it means transition from one gender to another. With non-queer cisgender people I feel like a freak. I cannot explain who I am or who I want to be. I shave before I go to work just so they don’t notice my facial hair too much.

I’ve always had a small group of friends, however I feel starting T and changing has caused me to pull away from people who don’t understand. Yet I ask how can other understand when I don’t make a point to stop and explain?

Adapted from the 30 day Trans challenge and the 30 day [GSM] challenge

30 Day Genderqueer Challenge Day 19

11 Dec

Do you feel comfortable answering questions about your gender to friends? Acquaintances? Strangers?

I was just about to say that I am more than happy to answer questions about gender in general, but I guess when it comes down to my gender it depends on who asks.

Sometimes it is easier when it is coming from a stranger, for example when I might be facilitating or running training around Trans* 101 or gender diversity. No one knows me so I don’t really care about other people’s judgements and am more than comfortable challenging inappropriate questions or assumptions made.

Acquaintances, especially people who I might be starting to get to know, sometimes make me feel a little more uncomfortable in answering questions about my gender. A work colleague for example would trigger a mild anxiety attack as I feel uncomfortable as is being ‘me’ at work. I think everyone assumes I am a lesbian and no one has ever asked anything else about me. I’ve told a select number of people at work about my involvement within the trans* community and disclosed my pronoun preference, but that is about it. My comfort level with other acquaintances really depends on many factors like how did I meet this person, do they understand the basic trans* stuff, what questions are they asking and how do they identify.

Very few friends (who aren’t trans* themselves) have asked me about my gender and overall I am more than happy to answer. I have to say one or two people have asked me very personal and possibly inappropriate questions, which at the time I answerd too quickly and honestly. It wasn’t until I was recounting the conversation with trans* friends that they flagged it as not appropriate – even for someone who I consider a friend. I suppose at the time I got caught up on ‘educating’ them about trans* stuff that I didn’t think about what questions were ok not to answered. For this reason I’ve often referred people to the Dude Trans Male Zine section of appropriate and inappropriate questions.

Adapted from the 30 day Trans challenge and the 30 day [GSM] challenge

30 Day Genderqueer Challenge Day 18

25 Nov

What is your sexual and romantic orientations? Are they affected by your gender?

Pre-genderqueer and T I identified as a lesbian/dyke and found myself sexually and romantically oriented to cis-women mostly, and the few trans* guys I happened to glimpse upon.

Pre-testosterone I identified as queer and was sexually and romantically oriented to other genderqueers, trans* and non-binary folk.

Currently my sexual orientation is non-existant, however it has returned back to lesbians, as well as encompassing ‘guys’, genderqueers, trans* and non-binary folk. Romantically however I am not quite sure…

I don’t think my gender affected my sexual and/or romantic orientations – apart from confusing how I identify and what it would make me if I liked ‘a’, ‘b’ or ‘c’. I feel T has affected my sexual orientation, or who I am sexually attracted to, with the most obvious change being cis-guys.

Adapted from the 30 day Trans challenge and the 30 day [GSM] challenge

30 Day Genderqueer Challenge Day 17

6 Nov

How has your relationship with yourself been affected since you realized you were Genderqueer?

I was actually just thinking about this before I started work today. A few months ago I verbally removed myself from the lesbian community, saying I didn’t consider myself a lesbian or wanting anything to do with this part of the community. I think in part I felt abandoned by some of my dyke friends and also felt myself becoming neither one thing or the other, so how could I fit it. In hidsight I wish I hadn’t jumped to conclusions and sat with what had been going on for me internally.

Since realizing I was genderqueer I’ve felt a sense of relief, like it was ok to feel like this and want to start homones but not necessarily have surgery or want to be seen an exclusively male. This however is a difficult path and one I am still exploring and battling against.

I thought after starting T  I would begin to feel more comfortable with myself. In a way I have and a lot of it is about positive changes I was wanting – not having a menstrual cycle, my voice dropping, facial hair and an increase in libido. On the other hand I’ve had moments where I panicked about my voice changing/having changed, being turned off by body hair increasing, seeing my libido turning me away from sex with others, and feeling at times confused with where I am going with all of this (T). I guess you could say that my relationship with myself since strating hormones has been a rollercoaster.

Adapted from the 30 day Trans challenge and the 30 day [GSM] challenge

30 Day Genderqueer Challenge Day 16

7 Aug

How does your gender factor in to your future plans?

I think gender will always factor in my future plans; wether it be a year, five or more.

Reflecting back on my 30-something years I can see gender clearly:
– pronounced ‘female’ at birth
– called a tomboy in kindergarden
– thought I was a boy in primary school
– enjoyed dressing in pretty pink dresses as much as I scraped my knees in the playground
– questioned why I grew breasts
– discovered the word ‘lesbian’ in high school
– developed crushes on butch lesbians and androgynous men
– dabbled in the drag king scene in the late 90’s
– uncovered the term ‘transgender’ with the Y2K bug
– started reading about hormones and transitioning in my mid twenties
– began exploring and questioning my own gender in 2008
– bought my first binder and outed myself as genderqueer in a friend’s book 2.7yrs ago
– got my first T shot just over one year ago in June

Adapted from the 30 day Trans challenge and the 30 day [GSM] challenge

30 Day Genderqueer Challenge Day 15

5 Jul

How do you, or would you, deal with being misgendered?

I get misgendered on a daily basis. Some of it is because I don’t try to present as ‘male’ so people use female pronouns and see me as ‘female’. People who know I identify as genderqueer will use my preferred pronouns and see me as…well I assume as ‘me’, but who knows they could see me as male/female/both/neither. I also wonder because I do often feel I am neither male or female, but rather something in the middle, if I get misgendered purely because people do see me as female/male, but which in fact I am not… Confusing much?

How I deal with being misgendered is another story:
– If someone doesn’t know I am genderqueer and doesn’t know me I seemed to either not care OR get really annoyed.
– If someone doesn’t know I am genderqueer but does know me I get a little annoyed at their assumption.
– If someone knows I am genderqueer and knows me I get annoyed that they’ve made an assumption AND don’t know better.

Overall I pick my battles and correct people who I want to let into my life and leave the rest ignorant. Most of my friends are up to scratch and those who feel they’ve misgendered me, as long as you’ve asked me first I don’t honestly mind. I only don’t deal with people who make an assumption without asking me. Yes, I do use both pronouns and don’t try and pass as male, but that still doesn’t mean you have the right to put me in the ‘female’ box.

Adapted from the 30 day Trans challenge and the 30 day [GSM] challenge

30 Day Genderqueer Challenge Day 14

24 Jun

Name some media you connect with queerly.

I’ve just realised that I do not connect with a lot of queer media, either printed or online, then again maybe I do…

My links on the right hand side of my page titled ‘Trans* Places I Visit” have a list of media I connect with, most of which are blogs, Tumbler, Facebook etc. I used to religiously pick-up my copf of LOTL, MCV, Cherrie and Melbourne Star Observer but am hardly in the city anymore and don’t really read these publications online.

I visit SameSame on occasion and watch YouTube for anything genderqueer, but usually this is while I am at work on a break so rarely get to enjoy the experience.

Adapted from the 30 day Trans challenge and the 30 day [GSM] challenge