genderqueer Archive

Call for submissions

This is a call for submissions for a proposed anthology entitled Headcase: LGBTQ Writers and Artists on Mental Health. We are particularly invested in making sure that we have a genuinely diverse array of writers and artists contributing; we want to include the voices of people of color, of youth and elders alike, of trans, gender non-conforming, and two-spirit people; people living with dis/abilities, low-income people, people whose intersectional identities are underrepresented in media.

Transgender Day Of Rememberance, 2013

Trigger Warning: Transphobia, Murder, Hate, Suicide

This is the time of year I dread. I wish we lived in a world where we didn’t need a day like the Transgender Day of Remembrance, but we do. And the numbers are staggering, growing each year. Not because more trans people are being murdered now than ever before (though that may also be the case), but because more victims are being recognized and identified as transgender, and more of these crimes are being reported and recognized as crimes.

Identity

I have pretty much always identified as female. Cis-gender. I have never thought about anything else, really. I have never been aware that there are other options out there, much less considered them. But I’ve also been on the tomboy side of female, right from the get-go. I hung out with boys, I beat up boys, I followed boys into the bathroom and watched them pee. I really really wanted a penis, and I tried as hard as I could to grow one. I remember when I was little I’d sit in the passenger seat of the car as I went with one of my parents on an errand-running mission, and I would feel a certain friction between my legs or against my groin from the way I was sitting on the seat, the way the seatbelt fit or my pants were tugging, and imagine a penis growing between my legs.

Coming to terms with childlessness

I never wanted to be a mother when I was young. Seduced by the freedom I could have as a single woman, at varying levels of “being about to take care of myself” financially and psychologically, I pushed onward. When I was 19 and in college I had an abortion. The father was irresponsible and unemployed, and I wanted to graduate. I wanted to live an exciting, satisfying life and knew if I kept the child I would be doomed to poverty and single-mother-dom before I had even gotten started.

Shifting Identities

I have roughly four major identities. I am autistic. I am mentally ill. I am asexual. I am genderqueer. The first three identities, I have known about for a while. They’re concrete. My autism won’t go away tomorrow. Neither will my mental illness. I won’t suddenly wake up with the desire to fuck people. Yet, being genderqueer is different. I might go to bed agonizing over one identity, yet it’s gone in the morning, replaced by a different identity.

Bipolar mania and the high femme: Adventures in Sephora

I was bipolar for ten years, and while rifling through the sexual identity coatrack I found I was most comfortable as a bisexual femme. In the gay bars of 2002 this was the look that got me most often ignored or disregarded. A decade later in a different city, I amped the look up to high femme, in a sense queering it, by making the femininity into camp, a form of drag or masquerade. With a blonde bouffant, pencil skirt, purple lipstick and platform heels, I could not actually be serious about being sexy for the boys, I scared them.