Despite having only the scantiest notion of what Reddit is or what it’s for, I have been asked to signal boost the following — just a second — *quick glance* “subreddit,” as I understand it’s called, so I will cheerfully do so: http://www.reddit.com/r/MaleFemme .

Enjoy!

Here’s another way I diverge from the standard femme guy narrative (if there is such a thing): I’ve never had an urge to wear women’s clothes. (Not even with Eddie Izzard’s caveat: “They’re not women’s clothes; I bought them; they’re mine.”) I’ve always felt slightly uneasy about this fact: surely, as a femme boy, at some point I would feel some sort of draw towards them. But I can’t say I have.

Actually, that’s not quite true. I have felt a fascination with women’s clothes as such — just not on me. I’m a bit of a costume drama queen (“If there is a petticoat and Helena Bonham Carter, I can feel the tears well up in my eyes…” – Margaret Cho) and love looking at big fancy dresses, the more outlandish the better. I also love drag shows — again, the more over the top costume-wise, the better.

Read the rest of this entry »

Hey Montreal folks, check this one out! Happening Friday and Saturday, January 20-21.

Beyond Visibility: Femme Day of Action in Montreal will be a series of events for queer folks on a self-identified femme/inine spectrum to come together in conversation, coalition, and celebration of *all* the parts of ourselves and our many communities. We aim to illuminate the cultural, political and artistic work of all participating individuals and groups; to create and hold space to ally with and learn from each other; and discuss ways to align organizing to ensure that femme communities grow as generative, intersectional sites of gender justice. We are organizing in solidarity with the events that are happening as part of the Femme Week of Action (January 15-21). Read the rest of this entry »

I’m up to my adorable fedora in finals right now, so I hereby open up a call for submissions for anyone who wants to guest post here (our first!) regarding Christie Blatchford’s asinine, homophobic (but she loves gays! Really! She just hates “feys”), femme-hating screed in the National Post (little boys hugging is the end of masculinity and therefore civilization! next week: kittens playing with yarn and why they enrage me so!), which I won’t link to but which I’m sure you can find.

Comment here if you’re ready to read her beads!

Thought I’d share with you this rocking original song by sassy femme boy delisubthefemmecub! It’s getting rave reviews on Tumblr.

 

I’m a boot-wearin femme and a glitter-packin bear and I’m
just the kind of man that’ll make you stare cause my
wit is vicious and my cookin is delicious and I’m
not even sorry that you’re missin out on all of this cause
you couldn’t handle this, I’m too hot for your britches and I
know I blow your mind just by existin and I
devour your little binaries like it was nothing
gimme more I’m still hungry and

I, I, I, I spy you with your scientist eyes all
trying to pin me down but I’m
too big for your boxes too mythical for your books and I
hear your dirty looks and I see your whispers sayin
these hips too wide and this voice too high for a guy
try me, test me, go ahead and keep on talkin shit if you wanna see an angry fuckin
fairy

From a beloved friend of this blog:

I spent about 15 minutes putting on makeup after my shower this morning. Because I’ve been sick for over two months, some of which was spent only able to get from bed to chair and most of which which was spent not being able to walk further than the pharmacy on the corner, because I felt grotty and tired, because I have a turquoise t-shirt with a squid on it and that is awesome, because I need a haircut SO BADLY, because I spent time last night sorting out all my makeup and how it’s stored, because I wanted to.

And I was scared, going out. I always am. On the “being a bloke wearing makeup” front, and because of the possibility that it’d get me misread as female. [...] It felt like with one eye I could see what I wanted to see, and with the other all I could see was acne scars and prednisone rash and double chin and out-of-control hair and so on. Too old and pudgy to be the pretty-androgynous-boy-in-makeup, too short and ambiguous (and pudgy) to be the unquestionably-male-bearded-dude-in-makeup.

I felt sick and anxious.  But fuck it, I needed my Red Bull.  Do not get between me and caffeine.  And I also felt happy at the same time, because I like playing with shiny things, pretty colours, changing my appearance.  I like, finally, after a lifetime of hate and ambiguity towards it, wearing makeup.

And my squid shirt was pretty rad.

So I went out.

Read the rest: ManUp MakeupAnd sometimes, people surprise you

When someone with the authority of a teacher, say, describes the world and you are not in it, there is a moment of psychic disequilibrium, as if you looked into a mirror and saw nothing.

– Adrienne Rich

This is relevant to my current situation.

I think my biggest problem is being young and beautiful. It’s my biggest problem because I’ve never been young and beautiful. Oh, I’ve been beautiful, and God knows I’ve been young, but never the twain have met.
— Arnold (Harvey Fierstein), Torch Song Trilogy

I suppose the other big thing that’s happening in my life is that I’m about to turn thirty. It’s funny — in a community that privileges youth and beauty so much, I feel very good about turning thirty.

In comparison, I was scared shitless of turning 25 — I felt my shelf life was expiring, that I was never going to find a boyfriend, etc., etc. Read the rest of this entry »

since the last time I got it together to post. I do apologize for this. However, one part of the journey has been learning that, despite my trying to deny it for many years, browbeating myself to do ‘better,’ and desperately hoping for some kind of medical solution, I’ve simply got lower energy than other people — whatever the cause may be — and can’t always accomplish everything I set out to do. Especially since my life has been much busier than heretofore over the last month or so. And this is okay.

I’ve started a new academic career, in a field related to gender and sexual orientation. Much to my chagrin, many of the professors are coming at it from a place of a huge amount of unexamined straight and cis privilege and centrism, that really keeps them from perceiving a big part of their field.

It’s very frustrating. Read the rest of this entry »

A bunch of stuff has happened lately, but before I move onto the next thing, I just want to say how staggered and aghast I am at the attacks in Norway. [TW: Violence, racism]

Read the rest of this entry »

Historically, one of the first lines of attack for what we could term the liberal gay and lesbian movement in combating prejudice in the mainstream was targeting stereotypes in the media. And one of the most vigorously and consistently attacked stereotypes was the presentation of queer men as effeminate.

Those of us around at that time will remember the disgust directed at Jack from Will and Grace. Before him there was Jody of Soap, Harvey Fierstein and Scott Capurro’s characters in Mrs. Doubtfire, and Robin Williams and Nathan Lane’s characters in The Birdcage. Conversely, any gay character who isn’t femme is lauded for breaking stereotypes (as if masculinity weren’t itself a stereotype of men).

The reductio ad absurdum came when the boys of Queer Eye for the Straight Guy were accused of incarnating gay stereotypes. One of them in particular (I forget which one) reacted with irritation, because he wasn’t asked to portray any stereotype at all, but was simply being himself. Read the rest of this entry »

Here is a very provocative article about the unspeakable treatment reserved for Pte. Breanna Manning at the hands of the US government and her abandonment by mainstream LGBT organizations, from a perspective of class-, sexual orientation-, gender-, and gender presentation-based oppression. Much worth the read.

[Update: Edited to correct gender pronouns and name. Note that the article originally linked to does not use the correct pronouns and name. See also this excellent article. f.g.]

Trigger warning for suicide and for gender-based familial and psychologist-inflicted violence and abuse behind the cut — this one is pretty grim.

This is the tragic and infuriating story of a young man who was subjected to mental and physical abuse by his parents, at the behest of a “therapist,” because he was unmasculine. The therapist used him as a data point supposedly validating his “therapy” for “unwanted” gender presentation and the gayness with which he linked it. Despite growing into a superficially successful adult, he was never able to heal from the trauma this had caused and took his own life at age 38. His sister and brother are left to pick up the pieces.

Read the rest of this entry »

SO.

tory majority.
ndp official opposition.
tory majority.
ndp sweeps quebec.
tory majority.
Jack Layton in Stornoway. three new gay MPs and any number of new women MPs, MPs of colour, and young MPs.
tory majority.
I voted for a winning candidate for the first time in my life and now I have an NDP member of Parliament.
tory majority.

*brain go splody*

ANYWAY. Here’s something about the foofaraw over the magazine that had male-assigned genderqueer model Andrej Pejic bare-chested on their cover. Some bookstores decided that, what with the hair and the makeup, he looked a little bit too much like a nekkid laydee, and since laydees’ bosoms are obscene and scary, his must be too, and ordered the issue put in a concealing bag. In addition to pointing out how frantic some people get over gender presentation, it also illustrates neatly how ridiculous our society is over breasts and related issues. Interesting read.

But I have a really good excuse: I’m volunteering for the federal election campaign. Voting day is May 2, then give me a little while to decompress, and I’ll be back with you!

http://qlit.blogspot.com/2011/03/call-for-submissions-feminine-voices-on.html :

This project will be from the perspective of queer and trans* feminine folk and focus on sexism against our expressions of femininity. We invite contributions from all self-defined trans* and queer femininities, including trans*women, femmes, genderqueers, and queer ciswomen and -men with a feminine gender expression, no matter if part or full-time feminine.

Hmm.

Blaine and I totally love football. Well, Blaine loves football. I love scarves.
— Kurt Hummel, Glee

Today is the 20th anniversary of the release of Mylène Farmer‘s greatest hit, her anthemic single “Désenchantée.” I’m guessing that a lot of my readers won’t know her music, especially in more Anglophone areas, but she’s sort of the Francophone Madonna: one of the hugest gay icons around the time I was coming out, both in France and Quebec (she is French but was born while her parents were living in Montreal), and like Madonna with much of her fame spurred by her iconic and envelope-pushing videos. (Interestingly, like my other musical idols the Pet Shop Boys, despite not being especially popular in North America her career has endured and she is still a huge hit in Europe.)

I associate her music and this song in particular with 1998 and 1999 and 2000, at the height of her fame (her 1999 Mylenium tour was one of the highest grossing for any non-Anglophone artist) the time I first started meeting other queer kids and going to clubs, when playing “Désenchantée” meant madness on the floor, especially at Ciel! Mon Mardi at Sky which was one of the best nights of clubbing ever (it was before they renovated and while Mado Lamotte was still emceeing). I felt such joy at connecting, finding a place in this great motion; anything was possible.

And it didn’t hurt either that to me the song was an awesome anthem for the age I was and the activism I was getting involved in, or that she bends gender like all-get-out in the videos.

[Trigger warning: scenes of violence, including some apparently directed at a character due to gender presentation.]

And even more so than that were the lyrics to “Sans contrefaçon”:

Tout seul dans mon placard, les yeux cernés de noir
À l’abri des regards je defie le hasard
Dans ce monde qui n’a ni queue ni tête, je ne fais qu’à ma tête
Un mouchoir au creux du pantalon, je suis Chevalier d’Éon

Puisqu’il faut choisir, à mots doux je peux le dire
Sans contrefaçon je suis un garçon
Et pour un empire, je ne veux me dévêtir
Puisque sans contrefaçon je suis un garçon

Anyway, any of her music always brings me right back to that time, the wonder and tremulousness and intensity of my late adolescence and the beginning of my adult life, and especially “Désenchantée.”

So it looks like there’s just been a fight on the fuckyeahfemmes community on Tumblr, that I walked in on late via somebody else’s tumblog, so I can guarantee you that what I have to say won’t take the whole discussion into account because I wasn’t there and still am not entirely certain whether or not to capitalize Tumblr let alone how to use it.

It seems that a quote referring to femmes as girls angered some of the trans men in the community, and led to a discussion of transphobia in the femme community, as well as — and this is where it involves me directly — a discussion of variously male-identified folks who identify as femme, and whether that is okay.

As I say, since I didn’t see the whole discussion, this isn’t meant as a recap of the specific incident in question, but more about the whole matter of people who aren’t women or female-identified, in my case men, identifying as femme, as that was called into question. So I guess it’s time for me to finally organize how I feel on the subject, an article that has been coming for some time.

Read the rest of this entry »

This is signal boosting for a friend who is currently filing a lawsuit against the Quebec Department of Civil Status for wanting him to be sterilized in order to access a legal change of gender. Check out his website here.

He writes:

I am a transsexual man who has been wrangling with the Registrar of Civil Status of Quebec over my legal sex designation for the past few months. There are many serious problems with this department, including arbitrary/inconsistent decisions due to bureaucrats interpreting articles 71 and 58 of the Quebec Civil Code however they want – therefore getting to decide what consists an appropriate sex change for trans- people, getting to decide whether to add a first name to a birth certificate instead of granting an actual change of name to trans people, general ignorance about trans issues and surgeries, unwillingness to dialogue with the community and medical professionals, hostile attitudes towards trans people from some bureaucrats, long wait times, barriers for non-citizens, and more. It’s a serious nightmare.

I have undergone a bilateral mastectomy, am on hormones and have paperwork attesting that I meet the criteria for GID – I submitted all of that info to the department. I was initially refused a sex change on the grounds of not having undergone phalloplasty. I contested this in writing because it has already been established that they cannot ask it as a prerequisite. They then revised their decision to state that I could not be granted a sex change because I had not undergone a total hysterectomy – as I type this, it is mandatory for trans people to be surgically sterile to be granted a change of sex in Quebec.

I am now going to court to challenge the constitutionality of the Civil Code article that dictates what conditions must be met to access a change of sex. While this legislation makes no difference to the Registrar of Civil Status, it hurts untold numbers of transsexual and transgendered Quebec citizens, forcing us to live as second class citizens and exposing us to great discrimination and violence. This legislation that makes surgical sterilization mandatory (it doesn’t take into account that some transsexual and transgendered do not wish, or are not able to undergo such surgeries) in order for us to be granted basic rights is literally a policy of eugenics – this is not hyperbole – and has no place in a province that values freedom and equality.

It is necessary that compulsory sterilization be abolished in order to comply with the Canada and Quebec Charters and to insure that trans people are granted their full citizenship. This is an unprecedented opportunity for Quebec to amend its Civil Code to ensure that it doesn’t contradict itself by protecting against unwanted medical treatment while simultaneously enforcing compulsory surgical treatment against a segment of the population.

This comes on the heels of the protest in Montreal last June calling for an overhaul of civil status rules as they apply to trans people.

As you can imagine, Elias is facing major legal costs as a result of this court battle, which if successful will make life easier for trans and gender-variant people throughout Quebec. Please, donate whatever you can (Paypal and credit card link) — even a few bucks will help. If you are gainfully employed, please consider giving more, as many trans and gender-variant people are perpetually underemployed and dealing with severe poverty, due to systemic discrimination of exactly this kind, and won’t be able to afford as much. And please spread the word in your networks.

My friends and loved ones and I thank you!

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