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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!

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

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.]

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.

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!

Okay, okay, I know I said no more Pagan stuff for a little while, but I absolutely have to signal-boost a post by a very dear friend in response to the PantheaCon trans fail, not least because it was slightly inspired by something I posted, but mostly because it is made of pure concentrated win:

In Our Own Image: towards a transcentric Paganism. Not safe for work or cissexist assholes.

I demand transcentric imagery, gods and goddess with the wide variety of trans bodies, trans genitals, trans selves. I demand a Horned God with hairy breasts and the new Year sleeping in his swelling womb. I demand Artemis, wild and free, with a penis. And some pagans think that’s blasphemy.

Fuck. That. Noise.

Our bodies are sacred too. We, too, are God, are Goddess.

For all those queer Pagans who have been reading my solstice series with fixated fascination, you really must listen to this recording of the Gay Paganism circle at PantheaCon, which just wrapped up in San José, California. There’s way too much fascinating stuff in there to summarize, but a lot of it expands greatly on some of the things I had hinted at in my post and other writings on my faith.

Click to listen: Walking it Out: Gay Paganism's Second Wave

ETA: But I can’t let this go without mentioning the transphobic fail that I’ve read reports of at PantheaCon. Linky linky linky loo.

I don’t want to talk too much about Dianic Witchcraft, not being a woman, but the folks in these blogs do a more than adequate job of calling out the problems with that rite (and having it in a public space), as well as the appallingly vulgar transphobic comments by (the person who signed themself as) renowned Witch Z. Budapest in the first link. (It’s important to note that Z. Budapest was not involved with the ritual.) Read the comments and have a drink each time you see someone contrasting “transwomen” [sic] with “women” while pretending that’s not what they’re doing.

As for me, I’m still learning about the place in my life that the Masculine Divine has. But, after having suffered a near miss a few years back, I’m prepared to say that at this stage of my life I would definitely not feel comfortable participating in any Men’s Mystery (including Queer Men’s Mysteries) that men who are trans would not be welcome at. It would dishonour a very significant share of the men in my life, and, in the words of a well-known Witch, I can’t be having with that sort of thing.

Further ETA: THIS IS EXACTLY WHAT I MEANT, and it’s remarkably consonant with what I wrote a few weeks ago about the Masculine Divine before I heard about any of this stuff.

That’s not to say Magical Trans Women Are Here for Cis Lady Enlightenment, merely that their experiences are every bit as important to what constitutes Being a Woman in every possible sense, and that all women can learn from that. Goddammit, Women’s Mysteries means exploring all the mysteries of womanhood, be it cis or trans, butch or femme, queer or het, white or PoC, young or old, working lady or SAHM, childfree or mama of 5 bad assed kids, and all the awesome gray areas in between all of these labels. Because women are all these things, you assgoblins! Fuck, this is not rocket science. Trans women’s experiences are important to me as a cis woman because even though I don’t live them, they’re just as much a part of the mystery of womanhood as my own experiences. By denying my trans sisters, I’d be denying a piece of myself.


For all the rest of you who are just sick to death of the religious hoohaa and wish I would just get back to writing about femme boys already, don’t worry, this is the last for a while! (I think.) I have a few ideas saved up for subsequent posts, but what would you be interested in seeing me address?

Last night at 1:15 a.m. I was awakened by my downstairs neighbour, who brought to my attention that my hot water heater had vomited all over his kitchen. Apparently, hot water heaters die like supervillains: splashily, explosively, and with a maximum of structural damage. All it failed to do is shriek, “No! It cannot be! I AM INVINCIBLE!!!

The water’s now back on, but to go along with my generally unpleasant mood, fabulous B.C. blogger Kaitlin Burnett takes on a truly hideous Dockers ad. The tagline? “It’s time to wear the pants.” No, it’s not ironic. Sexism, homophobia, transphobia, effemimania, it comes complete with all you see here:

And that’s not the only one: they go on. And on. Ye gods and little fishes. At any rate, read what she has to say about it.

1) Miscellaneous blog fact: today someone found my blog using the search term “effeminate man long hair -jesus -christ”. I find this inexplicably charming.

2) Miscellaneous vlog command: please give this vlogger lots of traffic for having linked to me under the heading “blog of awesome.” Thank you. Here is one of the entries from this vlog, containing a lovely shout out to my article The joy of the windsor knot:

From Greta Christina at Alternet:

5 Stupid, Unfair and Sexist Things Expected of Men
5 [more] 5 Things Society Unfairly Expects of Men

In particular, I’ve been looking at our society’s expectations of men, our very definitions of maleness. I’ve been looking at how rigid and narrow many of these expectations are, creating a razor-thin window of acceptable manly behavior that you’d have to be a professional tightrope walker to navigate. (Which would be a problem, since “professional tightrope walker” is definitely outside the parameters of acceptable manliness.) I’ve been looking at how so many of these expectations are not only rigid, but totally contradictory, creating a vision of idealized manhood that’s not just ridiculous but literally unattainable.

While I cogitate about the next post, here is a list of some intrinsically marvellous conflicting desires, asserted by a dandy. I would like to be this person.

Dandy! – watch more funny videos

I keep finding out that things I didn’t know were gendered actually are.

A long time ago I went out to buy a wristwatch. I just needed a cheap digital wristwatch for a project I was involved in, so I got one of those little grey Casio numbers you all remember. It looked completely like any other digital watch, as far as I could see. Anyway, when I got it home, I discovered to my surprise that it was supposedly a “women’s watch.” How? There was nothing overtly feminine or masculine about it in any way. It was simply a digital watch. I suppose what this meant was that the band was a fraction of an inch thinner than its counterpart, but I am convinced literally nobody would have been able to tell that I was wearing a “woman’s” watch unless they looked at the packaging.

Another variant of this was a product from my childhood: Dreambuilders, “the building set just for girls.” As far as I could tell, the major difference between them and Lego was that they were pink. Nobody could ever explain what was wrong with Lego; as far as I was concerned, as long as you stayed away from the overtly martial stuff (and even there it was hard to take a laser death ray galactic warship staffed by little guys with perfectly circular lemon yellow heads and snap-on pants very seriously) , it was the most androgynous toy in existence short of a cardboard box, because you could build whatever you wanted with it. But apparently they decided it was imperative that we gender a one-inch Danish plastic block, and Dreambuilders was born.

Anyway, along the same lines, we now have Butch Bakery: Cupcakes for Men. I thought if there was one thing the genders could agree on, it was cake, but no. *sigh*

fabulousness of the week: A Toronto flamer dances through Eaton Centre on a grey spring day, to Robyn’s “Fembot.” Enjoy!

By the way, if you’re in Canada, check this out. NDP MP Bill Siksay has a bill coming up in Parliament to add gender identity and expression to the Canadian Human Rights Act and the Criminal Code provisions on hate crimes. The website has lots of suggestions about how you can get involved and help the bill get passed.

Here’s an interesting article from afterelton.com. It’s nice to see a sympathetic article in a mainstream gay source.

Why can’t you just butch up?

The lovely ladies of Audio Smut on CKUT 90.3 FM had me and two gorgeous and talented femme women on their show last night. You can get it on mp3 here.

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