Tag Archives: gender identity

Queer Things – Gay in America, Gender Fork, and Gender-Diverse Cultures

This critique of the book of photos “Gay in America” in light of its representations only of gay men is more broadly applicable to the LGBTTQQ2IAP community (for those wondering, all the letters stand for: Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transsexual, Transgendered, Queer, Questioning, Two-Spirited, Intersex, Asexual, and Pansexual – I may have lost track of the ‘correct’ order!).

Of course, even a book that highlighted both gay men and women would only represent a corner of the queer universe, which include peoples of varying gender and sexual identities that don’t necessarily fall into simple categories like male/female and gay/straight. “I don’t know that any project would ever feel completely representative,” Perez told me. But a little more transparency would be nice. “The title has an ambiguity. You expect to see yourself in there, and you’re not.”

Gender Fork is an excellent website that offers photos and profiles of people challenging the gender binary. Read up for interest, or get yourself included through one of their many options for participating. Here are some of the quotes  and questions they have posted from their readers.

Today, I bound my breasts for the first time since getting them over a year ago. It’s simultaneously the queerest and most feminine I have ever felt.

I use whatever bathroom I want, usually the one without a line.

OK, your sibling has a child. What relation are you to this child if you are neither their uncle nor their aunt?

The more I spend time with children, the more I realize that my maternal nature has nothing to do with my gender. I now know that I can still be someone’s mother without sacrificing my masculinity. I like that freedom.

This map is full of examples of ‘gender-diverse’ cultures and societies around the world which might give some insight into possibilities apart from the limited women/men options of our own society.

On nearly every continent, and for all of recorded history, thriving cultures have recognized, revered, and integrated more than two genders. Terms such as transgender and gay are strictly new constructs that assume three things: that there are only two sexes (male/female), as many as two sexualities (gay/straight), and only two genders (man/woman).

Janet Hardy in Edmonton

HIV Edmonton and the Alberta Public Interest Research Group are hosting the following workshops in March as part of the spring event series, “Alt Sex Ed: Things You Wanted to Learn in Sex Ed But Never Did.”

Alt Sex Ed invites you to their March keynote speaker: Janet Hardy.

Her LECTURE: MILLENIAL ETHICAL SLUTHOOD is this Wednesday at 7pm. She will also be hosting her WORKSHOP: LOVE BEYOND GENDER on Thursday.

The 5pm workshop is now full but she has generously offered to do a second session at 12pm on Thursday.

Please contact Jess at outreach@apirg.org to register!  Anyone who is currently registered in the 5pm workshop that wants to switch to the 12pm workshop may do so, but please contact Jess and let her know!

Janet W. Hardy is a mass of seeming contradictions: mother and slut, dominatrix and homebody, intellectual and showtune queen. The author or coauthor of ten groundbreaking books about relationships and sexuality, including The Ethical Slut (75,000 copies sold to date, with a second edition recently released by Ten Speed Press), Janet has traveled the world as a speaker and teacher on topics ranging from ethical multipartner relationships to erotic spanking and beyond. She has appeared in documentary films (Slut, Beyond Vanilla, Vice and Consent, BDSM: It’s Not What You Think), television shows (SexTV, The Dr. Susan Block Show), and more radio shows than she can count. Janet’s writing has appeared in publications as various as The Sondheim Review, Clamor, and EIDOS. Her essay “Ex” was a finalist in the Event and New Letters creative nonfiction contests, and her article “The Eater’s Guide to Food ” will appear in June in California Arts and Living. She often fantasizes about being handcuffed to Stephen Sondheim’s piano.

Janet Hardy Events:

Lecture: Millennial Ethical Sluthood
March 24, 7pm
TELUS 150, U of A Campus

Everyone from your favorite sex blogger to Newsweek magazine is now aware of polyamory as a relationship option, but few have examined the underpinnings of what actually makes poly work. Is polyamory just like monogamy, only with more people? What beliefs and models need to be rethought to bring poly into the realm of practicality and human growth? Come prepared to listen, talk, and do some deep thinking about why and how we develop and maintain our relationships.

Workshop: Love Beyond Gender
March 25, 5pm
Education 106, U of A Campus

Perhaps you know a lesbian who’s happily partnered with a man, or a transsexual whose sexual preference changed along with his gender identity, or someone who loves latex so much that she doesn’t care who’s inside it. In a world where “male” and “female” are our only options for gender, and “gay,” “bisexual” and “straight” our only options for orientation, such pairings don’t make much sense… but with a broader sense of gender and orientation, they do. Let’s talk about how such relationships might actually work, what factors draw us to one another and what factors keep us there. Please bring a notebook or pad and a writing instrument.

Note: This workshop has a cap on the number of participants. Please register with Jess Warren to attend! Email her at outreach@apirg.org to do so.


And finally…

Film Screening and Workshop: Red Without Blue followed by a GenderQueering Workshop for all! with Tam Gorzalka and Alix Kemp March 31st, 5:30pm Education Building Room 115, U of A Campus
About the film:

RED WITHOUT BLUE is an artistic and groundbreaking portrayal of gender, identity, and the unswerving bond of twinship despite transformation.

An honest portrayal of a family in turmoil, RWB follows a pair of identical twins as one transitions from male to female. Captured over a period of three years, the film documents the twins and their parents, examining the Farley’s struggle to redefine their family.

The twins’ early lives were quintessentially all-American: picture-perfect holidays, supportive parents who cheered them on every step of the way. By the time they were 14, their parents had divorced, they had come out as gay, and a joint suicide attempt precipitated a forced separation of Mark and Alex for two and half years.

Through candid and extensive interviews with the twins and their family, RED WITHOUT BLUE recounts these troubled times, interweaving the twins’ difficult past with their efforts to find themselves in the present. The film follows the painful steps of Clair’s transition, including electrolysis and the difficult decision to proceed with bottom surgery.

Through its portrayal of these articulate and independent twins, each haunted by the painful experiences of their adolescence, the film questions normative standards of gender and identity – as Mark and Clair reassert their indescribable bond as identical twins.

Through the power of the Farleys’ voices, we hear the story of a family’s redemption from a dark past, and ultimately, its revival to the present.

For more info please contact Jess at outreach@apirg.org!
… Programming continues into April! Stay tuned for more info on upcoming workshops from APIRG.