As a trans woman, not many things give me a headache the way the entire concept of passing does. Passing is the idea that if a trans woman (or any person who is presenting as a woman) looks, dresses and acts a certain way, people won’t be able to tell they are anything other than a completely “normal” woman. If you look at online trans communities or forums, you’ll find tons of tips on how to pass better – everything from hair removal tips to workouts to how to walk and sit more femininely.
All of this presupposes that there is only one right way to look like and be a woman. And it’s infuriating. On the one hand, whenever I go out in public or post pictures online, a part of me is deathly afraid that I’ll be insulted or worse. I desperately want to be accepted as the woman I am. On the other hand, I hate that in order to feel safe, I’m expected to fit into the very narrow box that is labeled “woman.” Tips on how to pass always seem to say that you should avoid building muscle mass and avoid wearing clothes and makeup that are too costumey, that you should try to hide your shoulders and soften your features. Trans women are often told that if we want to pass, we have to try our hardest to be petite, soft, have just the right amount of femininity, and not stand out too much. But what if I want to be a different kind of woman? What if I want to look like Grace Jones or Kate Moennig? What if I want to look like Beth Ditto or Dolly Parton? They’re all cis women; don’t they pass?
Not Iambic….Do Not Accept…
These tags I’ll pop, and boast in rhyming verse
that what I wear puts swagger in my gait;
though twenty shillings have I in my purse,
my self-esteem and manhood both inflate
when lofty furs I purchase for a cent.
Thy grandpa’s clothes are worthy salvage, though
they smell a trifle musty. Still, I spent
much less to dress myself from head to toe.
To save or not to save? The question’s moot.
I’ll never give my coin to high-street crooks.
These dusty shelves will yield their hidden loot
to those, like me, more frugal in their looks.
Like ancient coins washed up on distant shores,
I’ll find my treasures in these thrifty stores.
- Macklemore, “Thrift Shoppe”
*Crying with laughter*
ITS IN IAMBIC PENTAMETER. THIS IS MY NEW FAVORITE THING.
Too fantastic not to reblog. Especially if you love Shakespeare. -H
Are we not going to mention the fact that it’s in a perfect Elizabethan sonnet form? I think Mr. LeMore would be pleased.
what course is this
the title is “sexual histories: western sexualities from medieval to modern times”
it’s really fun and interesting most of the time but once in a while one of the lecturers is gross or students make really poorly-informed comments (i should probably note that the quiz is for fun/ironic being that our readings are arguing between sex-positivity and medicalizing unusual libidos)
also there’s a significant minority of people taking this course who are queer/trans*/abuse survivors who probably feel like they could have used warning before joining the course about how frank the discussion is and how… impersonal the discussion of things that are inherently personal to us can be (like today’s lecture was a video about kinsey that casually talked about his study of child sexuality that involved interviewing serial child abusers and wow i could have used some kind of warning because i did not see that coming at all)
in this tutorial we are taking a quiz to see if we’re sex addicts
good lord i must be one of those ‘problem students’
to those of my followers at the university of auckland
student disability services is actually really useful if you’re like me and can spend a week avoiding talking to a lecturer about something vital or generally months behind work or something because of anxiety/on-and-off sight issues/ etc, they’ll help you get that sorted as much as they can and be an intermediary
the lady i contacted (the japanese one) is pretty cool and professional and generally really sympathetic and they only talk about university stuff so there’s no having to talk excessively about emotions, they’re not gonna pry unless you volunteer it
and the interface to book a proper talk-about-your-feelings counselling appointment is quite nice (you can request a counsellor of a particular race/gender or a queer one) and impersonal being an online form so it gets a lot of it out of the way without having to Deal With People which is so, so important
but we’ll see what the actual counselling is like and i’ll keep you posted
i feel like i’ve become a magnet for all the metaphorical lepers of my church by being visibly on the margins of acceptability and sometimes it’s heartbreaking
it ranges from the queer kids who’ve been beaten or disowned by their parents (christians! elders, sometimes!) or the young women who aren’t virgins through to the agnostic ones who love the community and the atmosphere too much to leave (or in one case has to stay, because her foster family are in leadership and extremely fundamentalist)
and we’re not even a big church, or a church whose leadership is anything short of dedicated and well-meaning so the fact that i’ve found myself being impromptu, extremely covert shelter for a flock of teenagers who are rape survivors or closeted/homeless/battered queer people or just plain feminist/pro-lgbt/pro-choice/mentally ill/non-neurotypical/poor and being actively manipulated by people in positions of power in the church because that’s unacceptable (more people than just me have been taken out of church for ‘personal counselling’ which turns out to be more pressuring than helping, more teenagers than me have been told prayer and faith is the answer to mental illnesses they clearly can’t handle) is kind of horrifying
the church today cannot honestly tell me it has not become a mirror of the very pharisees jesus challenged, worshipping rules and laws which will maintain the social status quo rather than spreading anything worth considering ‘good news’
not when implicit in its social structure is silencing those among it who don’t fit the mold and cannot leave.