July 6th, 2003

sexy lulu part deux
  • noog

Obligatory intro post

All right, all right. Now that not only one, but two people from my friends list have posted their introductory... um, posts... to this journal, I suppose it's my turn. Read on, if you are so inclined.

My name is Adrienne, and I am a 20-year-old college student/aspiring professional nerd (my major is gender studies) from the northwestern United States. I've been lurking around on this community for some time now, but have not posted yet because until recently, I have not had any free time to really spend on LiveJournal. I have been fascinated with the discussions, though, and now that I've introduced myself I hope to participate much more in the (respectful, finally!) debates in this community.

Ever since I realized I wasn't exactly the straightest board in the lumber yard, so to speak, I've had a strong love-hate relationship with identity and subculture politics. When I first realized that I was attracted to a girl (being myself a woman-type person), I struggled to find a label that I felt fit my identity. At the time, I felt very strongly attracted to women and only women, but in my past I had experienced strong attractions to men, and I didn't want to claim I was a lesbian because doing so would have seemed like committing an act of violence against my past. It would have felt like betraying myself-- betraying the feelings I had experienced in the past in order to create a reductive, linear narrative which explained why I "had" to be this way and could not be attracted any other way. To this day I am fascinated with this subject-- the way some queer people create narratives for themselves that explain why they are the way they are, and why they could not be any other way.

Anyway, the long and short of this is that I spent quite a few years saying, "I'm bisexual! No... I'm a lesbian! No... I'm pansexual! No... that's not right either!" etc., etc. At the same time, life kept on throwing me these curves that further problematized the way I viewed my identity. For example, if your lesbian lover decides halfway through your relationship that she wants to be a man, how does that change your attraction to her/him, and what does that say about your sexuality? If you're attracted to men, but only to queer men, is there a label for that? What if the genders you're attracted to change depending on your mood and the context in which you meet a person? What if you don't want to construct your sexuality around the genders of the people who attract you? And what about the issue of choice in sexuality-- can one choose to be queer, and is it really necessary to create an explanation of sexuality that implicates genes and makes attraction an inherent trait?

In the end, I just got sick of sexual identity politics and decided I would just rather pursue whoever the hell I want to without worrying what those pursuits make me. I'm a fiercely independent person, and while I recognize that who I am is tied up in the way I interact with others, I dislike the idea that I am who I am with. This is especially true given the way my culture seems to prize romantic/sexual relationships over all others. If you want to judge me by any type of relationship, judge me by my friendships. They are more important and formative to me than my sexual relationships.

Um... what else? I'm currently interested in gender and accompanying aesthetics, an interest brought on by the fact that I seem to be slowly transitioning from an androgynous conception of myself to full-on femme. This brings up a lot of questions for me, given that the queer subculture in my region of the country seems to be dichotomizing into femmes and transmen. I wonder sometimes if I'm going femme because I really want to, because I enjoy playing with my appearance in a certain way, or if I'm just trying to recreate myself in a way that will make me intelligible and acceptable in a certain subculture.

Also, I just got back to the States from Japan a week ago, having looked a bit into lesbian culture in Tokyo, which sparks in me an interest in how queer people in different cultures/countries construct their identities. I'm also starting work on my undergrad thesis this summer, which is about anime fanfiction communities centering around same-sex couple pairings. I'm interested in how young queer people create community and make sense of their lives through the stories they write, and also in the problematic ways in which they imagine "Japan" through the medium of anime.

Um... yeah. So that's me, in all my rambling, narcissistic glory. Carry on. =)
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    Aimee Mann - Ray

intro post

i had this conversation in my journal with epilady yesterday in which i said i wished there were more communities with intelligent/respectful/friendly members, and she said "so why aren't you hanging out over at postqueer?" ... so here i am.

introduction: my name's nine, i'm 25, i'm from northern ireland and i live in scotland, where i work at a sex work project. in terms of how i identify (sexuality/gender-wise), it depends on who i'm talking to. it's normally simplest to go with "bi", although ultimately i'm not that keen on the word due to its reinforcement of the binary gender system blah blah blah (you know the drill). but i still speak up for it a lot because the alternative most people will allow me would be to assume i'm either straight or lesbian. in real life, i prefer "queer". and to really break it down, i've discovered that my main attraction is to people who are either feminine or androgynous in some way.

as for gender, i know that i'm not trans, but you know what? i really, really wish i could just morph between genders. unfortunately, i'm still looking for the right words to express my feelings on this stuff. i eagerly bought the book "genderqueer" but found that i didn't personally relate to much of it. maybe some of that's to do with the fact that i'm obviously female on the outside and the genderqueerness is just in my head? i've got as far as working out that growing up i related to boys more than girls, and some of this still applies, in the sense that i still don't "get" the mainstream hyperfeminine hetero thing that everyone seemed to want me to fit into. not that i'm butch, though. i'm really not into binary options ...

so, um, yeah. let's bear in mind that all of the above may change over time as i figure out how to better articulate it, yeah? anyway, it's lovely to be here.

(oh, and i'm also trying to figure out things to do with the contradictions of my (northern) irish background and how it fits in with the rest of the world, and also maybe something to do with being non-american on the usa-centric internet. ya know?)