January 26th, 2005

bucket with foot

This bothers me.

I used to look a certain way that made other people identify me as femme. Two days ago I cut my hair very very short. My faggy bi trans boifriend now has no problem with calling me boi, when she never did when I had long hair. I always wanted her to, on occassion, but she always called me girl. Nothing has changed about me except my supershort haircut. I always told her that my spirit is both. I'm a girl, but I can be a boi too. And if she was going to call me girl, she should call me boi too. She didn't seem to grasp that I guess. I asked her this morning if she would still call me boi if I grow my hair back. She said, "Only if you inspire me." I guess all the inspiration she needed was a short haircut. I despise that so much of queer gender sexuality is based upon appearance. I despise that she's old and wise and a wonderful loving partner of 2 years and is still caught up in that. I despise that something as stupid as a hairstyle gets in the way of her fluidity in viewing me. I haven't changed anything. And yet, now all of a sudden I can be rewarded with 'boi' just because the protein on my head is shorn at a shorter length. THoughts?

A conundrum - cross-posted with my journal

I have a dilemma and am looking for informed opinions. It's relevance to postqueer is debatable, but I thought it was worth a shot.

I'm applying for grad school and have to submit some writing samples from my undergrad years. I'm in the middle of editing a paper I wrote in the 1990s on the photographer Robert Mapplethorpe's Black Book, which was controversial for it's explicit and arguably racist depiction of Black gay men. A friend suggested to me that I should be using the term African American now in all academic writing.

At the time I used the term black (not capitalized) throughout the paper as this was the terminology all my sources used - Kobena Mercer, Isaac Julien, bell hooks, Essex Hemphill, Thelma Johnson, etc. However - they are all black and I am white. What is the best current terminology to use in an academic paper?