June 1st, 2006

New thoughts on labels and transitioning

What am I?

I could say, I don't believe in gender or sexuality... but to some people their gender and sexuality catogory is very important to them and for validating their identity. For example being a woman.. or being a lesbian or being transgendered or even calling yourself something quite fluid like 'genderqueer'... I have recently said in a journal entry that I believe labels are tools to aid us to describe who we are.. what we have been through... etc etc, I'm no longer sure if this is the case...

My friend D talks about the voice a lot, shes the singer of my band, she says the voice is something which is constructed out of a 'scitzophrenic arrangement of a million floating I's', I think what she means by this is a voice can project millions of identities as we absorb identity from everything we touch/experience and a lot of which we don't, we learn it through history, books, film, imagination etc, a lot of which we absorb and all we absorb becomes part of our voice... and also conflicts with itself... it contains identities that seem opposing, or seem unconnected, or seem like they cannot exist in one voice.. like a simple example would be it containing strength and weakness, evil and good, real and dellusional...etc etc.... we can have the voice of a predator and of prey... prisoner and a prison guard...

I think this is the same with our 'personality'.. which I think, for the purpose of this article, is a better word than identity because the problem with identity is that identity is the system of describing ourselves.. personality IS ourselves... and by that I don't mean like some core being... I mean the constantly changing.. conflicting with itself.. chaos self.. the problem with identity is as soon as it is stated it restricts because it can only ever use the labels and words we are given... and it often only exists also as one word.. like woman, gay, lesbian.. and the one word, or I, has many meanings, descriptions, no matter how you try and make them mean what you want them to mean they still mean different things to different people and probably don't describe you very well.

So I believe our personalities are also a schizophrenic arrangement of a million (and by a millions I don't mean the number I mean an unthinkable amount an undefinate amount) 'floating I's', we are not one person, we are lots of people (and animals, probably plants too!) people we have met, seen, heard, read or even just imagined... we are little fragments of all of this.. all of which are constantly moving, fading and shining and growing.. feeding of each other...conflicting... kllling parts off and then them parts becoming tiny memories and then disappearing and then maybe coming back as ghosts and then taking over us again...or maybe not...how it changes is different from person to person.

So when it comes to gender/race/sexuality/Class etc it is difficult because this is identity, this isn't ourselves... it is how we describe ourselves because of our color, who we sleep with, whats between our legs, our economic background, how we feel, what we desire, but identity is also important because it is how we have been catogorised and has determined which way we have been oppressed.. this is the conflicting problem... its important because of how we are catogorised.

The identity given to me at birth because of my cunt, or more likely, my lack of penis, is 'woman'... The identity given to me by the people who don't know me on the street probably ranges from 'Dyke' to 'Adolescent Boy' to 'White skinhead thug' to 'Trendy art student' or possibly 'Transgendered person'.... The identities I have given myself secretly and outwardly over the years range from Boy....Butch....Masculine female....inbetween....???....Dominant....submissive....faggot....straight boy.....dyke.....BiSexual.....Feminine woman......Stone Butch.....Genderqueer.....Transgendered....man......Girl...... As much as I might say I feel male and have always felt male... and by the way, I am not lying when I say that..... I have definately felt 'male'...BUT.... I still don't know what it feels like to *be* a man? I don't know what a man *is* really?... I have definately felt my cock.... I definately fantasised about physically being male, I have definately felt a very male 'energy' flow through me when I fuck people, but how much of that is just playing roles I've seen and heard?...how much of that is fetish? how much of the whole of me is roles or fetish?

I do *know*, however, that I have never fantasised about being physically female...but then again I have felt a lot of things people *assocciate* with being female, i.e I have felt nurturing, submissive, passive, protective, bitchy, objectified... I have also felt a lot of things associated with being male...aggressive, dominant, active, ignorant, violent, insensitive, logical, practical, powerful etc....but I think everyone has.... haven't they?.. thats what I mean when I say we are made up of millions of I's, we are often all those things, and sometimes we are those things at the same time...

I cannot separate myself from the identity I was given at birth.. it has a lot to answer for... I cannot I separate myself from the identity people give me now, even if I feel it is wrong... I know how I *prefer* people to see me (at least most of the time)... I know how, when people see me like that, I feel good, sexy etc... I know that when I see myself like that I feel good... but I also know that it is not all I am... and sometimes is not who I am at all!... but it is as much me as anything else and it is what I like.

But would I be happier if we did not have to label ourselves with words and we could just explain with our bodies and sounds and music what we are, where we have been and what we desire... can't I say with my eyes who I fancy... and how I want to fuck with my kisses (or my lack of kisses)?.. but we live in a world of systems of symbols and words, a system that assumes I am a certain way because of my tits and so I have to fight back with my clothes and my labels... and when the world fights me with words and symbols I need to fight back with them too... but when we get over that then its time to use the eyes and kisses instead... or maybe we can use both.


Inclusion of Diversity in Trans and/or Queer radio (and other media broadcasting...)

Hi all,
I am co-facilitating a workshop on intersecting oppressions of QWoC in radio (or general public media broadcasting) work. I'd like to hear the voices and opinions of those who work in these fields as this may pertain to you. The survey is in two parts. This email has survey-part A is for those who host an ethno-centric or specific culture-targetting media program (e.g. A radio show for a local Pakistani community). Part B is for transgender and/or queer-culture centred shows - it will be featured in another email.
If you get around to filling this out before June 5th 2006 (1 week!) - I will be eternally grateful. I thank you for your time!
peace, M.
The following survey will be used as partial basis for content to provide a workshop for the National Campus and Community Radio Conference’s Women’s in Radio Conference in Ottawa in June of 2006. No names will be mentioned and anecdotes will not be identifiable if used as an example. If you choose to share this information with us, and not the workshop attendees, please let us know of your request.
Please fill out this survey and email it back to agitate_ottawa@yahoo.ca.
Survey B – Trans and/or Queer-friendly shows (radio, television, internet, etc.)