Sir F. Chook, Inventor of Leopard Oil

Likeness captured upon a daguerrotype machine in Japan, July 1891


Wherein the Author reflects upon certain topical & personal issues of the Day.

Gender, and Some Thoughts upon It – A Guest Post by Melanthios

Penned upon the 6th of September, 2011

This post was authored by Melanthios, a friend and past contributor of FrillyShirt.

I am transgendered.

I also love my body, and I love everyone else’s body, and I think that part of challenging the gender binary and part of eradicating sexism and genderism is to love your body, and to not assume that teats, hips, vulvas, phalli, testes, voices, hair or any other thing is a ‘marker’ or a ‘gender’–whatever your gender is, then the body you have? That’s an example of a body of that gender, because it’s your body and you are the gender you feel you are. Period.

It is about realising that this fictional construct called ‘alignment’ is just a fetish like any other. There is no such thing as gay, or straight, or bi. There is no such thing, because how the hell do you know whether that boy has a vulva or a cock, how do you know? Why would you presume to know, why would it even matter what someone had, because that does not dictate what gender they are. You know what does? They do. They tell you what gender they are, not the other way around, pally–so how can you sit there and tell me you’re only attracted to men, when that statement is so arbitrary? Own up to whether you mean you have a fetish for phalli or whether you actually mean people who identify as male. There’s a distinct difference, my friend, and honestly if you need X genitalia to get off, I have news for you: that’s the definition of a fetish.

And that is totally fine, by the way, I’m just arguing for the sake of clarity for those of us who do not live in a binary world, who do not live binary lives, and who are part of that ‘T’ in ‘LGBT’. You know the one, right? The one that gets ignored a lot? Yeah, that ‘T’ means ‘fuck the binary’. That ‘T’ means ‘re-examine your ideas of gender, because OH HAI I EXIST WHAT NOW?’. That ‘T’ is part of our glorious rainbow, and renders the other letters rather confusing in retrospect.

Why do we even still use terms so stuck in the mire of the binary kyriarchy, anyway? Why are we even still sitting here telling people that in order to be accepted they must hate their bodies, must demonise parts of their bodies, must want to rip, maim, and tear out perfectly lovely and beautiful things? How can we advocate such cruelty, such self-harm, when we turn around and say that self-harm is such a terrible thing that must be stopped? My god, what a terrible mixed message to send people, vulnerable people, who need acceptance. What a message to send, to tell them they must hate themselves, reject whole portions of themselves because others cannot get over their narrow little views and accept. Isn’t acceptance the whole point?

I try and let others tell me their gender. It’s difficult in a society so mired in the idea that gender is not up to the individual but to everyone looking at the individual, but it is the pinnacle to which I aspire. And I respect when people wish to modify themselves, but I hope, truly, that they are not doing it out of self-loathing. I hope it is out of the same attitude that one finds when a pair of shoes is comfortable and becoming but not one’s own style; or perhaps the attitude that other body modifiers have, that it is an artistic choice. But I despair that so many people called ‘experts’ advocate self-loathing, and hatred of one’s body. I despair that this is accepted as the norm among transfolk; it isn’t right and it isn’t fair. What other group is told this is healthy? What other group is legislated into this? What sane person can hate emself and still have any hope of happiness?

I long for a day when it would not matter if I had large breasts or no breasts, if I sang soprano or baritone, for my gender would be mine to define, and my pronouns never questioned nor challenged, for who is anyone to know better than I?

I just needed to say this into the void of the internet. I feel like it needed to be said.

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