Archive for the Category »Musings: Queerness «
Cross-posted on The Femme’s Guide here.
Femme–an identity that has caused controversy, celebration and ridicule–is now the topic of a two-volume set from Homofactus Press and editor Jennifer Clare Burke titled Visible: A Femmethology. Femmethology calls the LGBTQI community on its own prejudice and celebrates the diversity of individual femmes. Award-winning authors, spoken-word artists, and totally new voices come together to challenge conventional ideas of how disability, class, nationality, race, aesthetics, sexual orientation, gender identity and body type intersect with each contributor’s concrete notion of femmedom. - from femmethology.com
This month of April marks something I’ve been waiting for quite some time: the Femmethology virtual blog tour! Today is lucky enough to be my day, and so I’m sharing some of my feelings and insights related to the Femmethology. Visit Daphne Gottlieb tomorrow for her day, and all the sites at the bottom of the post on their days.
First, a little about the Femmethology:
Visible: A Femmethology
Femmethology is essential—a roadmap of Femme Nation, an index, an anthropology, a manifesto, and a googleology. – Dorothy Allison
Visible: a Femmethology is a two-volume anthology of essays revolving around femme identity.
I’ve been discovering and embracing my multigendered identity lately, but in that multigendered identity there is a solidly femme identity as well, which these books helped me remember.
Not that I had forgotten my femme identity, I just had been focusing more consciously on my fagette identity than my femme because it was new and in a way easier to focus on because it’s more visible (though only slightly). The identities in no way are opposites, they are complimentary, but they are also different. Reading through the Femmethology in a way re-connected me with my femme identity.
The biggest benefit of the Femmethology, in my opinion, is that it helps remind us that we are not alone as femmes. While some of us have many femme friends and a wonderful support system the rest of us do not and we have to navigate the world without much reassurance and reminders that there are so many of us out there feeling the same things. This is one of the reasons I started The Femme’s Guide in the first place, to emphasize that there are many of us out there, and while we’re all different we are also all the same.
I was moved many times throughout the two volumes. There were authors I knew well or moderately well, from various avenues such as Sinclair Sexsmith, Sassafras Lowrey, and Tara Hardy. There were many other authors that I didn’t know anything about, but I was able to get to know something about them through their stories.
Many stories touched me to the core, rocked me, and left me dazed and contemplating my own stories and my own identities.
I feel that Visible: A Femmethology is not just a book or anthology meant to be read, though it certainly is that as well, it’s also a look into each of these femme’s lives and voices, an adventure into different types of femme-ininity and different experiences that all somehow are similar because of this identity we all embrace and inhabit. It shows the vastness of femme while also showing what unites us.
It screamed “you are not alone” to me right when I needed it.
From the Introduction to the anthology: “Femme means I won’t compromise on complexity. … Above all, my femme is not your femme, which is the good news. … Femme means my sexuality, my partner choices, my definitions and my gender presentation might not match your labels.”
You can order Volume 1 and Volume 2 through the fabulous Homofactus Press.
You can also hear Sinclair Sexsmith reading his Love Letter to Femmes!
Check out the blogs below on the associated dates to learn more about the Femmethology volumes:
4/1. Sugarbutch Chronicles
4/2. Ellie Lumpesse
4/4. CyDy Blog
4/6. Catalina Loves
4/7. cross-post: The Femme’s Guide and Femme Fagette
4/8. Daphne Gottlieb
4/9. Bilerico Project
4/10. Screaming Lemur: Femme-inism and Other Things
4/13. The Femme Hinterland
4/14. Bochinche Bilingüe: Borderlands Writing and The Vagina Adventures
4/15. Dorothy Surrenders
4/16. Miss Avarice Speaks Her Mind
4/17. The Femme Show
4/19. Sexuality Happens
4/20. Queer Fat Femme
4/21. Sublimefemme Unbound
4/22. Tina-cious.com and Jess I Am (butch-femme couple day!)
4/24. The Lesbian Lifestyle
4/25. Femme Fluff
4/26. Weldable Cookies
4/27. The Verbosery
4/28. A Consuming Desire and Creative Xicana
Working Title: Sexual Ability: Embracing the Intersection of Sexuality and (dis)Ability
Editor: Shanna Katz, M.Ed, Human Sexuality Education, Widener University
Contact: [email protected]
Submission Deadline: March 31, 2009
Even as we approach the end of the first decade of the 21st century, there is still a large gap in people’s minds when they think about sexuality as it relates to people who are disabled, whether cognitively or physically. While some studies have been performed regarding the potential for differently-abled people to lead satisfying sexual lives, in which satisfying seems to center around the ability to orgasm, very little has been written about the experiences involving the sexualities and experiences of people who identify as handicapped/disabled/differently-abled, as well as their partners.
People of all ability levels are sexual beings. Sex is hard enough to navigate and negotiate when one fits in with society’s notions of what a sexual being is, but once you add in the concept of ability, it can become quite challenge. This anthology, Sexual Ability, seeks to bring forward the stories, challenges and experiences of differently-abled people and their partners, putting a face on the trials that so many valuable members of our society must face. By sharing the experiences of the disabled community in relation to sexuality, Sexual Ability hopes to challenge people’s viewpoints, foster discussion and conversation, and open doors towards a shift in the social constructions surrounding sexuality and disability.
Essay submissions should be well thought out, and written in a scholarly manner. Acceptable submissions can be in the form of short research papers, non-fictional accounts of personal experience(s), discussions on issues regarding sexuality and disability, etc. Fictional pieces/erotica will NOT be considered. Each author may submit a total of two (2) essays for consideration.
Some topics that authors might consider (but are certainly not limited to) include;
- Coming out to a new partner and facilitating the “disability discussion”
- Reclaiming words surrounding sexuality and disability, such as “crip,” “handicapped,” etc.
- Issues within the medical community; talking with doctors about being sexually active when you’re differently-abled.
- Having to create new sex techniques, positions, conversations, or having to re-define the traditional definitions of sex, etc.
- Disabled and queer, disabled and of color, disabled and religious; reconciling multiple identities alongside sexuality.
- Re-conceiving your sexuality after loss of previous abilities, either solo or with a partner.
- Ability and kink; negotiating within the BDSM community when differently-abled.
- Sexuality and ability through out different cultural experiences.
- Portrayal of disabled people in the media (film, TV, art, advertisements, etc) and the connection to sexuality.
- Disability rights; the fight for them, and how they affect sexuality amongst the disabled community.
- Birth control/contraception; getting it, using it, adapting it, as well as pregnancy/adoption/abortion.
- Creating your identity as a disabled person who is a sexual being; how did it evolve, and what was your journey.
- Any other subjects you feel cover the topic of sexuality and (dis)ability.
By March 31, 2009, please send:
- Your 2,000 – 6,000 word submission, as a word document attachment. It should be titled as such: SubmissionTitleAuthorName.doc (example: SexualAbility.ShannaKatz.Doc). Submissions must be received in 12 point Times New Roman font and sent in via Word documents (other files and cut/pasted text will not be accepted).
- Your complete contact information, including legal name, pen name (if you have one), phone number, email, address, and website (if you have one).
- A 50-100 word biography about yourself.
Please submit the above to: [email protected] with the subject line of “Sexual Ability – Submission.” Submissions will be read and reviewed as received, but decisions will be made final by July 2009. Please note that accepted submissions will be approved on a tentative basis, pending editorial board approval once the anthology has secured a publisher.
Questions can be directed to Shanna Katz at [email protected] or please visit the Sexual Ability MySpace page at www. myspace. com/sexualability.
Please distribute widely. Feel free to post on blogs, websites, social networking sites, listserves, etc.
A note: I would not dare to define what disabled/handicapped/differently-abled meant to anyone. Please do not ask me if your disability counts; if you or your partner identify as such, then I welcome your submission to this anthology.Possibly related posts:
Though I did write about the election, I have been meaning to talk about Proposition 8 in California. I attended the rally to protest the LDS church’s involvement in Prop 8 here in Salt Lake City last Friday, we met up by the LDS Temple and marched around it. I do believe that this has been a great catalyst for the queer rights movement lately, and I also think that marriage is just one small aspect of what we need to be focusing on, but having one goal to rally around does help organize a movement.
I saw this last night, as I have become an avid watcher of Keith Olbermann and Rachel Maddow (conveniently on right after another) in the last few months, originally because of the election but now I seem to have become a bit of a liberal political media junkie (not hugely, but a little). This has been popping up all over today, and it’s something that touched me strongly enough that I would like to share with you. He makes some of the best, strongest, and most organized points against Prop 8 that I’ve seen on TV, because it is a personal rights issue and a love issue not a religious issue.
Transcript of his thoughts below found here.
Finally tonight as promised, a Special Comment on the passage, last week, of Proposition Eight in California, which rescinded the right of same-sex couples to marry, and tilted the balance on this issue, from coast to coast.
Some parameters, as preface. This isn’t about yelling, and this isn’t about politics, and this isn’t really just about Prop-8. And I don’t have a personal investment in this: I’m not gay, I had to strain to think of one member of even my very extended family who is, I have no personal stories of close friends or colleagues fighting the prejudice that still pervades their lives.
And yet to me this vote is horrible. Horrible. Because this isn’t about yelling, and this isn’t about politics. This is about the human heart, and if that sounds corny, so be it.
If you voted for this Proposition or support those who did or the sentiment they expressed, I have some questions, because, truly, I do not understand. Why does this matter to you? What is it to you? In a time of impermanence and fly-by-night relationships, these people over here want the same chance at permanence and happiness that is your option. They don’t want to deny you yours. They don’t want to take anything away from you. They want what you want—a chance to be a little less alone in the world.
Only now you are saying to them—no. You can’t have it on these terms. Maybe something similar. If they behave. If they don’t cause too much trouble. You’ll even give them all the same legal rights—even as you’re taking away the legal right, which they already had. A world around them, still anchored in love and marriage, and you are saying, no, you can’t marry. What if somebody passed a law that said you couldn’t marry?
I keep hearing this term “re-defining” marriage. If this country hadn’t re-defined marriage, black people still couldn’t marry white people. Sixteen states had laws on the books which made that illegal in 1967. 1967.
The parents of the President-Elect of the United States couldn’t have married in nearly one third of the states of the country their son grew up to lead. But it’s worse than that. If this country had not “re-defined” marriage, some black people still couldn’t marry black people. It is one of the most overlooked and cruelest parts of our sad story of slavery. Marriages were not legally recognized, if the people were slaves. Since slaves were property, they could not legally be husband and wife, or mother and child. Their marriage vows were different: not “Until Death, Do You Part,” but “Until Death or Distance, Do You Part.” Marriages among slaves were not legally recognized.
You know, just like marriages today in California are not legally recognized, if the people are gay.
And uncountable in our history are the number of men and women, forced by society into marrying the opposite sex, in sham marriages, or marriages of convenience, or just marriages of not knowing, centuries of men and women who have lived their lives in shame and unhappiness, and who have, through a lie to themselves or others, broken countless other lives, of spouses and children, all because we said a man couldn’t marry another man, or a woman couldn’t marry another woman. The sanctity of marriage.
How many marriages like that have there been and how on earth do they increase the “sanctity” of marriage rather than render the term, meaningless?
What is this, to you? Nobody is asking you to embrace their expression of love. But don’t you, as human beings, have to embrace… that love? The world is barren enough.
It is stacked against love, and against hope, and against those very few and precious emotions that enable us to go forward. Your marriage only stands a 50-50 chance of lasting, no matter how much you feel and how hard you work.
And here are people overjoyed at the prospect of just that chance, and that work, just for the hope of having that feeling. With so much hate in the world, with so much meaningless division, and people pitted against people for no good reason, this is what your religion tells you to do? With your experience of life and this world and all its sadnesses, this is what your conscience tells you to do?
With your knowledge that life, with endless vigor, seems to tilt the playing field on which we all live, in favor of unhappiness and hate… this is what your heart tells you to do? You want to sanctify marriage? You want to honor your God and the universal love you believe he represents? Then Spread happiness—this tiny, symbolic, semantical grain of happiness—share it with all those who seek it. Quote me anything from your religious leader or book of choice telling you to stand against this. And then tell me how you can believe both that statement and another statement, another one which reads only “do unto others as you would have them do unto you.”
You are asked now, by your country, and perhaps by your creator, to stand on one side or another. You are asked now to stand, not on a question of politics, not on a question of religion, not on a question of gay or straight. You are asked now to stand, on a question of love. All you need do is stand, and let the tiny ember of love meet its own fate.
You don’t have to help it, you don’t have it applaud it, you don’t have to fight for it. Just don’t put it out. Just don’t extinguish it. Because while it may at first look like that love is between two people you don’t know and you don’t understand and maybe you don’t even want to know. It is, in fact, the ember of your love, for your fellow person just because this is the only world we have. And the other guy counts, too.
This is the second time in ten days I find myself concluding by turning to, of all things, the closing plea for mercy by Clarence Darrow in a murder trial.
But what he said, fits what is really at the heart of this:
“I was reading last night of the aspiration of the old Persian poet, Omar-Khayyam,” he told the judge. It appealed to me as the highest that I can vision. I wish it was in my heart, and I wish it was in the hearts of all: So I be written in the Book of Love; I do not care about that Book above. Erase my name, or write it as you will, So I be written in the Book of Love.Possibly related posts:
Found via Sinclair. When I read this my inner Psychologist was purring at the thought of it. I knew there must be conferences like this, but I had not heard of them definitively until now. Needless to say, I desperately desire to attend, and I’m trying to figure out how I’m going to do that.
QUEER BODIES IN PSYCHOTHERAPY CONFERENCE
www.ciis.edu/publicprograms for more information.
Queer Bodies in Psychotherapy calls attention to queer sexualities, identities, and practices that are inadequately addressed in both psychodynamic and somatic psychologies.
The Queer Bodies in Psychotherapy Conference is an opportunity for LGBTQI and straight therapists, queer theorists, somatic therapists and practitioners, members of various queer communities, scholars, activists, and educators to surface questions, develop theories, share case examples, and explore best practices in this emerging field. The Somatic Psychology Department at CIIS and The Center for the Study of the Body in Psychotherapy are organizing this conference as part of our ongoing commitment to exploring issues of embodied difference, marginalization, and the sociocultural understandings of somatic formation.
October 17 – 19, 2008
1231 Market Street, San Francisco, CA
$225 for full weekend
$25 for Tim Miller Event (if not attending conference)
Alzak Amlani, PhD
Matthew Bronson, PhD
Richard Buggs, PhD
Randy Connor, PhD
William F. Cornell, MA, TSTA
Dossie Easton, MFT
Karen Erlichman, MSS, LCSW
Zachariah Finley, MA, MFTI
Connie Hills, PhD
SJ Kahn, MFT
Kristin Kali, LM, CPM
Betsy Kassoff, PhD
Keiko Lane, MA, MFT
Janet Linder, LCSW
Connors McConville, MDiv, MA, MFTI
Elena Moser, LCSW
Rev. Trinity A. Ordona, PhD
Vernon A. Rosario, PhD, MD
Shoshana Simons, PhD
Steven Tierney, MA, EdD
Dylan Vade, PhD, JD
Center For Nonviolent Education and Parenting
Community United Against Violence
Jewish Mosaic: The National Center for
Gender and Sexual Diversity
Maia Midwifery and Preconception Services
New Leaf: Services For Our Community
The Psychotherapy Institute
Women’s Therapy Center
Visit us on the Web!
Go to www.ciis.edu/publicprograms or call (415) 575-6175 to register
Found here at Queers United
Inspired by a right-wing blog I read that was advocating for their readers to request “ex-gay” books for their local libraries I decided to post a reverse entry.
Your local library is about serving the community, they want to carry books and videos that their residents want.
They have a suggestion box or email form, why not go ahead and list some good queer political books, coming out resource guides, and queer history books to be added to the shelves?
In addition to requesting new books, make sure to take out the existing books on queer culture so that the libraries do not discontinue these books.
Many libraries have been forced to place LGBTQ books on high shelves due to community outcry, making it harder or virtually impossible for people to have access to them. Speak to the head librarian and demand that the books are visible and available for those who want them.
It seems like a wonderful idea to me, and I’ve checked the Salt Lake City Library for some authors and titles, and was pleasantly surprised at some of the things they have there, though not too surprised as SLC itself is pretty liberal and queer friendly. Best would be going to the library in one of the surrounding extremely conservative cities and doing this, and I’m placing it on my to do list.
I’ve had a somewhat sexless weekend despite it being our anniversary weekend, we just keep doing things other until we’re too tired to fuck. We did buy a fur flogger last night, which is “impact caressing” as Dominus dubbed it. I love it so much, plus it means I’ll get to flog him! I’m a fan. More later.Possibly related posts:
“Braaaaaaaaains… I mean, peeeeniiiissssssssssss…”
How could I resist posting the clip from a gay zombie movie as found here on Queerty. When someone combines two of my favorite things and makes them just this hilarious, there’s no way I’m passing up posting about it.
This spoof trailer could easily be viewed in one of two ways: as social commentary on the idiocy of being scared of homosexuals as if we carry the plague or some other sort of disease (like zombie disease), poking fun at the stupidity of people who think that way; or it could be a reproduction of that fear. There is no real indication on their website that I can see, or on the YouTube info, but given that it’s comedy and obviously supposed to be a parody or spoof of a real zombie movie, which have been theorized to all be cautionary tales of becoming the “other” in society, I’d say it’s either meant to be a social commentary, or simply a happy accident.
I think it’s hilarious, and brilliant.Possibly related posts:
By Athens Boys Choir, “a gender-deviant, multi-media, spoken word/hip-hop extravaganza.” Found via Ellie Lumpesse and Feministing. I absolutely love it, and so even though many of you will have seen this already, I’m still reposting it for those of you who may not be reading Ellie (though you should be).
Pansexual is one of the identities I embrace, usually pan or omnisexual when I don’t want to get into my definition of intellisexual or my use of the word queer. I’m all about multiple identities that mean the same thing with slight differences.
It also features Team Gina who I’ve posted a video by before, AND who I am going to go see tonight! I’m so super excited about that. Go watch ButchFemme and Rock The Like by Team Gina on YouTube, or go to their myspace page and listen to some of their other songs. I love them. So excited!Possibly related posts:
I’ve been trying to keep relatively out of election politics thus far, but I feel these deserve repeating. Obama’s and McCain’s positions on queerness.
First, McCain. Found here via Queers United. “A video by Stonewall Democrats showcasing John McCain’s anti-LGBT voting record.” Are you really surprised?
Second, Obama. Found here via Queerty. “Some excited voter – or crazed fan – has collected Obama’s greatest same-sex hits into a meaty nine-minute video.” It made me tear up. This is a change we can believe in.Possibly related posts: