Sunday, October 19, 2008

Day Two - Oct 19:

It's amazing today how much the permission to be male has allowed me to express my feminine side. My longing for "male privilege" is less about abandoning a feminist ideal for the sake of gaining a power over others, than it is a deep desire to be seen as the self I would like to self identify as. It is a consciousness to avoid the stereotypes of gender and to be be outwardly intentional about my expression.

This is of course one of the ways that my gender queerness, my sense of being simultaneously dual gendered, departs from the experience and expression of my transsexual kin. I never grew up thinking that my body ought to look physically male, rather that I want to be seen that way "as is."

So it should be noted, that I am not working to "pass" or living "stealth" ... To the contrary, I am living on the streets these 7 days one step on the other side of gender queerness.

Before I was a masculine woman. Today I am an effeminate boy (I cleary don't bear the physical marks of male puberty.

I'm currently sitting in the waiting room to see if I will get a shelter bed. I had to change my gender in the computers twice in order to do so. Two workers were amazingly supportive. One even told me I could be any gender I want any night I want. Another worker started calling me "her" each time she talked to me.

In honesty, it is hard to know if I am getting a glimpse at the gender awareness of the San Francisco shelter system, or if this will serve more as a glimpse into the spaces of gender bias in myself that I have yet to explore. I imagine I'll find both.

I've already begun to notice that I fear physical violence from men more than women and that I expect men to be aggressive. I wonder how much of the talk about ganitalia that people are having with me is about the sexualization of trans folk or just a difference in the amount of sexualized conversations men have. Or, probably also my training that as a female born person, that men aren't allowed to have those conversations with me, despite the fact that those assumptions and negative comments are made about men all the time without comment.

I should say that I'm not trying to recreate any one trans experience. My goal is to learn more about myself, the gender spectrum and poverty in San Francisco.

So, tonight as I see my observations and wait for word of shelter to get out of the cold, I pray to the God(dess) that lives in the questions. That swirling chaos of wind that blows life into bones.

1 comment:

Vicki said...
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