December 2017
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what my appearance means (hint: not gender) / fuck you, queer dress code.


Despite constant assumptions, I am not femme or butch or "feminine" or "masculine" or "not-feminine" or "not-masculine" and I find being categorized like that to be infuriating. I'm genderfree: don't assign me a gender especially not via my self-covering/decoration. Don't assume I'm "presenting" a gender just because you associate something about my appearance with gender markers. My bright colors mean I like fucking bright colors okay. My skirt means I like air around my legs and crotch. My bra means I don't like my nipples to brush up against things unless I'm being sexual. My cleavage-y sleeveless shirt means I get overheated if there is too much fabric on my top half. My jewelry means I love glass and color and wearing art that I make. My makeup means I love color and painting myself. My tennis shoes mean that I like cushion under my feet and a sturdy base with less chance of twisting my ankle. My mismatched socks mean that I dislike fashion rules. My body hair means the same thing my skin and bones mean -- I'm a human being. My haircut means I like air on my scalp and the ability to braid/clip/twist/pull my hair. My unsquished unsculpted body means I'm fat and I like it. My glittergoatee means that I like glitter and I think a goatee belongs on my face. NONE of my appearance is about gender.

And while I'm at it, I'm sick of the fetishistic privileging of masculinity in queer culture. The 'androgynous' uniform I usually see is just an outfit that doesn't contain 'femme' elements except maybe a TINY bit more cling and accessory than average 'masculine' attire. We've moved from centering gender-conformity to centering 'masculine'-conformity; not an improvement. Now there is even less variety. DOWN WITH QUEER DRESS CODE.

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Comments
anrui_ichido ══╣╠══
ladywind ══╣moonbathing╠══
Preach. It. Happy thumbs all over this post.
ukta ══╣╠══
Truth!

Love it. <3
ravensong ══╣Love: Cloud Heart╠══
Very well said I love this entire post <3
verviana ══╣╠══
HELL YEAH!
blimeyzawn1 ══╣╠══
Aww...It's been awhile since I've checked out your livejournal, and then I come back to find this awesome gift of a post. You have explicitly articulated what I've struggled to explain for so long, and I really appreciate that.

Since you're making the effort to get out there and share your experiences, I'll go ahead and share mine:

My appearance doesn't jive with stereotypical notions of what an anti-gender, pro-human right feminist should look like. I love pink and glitter and dresses and flowers and gloriously flowing clothing. In mainstream communities, I find that this means I'm automatically treated as stupid (because, of course, anything not explicitly masculine must be). In feminist and similar communities, I find I'm treated as some sort of traitor to the cause because I'm not wearing the oh-so-boring androgynous white button down and tie that all of my female-identified friends are wearing. I've felt for a long time that the problem here wasn't me, but had nagging doubts that perhaps it was. I've found myself wearing jeans (which I hate because they constrict my crotch) and t-shirts (which I hate because they constrict my larger-than-average breasts) and no make-up (which I hate because I love, love, LOVE painting myself) to social justice events just so that I don't feel like an outsider.

And the end result of this attempt to not be an outsider is that I'm betraying myself just to appear like I'm not somehow betraying the cause. Now I have a way to explain it: expecting only female-identified people to "cover" their gender is the same old bullshit masculine orientation that we all want to get rid of. And while it's true that most little girls are socialized to love pink and makeup and etc., it's equally true that most people are socialized to believe that masculine gender presentations are superior. The now-adult little girls who still love pink and who refuse to wear it are just accepting more of the same bullshit.

I'm wearing my vintage bubblegum pink dress, all the glitter I can manage and my super-comfy tennis shoes to the next social justice event I attend. I'll be much more comfortable, even if people do give me funny looks. And I have you to thank :-)
on communication, social justice, intimacy, consent, friendship & other relationships, spirituality, gender, queerness, & dreams. Expect to find curse words, nudity, (occasionally explicit) talk of sex, and angry ranting, but NEVER slurs or sexually violent language. I use TW when I am aware of the need and on request.
Expect to find curse words, nudity, (occasionally explicit) talk of sex, and angry ranting, but NEVER slurs or sexually violent language. I use TW when I am aware of the need and on request.