re: some specific things I’m interested in hearing about from non-binary folks are:
- do you consider yourself transgender?
-what does transgender mean to you?
- what does it mean to you to identify as non-binary?
- why do you identify as non-binary?
- how do you express your gender?
- how do you think non-binary gender is represented in the media, and how do you feel about this?
- how is non-binary gender represented legally, and how do you feel about this?
and pretty much anything else you think is important to disclose re: your non-binary gender and your experiences as a person navigating the world as such
Posts tagged trans.
re: some specific things I’m interested in hearing about from non-binary folks are:
DEAR TUMBLR FRIENDS,
I am writing an essay about the representation of non-binary gender.
If you have any thoughts that you think would be important to include (especially DMAB folks, since I cannot fully comprehend that subject position as a DFAB person), please please please drop me a line and let me know.
There is a serious lack of discussion of non-binary gender in academia, and if this paper goes well, I would like to pursue getting it published. However, I need input from others so that I can communicate a variety of experiences of non-binary folks that are different than mine.
Please signal boost. <3:)
This post has been a long time coming.
TW: gender dysphoria, misgendering, trans*misogyny
The theatre department at my university is very small and intimate. Everyone knows each other, and we work very closely with one another. This semester, I’m doing sound for the mainstage prodution (!!!!!!!!!!), and will be spending every Saturday as well as literally ALL of my time for two weeks in March at the theatre. I get along really well with most of the people in the program, and although they all definitely think I’m a radical, obnoxious weirdo, I think I’m fairly well liked as well- if for no other reason than the fact that I have a solid work ethic.
I’ve gone to school with/worked on productions with these people for the last three years, yet I’ve never come out to them about my gender identity. They look at me, and they see a queer woman. I have cis passing privilege, which is awesome in a lot of ways, but it also means that I get midgendered- a lot. I try to tell myself it’s not a big deal. They’re not trying to be hateful, they’re just ignorant. If I told (most) of these folks that I’m genderqueer and prefer they/them pronouns, I don’t think many of them would understand what I was saying. I would have to explain it to them, answer their questions, correct their pronoun useage, answer questions about why I “look like a girl”.
It’s weird. Yesterday, I was in my theory of theatre class, and I answered a question about standpoints in relation to how theatre is a means of expressing cultural values, inscribed with privileges and the voices and stories of those who have been oppressed. As an example, I identified myself as a “white, queer person”. My professor seems really awesome. However, when we went on to elaborate on my point to the class (which he did a great job of!) he repeated my example, referring to me as a “white, queer…woman”. He paused, as though as he was saying it, he realized that I had not, in fact identified myself as a woman. However, when he looked at me, he saw a woman. That’s how they all see me.
Part of me doesn’t want to make a big thing of it it because
a) I don’t have the energy to explain to 100+ people about gender.
b) I’m a minor, not a major in the program, so I already feel a little excluded. I don’t want to have to deal with them thinking I’m even more of a weirdo than they already do.
c) Is it really my place, as a DFAB, cis-passing trans* person to make a big deal about this?
But it fucking hurts whenever someone refers to me as a lady, or a woman, or a girl. The pronouns aren’t a HUGE deal to me…I recognize that gender neutral pronouns aren’t a part of most peoples’ vocabularies, and it’s hard to get used to using them. It isn’t triggering for me when people use feminine pronouns, it’s just weird, because I’m not a she/her. When people use my preferred pronouns though- my heart fucking sings. I’m not a ladywomangirl. I’m a hard femme. I’m a person. I’m a grrrl, by my own definition. I’m a dude. I’m a slutrockerbitch. But that seems hard for people to comprehend.
Nina Arsenault is a Toronto based multi-disciplinary artist. She has worked in live performance, video art, photography, writing and popular national media to document her continuing physical and psychic transformations.
To finance her 60+ cosmetic procedures (approximately $200,000) Nina worked for over a decade in the sex business as an internet web cam girl, a prostitute, a stripper, and a mistress — all reputable professions to which she applied herself admirably.
She wrote short autobiographical stories of her adventures in plastic surgery, life in the flesh trade and of her romances with “tranny lovers” for Fab Magazine in a bi-weekly column she called Tgirl . She also starred in and produced an accompanying photo shoot with each piece of writing.
In the theatre, she starred in Sky Gilbert’s Ladylike at Hamilton’s Hammer Theatre (2007) and the Toronto Fringe Festival (2008). She also created two autobiographical one woman shows, The Silicone Diaries and I was Barbie, both directed by award winning theatre director Brendan Healy.
The Silicone Diaries chronicles her unreasonable and heroic quest for Beauty. These seven stories tell of her black market injections, a brief encounter with rocker Tommy Lee in a night club and the depth of her obsessions. They ultimately reveal her complex and metaphysical relationship to a manufactured substance, silicone. I was Barbie documents the ativan-flavoured evening she was hired to portray Mattel’s much loved plastic doll at her official 50th birthday party (where she served cupcakes). Between 2008 and 2012, both plays appeared across Canada in major cities to sold out theatres and consistent praise from established critics.
Nina’s photographic works, what she calls collaborative self-portraiture, (documentary imagery of her body at all stages of her metamorphosis as well as symbolic portraits) has been created with filmmaker/pornographer Bruce LaBruce, Governor General’s Award winning artist Istvan Kantor and exciting younger artists like Drasko Bogdanovic, Jordan Tannahill and Alejandro Santiago. These works have been shown at The National Gallery of Canada as the featured artist in a symposium called Beauty, Art and the Female Form. They have also been shown at major canadian and American universities, contemporary art journals around the world and numerous online art sites.
In 2007, Nina was chosen to receive the Unstoppable Award by the Pride Committee of Toronto and Toronto’s mayor, David Miller, for continuing to challenge and illuminate her community’s culturally constructed notions of sex and gender. In 2011, the Canadian Civil Liberties Association honoured Nina’s body of work with an Excellence in the Arts Award, acknowledging a profound contribution to human rights in Canada.
Nina is a frequent guest speaker at universities in the disciplines of theatre, visual art and gender/sexuality studies. She was also one of the key note speaker’s at Moses Znaimer’s conference of avant-garde thinkers and do-ers Ideacity 2010.
In 2012, Intellect Books published TRANS(per)FORMING Nina Arsenault: an Unreasonable Body of Work. Edited by Judith Rudakoff, this book contains the published Silicone Diaries script, a selection of Nina’s photographic pieces and lengthy analysis and interpretation of her work by a collection of international scholars, critics and artists.
Nina’s completed video art pieces include Plane of Immanence (with Jordan Tannahill), Oh Superstar (with Istvan Kantor) and The Break (with Alexis Mitchell and Fides Krucker). These pieces are currently playing at various Canadian short video festivals. Currently in development is Guadalajara, Mexico City (with Tannahill), The Shepherd and the Angel (with Kantor) and a long form video work called Ophelia/Machine (solo.)
At Summerworks 2012, Nina performed a durational experience of monasticism called 40 Days + 40 Nights: Working Towards a Spiritual Experience. To prepare for this piece she spent extended time in darkness, fasted and experimented with sleep deprivation. Then, she entered into a series of aesthetic rituals –prayer, meditation, rigorous exercise, story-telling, self-whipping and automatist drawings.
At the installation she premiered her new autobiographical story, The Ecstasy of Nina Arsenault, a surgical pilgrimage through a waking facelift.
Nina is also writing and creating a new performance piece, currently in development with dramaturg Judith Rudakoff and Buddies in Bad Times Artistic Director Brendan Healy. This new work seeks to “make real” a famous romanticized historical figure.
Nina’s has a pleasurable and spiritual connection to her work. She thrives in the exploration of new and profound ways of living her art practice. Her work has been called “profoundly moving,” “absolutely unforgettable,” “brutally honest,” “a spiritual gift” as well as “stunning and ruthless.”