My Gender

When I’m thinking about topics that are complicated, or when I need to make my thoughts on an issue more concrete, I make a file on my flash drive about the topic. My gender identity has been a topic of particular frustration to me this last week, so what follows is the text of the file containing all my current thoughts on gender expression and identity, especially my own.

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On Labels

The LGBT community has a lot of labels for a lot of different things. The term “LGBT” and all the words that make up that acronym are labels in and of themselves. But beyond the general, the lesbian community has lots of little labels. Butch (hard, soft, stone), femme (high, low, stone), top, bottom. Chapstick lesbian, lipstick lesbian, futch. Andro-dyke, tomboi, grrrl. Baby dyke, baby butch.

As you probably know, there’s plenty of labels for gender, too. Cismale, cisfemale, FTM, MTF, genderqueer, androgyne, neutrois, FTF, MTM, trans, third gendered, nonbinary, girlfag, guydyke. Transmasculine, transfeminine, agendered, bigendered, polygendered. For some, butch and femme are labels of gender identity, not just labels of behaviors or expression.

The point is, there are a lot of labels out there. And all this labelling can get a little controversial. There are those who say we shouldn’t label ourselves or others, and just be what we are. There are others who think labels can be useful; can help us understand ourselves better. Labels can be things we apply to ourselves, or they can be applied to us by others.
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Continuation of an Open Thread on BDSM, from Shakesville

From the original thread.

[Trigger warning.]

This is an open thread for discussion of consensual BDSM (bondage & discipline, dominance & subsmission, sadism & masochism), opened so that the general open thread would not be difficult to navigate for survivors who are triggered by discussions of BDSM.

Please be very respectful in this thread; even though there is a trigger warning governing the thread generally, not everyone who practices BDSM is comfortable with all its aspects, and internal trigger warnings should be used where appropriate.

Please also note this is a thread that will difficult for me (and some other mods) to moderate, and it will simply be shut down if the discussion does not remain respectful and requires a level of moderation that cannot be accommodated.

I’m the lone moderator here, so I’d like to second the request that everyone remain respectful, use trigger warnings where appropriate, etc. (It hasn’t seemed to be a problem so far, but it’s certainly worth mentioning again.)

(The original thread was closed before I got input one way or the other as to if people wanted me to open a thread, so I figured I’d go ahead, and if no one posts, I’ll just delete it later in my embarrassment. If I’m making a mistake here, it’s my bad.)

First personal post…

Some of this is covered on the About Me page of this site, but that feels a little like a list of things about me, where this post will be more narrative in style.

I’m Dani. I’m a newly self-accepting sixteen-year-old butch queer who lives in the South. To give background on where I’m coming from, I was raised in a very conservative Christian home, and cut my political teeth on Rush Limbaugh and Ann Coulter. (I know. I know.) So I am relatively new to progressivism. I currently judge my success by how frequently I piss my Sunday School teacher off.

I attend a Southern Baptist church at the insistance of my parents. Some of what I write will be about being queer or non-gender normative in a conservative religious environment. (I’m not out to my church, at the request of my parents. But darn it all if some of them can’t tell I’m a little different anyways!) I am somewhat religious myself, and am looking for a liberal Quaker church to attend when I go to college.

The “newly self-accepting” thing is no joke. Only in the last year have I come to accept my sexuality, and only in the past six months have I become comfortable expressing my gender in the way that best suits me. I’ve cut my hair, bought new clothes, and had the fascinating experience of getting “sir”ed on a regular basis. Though closeted against my wishes, I now refuse to lie about anything relating to my sexuality. It’s new, and it’s a learning process for me. I’ll probably be talking about that learning process some here.

I like gender theory, sexuality studies, and women’s studies. I will probably talk about these things. I’m interested in youth rights and the legal trappings of age in general. I may talk about anything else that happens in my life or the news that I think is relevant to this blog’s interests. Or just about random things that strike my fancy.

Always looking for ideas for topics, as well.

LJ Update

LiveJournal has decided not to take the mandatory-gender statement part of the code push live. It’s not happening. This is a good thing, so thanks to everyone who sent them feedback.

H/T, once again, to Synecdochic at Dreamwidth.

LiveJournal’s Genderfail

The major social networking site LiveJournal, has developed a pattern of instituting policies that alienate large portions of its userbase. Usually, the reasoning behind these policies is that they will increase ad revenue. But the recent news that LJ will require all new users to specify their gender as either male or female seems to be a bit of a stretch to me.

I don’t understand why they’re doing this – they have to know it’s going to make lots of people angry – but I’m not surprised that they’re doing it either. LJ has a history of insensitivity to gender-related issues.

H/T to Synecdochic at Dreamwidth, who has information on what LJ users can do to protest this policy change.