Wednesday, March 26, 2014

a new direction

I've been going about this all wrong. Its easy to get caught up in the appearance of, the show of, the communication of identity. Swept up in what I thought a gender-queer person was 'supposed' to look like.

Aesthetic principles have ruled my life. I like to think that I resist power, something I a have resisted because of my privilege. I could always tell that I was treated differently than other people. I used to dream about how when everybody else turned around they lost their human form. They would melt away into dripping sludge golem. Then, as I slept each night they would meet and discuss the roles they would play for me the next day; a math teacher, ice cream salesperson, my mother, my dad, and not but certainly not least my brother. He was the architect. My brother has always been to me the personification of /systematic/. When I first pondered on my own privilege as a male-presenting, white, well-educated human being I had the most incredible flashback. I was sitting at the counter of my house, except I was looking down on myself as my family came in one by one and upon leaving my field of vision transformed back into their 'true' selves, communicating on another level literally behind my back. Since then, I have been quick to incorporate it into my  conscious self, to be mindful of the connection I have to this idea. I have spent a long time realizing that I have done a lot better.
 That fear lives as deep inside me as my comparatively old hallucinations; an experience always brought on by fever or induced ~sickness~.  Exploding in scale, like a balloon, the pressure of the air fighting me back for each square inch, my chest seizes and I can't breathe.  The next thing I know, all the air has been let out. The air wins out, cramming my whole expanded self back into my self for just an instant before taking its sweet revenge. There is no baseline to return to any more, other than brief moments of lucidity, just a continuous cycling battle of pressure, sucking the life out of me.
That's why NOLS was such a life changing experience. I started to see the power of life; something that was not an artefact of humanity, but of all life. Still, in the human world, our social environment, defines a large part of who we are. Humanity, in many ways, has become obligately  social. It is incredible how strong an evolutionary force the company of others has become.

Anyways... Gender is more than appearance. Gender is about social interactions, and in our society people take their cues from appearance much of the time. I have always tried to downplay the importance of my appearance. I know this is a point of privilege, but it is not necessarily bad, I must own my privilege by giving it up, but I think that all people should be able and free to dress however they want, and I want to dress like me. Poorly fitting clothes, typically male, but not exclusively. I want to express my non-conformity through nail polish and eye-liner and lipstick and my hair style. If I were a female-bodied person, I would be a tom-boy. That is just me. Deal with it.