Ah — there’s the blue morning sky!
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What I meant, yesterday, by it adds up, is that I’ve got at least 100 pages of usable material — and I’m not even through all the backlog yet. 100 pages of writing that will work for these couple of book projects; that doesn’t include the writing that could be worked for creative submissions, poems or short fictions.
Thanks to Keith Haring for so so much, including this logo...
Happy National Coming Out Day!
(Let me say that I’m sad that this now appears to be an HRC-sponsored production across the country — this post is not sponsored by the HRC.)
A day of body mindfulness, gentle movement and writing for queer, genderqueer
and trans survivors of sexual trauma
Facilitated by Alex Cafarelli and Jen Cross
10am-4pm, Nov 21, 2009
At The Space, 4148 Mac Arthur Blvd., Oakland
(The Space is wheelchair accessible)
No previous experience necessary! Pre-registration required. Fee: $50-100,
sliding scale (Please check in with us if funds are an issue—payment plans are
always possible, and we may be able to work out trades or other arrangements
as well!) Please write to firstname.lastname@example.org to register.
The more comfortable I get with my girlhood, after seriously striving to embody masculinity for almost a decade, the less able I am to describe it — girlhood — with any kind of precision: Well, a girl’s a female-bodied person, unless she’s male-bodied, and she likes dresses and pink unless she hates them and prefers skinned knees and tree climbing or none of the above or all. Well, it’s clear, isn’t it, that the girl’s the softer one, right? Except I’ve stroked some pretty soft boys — and met girls rocked hard like stone and the girls are the ones who cry right except when they don’t and the boys do and I’m done with layering on description and definition: femininity likes frills and adornment and paint and frivolity up to and until and unless and and it digs its unpainted nails into thick rocky soil or, yes, knows perfectly well how to turn a phrase between a girl’s or a boi’s legs and sings its songs with abandon until and unless it remains silent.
There’s no sure thing about femininity and masculinity for me anymore — not about either except in the know-it-when-i-see-it sorts of ways and even that is all up for interpretation and assumption, those kinds of grabs. The things that say boys are strong and girls get carried have never seen me (or you, or him, or hir) carry a box of books wearing four-inch heels and who cares if its girl or not except
I do. I thicken into the femininity my stepfather wrought for me, the tough bitch smart broad high femme ball buster prima donna that he was always just the right man for: it’s that last part, of course, that leaves me nauseous, that wrote me into boyhood, into all the masculinity I’d always already carried, all my life — they just called it tomboy but I took it out of my back pocket, fluffed it out, slicked it on and called that leather jacket and jeans and boots and shorn shorn head strong and safe
Thursday night at the phenomenal Girl Talk: A Cis & Trans Woman Dialogue, curated by Julia Serano and Gina de Vries, Ryka Aoki de la Cruz talked about family, about how if we’re family how can we ‘outreach’ to each other? Families who’ve been separated have reunions, not outreach — it was brilliant (as were each of the other performances shared at that show) and of course there were many more points she made and images she shared in her piece…
And this one, though, sticks in me — sticks in my troubles — the way performers talk about family sometimes, how we should treat each other more like family, meaning we should treat each other better, more kindly, with more open hearts, right? I guess that’s how my inside hopeful heartsick places interpret that phrase.
But I think we do treat each other like family, already, unfortunately. ‘Cause what are our experiences of family? We drop one another when it’s expedient, we shut each other out and off. We take sexual advantage and then turn our backs. Isn’t that family?
Writing Ourselves Whole:
transformative writing workshops for the SF Bay Area
Contact: Jen Cross
Are you looking for an opportunity to create some new and powerful writing in an invigorating, supportive writing community? This June and July, Writing Ourselves Whole is pleased to be offering two full 8-week writing workshops and a Saturday writing retreat:
Write Whole: Survivors Write. Monday evenings, June 1 – July 27. Open to all women survivors of sexual trauma.
Sunflowers are golden. Tarnish is not golden, unless it’s on earrings that were too silvery shiny to begin with and they needed some dark – lilacs and freshly broken playground rocks and crocus blooming through the last of the winter snow and seeing the redbuds on the maple tree and trusting that Spring was really, actually, finally coming for real this time: all golden. Snowstorms in mid-April and a brown Christmas: not golden.
These are the nature things, the Midwest things, the snow shoe shallow things, the walking back home things.
Walking through love into a wall of fear is not golden but bursting that fear with one’s faith in oneself and thick love for one’s compatriots is so golden it’s liquid.
I have the great privilege of being a part of the Body Heat: Femme Porn Tour, which kicks off here in San Francisco tomorrow, 4/3, at the Center for Sex and Culture at 7pm.
Femmes, as some of us know, still bear an interesting burden of invisibility — our right to call ourselves dykes is called into question sometimes even still, because we don’t bear the masculine markers of more “visible” dykes (which turns into an interesting paradox), and our sexual agency is still, I think, considered to be determined by our lovers, rather than by we ourselves.
There are LOTS of fierce femme writers & performers who are calling into question these and other misunderstandings around femmeness, and I get to be on tour with three of them — Vixen Noir (aka Veronica Combs of the incredible Liquid Fire fame), Celestina Pearl (di-va writer, filmmaker & performer!) and kathleen delaney (spoken word artist out of Atlanta & a dear friend from back when I lived on the East Coast!)