ysabetwordsmith: (Fly Free)
[personal profile] ysabetwordsmith
This is the second freebie for the July 4, 2017 fishbowl courtesy of several new prompters.  It was inspired by [livejournal.com profile] zia_nuray. It also fills the "queer" square in my 5-29-17 card for the Pride Bingo fest.


"Clutching at Pearls"


When I arrived in this world,
people looked at my crotch and
guessed that I must be a girl.

As far as I know, none of them
ever found out how wrong they were,
so I suppose it doesn't matter much.

I grew up making mudpies and
catching frogs instead of playing
with Barbie dolls, wore blue jeans
instead of pink satin dresses, but
let my hair grow long because
I happen to like long hair.

Later on, as I made my way
through the fringes, people looked at
my life and guessed that, since it
wasn't falling apart, I must be a girl.

By then I could speak
and I was finding words
with which to describe myself,
so I tried to explain to them
that being genderqueer isn't
inherently a maddening thing.

Inconvenient, yes;
life-wrecking, not for me.

Most of them didn't understand,
but since they weren't part of my life,
I suppose it doesn't matter much.

I think more in terms of souls than in bodies,
and I don't really understand why so many people
clutch their pearls over non-issues such as
someone else's love or gender or skin.

We're all star stuff anyhow, celestial spirits
temporarily pretending to be meat.

I've gone through different descriptions --
omnisexual and pansexual and genderqueer --
before coming up with my own, metasexual.

This is me. I am metasexual.
I am a metasexual. Here I am.

I'm not strongly attached to
a gender presentation, I just like
to be comfortable and practical

and, above all, myself.

If it leaves some people
clutching at straws or
clutching at pearls,

well, that's their problem.

* * *

Notes:

When a baby is born, someone takes a casual glance at the genitals and guesses a sex/gender. One would think if they really cared about accuracy like they claim, they'd check the chromosomes, but they don't; they just eyeball it, which shows that this is all about society, not science. Note, I do say "female-bodied people" as I find it a useful classification because it covers shape rather than gender identity; e.g. "You are not going to leave all the female-bodied people in the kitchen to clean up the mess while all the male-bodies people go sit in the living room." Most women, a few men, and probably about half of other genders have a female-shaped body.

Gender stereotypes do nobody any good, and can be especially harmful to children.

It is widely believed that being transgender or genderqueer is mentally stressful. But it isn't for everyone. Some people experience life-wrecking levels of stress from it and others just don't. A problem is that when a majority of people who are publicly out have the high-stress version, folks tend to think the more comfortable ones are not real. Which is bullshit, but people can be stupid.

Metasexual means "beyond sex" -- beyond thinking of biological sex or sexual attraction as limited concepts. It's like how a painted line is a wall to a 2-dimensional person but not a 3-dimensional one. My sexuality is a tesseract, so a 3-dimensional barrier doesn't really stop me. Why a tesseract? Well, if gender is a spectrum, and sexual orientation is one, and romantic attraction is another, and you add in things like desire to form permanent relationships and how fast that can happen and specific traits hardwired into personality such as kink -- it adds up to a lot more than 3 measly dimensions. The gender unicorn is another example.

(no subject)

Date: 2017-07-06 11:06 pm (UTC)
technoshaman: (family)
From: [personal profile] technoshaman
Which is bullshit, but people can be stupid.

"A PERSON is smart. People are dumb, panicky, dangerous animals and you know it!"
-- Agent Kay, all too familiar with a bazillion different alien ways of thinking

(Oh, how I wish that weren't true, but look at where thinking otherwise got us....)

The thing of it is, if you teach kids early - and it doesn't have to be too early, no later than say, fifth grade, but earlier is better - to take people at face value, they *do*, and it *sticks*... the whole "tribal" thing, us vs. them, is ingrained, but the definition of tribe is extremely malleable...

(no subject)

Date: 2017-07-07 02:35 am (UTC)
bairnsidhe: (Default)
From: [personal profile] bairnsidhe
>>"A PERSON is smart. People are dumb, panicky, dangerous animals and you know it!"
-- Agent Kay, all too familiar with a bazillion different alien ways of thinking<<

I see your quote and raise you:
"You've got to remember that these are just simple farmers. These are people of the land. The common clay of the new West. You know... morons."
--Jim, aka The Waco Kid, all too familiar with the single strangest way of thinking: human.

(no subject)

Date: 2017-07-06 11:17 pm (UTC)
alatefeline: Painting of a cat asleep on a book. (Default)
From: [personal profile] alatefeline
We have so much in common. <3 <3 <3

Re: Yes...

Date: 2017-07-07 01:44 am (UTC)
alatefeline: Painting of a cat asleep on a book. (Default)
From: [personal profile] alatefeline
Gender weirdos unite! :D

(no subject)

Date: 2017-07-07 03:50 am (UTC)
From: (Anonymous)
I like this a lot! It has a lot of my feelings, even if I'm the inverse? of metasexual. (I don't get the distinctions between genders at all, so I just don't bother with a gender.) What the heck is gender anyway?

No, actually, srsly, what is gender???? Someone explain it to me and the robots, pls.

-ZB

Re: Thoughts

Date: 2017-07-07 05:55 am (UTC)
From: (Anonymous)
Huh. Thanks.

Me, I've always wandered from group to group, mystified by why they sorted out that way and uncomfortable in all of them. And I've never really noticed the shape of any body I wear, so long as it doesn't impede what I'm doing.

I shall now file that in 'Ways people sort themselves' along with personality types and go on without, I do believe. :D

-ZB

(no subject)

Date: 2017-07-07 07:01 am (UTC)
across_space_and_time: A nebula shifting in rainbow hues from red to blue (Rainbow Galaxy)
From: [personal profile] across_space_and_time
>> One would think if they really cared about accuracy like they claim, they'd check the chromosomes, but they don't; they just eyeball it, which shows that this is all about society, not science. <<

Pointing that out next time it comes up.

Your description of metasexual reminds me of when somebody tried to describe gender and orientation as aspects of a painting, and then wound up running short of symbols before they ran out of concepts to include...

I haven't tried to find a label for my gender. It's just there, and feels like words would be inadequate or inaccurate if I did find them. I'm fine with that, though I feel lucky over genderqueer friends who *want* to find a label but can't, or who've struggled over what they are. :/

- Deacon

Re: Thoughts

Date: 2017-07-10 02:18 am (UTC)
mama_kestrel: (Default)
From: [personal profile] mama_kestrel
Fuck it, I'll just learn to sew.

*laughing*

That sounds like the way I actually did learn tailoring. Imagine if you will: early 1980's. 5'9", 120 lb female-shaped body. Fencer, archer, former gymnast, all at competition levels. Muscle development across shoulders and upper back to suit such pursuits...but itty bitty tits. If my blouse was sheer I wore a camisole; otherwise I just didn't bother. So my chest measurement was 36", but all of it was ribcage. Waist was 24. Anything that fit my shoulders hung like a sack. If something fit in the width and had a waist, then the waist hit about the base of my ribcage, a good 4 or 5 inches above where it belonged. If it fit in the length it looked like I was dressing up in Mommy's things. Knee length skirts weren't - they were mini-skirts, and let's not even get into hobbling a person with an actual normal stride!

So I started making my own professional clothes.

Gender? I tend to get tagged female, probably because my default mode is caregiver/Jewish Mother, but it isn't tied to anything feminine. I suppose to myself, I'm basically neutral. Names and pronouns may give me trouble when people transition, but I think that's primarily linguistic, because the meat-suit is just that - the current outfit. I'm fortunate to be comfortable in the body I have. (At least in that regard. I just wish it functioned better.) As for other people, I've been known to get my pronouns messed up with someone who had a female body, identified male in their own head...and had never mentioned it to anyone. That made for an interesting conversation once we were alone, I can tell you!

(no subject)

Date: 2017-07-07 04:56 pm (UTC)
kyleri: (Default)
From: [personal profile] kyleri
> I haven't tried to find a label for my gender. It's just there, and feels like words would be inadequate or inaccurate
> if I did find them. I'm fine with that, though I feel lucky over genderqueer friends who *want* to find a label but
> can't, or who've struggled over what they are. :/

Yeah, my gender is 'oh god do I hafta', so I feel you there. Fortunately we don't hafta.

(no subject)

Date: 2017-07-08 04:22 am (UTC)
across_space_and_time: A nebula shifting in rainbow hues from red to blue (Rainbow Galaxy)
From: [personal profile] across_space_and_time
Very true. And pft. I know a handful of people who've used "pass", "fuck you", or a shrug in response to the gender question.

- Deacon

(no subject)

Date: 2017-07-07 12:36 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] zianuray.livejournal.com
I love it~ It feels so familiar.

(no subject)

Date: 2017-08-03 09:29 am (UTC)
fayanora: SK avatar (Default)
From: [personal profile] fayanora
Then too, there's the Ah'koi bahnis, who would find the concept of gender confusing and or fascinating, as they have only one sex. I mean, to tie personality traits to something as odd as differences in anatomy??? They would ask questions like "So if you lose an arm, what is your gender then?" Or "what gender are you if you have an extra finger?" Or "penis is male, vagina is female... What if you have neither? What if you are a mutant with a cloaca?" "What gender is a sponge?" "My people have both a penis and a vagina. Are we all to like both dolls and trucks at once? How does one express and yet also repress their emotions? Should I oppress myself? Do we get paid the male rate for having a penis, or does our ability to get pregnant condemn us to the female pay rate? We do not have menses and yet we can get pregnant; does your god still consider us unclean? Do I still 'need a man' though I can impregnate myself or do I count as my own man in that situation?" Or other questions like "What if one has none of the traits assigned either gender, assuming that were possible?"

Oh, it could be fun to write a story like that. :)

Continuing

Date: 2017-08-03 09:47 am (UTC)
fayanora: SK avatar (Default)
From: [personal profile] fayanora
"Do all personality traits have gender in your culture? What gender is 'frisson'? What gender is loneliness? Epiphany? Which of your genders is allowed to feel the crushing feeling of existential despair? Is everyone on your planet given a mental therapy stipend to help cope with the stress of these gender expectations, or is therapy only allowed for one of the genders? How is it you have not all committed suicide from the stress of all this nonsense?"

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