Posts tagged ‘Skins’

Genderqueer and Skins

It’s been too long. So. Let’s get to it.

My life is exponentially better than it was before, because currently I am on summer vacation! Weeee!! I get to play all day, take long frolics through the patch of gated forest area in town, and have picnics with cute girls in gingham dresses.

WRONG. Well, mostly wrong. I’m working 40 hours a week at my hip library job where my boss gives breaks away like Easter candy, practicing, translating, and memorizing for a role I perform in July, volunteering at the student station as a DJ, and socializing like how I imagine non-students do in the real world. Although I’m certainly not playing all day, I’ve realized that living away from home and simultaneously not taking classes has SO MUCH FREEDOM.

I can go dancing every night if I want. I can go to the farmer’s market aaaaall day and stare at the cute girls that work at the local farms. I can drink all the coffee I want and read “The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo.” AND. AND. AND. I can write blog posts.

How cool is that?!

Now here’s the hard part of my post. The part where I have to have a story, and more importantly a point to my story. Eeeek. Well, I’ll tell you what, I’m just going to write what I’ve been thinking about lately, and I hope to God that I don’t offend anyone. That’s really the last thing I want. If I say something offensive, please correct me. Here goes.

I’ve been thinking about gender, folks. That’s obviously a broad term, but I’ve been thinking about it in so many facets that I’m not sure how to categorize my thoughts anymore. And talking to my sister only made it even broader and less definable! It all started (I guess I WILL tell a story) when I picked up a book on trans memoirs from a book store in Chicago while I was visiting my sister. I read through every story, and came to the conclusion that trans issues are SOOOOO interesting. If the queer community was Twitter (which it practically is, let’s be honest) then the trans and genderqueer community would be like a vastly underused hash-tag crying out for help.

A few months ago I attended a queer conference and learned a whole bunch of queer shit. This is where I learned that genderqueer is a thing, and it’s something everyone should think about, compliments of Wikipedia:

genderqueer: catch-all term for gender identities other than man and woman, thus outside of the gender binary and heteronormativity; people who identify as genderqueer may think of themselves as one or more of the following:

  • both man and woman
  • neither man nor woman (genderless, agender)
  • moving between genders (gender fluid)
  • third gendered or other-gendered; includes those who do not place a name to their gender
  • having an overlap of, or blurred lines between, gender identity and sexual orientation

After being lectured about what genderqueer really was by a genderqueer trans man, I started to think a lot about gender. RIGHT?! Of course I would. Some questions I started to ask myself:

  • “What’s my gender?”
  • “How much does presentation play a part in gender?”
  • “How much of gender is intent, and how much is accidental?”
  • “Am I genderqueer?”
  • “How much of identifying oneself as genderqueer is about the intent and how much is what a person truly is, regardless of their self-awareness at any point in time?”
  • “Is my self-awareness good enough to figure this out?”

SO MANY QUESTIONS RIGHT?!

Luckily the lecturer stayed around for awhile and I got to ask him a few questions. He had bright pink hair, a t-shirt that somehow combined the word “Ohio” and “Iowa” I think, and a great singing voice it turned out. Let’s call him Jack. I asked him, “If genderqueer is partially about presentation, and how you feel on any particular day, then is it possible that I could be genderqueer? Sometimes I feel more feminine in both movement and clothing and can’t stand to look too masculine, and other days I feel just the opposite.”

Jack gave me a simple answer, but it was exactly the answer I needed. “That’s a great question. It’s up for you to decide, but it sounds like by just thinking about it now you’ve sort of given yourself an answer.”
Just by thinking about it. JUST by thinking about! That’s all it takes. By giving yourself the permission to think about your own gender in an open way, you free yourself enough to BE yourself.

For example, some days I feel like I look a little too queer (which shouldn’t be a problem, but whatevs), and that I want to wear a dress and cute shoes for no special reason. Instead of feeling guilty, I just tell myself I’m so damn queer that I can’t make up my mind. Some days I feel feminine. Some days I feel masculine. Some days I wish I had the balls for a good genderfuck. Although I don’t think I’d call myself genderqueer, I would say that most people’s genders are less concrete and more fluid than they probably think.

A great media example of this that I’ve watching at this very moment is Frankie from Skins UK Season 5. Now, if you’re a queer lady, you just need to watch Skins UK. All of it. 1-5. If you follow Autostraddle at all, hopefully you saw this article: Genderqueer Outlaw: Meet Franky, Skin’s Season Five Glorious Headfuck Thing.

The great thing about this character is that she breaks absolutely every boundary that could be had. Gender binaries, stereotypes of queer folk, relationships, etc. She’s currently my favorite Skins character, and I dare to say she might be even better than the treasured Naomily. Mostly because she’s one person and not two. She’s completely fleshed out, has strong and clearly thought-out relationships with almost every character, and is just fascinating to watch. You think you might know her, and then suddenly she does something that breaks your expectation of whatever or whoever you think she might be. Fucking gold. I think it’s obvious I can’t get over her. She’s simply gorgeous.

If I’ve ever had faith in the media to change the world, it lies solely with Skins, and especially with this character. I don’t know how the genderqueer/trans community feels about it, but I feel like it’s a step in the right direction for changing minds.

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June 7, 2011 at 4:59 pm 2 comments


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