Friday, May 17, 2013

Hop Against Homophobia and Transphobia: Identity

Yeah, I know I'm running a little late to this blog hop, but I've been looking at pretty pictures today. (You can follow me on Pinterest if you feel so inclined). Anyway, welcome to my spot on the Hop Against Homophobia and Transphobia. Today is the International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia. I've decided to talk about identity. (Also, there's a giveaway at the end of this post, so pay attention)

People spend a lot of time involved in their identity--Finding it, affirming it, living it, etc. -- in the situation of GLBT people, identity can be a more complicated issue because sometimes identity must be fought for and defended. Society scrutinizes people based on an arbitrary set of rules that it has established as normative. Marriage equality and equal rights movements mark that GLBT people are making progress on being incorporated as whole members of society--which is great obviously. I've actually been surprised at how quickly some states (none of the states I've lived in, though) and countries are moving towards this realization and affirmation that GLBT people are part of society. It's not "just a phase," "a choice" or something done "for attention."

So, in this "society" context it's easy to understand wanting marriage equality, adoption rights, and various other protections (like not losing your job or housing due to your sexuality or gender identity, the list goes on and on...)--I'm not going to discuss these things in detail, but felt that I needed to acknowledge them because I'm not writing in a vacuum.

Identity can be complicated in general, but trans* identities can be more complicated. This is even more so if you're trying to place your own views and expectations upon trans* individuals. Going back to the normative society thing, it is easier to understand transgender people who want to make the complete physical switch between genders and appear on the binary. Trans women who look and dress in a feminine manner, have surgeries and hormones, and are attracted to men. Trans men who look and dress in a masculine manner, go through surgeries and hormones, and are attracted to women. It's not that simple, though. And you cannot ascribe your expectations onto others.

Even cisgender people, those whose self-perception of their gender matches the sex they were assigned at birth, don't have identity pre-sets and GLBT people should not be expected to either. It leads to pain all around. Saying that someone isn't "man enough" or "woman enough" is fucked up. Do we really need to get into a long philosophical discussion about what it is to be a man or woman? (I've had to do that in a college class once and it was annoying, but enlightening--too involved for this blog, though) We can decide what characteristics we think identify and affirm our own gender, but will everyone express their gender as we do our own? No. It's ridiculous. Identity is not a "one size fits all" kind of thing.

Some people don't operate on the binary at all. They might identify as Trans*, non-binary, genderfluid, bi-gender, two spirit, etc. How these individuals express this identity is up to them. Not you.

Here is a link with some general information on being a good Trans* ally.

And now for the giveaway portion of this post--I will be giving away a $10 Musa gift certificate so that one lucky winner can buy some books from our Erato and Pan imprints. (I suppose you're not obligated to buy from only these imprints, but this is a GBLT-themed blog hop so there you go.)

To be considered for the drawing just reply to this post and leave me your e-mail address so I can contact you. Entries close at 11:59pm EST on May 27th. I'll announce the winner on my blog on the 28th and will contact you directly that day. I will be using a random number generator to choose a winner.

Thanks for stopping by and check out the other stops--


  1. Thank you for taking part in the hop!

    In order to combat hatred, we must spread love. Educate others, bring awareness, because every person who has their mind opened is one person closer to a world where homophobia and transphobia doesn’t exist.

  2. Great thoughts. I know sometimes I have a hard time wrapping my head around gender fluid individuals (although I've got one writing friend who is gender fluid and that makes it easier, because it's more personal when you actaully know someone than when you're trying to wrap your brain around a concept on paper), but I've always said it wasn't my place to judge. It isn't anybody's.


  3. I still don't get why gender is so binary in society in this day and age. Great post!


  4. Thank you so much for the post. I'm genderqueer/genderfluid, and predominantly "express" female. That's the body I was born with and that I've come to love. The fact that it doesn't always match my gender is just another thing, like being short. I adjust, but so many people can't adjust to the fact I'm not binary and don't wish to be. Any time it can be acknowledged and allied it means everything to those of us flowing along the spectrum.


    My HAHAT Contribution Writing From the Middle: BiErasure & BiVisibility

  5. Thank you for sharing and participating in the hop!


  6. Thank you so much for talking about this important issue and doing the hop!

  7. Thank you for the great post and for being a voice against homophobia and transphobia.

    humhumbum AT yahoo DOT com

  8. Great post! Thank you for taking part in the hop!
    sstrode at scrtc dot com

  9. Thank you for the post.

    peggy1984 at live dot com