I want to talk about some of the performative aspects of gender in my existence.
To further this cause let me tell you my homies a story that ends in me being super embarrassed.
Imagine if you will my darlings that yours truly is about 20 years old, and in the company of a fine little pack of baby drag queens and kings. We were all babies and I myself was just starting to solidify my ideas about gender not being so much about what's in the crotchal area but being far more involved than that.
As I've mentioned before as a wee tot I was certain that puberty would happen and I'd turn into a boy. So there is boy energy in my being.
I'd read (yes this is an amazon affiliate link) Gender Outlaw: On Men, Women and the Rest of Us
by Kate Bornstein to death at that point and I had entered a time where I wanted to play with my gender presentation which would later intersect meaningfully and heavily in my sexuality later on. That's a whole other post though.
So there I was 20 years old and I met some kids my age who did drag. Boys and girls and I hung out with them and we staged a few little drag shows at one of the kids houses because he had the most fabulous Mom. Then it was my turn.
I fluffed up my courage and asked to be made into a boy.
I spent hours picking out my outfit. It was to be my favorite (and only) pair of well worn baggy black jeans, black boots, a black with dark blue metallic skull print bowling shirt and to top my corn rowed hair a black bowler. I had my wallet chain, I had my swagger I had the boy I wanted to be down.
Things started off well enough, my outfit was approved and then the transformation sort of started.
It was such a failure. I had imagined myself to be a slightly swishy husky little dude. Maybe with a dusting of five o clock shadow and a rakish smile.
Ladies Man Extraordinaire.
I looked like a big titty having, slightly butch girl with bad make up.
It wasn't the fault of my drag playmates. I really just do not look like a boy at all.
It was a disaster and I was broken hearted.
I had to take a step back and figure things out. I had a burning desire to play with my gender, to explore the spots on the spectrum I identified with and clearly drag was not going to cut it.
We all know by now that I identify as Femme Cisfemale.
That said, I do still have Boy in here somewhere.
Boy and Butch.
The two aren't the same in my head Boy is Boy and Butch is Butch and only occasionally shall the twain meet.
As I've gotten older and my body has changed, I've found it increasingly easy to incorporate both Boy and Butch into how I present myself to the world.
Today for instance I am feeling a little Butch. I am wearing my favorite Torrid Shortpants, my burgundy 20 ye dogs, a grandpa cardigan. I've got a little Butch swagger today and yes I'm wearing some seriously awesome make up.
This is for those who know (probably not so much for random people on the street) an aspect of me performing my ideas about gender in a fairly subtle fashion.
This works for me.
Sometimes I enjoy performing female not as subtly.
Which sometimes means molding my body with shape wear or coresetry because it's something about my fat body that I find infinitely wonderful. My Fat Body is mutable.
Far more mutable than when I was far thinner. It's a part of being in my particular fat body that I find entirely pleasing.
I can with a wardrobe change become an outlandish figure of Femme. All hips, huge tits and an exaggerated hourglass figure that is frankly cartoonish and I love it.
I LOVE IT.
By the same token I can wear things that change the shape of my body in other ways. I can wear differently shaped garments and my Fat Body follows right along with me and we're in a good spot.
This is really the first time in my life I've felt this level of mutability in my appearance and by association how I present my gender.
My theory about this (only as it applies to the Shannonverse people, your universes may differ) is that by now I've fought my body in so many ways and tried so hard to make my body conform to ideals that did not originate in my own head that I finally have room to wriggle.
I have space in this body to explore, I have flesh that moves in ways that my soul is moving and that my friends if pretty fucking awesome. It's finally not so fucking complicated and that too is awesome.
Really fucking awesome actually.
So I will leave you with this to chew on.
If gender is not a thing that is a must, or a has to, what can it be?
Exciting ain't it?
Also at the end here let me give a public shout out and proclamation of love to Auntie Kate. I love you Sweetkittentoes. I really do. And fair warning, if we ever meet I will probably just burst into tears and have no idea what to do with myself.