gender queer

"Can’t you just CHOOSE?": Being bi with a preference

8198164150_b3f8b496db_bI’m bisexual. Genuinely, dyed-in-the-wool bisexual. I shit pink, purple and blue, I pray nightly to the spirit of Saint Brenda Howard Mother of Pride and I know all the words to everything Ani DiFranco ever even thought about writing. I’ve spent most of my eight-year journalism career working in lesbian and bi media or writing about lesbian and bi issues in mainstream media and I recently founded Biscuit, the UK’s only site aimed specifically at bisexual women. Like all bisexuals, I am a 50/50 split between liking men/male-identifying people and liking women/female-identifying people.

Oh no, wait.

Actually, I’ve mostly dated men in the past. Quiet at the back! Contrary to popular belief, this does not in any way dilute my bisexuality. As you can see from my professional track record, my relationships with and attractions to women have probably not been just a tequila-fuelled giggle or a chance to impress… Continue reading

You Didn't Hear it from Us 23/05/15

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Well intentioned, but unworkable: the NUS and cross-dressing

Genderqueer_pride_flagMuch has been said in the last few days about the NUS banning crossdressing from UK campuses. This is of course a massive overstatement. The offending resolution, passed at the NUS Women’s conference 2015, merely states that the conference should “issue a statement condemning cross-dressing as a mode of fancy dress”.

Reactions to the resolution have been largely negative (I had to go to a place no one should ever have to go – page six of Google’s search results – to find a blog post in favour of it) and a good  portion of that has been of the oh-won’t-someone-think-of-the-poor-straight-cis-men variety, which is just, y’know, *eyeroll*.

Here is the offending article in full. You can read a .pdf of the document here.

 con believes

The intent of the resolution is to decrease transphobia, but as the saying goes, intent is not magic, and the wording here is far from perfect. You do not have to search for long to find a slew of evidence supporting the assertion (noted under the heading ‘conference believes’) that trans and non-binary people are routinely denigrated in popular culture. This is categorically something we should work to end. Should cisgender men dress as women or, worse, ape hurtful and harmful trans* stereotypes with the sole intention of mockery? Obviously not. It’s tasteless, unoriginal verging on boring and it contributes to a culture of misogyny, trans- and whorephobia. It’s emphatically a good idea to ask people to consider their motivations when they cross-dress for entertainment. Likewise, it’s a good idea to promote sensitivity towards gender difference and acknowledge how our actions might contribute to a culture of transphobia and misogyny. But should we legislate against it? Well… no. Or at least, not like this.
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