Blue skirt, rainbow socks

Gender 101

The public conversation around gender has become increasingly nuanced since my college days, much to my delight. That said, the influx of new language can be overwhelming. If you want to know why someone called you “cis” or are just looking for a crash course in gender, this post is for you. Vocabulary sex: Refers to the anatomy of an individual’s reproductive system, and secondary … Continue reading Gender 101

Me as a "man at a glance"

Man at a Glance

“My masculinity doesn’t hold up to scrutiny,” says Hannah Gadsby during her stand-up special Nanette, “I’m only a man at a glance.” I remember laughing particularly hard at this point, because I can relate more than most. I’ve talked about why I often get mistaken for a man (in short, I lack your trademark feminine curves and stature and have short hair) before, but I … Continue reading Man at a Glance

My friend and I getting down with our queer selves, circa 2009.

Visibly Queer

Recently, I was reading Jill Soloway (the creator of Transparent)’s book, “She Wants It” and came to a passage where Jill talks about hitting puberty and suddenly having a very feminine body and the ability to wield sexual power over men (at least in theory). The part that confused me was the tone, implying that this transformation is a universal experience for those of us assigned female … Continue reading Visibly Queer

Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

A Binder Full of Women

When I was in middle school, I kept a binder full of cut-out magazine pages. As much as I enjoy a good collage, that’s not what these were. They were literally full pages from glossy magazines I’d carefully cut out and placed into plastic sheet protectors in a binder. There were several sections, covering my interests, but the two biggest sections were largely portraits–one for … Continue reading A Binder Full of Women

Drag Queen of England Tea Party

Invited

When I was in 6th grade, a classmate was having a big birthday bash to which it seemed everyone was invited. We’ll call her Kayla. It was still summer vacation and I ran into my best friend at the beach. She asked me if I was going to Kayla’s birthday party and I told her I hadn’t received an invitation. “Oh you’re invited!” my friend … Continue reading Invited

Mona’s 440 Club, San Francisco, California, c. 1950. Photo c/o foundsf.org.

Facts about Lesbians

In her show “Nanette,” Hannah Gadsby quips that she “knew more facts about unicorns than about lesbians” for a long time. She then has to double-back and clarify for the audience that “there are no facts about unicorns.” It’s a solid joke, one that is all too relatable for queer people. The internet has made an enormous difference in the lives of LGBTQ+ people, that’s … Continue reading Facts about Lesbians

A goofy self-portrait from 2011

Progress

If you played an instrument for any length of time while you were growing up in the United States, you were probably subjected to an adjudicated music festival at some point in time. Since I grew up in New York, ours was called “NYSSMA,” which referred to the organization that ran it, the New York State School Music Association. My mom once called it “lambs … Continue reading Progress

Me being my goofy self, circa 2012.

Permission

“Do you understand what self-deprecation means when it come from somebody who already exists in the margins? It’s not humility, it’s humiliation. I put myself down in order to speak, in order to seek permission to speak…” –Hannah Gadsby When I saw “Nanette” for the first time and I heard Hannah speak these words, it was as though someone had put a large bell over … Continue reading Permission