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

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

Hannah Gadsby performing her show "Nanette" / Copyright © Ben King/Netflix

Coming out, Again and Again

“Coming out” is a bizarre rite-of-passage for queer folks. Part of what makes it so bizarre is it isn’t like there’s one “coming out” you do, like a Quinceañera, and then you’re set. You have the pleasure (or misfortune) of coming out over and over again in difference situations. Unless you gathered ALL of your family together for one big announcement, you probably come out … Continue reading Coming out, Again and Again

Mulan © Disney 1998

Mulan, Trans Hero of my Heart

This was not the post I was going to write today, but after getting called “transphobic” and “a piece of utter shit” for saying I read the character of Mulan as transgender, I thought I might as well go all in. Let’s start with some background: Hua Mulan was not a real person. Mulan is a “historical figure” in the same way that Odysseus is … Continue reading Mulan, Trans Hero of my Heart

“I’m not a lesbian, but…”

Straight, curious, and heteroflexible friends, It has come to my attention that we need to have a little chat. Last night I was watching an episode of the ever-delightful Hannah Gadsby’s “Renaissance Woman“–a short YouTube series she did featuring her area of expertise, art history. I noticed there were a lot of comments and being both curious and a masochist, I decided to read them. … Continue reading “I’m not a lesbian, but…”

Why I Love the word “Dyke”

CW: Discussion about gender issues, homophobia, transphobia, coming out My mother really tried to be supportive of me in middle school. Almost a little too supportive. It wouldn’t be until I was 20 that I would come out to my parents, but back in middle school Mom would sometimes come to me out of the blue and enthusiastically remind me, “It’s OK if you like girls!” I … Continue reading Why I Love the word “Dyke”