I am demigirl. I am genderflux.

Guess what? I have a vagina and boobs and I’m okay with that. Three quarters of my wardrobe is from the women’s section of the store and I love to wear dresses. I own too many pairs of shoes. Until last week I had hair two feet long.

Guess what else? I’m not a girl. Or a woman.

I’m comfortable in my body, but that doesn’t mean I’m comfortable with my assigned gender, because sex does not equal gender.

Guess what? I like to buy from the men’s section too. I love bowties. My favourite colour is blue and my winter boots are timberlands. I just shaved my head.

Guess what else? I’m not a boy. Or a man.

Because traits do not equal gender either.

I don’t have to tell you what I am, because labels don’t matter. I can just be me.

At the same time though, who I am and who I identify with are erased and told they don’t exist. So I will tell you. I will add myself to a small and ignored population.

I am demigirl. I am genderflux. I am me.

I exist.

And to the people who don’t believe that? To the people who call it over-dramatic or ridiculous? To the people who call it attention-seeking and shit-disturbing? To my UNIVERSITY LEVEL Portuguese class that insists there are only two genders?

I have two words.

Fuck. YOU.

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The contract of male-female sex?

I had a very interesting Portuguese language class today. After I questioned the use of the word “assexuando” (asexual) to mean gender neutral, the class launched into a confusing and enraging discussion on gender, women’s rights, and, of course, abortion. The class was confusing because it was em português, and my vocabulary isn’t quite wide enough to tear apart misogyny, and neither is anyone else’s. After a few frustrating minutes, we switched to English. And then.

And then.

And then a predictably cis-gendered white male in the class said that the man has rights over the fetus because by having sex with him, the woman enters a social contract and accepts any risk of pregnancy, and therefore must carry to term in order to fulfill this “contract.”

Um, what?

First of all, consenting to sex does not mean consenting to parenthood. Not the same thing, people! Consenting to sex means just that, sex. Not every sexual relationship is developed for the purpose of reproduction, and women who do not want children are still allowed to have sex. Women who do not want children are still allowed to get caught up in the moment and go without protection (though I don’t advise it). Women who do not want children and accidentally get pregnant are allowed to end that pregnancy.*

If Molly wants to have sex with Jim, and both are cisgendered (ie. Molly has a vagina and Jim has a penis), and then, oopseis! Molly ends up pregnant. She’s five weeks along when she finds out and immediately decides to abort. She’s in her third year of university, or she’s fourteen, or she’s not financially secure, or, you know, she just doesn’t want to give birth. But lovely ol’ Jim decides, hey! that’s my sperm in there! You can just get rid of it! He sues and threatens and generally freaks the f*** out.

Can Jim do this? Should he be able to?

I think no. I think that if Molly does not want to have a child then she has every right to abort before those cells become a child. Just because Jim contributed some swimmers, doesn’t mean that he has the right to use Molly as an incubator for nine months with out her explicit consent.

It’s like saying that if Jim has unprotected sex with Molly, who is HIV+ and hasn’t informed Jim of this, and Jim gets HIV and then AIDS then it is entirely his fault and he can never blame Molly or get treatment because by having sex with her he entered into a contract to accept any and all risks that may follow.

What do y’all think?**

*this is not a universal right, and there are many places where women cannot legally& safely abort. Also, there are restrictions in terms of how far along into the pregnancy a woman is (the generally accepted threshold after which abortion is only legal under certain circumstances is three months)

**Note: this is a discussion on men’s rights over fetuses, not over the religious aspects of abortion

I Hate the Word Lesbian

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not ashamed of who I am. I am gay gay gaaaay. I have a girlfriend whom I love, I have a rainbow flag on my bedroom wall, and I am SO PUMPED for my university’s pride week—seriously, we’re getting Laverne Cox!!!

I’m gay, I’m in love, and I’m me.  Nothing feels better than holding my girlfriend’s hand downtown or sneaking a kiss in the lineup at the grocery store. I’m fine with all of that, just so long as you don’t call me a lesbian. There’s just something so cringe-worthy about the word.   For a long time I thought it was lingering shame from my internal-homophobia days, but that just doesn’t line up with the way I’m living my life… especially not the fact that I can easily say that I’m gay.  It’s not shame that turns me off, so what is it?

Maybe it’s the stereotype. You know what I mean. It’s assumed that if someone is a lesbian they:

  • wear flannel
  • love cats
  • play sports
  • are either butch, or femme (there are only two choices… obviously)
  • are vegan/ vegetarian
  • don’t shave their legs
  • hate men
  • were tomboys as children
  • have short hair
  • and on and on and on

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Well guess what! My hair is long, I’m really more of a dog person, I love steak,  and I don’t see anything wrong with shaving my legs! I’m neither butch nor femme, and I have nothing against men as a general category,  Yes, I do wear flannel, but that’s not because I like women, that’s because I like flannel. And guess what else! I have straight friends who love cats, were tomboys as children, and play sports. Hmmm, I guess this definition isn’t so accurate after all… and if I don’t fall under the categories of what way too many people think it means to be lesbian, then why would I call myself one?

I think something a little more specific to me and my rejection of the label of lesbian is the way people have said it in my past. I can remember the not-so-hushed tones of my fellow junior high school classmates, gossiping over whether or not some girl was  lesbian. It was said with such disdain, like a dirty secret everyone wanted to share and share until the poor girl was completely ostracized. I heard them in the hallways while I texted boys I had “crushes” on and refused to watch House because Olivia Wilde gave me butterflies, because I was not one of those girls; I was not a lesbian.

On a lighter note, Ellen once said that the word lesbian sounds like a disease, and I mean really, we’ve been out of the DSM for ages. We’re gay, not sick! This isn’t actually something I would have thought of on my own, but I think it’s pretty funny so I figured I would just add it to my list of reasons.

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The final reason I’ve come up with that I hate the word so much is that it’s a noun. I know what you’re thinking. Who is this girl and why is she talking about grammar?  But hey, I liked English in high school, and it turns out that it served me well because I can identify when something is just plain stupid. A noun is a word used to identify a class of places, things, or, in this case, people. Conversely, an adjective is a word or phrase naming an attribute of some person (or place or thing).

Just think about this for a second, and realize that while lesbian is a noun, gay is an adjective. Why? Why is it that we say someone is “a lesbian,” lesbian as a noun, lesbian as an all-encompassing identity, but we say that someone is “gay,” gay as an adjective, gay as a describer among many others, gay as one single piece of who a person is? And why why why is there only a noun for female gay people? I don’t know the answer to that (please let me know if you do!), but I do know that I am not “a lesbian.”

I am not “a lesbian,” because I am more than my sexual orientation. I am not “a lesbian” because I am a multitude of other things besides. I am gay, because gay does not exclude the fact that I am happy, creative, or smart. I am gay because I am also curious and excitable. I am not “a lesbian” because my sexual orientation is not all-encompassing, it is not all I am.

HOWEVER, if you identify as lesbian then that’s great! The great thing about self-identifying as one thing or another is that you get to self-define. I don’t like the word lesbian for a whole slew of reasons, but you may love it! It may give you a sense of belonging, of community,  and that is truly wonderful. To say you are a lesbian is to say you are as you define lesbian, and to that I say all the power to you!

Hello world!

I’m Ana, and I’ve never blogged before. I’m still not entirely sure why I’m doing this, but here I am! These posts will mostly be my thoughts on situations I encounter throughout the day.

A bit about me:

I am a traveller! I want to go everywhere and see everything, to learn about culture and religion and language, to realize what it means to be human.

I’m currently studying International Development in university, and will soon be declaring a minor in Gender Studies. I’m loving my program, so don’t be surprised if you find some development-y stuff in here!

Last but not least, I’m gay! I’m open, proud, and head over heels for my beautiful girlfriend. If that’s not your thing then quietly walk away and we will have no problem.

So that’s me! And here’s my blog!