This Southern Faggot's Blog

Identity politics
December 25, 2011, 4:01 am
Filed under: Thinking Thinking | Tags: ,

I have been having a lot of issues about my identity, specifically the politics around (my) identity, but even more specifically, this weird dance between the perceived identity vs. my actual identity. Or, what I think my identity is, I guess.

I have been noticing changes in the way I carry myself and I realize that to most people this will sound trivial as shit… but is it?

The struggle between my gender identity vs. how I want to present myself vs. how I am able to present myself has always existed. In the past, my external identity was important to me. It was part of my gender identity… maybe a big part. I knew I wasn’t being seen as ‘Trans enough’ when not in a dress, or wearing some fabulous make up, or whatever. This used to really bother me, but I am finding that it does not as much.

But I want to know why. I want to say that I have gotten stronger and I simply just don’t give a shit anymore how people perceive me, I am what I am, regardless of what others think, right? But, in reality, how true is that?

I want to be able to say that and really mean it, but I don’t live in that world.

I am wondering if what I am seeing happen, is me having my gender identity beaten out of me day by day. I mean, in many little (and large ways) ways, every day. But specifically, how is my (or any of ours, actually) gender identity and the politics surrounding that identity, affected by my encounters with others? Sure, I have a few friends who “get it” (or pretend to, at least), but what about my interactions with every other person I meet? How do these interactions affect the way I see myself?

I mean, clearly I will always been seen as a nelly faggot dude. That is wonderful and I love that, but I am having trouble deciding if I am really okay with that, or I am just settling for what I know I can get. I am a nelly faggot dude, that is no secret, anyone would agree with that. Clearly their are some gender politics in there with that, but to what extent? And in what way?

For the past few years I have been in a constant state of dressing down. Florescent pants replaced with a pair of rustler jeans, ballet flats replaced with ‘regular’ shoes (sometimes boots), makeup completely gone, no dresses ever.

A lot of this has been for practical reasons. But it would be impossible for me to say how the practicality of it all really comes into play.

I just don’t know about any of it anymore and it does not look like I will for a very long time.

I want to be able to say that all of this is coming from not taking care of myself, for some reason that would make it easier for me to understand. I realize I am not taking care of myself in the way I should, but I don’t really know what that looks like right now in my life. But I realize this and I feel like in realizing that I am not taking care of myself is a good first step. But that’s a long road and I don’t think my bike will make it right now.

But looking at right now, I want to think more about my identity politics.

Am I okay with not presenting myself in the way that I see myself? Am I okay with my perceived gender identity changing? How has my perceived gender identity changing, changed the way I feel about myself? Has it? Maybe a better question is, how could it not?

I am about to go on a trip to IDA & Asheville. Maybe that will be really good for me.


December 18, 2011, 5:04 am
Filed under: Nothing Terribly Important | Tags: ,

Do you ever have nights where you want to be around people you don’t necessarily like, because life is so much easier? You know, not giving a shit about what you say because you know you don’t care at all. Or you know you won’t really be seeing these people again anyway.

I am having a night like that. I am about to go be with this group of punk kids I used to hang out with a lot. It might be awful, but I really just want to be around people I don’t necessarily like right now.

This nothingness
December 3, 2011, 2:16 am
Filed under: Nothing Terribly Important | Tags: , , ,

The other night I got on craigslist for the first time in months and months. Not “got on” like I posted something, or replied to someone. “Got on” like I have not even been to that website, or any of the others, in so many months I can’t remember.

But the other night I just really wanted someone warm in my bed. I was kind of romanticizing that awkwardness. You know. Inviting someone over, having to have that small talk between the door and the bedroom. I love that. Love love love that. It’s so much fun to just completely make everything up. You get a chance to be anyone you want.

But craigslist is the same as always. It is always the same as always.

Except that I also got on okcupid, which I had completely forgotten about.

I like okcupid a whole lot. I mean, its pretty tame and boring, but sometimes that is nice. It reminds me of this website I used to be really active on, It was the only gay personals website that I had ever found (or have ever seen) where you could actually put your real age. I think the youngest age that you could be on there was 14. 14! Can you imagine what it was like for be, being 14 and being able to actually admit that I was 14?

Thinking back on how much that website meant to me almost brings me to tears. When I hear people talking about how bad the internet is and how it distances everyone from each other, I always think back to that website. How would I have made it without the internet? Without that specific website… I just don’t know.

Back to okcupid. I really like that website, it seems like a good place to find people to cuddle with, which is all I really care about. But, I guess not that much since I just went many months without even thinking about it at all.

Somedays I just want to sit around and watch Parking Wars. Have you seen that show? A reality show about people who boot cars and write tickets. I really love it. It makes me wonder how many people we have like that in this town. Not that many, I  imagine.

But it’s Friday night and I want to do something. Something physical would be nice. I wish I could go swimming.

I have been thinking about getting into swimming for a while now. But do I really want to navigate those locker rooms? Maybe. I want to go swimming and then get into the amazing hot tub and just sit there for hours.

I wish I could take a bath, but we never have enough hot water to take a good bath. So I end up having to boil gallons of water on the stove and that just kills it, you know?

Oh, it’s the day to care about AIDS.
December 2, 2011, 1:26 am
Filed under: Faggot Rant | Tags: , , , , ,

Recently I took part in the training that is required by the state health department to do the rapid testing and counseling of HIV. I was dreading this class for many weeks because I was worried about who was going to be in the class with me. While I am really glad that I took it, it was an incredibly strange experience.

Our class consisted of 30+ individuals, more than half representing the prison system and NONE of them representing local community based organizations, except myself. Everyone was getting paid to be there except me, which became very obvious later on in the class.

In our introductions everyone talked about why were there. When it was my turn, I told everyone I work with homeless Queer/Trans youth and of course the room became very silent. Throughout our entire 20 hour class (over 3 days), this was the first of only 3 times that anything related to Queer/Trans folks came up. The other two times the instructor casually mentioned bisexual men (specifically) in passing, but that’s it.

Later in the class we were going around the room talking about risk reduction and what we would recommend to someone getting tested for reducing their risk. Of course I talked about about things like fisting and watersports as very low risk activities and the room and holy shit you would have thought that I had just bad mouthed baby jesus. Hands flew up, people started talking at the same time and then I got to teach a room of health professionals about other sexual acts that are incredibly low risk. Watching the face of an employee of the prision system about pissing on someone for fun is a really amazing experience.

At some point the instructor told us about bug chasers and everyone started talking about how distrusting that was and how they would recommend them to someone for mental health help ASAP. I raised my hand and said something being unbiased and no one seemed to think this applied in this situation. I also reminded people that they would be saying the exact same thing about faggots 50 years ago. No one saw the connection.

More shit happened, like a prison guard explaining to me how inmates are property of the state and they state does not consent to them having sex, so all sex in prisons is considered rape. But let’s not talk about the rest of that.

What I want to know is, how the fuck did this happen? And, how do I feel about it?

I mean, of course it would appear (ahem) that more attention is being paid to the issue of HIV/AIDS, which in theory is great. But really, we are living in a time when the Queer/Trans HIV/AIDS advocates get no credit for all of their work and are completely glossed over, like the health department has always given a shit about HIV/AIDS.

I mean, HIV/AIDS always has been and still is a very political issue, you really can’t talk about it without talking about politics, can you? But you would not know this in the way they talked about in this class.

After all the work that Queer/Trans folks did around HIV/AIDS and we still don’t even get much of a mention at all? When did this issue become completely whitewashed?

Once again, Queers & Trans folk get completely forgotten and pushed out of the picture.

Fuck, that fucking class was awful.