Thursday, February 26, 2009

Reading Gender Daily

This evening I fled the residence hall for the solace of my favorite homework spot, Coffea. While I was finishing up my handout for a presentation that I am doing on Friday at a conference in Lexington on Heteronormativity in Higher Education, a friend (we will call him Bob) from a previous class came over to talk. His friend also came over eventually, and the three of us were discussing queer issues and sociology. At some point, a woman came over and stated, "My friend Amanda thinks that all three of you are hot, can she get your numbers?" My friend Bob stated that his girlfriend wouldn't be happy with that. His friend said that same thing. Then the woman turned to me.

My mind started racing. "Am I being read as a man? Who is this person? Are they straight or queer? Why would you ask for 3 numbers at once (surely I'm not included in the hot people)?" I looked back at the group of people the woman was referring too, and tried to take a quick read of any queerness that I could see. I asked, "Is she queer?" after saying a few words to emphasize the femininity in my voice. The woman replied, "She is bi." I told her that I appreciated the thought, but was not interested.

As I gathered my things to leave, I got the distinct impression the group of people were talking about me. The girl I think was Amanda announced to the table that she was going outside. I got my bag and headed the same direction because my car was parked on that side of the building. While I was heading towards me car, a man kept shoving Amanda and telling her to "Go." She was being shoved in my direction and I am pretty sure that the guy was telling her to talk to me. Maybe they read an interest in my hesitation?

This whole situation amazes me. I don't often pick up people in non-gay bars, and haven't really been asked for my number since being back in Lexington, at least not in public spaces (which I always assume to be straight anyway). How was my gender/sexuality read tonight? Would that have mattered? Could I have gone on a date with this person and freaked her out? Are my assumptions about the general population incorrect in assuming that they often aren't aware of in-depth queer issues? Am I overthinking all of this. It just blows my mind. I guess I am a hottie. I have a hard time thinking of myself as such, but that comes with the territory.

Saturday, February 7, 2009


So I am not the best at keeping up with things, unless I have accountability. Lately I have been working out more because I am in a program that makes me show up. Maybe I need to find a blogger group that will keep me posting. I guess I just wonder, between being a graduate student, hall director, vagina monologues co-director and queer activist, when do I have time for myself? Furthermore, when do I have time to write for this blog that is something I do totally for me? This falls right along with the question, when is action too much action? I always have a hard time saying no. There is always more to do to help others. I just feel a little worn out.

This week I have had several startling revelations:

-I am going to be doing the MIC program next year and am way excited about teaching high school for a little while.
-I'm wanting to bind but don't know how to go about it or when to do it.
-there is little to no space for Genderqueer people in Lexington or Kentucky at all. (comment on the blog if you feel differently or the same. Hope is good for me)

I just feel like the gender binary is alive and well in Lexington, and it makes me feel alone and without a place to find community. I would love to sit around with people and be ok living in between. As much as I love the Trans community, honestly, I don't see genderqueerness fitting in their either. Sigh. I'm too cool for ...gender school. Maybe that doesn't work so well.