Monday, August 31, 2009

Benefit Show for University of Kentucky's GLBTIQQA Resource Center!

On September 15th, at Al's Bar there will be a queer event benefiting the OUTsource, U.K.'s GLBTIQQA resource center. The line up includes Lexington's very own queer fronted band, Spooky Qs, along with Harvey Katz of Athens Boys Choir and 8 Inch Betsy a "dyke-core" band from Chicago, IL.

The show will start at 7pm and everyone bring your hunger, for Al's is one of the best places in Lexington to get a homegrown meal, or a late night snack.

To find out more about the performers, check out these links:

Harvey Katz

Spooky Qs

8 Inch Betsy

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Gender normative privilege

Check this site out on privilege based on your normative gender status, or as my friend put it the other day "cisgender" status (i.e. having your biological sex and gender align).

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Drag King YAY!

I went to Pulse last night for ladies night, and lo and behold there were DRAG KINGS! Many of my friends and I have talked about the need for many more of them in lexington, and I was pleasantly surprised to find that they had a drag king night at Pulse.

I talked to the owner and am going to perform at Pulse in the future. Yay. I will update everyone on the night and time. In the meantime, check out this blog on tips for drag kings. The Dukes of Drag are a troupe from Montreal and their site is tight. Happy Saturday.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Binding: A True Love/Hate Relationship

First off, a brief introduction-
I have been out as "trans" for a year and a half now. In the beginning I was alright with not making much of an effort to "pass" as male, because, well, my personality dictates that if I'm going to do something, I can't be half-assed about it. For instance, if I'm going to embark on some chore and I don't have the correct tools, I will not attempt to"make due with what I have" but instead say "fuck it" and wait until said tools appear to me. I know this isn't constructive behavior and I also realize that I can't make it apply to every life situation and the way I present myself in public nowadays has been challenged by the way I handle the stress of not being able to simply wake up one morning and be in the correct body.

So, about six months ago, a friend of mine who is taking hormones, but also binding, passed on his old binder to me, having finally grown out of it. I was eccstatic to say the least. I have, in the past done the Ace bandage thing and only for special occasions, such as parties or when I was feeling particularly annoyed with my breasts. It's painful, awkward, and not really something you should do when you have a full day of doing things ahead of you. My breasts would either work their way slowly out of the top, thus making the Ace bandage an excellent push-up bra or create such a tension in the middle of my spine that I felt like I was arching my back all day.

At first the binder felt uncomfortable and I couldn't imagine wearing it for an 8 hour work day, but I was very pleased with how well it concealed my breasts versus things I have tried in the past. Over a matter of a few weeks however, I became used to it. It became a second skin. Now, I never wore it to bed of course and once I knew my partner and I were in for the night, I always took it off. I started receiving compliments from friends - about how I looked more like myself and how I was noticeably more confident and, well, happy. It's a small step in the grand scheme of things, but to me, it has shown me just how badly I need to move forward on transitioning. I like to call binding, the "gateway drug" to ftm transitioning.

Unfortunately, as time has passed, my binding on a regular basis has been causing some problems. I started a new job recently and seeing it as an opportunity for a clean slate as far as how my co-workers view my gender, I have insisted to myself to start making more of an effort to pass. However, two weeks in (and with people in the lab referring to me by female pronouns anyway) I lifted a cooler in such a way that I strained something in my chest and because I was binding, it only made the problem worse. The following day I had terrible chest pain and had to put the binder aside, leaving my breasts free to jump around and let everyone know that I am biologically female and whats worse, tell them that I'm not serious about transitioning, that its a phase, that its something I do for fun, that I can't make up my mind, that I'm self concious, or that I'm weak, or that I haven't thought this through. Everyday when I get dressed to go out, I have to make a choice: my physical health or my mental health. When my body is not being physically restrained I feel tethered to it. But when I try to shove each part into a package that makes sense to me, I exude a kind of confidence I was lacking before.

I suppose what I'm trying to say in this blog is that being trans anywhere can be
a long and fluctuating journey. Some days its just too fucking humid to put on a layer of nylon underneath your clothes and somedays you just can't imagine leaving home without it.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Shameless event plugging

I'm going to shamelessly plug an event. Hope you don't mind :)


Hey everyone!!! We're trying to fly out some awesomely queer bands from San Francisco for a "Queer Control Records" showcase on October 3rd. (

We need to raise $2000 in order to fly them out so we're having a fundraiser this Saturday night at Al's bar featuring some awesome music by the tense kids and the indulgents, and a holding a raffle of some pretty sweet items.

If we raise the money to fly out the bands not only will Lexington have a chance to experience music that normally doesn't come to our neck of the woods, BUT, all the money we raise on at the showcase on Oct. 3rd will be donated to AVOL (AIDS volunteers).

Raffle items include (but are not limited to):

1. Gift certificate to CD central

2. massage from a Lexington Healing arts academy graduate

3. $70 gift certificate to charmed life tattoo

4. gift certificate to the Morris Book shop


So please join us this Saturday, Aug. 22nd at Al's bar on the corner of 6th and Limestone. Cover is $5 and it is ALL AGES. Music will start around 8ish, with the raffle happening between bands (Around 10:30pm)

Check out the facebook group page for more info on the event:

If you're interested in making a donation to bring these bands to Lexington, but you're unable to attend the fundraiser on Saturday, then send an email to and we'll work something out!

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Local Food Potluck and Gathering

Check out this post on Transform Lexington about a local food potluck and gathering that happens the first Thursday of every month. Tres cool.

Video killed the *gender* star

I think that I would like to do "video logs" on here. Suggestions for easily usable computer cams? Would people like to hear me (and others) talking about gender in lexington? Let me know. Spread the word about the blog too. I am always open to contributors.

I am not known for my cool taste in music. I know that and embrace it. I like to booty dance, and usually like music that helps me to do that. I love music in genderal and it has gotten me through tough times.

A few years ago I stumbled upon a video by Ciara called "Like a Boy". If there was an argument for the social construction of gender, I think this would be it. Ciara does a good job of questioning the gendered issues in dating, and then representing two genders in her video. I look at it as pretty feminist and progressive. It is also pretty damn sexy to me. I like when people blend genders. Anyway.

Contrast that with this video called "Crazy, Sex, Magic". The song and video are more recent (2009) and with Justin Timberlake in the video it has more star power. It has very little of Ciara's amazing dancing ability, and Ciara has a chain around her neck that Justin plays with during the song. I was made aware of this by when they commented on the imagery. It was striking to me too. Here is the post .

They also mentioned that Janet Jackson's image suffered the most when the wardrobe malfunction happened at the superbowl, and Justin Timberlake seemed to emerge unscathed. Wasn't he the one that actually ripped the costume off? Does this have to do with the fact that he is a man?

I wonder if Ciara would do "Like a Boy" now, since she is becoming more popular? In both videos she is dancing around a man, would she have been able to put Justin Timberlake as the man she was singing to in "Like a Boy"? Does this have to do more with gender roles or celebrity? God-des has a song about the idea that record labels wouldn't sign her because she didn't look feminine. She mentions that female rappers "sold out" and became more feminine to sell their image and become financially independent. Does anyone think that Ciara did that?

Sometimes in Lexington, I feel a lack of interplay between consumer and commerce. It may be because people feel that they won't be heard. Or maybe because they don't care. I listen to pop music because it has a good beat and isn't as heavy as my grad school textbooks. I also try and support the local music scene when I can (with a little help from some good friends). I want and wish that people in Lexington had more of a conversation going on around them, especially when it comes to identities and how they affect all of us. Sex sells. Sexual attraction is based on gender. Gender issues are everywhere and taken for granted.

I'll leave you with a God-des and She video. They are now signed, thankfully, but it leaves me to wonder how many other bands aren't being signed because of their gender non-conformity?