Tag Archives: queer and gender effing

A quick primer on queer theory and the heterosexual matrix

Let’s talk about the fiction of the gender binary.

This fiction is pretty simple: There’s a story our culture tells us about identity. This story convinces us that gender is an either/or proposition. Your options in the drop-down gender box are to mark 1 for male, 0 for female. There are no other options. There is nothing in between. There is nothing off to one side. There isn’t even an “other” or “not applicable” box to mark.

The fiction of … Read more

It’s time for the Learning Sciences to embrace queer & trans* theory.

IDK if you knew that I have a PhD in Education. More specifically, my PhD came from a Learning Sciences program, so I’m technically a learning scientist.

I have a very complicated and fraught relationship with the Learning Sciences–a field that has been extraordinarily slow to integrate the concerns of queer and trans* folk, and even slower to integrate queer and trans* theory–frameworks designed explicitly to account for and investigate queer and trans* concerns, experiences, and lives. Imagine being … Read more

Ten things I wish I could tell myself in advance of starting graduate school

1. They will want to indoctrinate you into the culture of busy, because for all the talk of how universities are liberal bastions, academia is as neoliberal a profession as they come. (See: Joern Fischer, academia’s obsession with quantity; PhD students and the cult of busy; Janet Choi, how to escape the cult of “busy”.) You’re going to love a lot of what you do in graduate school, and it’s ok to immerse yourself in your … Read more

“what gives you the moral authority?”

So here’s something that happened to me yesterday at the AERA Annual Meeting: I gave a talk about my dissertation (.pdf)  in a roundtable sponsored by the Queer Studies Special Interest Group. I began my presentation with a rationale for my work: I talked about the material and symbolic violence committed against trans bodies and then described how misogyny and transphobia get internalized really early and that in order to counteract this it’s important to help kids think about … Read more

National Coming Out Day: Smash ALL the closets.

Yesterday, Oct. 11, was National Coming Out Day. I made this image in honor of the event:

Then, on Facebook, I posted this:

I really do believe in the importance of people coming out as LGBTQI allies. If queer and questioning folks who are afraid to come out know that they are surrounded by people who will love and support them and will try to keep them safe, they are far more likely to come out, and stay out. … Read more

time for the Bleeding Heartland Roller Girls to protest the WFTDA gender policy

My local NPR station, WFIU, just aired an hourlong conversation with members of the Bleeding Heartland Rollergirls (BHRG), our town’s roller derby league.

I’m an enormous roller derby fan, and I love BHRG just to absolute pieces. One of the reasons I love my local team so much is that its skaters are all up in gender’s grill. It’s an extremely queer league, with tons of genderqueers peppering the roster.

Which is why I’ve been so confused by BHRG’s silence … Read more

bisexuality: we’re doing it wrong.

am I bisexual?There’s an interesting post on Feministe from an excellent writer named Shoshie on the dilemma of how to be bisexual when you’re in a committed, monogamous relationship. Shoshie writes that she’s liked girls for as long as she’s liked boys, even though she didn’t come out as bisexual (“well, actually,” she writes, “pansexual”) until she was in her early twenties. And by the time she had gotten comfortable with her orientation, she was already dating the man who would … Read more

gay wedding planning for straight people

Some queers have chosen to boycott opposite-sex marriages in protest of discriminatory laws on who can legally marry in the United States. I agree with writer Charles Purdy that boycotting loved ones’ ceremonies is both selfish and ineffectual. Purdy writes that

using another person’s wedding as a soapbox for your political viewpoints is indeed tacky. It reeks of self-important grandstanding….[B]eing cruel is no way to bring anyone around to you point of view. (After all, that’s what the other side

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weighing in on Edward Albee

Edward Albee is gay and he’s a writer, but he wants you to know he’s not a gay writer.

Albee received this year’s Pioneer Award from the Lambda Literary Association; this honor is described on the Lambda website as one that is bestowed

on individuals who have broken new ground in the field of LGBT literature and publishing. Established in 1995, the Award honors those who, through their achievements and passionate commitment, have contributed to the LGBT literary community

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on a related note…

There are times when I feel very happy and comfortable with fighting for equal rights for all humans alongside all humans who care to take up the fight, regardless of their gender or sexual orientation. There are times when I am awed and humbled by the work of my nonqueer friends, family, and colleagues to understand, embrace, and support the rights of people whose lives and choices and needs and interests they don’t and can’t ever fully understand. There are … Read more