Monday, August 8, 2011
Girls, Gurls, Grrlz
I'm a little afraid to talk about this, just because I don't want to alienate or offend anyone. Rest assured, I try very hard not to let my personal preferences affect my judgment of a person. So, for example, the fact that I am not attracted to "gurls", t-gurls, trannies, transwomen, shemales, or chicks with dicks, does not mean that I don't respect them. Nor does it bother me when they (as well as plain old men) are attracted to me, despite the attraction not being mutual. In fact, that's precisely the reason why there are hundreds of people who call me a contact on flickr, yet very few of them are also my contacts. It's also why I feel socially detached in my work - because I'm not reaching the audience I'd like to reach. Nevertheless, I am very grateful for the audience I have. It's their support that encourages me to keep doing what I love, and I appreciate that regardless of whether or not I'd want to fuck them. :p
I'm also a little concerned about being called a traitor, since despite all I've said and done to combat gender stereotyping, the fact is, I actually like the gender binary. I would never force it on anyone who wasn't comfortable with it, but...it (generally) works for me. I like that there are complementary masculine and feminine forces. The only thing is - and this is the source of my dissatisfaction - I wish that biology and society didn't decide for us, without asking for our preference, which gender we're supposed to be.
Hence, I am a boy, with a lot more experience being a boy (not that I've ever been very good at it), that nevertheless wishes he could be a girl. Now, here's the wrench in the works. Despite my affinity for the gender binary, the traditional heteronormative standard is for an individual to be sexually attracted to his/her gender opposite. But I didn't start wanting to be a girl because I like boys, it happened because I like girls! And that does give me a sense of appreciation for the parts of me that are male, just because it allows for a smoother compatibility with girls. I honestly don't know whether my gender is male or female (how does one even diagnose gender?), but at times I feel both like a heterosexual male and a homosexual female (albeit lacking the all-important experience of being a girl). Which, to say the least, can be weird. And that, I suppose, is why I'm not completely conventional in my sex/gender beliefs and feelings.
But coming back to the point of this discussion, I view "girl" as the ideal that I strive for (unreachable or not). I'm seeing a lot of "gurl" pride among "gurls" on flickr, and it genuinely has me curious. Because, to me, "gurl" is not the goal I'm striving toward. It's a weird in-between thing. If I, at times, reach "gurl" status, it is only because it is a reluctant compromise between what I am, and what I want to be. Don't get me wrong, I like having the option to be a gurl. It's a lot better than resigning myself to my biologically and socially prescribed gender. That is, again, why I'm dedicated to fighting gender conformity. I may never be a true girl, but it's downright unfair for me not to be allowed to wear, say, a pink skirt, just because I've got a penis between my legs. However, the fact remains, I don't view being a gurl as something to be proud of (aside from the fact that it's a huge middle finger to the square, conformist establishment). I admire the parts that are girly, while simultaneously regretting the parts of me that are, inevitably, not. And all the while, I continue to admire girls - beautiful, beautiful girls - but not gurls.