I haven’t posted for a while because my life is still pure chaos and I am not moved and yeah…shit is a lot.
Recently a wee Babby Queer asked me how on earth I found information about Queerness and Gender before the Internet.
Some of these will be evil empire affiliate links because your host is a bitch that gotta eat.
Let’s talk about what had happened.
As a baby potato, I realize looking back I did not buy the concept of there only being Boys and Girls. The extent of my understanding was this. Way back in the 80s I remember seeing a man in half man/half woman drag on TV and I thought he was the most perfect human to ever exist. Man? Woman? Both? I thought both and perfect.
That was it. I didn’t feel the need to think about my own gender multiplicity, it just was how I was and it was fine.
What started me questioning the fluctuating nature of my gender was my taste in books. To be real about it, when I was in high school I started reading a lot of very dirty books. If it was even Queer Baity, I was into it. At one point when I was 19 or so, I realized that as a reader, I identified with varying gendered people in those stories. In my fantasies (wank file) sometimes I was the virginal girl, I was the rent boy, I was the big dirty daddy and it felt the most natural to me.
I read a lot of real filthy gay smut. I emulated those writers and I read gay fiction and I remember in particular finding Kate Bornstein’s book Gender Outlaws- y’all. Shit fucked me up. Until the day I found that book in a Gay owned bookstore where I’d been introduced to Dennis Cooper and Carol Queen and Patrick Califa and the amazing porn magazine On Our Backs and sex work and all of these things exploded my understanding of how I perceived not only my own gender but that of others.
My mind was blown.
There were OTHERS.
Gender as I experienced it wasn’t some weird delusion or fetish. It took me a long time to understand that but, the list of books linked below is absolutely a big part of that. Remember I’m old y’all. I had no google, no tumblr or twitter. I had books. Books I skipped eating to buy. Books that were so precious to me I couldn’t share them with others.
Like most things in my life, it started with books. With me realizing that while yeah there’s some weird shit happening in my head, I wasn’t/am not alone.
Now this is why I am so strident about representation. Because I was a lonely baby potato and even through the sheer Whiteness of the stuff I was reading, I saw I wasn’t alone. Those early books gave me the courage to find those people in meatspace. I gravitated towards other queers, transfolks, genderqueer folks who also didn’t know the term genderqueer.
Learning that beyond the canon of the Western everything, there were and are genders beyond a prescribed binary blessed me.
Now how about some things?
Find my amazon list (I will add more) of stuff I was reading/have read since.