I have the pleasure of being part of Rumpus’s Writing While Deviant series. Here’s the first part of my essay:
On the Beauty of Imperfect Attempts
A few years ago, I wrote an essay for a blog called MsBehaved about identifying as a femmy tomboy—a derivative of the more frequently used term tomboy femme. I labored over the intricacies of how I related to my gender, how differently I felt with male and female friends or lovers. Certain actions, like who held the door open or positions I assumed in bed changed my perspective on my role as a woman—even changed whether or not I felt like a woman.
In my essay, I was searching for an algorithm. I wanted to streamline my relationship with my gender until it was easily written down. I believed this might help others understand their own genders. I believed simple answers to be part of the nature of blogs. Since posts tend to be short, by necessity they must cater to easily digestible arguments.
But every formula I came up with seemed to mute any exception. For instance, I feel more feminine around cis-men than cis-women unless we’re lifting weights together, or I’m pinning his arms above his head, or if the cis-woman happens to be more butch than I am.