my gender

last modified: Wednesday 4/11/2020 16:27 CET
every mention of “my gender” in my tumblr archive between 2012 and 2018


Two shadows disappear and I become myself.

I don’t know if I’m too pleased with that title anymore, but that’s the title I gave this work when I sent in to apply for art schools. And I haven’t thought of an alternative yet, so it’ll have to do for now…  It’s about the dream of being read correctly (?), being liberated from something uncomfortable, for a moment. I suppose. But I mean, I am myself. Regardless of the shadows. 

I never get around to “publishing” any work like this, that centers around aspects of my gender identity, because as soon I step back and take a look at it, it reveals its problems. It reveals the ways it could cause harm both to myself and to others. First and foremost others. 

There’s a violent conflict in how I feel about altering my own body and what kind of expectations I may continue to push onto other people and their bodies while doing so. My body is white, thin, able… As a genderqueer/androgynous body it is very close to the narrow accepted ideal for what that kind of body should look like. Yes, I promise you there is a world of cis-people out there with the opinion that: “Gender ambiguity should look like this fashion spread in i-D Magazine or it’s totally gross.” There’s this tiny exception where it is OK to “deviate” from the ideal cis-body towards a more fluid one, but only because it fulfills all these other ideal standards. And also, in this context, there’s almost never any personal statement. Like, I bet, it’s going to annoy people that along with the images above this text there is, you know, the text. BLAH BLAH BLAH boring I want to look at the pictures. I’m gonna post it to my thinspo blog.


I don’t want to be one more thin, white, punch in the face to all the queer/trans bodies that are devalued in this horrendous world because they aren’t thin or white or able or ALL OF THE ABOVE and a myriad of other reasons.

But I am.

Lord knows there are things that are not ideal when it comes to my body, but the privileges are apparent, abundant. I see someone who is closer to the ideals I have personally internalized, and I admit, I feel ugly, or like a failure in relation to what I should look like, no one escapes this poison, but these sort of feelings don’t compare - at all - because I don’t face the kind of oppression that so many other people face because of their bodies. I simply don’t. And I have understood that my body will make other people feel bad about theirs. I can work my outmost to not ignore these privileges I have. At keeping myself aware and careful. And still, it won’t work, by default it won’t work, I am still me, speaking from a place that’s going to injure someone else, because my voice is heard and not theirs. Due to my privileged position. My work is personal, sure, it is not meant to represent any story or journey but my own, but whatever - art is never just art, one person’s struggle is not just one person’s struggle. Everything builds and affects someone else. Or intrudes upon and demolishes someone else. 

So, this torso. I set out to create an object that would make me feel comfortable posing topless/in something that reveals the chest in photographs, at least, (because the torso of course is not comfortable enough to wear outside). I don’t know what I ended up with. I set out to explore in imagery what it would be like if the real alteration of my breasts weren’t up to “gender investigators” and the fucked up system you need to pass through to transition - and of course you can only transition from one end of the binary to the other in Sweden, so any surgical alteration isn’t possible right now. But I only took a few portraits in it and since these first ones I haven’t taken any more. I don’t like the fact that I’m in long johns and briefs. I’m missing the femme extravaganza that this torso needs to be accompanied with, in my mind, to make it revolutionary. A body decorated with lots of draped velvet, sequins, lace and fabulous make-up.

When I get it back from the school I turned it in to as an application I might try and give it nipples. Or I might burn it in the forest behind the house. 

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Suppose I want to tell you that I saw Uncle Vanya on 42nd Street. In Mian, a language spoken in Papua New Guinea, the verb I used would reveal whether the event happened just now, yesterday or in the distant past, whereas in Indonesian, the verb wouldn’t even give away whether it had already happened or was still coming up. In Russian, the verb would reveal my gender. In Mandarin, I would have to specify whether the titular uncle is maternal or paternal and whether he is related by blood or marriage, because there are different words for all these different types of uncles and then some (he happens to be a mother’s brother, as the Chinese translation clearly states). And in Pirahã, a language spoken in the Amazon, I couldn’t say “42nd,” because there are no words for exact numbers, just words for “few” and “many.”

Lera Boroditsky (via stickyembraces)


finn from adventure time is totally my gender inspiration

i just want to be a sweet and sensitive and brave and kind and non-threatening and genuine and compassionate and cute boi



i am really fond of how people have started using abstract ideas to talk about themselves and their identities. like, “my gender is early morning dew drops” “today my mood is watching the sunset through a bus window in the early winter” “my kintype is purple-hued photos of space.”  like, idk, there are a lot of feelings and states of being that make more sense to me as aesthetics than words? i dig this style of communication. let’s continue it into 2015.

a personal composition/exploration about my gender.


((hobbes / 21 / she/they pronouns))

for trans day of visibility here’s some recent selfies !!!

visibility and representation are incredibly important, especially in spaces like this that heavily media based and communities for younger people. if it wasn’t for tumblr and other trans and non binary people sharing their stories and their existence i dont know whether i would have opened up and explored my gender in the way that i have

on days like today i want to make it explicit that there are no requirements for being trans or queer or nonbinary or however you want to identify. you don’t need to look a certain way to be a girl or boy or anything inbetween or outside

all this being said, its also super pertinent to be conscious of who you are giving representation to !! if you are reblogging this photo set of me, give equal or more visibility to the trans people (esp women) who aren’t thin and white passing and able bodied. and give visibility to the trans people (esp women) who either don’t or choose not to pass in a way that satisfies traditional gender norms

ur all beautiful !!!! <333


happy trans day of visibility!

ive learned a lot exploring my gender identity in the past year or so & identifying as genderfluid feels freeing & im happier than ever

🐲genderfluid they/them🐲


my gender is a triangle”; 3am gender journals/comics… if my work resonates with you i encourage you to take some time to reflect/create your own work relating to your identity that expresses your own experiences and feelings in your own particular way.  this is my gender.  think about yours.
~~good vibes y’all~~

I AM x̃∈ℝⁿ


okay, i have been trying to say this in a way that makes sense for ages, so here goes:

a lot of hatred of dresses, pink, stereotypically “feminine” stuff is based on internalized misogyny. and that’s definitely something we all need to look at within ourselves and address and work on.

but: a lot of hatred of dresses, pink, stereotypically “feminine” stuff is based on the fact that femininity is compulsory for people who are assigned female at birth.

like, this is a fact. this isn’t something i’m making up. femininity is compulsory. i have to wear dresses and makeup to be taken seriously when i go to job interviews, when i go to social occasions, when i present myself in any formal setting. when i don’t do that, people notice. they’re rude to me. 

when i shop in the men’s section, store employees and customers glare at me! my relatives press feminine clothes on me during the holiday season because they think i should dress in a more feminine way! when i go to get my hair cut and ask for it to be cut in a certain style, the woman cutting my hair literally ignores that explicit instruction because it’s “too butch”. femininity is compulsory! i am not allowed to present my gender the way i would like to present my gender!

it’s not the fault of femininity that it’s being forced on me. and the patriarchy does devalue femininity. and the current rhetoric of “you can wear pink and skirts and still be a feminist and still be queer and it’s other people’s fault for not taking you seriously, not yours for dressing that way” is great

but i’ve heard people say to me, “you can wear lipstick and dresses and still be a feminist” about a thousand times, and i have never, ever, ever heard someone say to me, “you can refuse to wear lipstick and dresses and you are no less of a woman than someone who does wear them.” i had to figure that out all on my own.

i’m allowed to be angry at the cis women who force me to present myself in a way that i don’t want to present myself. i am allowed to do that.

A finite sequence from a finite alphabet is insufficient to describe my gender and sexuality. I'm just keeping it real.



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my genderfluid ass, for the past month and a half: i’m a boy!

my genderfluid ass, after watching 11 Grimes music videos in a row: … well actually

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I rarely see bodies that look like mine represented in art. I take my body everywhere I go, and while I wish it were different, I don’t want to be ashamed of it. My body has changed a lot during my gender transition, and it will continue to change. After spending so many years hating the way I look, I’m learning to be grateful for all my body does for me and I want to celebrate it in a way that I’ve never seen it celebrated before.

These enamel pins are $10 each. 100% of the proceeds goes to Trans Lifeline. Buy them here:


Actual genetic testing for intersex, gnc, and trans people is going to be great because everybody in the workplace is going to shuffle into the break room (”beats workin’” one of the old white guys will say) and we’ll sit down at the plastic lunch tables and management will pass out a little baggie with a tube to spit in and painstakingly go over how to seal it and affix the label. It’s just like drug testing, you did that when we hired you, except you can’t fail! And you get twenty minutes off your workday, right? Great.

I could get lucky at this point. It doesn’t always show up on tests. I wouldn’t say that my body is a fifty-fifty split. But.

Days or weeks later a couple people from management will pull me off the lanes and take me into the nurse’s office. They’ll open the door for me and say “Sorry, buddy, I know this is a hassle” and they’ll say I have to do it again because my sample looked contaminated. (I did like a 23andMe thing once and they kept telling me they thought my sample must have gotten mixed with some else’s - it’s probably just the way these labs work, the checking process for your sample is probably automated.) But I’ll grunt and say “it’s fine” and sit in a chair and spit into another tube while they stare at me. I might have to repeat the process until they figure out I used to be twins, a boy twin and a girl twin, and my genetics reflect that. (”Oh wow I didn’t know that about you,” will the manager say, trying really hard to make encouraging small talk.)  

Then I’ll find out that there’s some problem with my paycheck or the ID reader thing won’t let me clock in and I’ll go to the HR desk and spend like ten minutes being bored in line while the people in front of me figure out their parking passes or lost passwords and they say there’s some red tape I have to jump through about my gender, it’s not a big deal, you just have to go get a doctor to sign off on - (awkward pause) - on one or another before I go back to work, it’s a federal regulation thing. I’ll irritably play a lot of phone tag trying to make sure I don’t use my UPT (unpaid time off) hours while I can’t work, and then go to the health center the next town over where I used to get my fillings done. The 21-year-old receptionist will give me kind of a pained look when she calls me to the front and I’ll try to act casual for her sake, or maybe I’ll feel defiant and show her I’m uncomfortable and annoyed just to make her feel bad, because she’s the closest approximate thing to a target. (although I won’t, because I’m too old for that and it’s not her fault). The doctor will give me a tight smile and say “Sorry, I know this is invasive.” Then I’ll go home and bitch about it on Tumblr. 

I don’t know exactly what happens next, maybe I’ll lose my job and the state will give me a letter saying that owing to United States regulation they can’t offer Medicaid to (they’ll phrase it in the most neutral possible way, like “those with a gender or sex ambiguity“ - you know, they’re trying to make it sound like they’re still progressive and their hands are tied, all saying that gender and sex are different), and then I’ll bitch about that on Tumblr too, but whatever, I managed bipolar for so long when I was undiagnosed, I don’t need to afford my meds. 

That’s about as far as my imagination goes, but even if they decided to straight-up euthanize me it’s going to be boring, and there’ll be a lot of papers to sign and a lot of shuffling around near plastic tables under fluorescent lights, and it’s not going to feel dramatic and it’s not going to feel like something with a clear way to fight. Jackbooted thugs who I can heroically punch or physically escape from will probably not show up at my house in the middle of the night (and if they do I’d really be fucked, but at least I’d get an adrenaline rush out of it).

I dunno, it might come from being a Slav and knowing people who lived under Communism, but I see the future and not only are we all going to lose our rights and die, it’s going to be slow, boring, and really fucking annoying, and because of that it’ll creep up on us. 

Of course, the upside of this is that the change we want will creep up on them too. You vote, your friends vote, Republicans lose the majority. You vote (vote, goddamn you) in local elections and get better quality candidates if you don’t like the ones we got. Donation posts go around Tumblr and we can gofundme crack teams of immigration lawyers. (Also, check Charity [Navigator] for charities that work with refugees and immigrants.) (While you’re at it, here are [some] LGBT charities too, including one for intersex rights and those supporting LGBT immigrants and asylum seekers.) The ways that you can help are also not dramatic. When they come you have to notice them.

They are also vulnerable to a death by a thousand cuts. Don’t forget that.