Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Monster Trans

Just came across Boots Potential's 'Monster Trans' (in From The Inside Out' ed Morty Diamond). It articulates so much of my thinking about monstrosity and gendered bodies, stuff that I haven't thought enough about since my Honours year. Here are some selected quotes:

'My preoccupation with monsters has mutated into something that provides me with an index with which to enact my gender and transness. Cultivating my monster identity preceded my identifying as trans. Part of this was the rule-breaking nature of monstrosity. For awhile, I was swindled into thinking, as many of us are, that there is a "correct" way to be trans: we have to take hormones, get suregries, get a GID diagnosis, change pronouns, pass, feel like a boy in a girl's body, and get a preppy haircut. My inclination is to break rules or flee from them, and if this long list of requirements was what it took to be trans, I didn't want that'

'Monsters are often referred to as "it". Though "it" is not my pronoun of choice, I am heartened by the thought that a living thing (at least within the collective imagination of a filmic audience) can escape immediate relegation to one category of the sexual dichotomy or another... Many medical, GLBTQ, and trans communities would often have us think that there is no other way than to choose consistent male or female pronouns, or there is something wrong with us, with our transness, or both. Monsters, on the other hand, open up a wealthof possibilities: what do you call someone or something that eludes you to the point that you can't determine its species or origin, let alone gender?'

'I plan to seek surgical alteration of my gendered chest. I am not intending to "pass", my goal is rather to be able to be read as trans, to create a lack of gender-cohesiveness on my body. in other words, I aim to defy the "kind" that I am supposed to be, true to my monstrous affiliations'

'My favourite monsters are the B-movie variety. This is the source from which my gender enactments are inspired. They manage to be at once deliberate in their freakishness, fictional, contrived, shocking, fascinating, never "correctly" human, always tenacious, and often campy. I take from this my pleasurable enactment and embodiment of transness. I revel in being freaky and campy, attempt to use the nervousness I inspire in people to challenge, and never settle into categories I don't feel accomodate me. And every once in a while, just to punctuate my point, I wear an old-fashioned Martian mask just for fun and effect'

'I am thrilled to have a vehicle which allows me to be simulataneously politically engaged, campy as hell, tough-as-nails, sissy faggy, butch new-wave dykey, dead serious, boy-girl-whatever, pansy, and terrifying all in one fell swoop. Male/female dichotomies do not allow for this mobility and simultaneity, but monstrosity does'

I love it. And it has decided my next tatto project for me! (Have been getting some good hours at 'bonus workplace' and also some research work, and have been hankering for some new ink for some time. Will post it when I get it, of course.

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