Monday, February 25, 2008

More about gender...and coyotes

*** Pagan/spiritual content ahead. If this offends you, or induces eye-rolling, please refrain from reading***

So, I've been thinking about gender, more. Sinclair says that I am not, as I put it here, "gender lazy" just because I don't put Work into my performance of gender. I'm thankful for that validation - there are lots of areas of my life in which I feel like I'm not "hardcore" enough or "taking it seriously enough" because I don't work at it.
But still. It's niggling me, poking me in the back of my brain, now that I'm aware of it. I want words for my gender. I want to name it, dammit. And I am not "femme." I am not "butch". I know that this is a spectrum, and a complex one...but I don't like those names as applied to me. Applied to other people, damn, they're sexy. But not on me, not for me. I'm not genderfuck or genderqueer because those imply, to me, a conscious playing with the spectrum. And I don't do that either. I mean, I's costuming and ritual, but it's not what describes my everyday presence and performance.
My sex is female.
My sexual orientation is bisexual (probably closer to pansexual, but I haven't looked that up yet, so I won't officially use it).
My power preference is submissive/bottom.
My gender is _______
I don't know. I was talking to my Priestess from College Town, hereafter known as Magdalene, tonight about my gender issues and thoughts, and she asked "Why do you need to put your gender in a box?"
"So I can take it out again! Boxes are fun to play with."
And they are. Yes, names and categories can be reductive and restrictive and limiting. But Naming, oh, the act of Naming and claiming something for's beautiful. And boxes were meant to be opened, to be broken down, to be played with. But they are still useful for communication, for organization, for figuring things out and sharing said things with others.
Magdalene agreed with me, and told me this story about the year she spend with Coyote:
"The year before I took my First Degree, I hung out with Coyote. I was with my first priest at the time, who described himself as "a male lesbian," and not just in the "haha, that's funny" way. This was also the year that I did my first Fools' Day Ritual, because the tricksters in my life insisted. I'm a Virgo, so I don't like to give them much attention. So, my priest and I planned and did the ritual - using all the wonderful and horribly wrong jokes we could think of - we cast Circle with mistletoe in honor of Loki and had pecan spinwheels for Delerium and Marlboros for Coyote. Now, our clothes did not come off during this ritual. But somewhere in the middle of it, my priest got thrown on the bed. And I was on top of him. Coyote and Mrs. Coyote decided to have fun with us. It was the first time a god had manifested through me. He was Mrs. Coyote, and very pleased to have breasts. He had never come that way before.
And my first degree name? Anansi. So, you see, gender issues are pretty usual around the time for your first degree."
I suppose so. But I really want a name for it.
Anansi, by the by, is an African spider god. When he came over to the Americas, he became, frequently, Aunt Nancy. Quite the genderfucking god.
Conversations like this, though, are why I adore my College Town folk. Less than a week. I see Shakti and DragonCat on Sunday. Mmmm.

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