Saturday, February 10, 2007

Nobody Passes

Last night I went to the LA reading for Mattilda's (AKA Matt Bernstein Sycamore) Nobody Passes: Rejecting The Rules of Gender Conformity last night with a visiting friend from New York. Since experiencing Mattilda is always an event, I had to take pictures - but somehow managed to take only horrible ones. I refuse to post them.

Before I even know there was a name for it, I was interested in gender identity. I had my own word for it, of course. Freak. Or maybe I should say that I used that word for myself. I always assumed I was the only one. And isn't that the worst part? We all think we're the only one. Freak is a singular word, because once there's two of you, you become less freakish and approach belonging.

Now I know better, but last night when I heard Jen Cross talking about at
one point of her life wanting to cut away the girl parts of her body,
my mouth dropped open and I thought, "My god, I'm not the only one." I
knew that. I know that, but sometimes even I need to hear it again.
Hopefully this book will make it into the hands of someone who feels
like a freak and experience that great wash of relief that comes with
knowing there are more people like you out in the world.


mattilda a.k.a. matt bernstein sycamore said...

Thanks, Kathleen -- this is very sweet. Freak was also the first word I found to describe myself, before I found queer and outsider, reclaimed faggot, exclaimed queen, embraced trans and genderqueer and so many other defiances.

Love --

Jen Cross said...

Hey Kathleen! It was so great to meet you at the LA reading -- I'm right there with you on the "oh my god, I'm not the only one" thing. It's amazing how alone I felt in this whole business before I started talking about it. Makes sense, I know, but still -- there's so much pressure to pretend we're so sure of ourselves in our presentations and identities.

I'm glad, frankly, that we're, all of us here in freakdom, not alone.

(I'm excited to read your piece in BWE07 -- I've got one there, too...)