Feb. 11th, 2009 08:11 am
jacktellslies: (dandy)

Meet Berthe Tripier, [livejournal.com profile] __uptight's great grandmother.
jacktellslies: (jeanne mammen)
A picture of me was recently featured on Genderfork, a blog that focuses on androgyny in photography and includes remarks about gender submitted by viewers. I took the picture in question while perched on a branch in a tree in the centre of a hedge maze in a garden in Brussels. Far too many of my self-portraits feature that absurd facial expression. My camera is obviously rarely chastened by it.

The site is entirely worthwhile simply as a convenient collection of pictures of people who are often quite attractive (please see here and here), but some of the images are more nuanced. Golf Suits would not be seen as playing with gender were it not for the positions of the models. Back and Forth and Clothesline both work because the subjects toy with and take command of the idea of the male gaze. The images that interest me most are consistently the ones in which attitude and posture are wielded as dangerously as an excellent suit and a flamboyant haircut.

I'm not impressed by most of the text, however. Perhaps I'm being unrealistic or unfair, but while I encourage and enjoy honest discussion of the ways in which living in a binary gendered society is painful for most humans, I am opposed to whining. I want more subversion, more laughing it off, more fighting back, and more people who are too smart and too gorgeous to bother worrying about the kids who don't get it. Throw your heels at the rude bastards. Respond to their braying by telling them that every cock you own is bigger than theirs while you adjust your pack and swagger off. Do both in the same evening. And then call me, because I'd like to buy you a drink. Or simply have nothing to do with the commentary of idiots, because you're honest and you're brave, and their rules do not concern you.

This isn't the fault of the creator of the blog, Sarah Dopp, who has a delightful name and compiles a fascinating collection of images I'll continue to follow. It's the tearful conversation that happens every time two or more trans or genderqueer folk stumble into a room together, and I'm bored with it.

By the by. Have you heard that Blur is getting back together?
jacktellslies: (tea)
To celebrate Parker's having started T, Carla and I threw him a surprise, ahem, tea party. There were cucumber and watercress finger sandwiches, artfully arranged platters of meats and cheeses and smoked fish, ladyfingers, and little cakes with fruit. There were also, of course, several thousand varieties of expensive and exotic teas. As I'm sure you've noted, it was intensely manly. In fact, following a discussion regarding the strange ability of those sphinxes, women, to pick at the tiniest quantities of food and rely on the clever application of pauses in order to appear delicate and half starved while secretly consuming entire galaxies, we decided to hold an experiment. We embarked upon a quest to prove our virility: twisting their deceitful feminine ways to our own purposes, we nibbled away at entire pyramids of watercress sandwiches, cheering one another onward to still greater feats of gluttony, more daring displays of masculinity, leaving naught but pure machismo and crumbs in our wake. Debbie brought a gift of beard grooming products, and at the end of it, as a ritual acceptance of adolescence and, eventually, manhood, we took Parker out into the woods and circumcised him with a straight razor while chanting the following:

Gentlemen, behold! )

We'll host a sausage party when he's a bit further along.
jacktellslies: (jeanne mammen)
It is entirely the wrong weather for it, but, as I've found the subject in print twice recently, I've been thinking about it anyway. The immortal Marchesa Luisa Casati "wore live snakes as jewelry, and she was infamous for her evening strolls, naked beneath her furs, parading cheetahs on diamond-studded leashes." Norma Wallace, the artist responsible for the great New Orleans whorehouses, was "a great moviegoer - she often, in a rush, threw her fur coat on with nothing underneath to catch the last feature at the Saenger Theatre on Canal Street." Many thanks to them both. For me the image is so persistent, I think, because there is no equivalent for a gentleman. There is no similar elegant, sensual act of sloth. Wearing garters and stockings under a suit is fine enough, I suppose, but is almost its opposite.

Parker started testosterone a month ago. He's not showing yet, obviously, but there has been a shift in pronouns. He's most excited about increased musculature. His arms and back are already notable; soon he'll look like a circus strongman, short and thick and hard. I, on the other hand, like to remind him that before long he'll be made of nothing but hair. He is a bit fuzzy to start with, so I plan on buying him a cat brush to celebrate when the massive quantities of chest hair begin destroying civilization.

To be honest, I'd been nervous. I've considered this, and I'd worried that Parker's starting would leave me jealous, or rushing into something, or with that not-enough feeling that I think is familiar to those like us, when, obviously, all I want to feel is happy for him.

Again, there have been no changes yet, but, instead, this has left me feeling remarkably secure, and certain. Parker is the only person with whom I've ever been involved who felt as if they were the same gender as me. Feeling that the term homosexual was applicable for once was delightful, but now that we are more firmly on our separate paths, I feel a sort of freedom. I suppose it should have been obvious already that we are very different sorts of boys. If I'm a young gentleman, once his voice starts to crack he'll be the adolescent waif.

Today we'll meet at our doctor and I'll learn to administer the injection. I watched when he did it himself two weeks ago, and was almost shocked to discover how much I enjoyed it.
jacktellslies: (Default)
People are drunk in my livingroom, but I'm upstairs and quiet, working on a mix that is meant to be for Terrance, but keeps turning into one for someone else.

I've a lovely day planned for tomorrow: I'll make Dover sole for the first time for dinner, and we'll visit the cool kids' club the lovely piercing and tattooing place where Parker would like to get a second job, and then there will be drag kings, and possibly friends. (Let me know if you'd like to join us for drag kings in west Philly tomorrow, by the way.)

And the only thing that could possibly be better than all of that is the news I just received. Philadelphia is one of my favourite places in all the world, but it is nothing at all, now, compared with what it could be.

Oh, good God. I've not listened to Elton John in so long. There are words I barely remember, so it is familiar and new all at once. He's perfect. I don't know what to do with myself.

My dearest Meredith,

My email isn't quite working, tonight. Also, I would seem to have lied: these are not all circus girls. Some of them are men, and one of them is probably more of a woman than a girl. I hope that you enjoy them anyway, and I also hope that you get whatever you like for breakfast every day for the rest of your life.


This is my one-thousandth livejournal entry.


jacktellslies: (Default)

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