Call me anything you like, but not a queer.

This week this word has plagued my life - not only the babble that occurred around my census and the ownership of the word but last night I attended an 'open space' talk about queer theatre - now I'm not usually one for sitting in a room with other white homo's talking about other white homo's who do 'theatre' but the idea Chris Goode wanted to discuss was - 'Is queer theatre dead? are we post-queer?' which compelled me to attend.

The open space technique feels like you've stepped into Chris Morris' Jaam  - there is no punchline, everyone is completely serious about 'exsisting in tangible silence' and there is even Buddhist bells included for good measure - now having existed in alternative theatre I get why these people do this shit and why they feel its important - but the post 'theatre' me did feel the need to declare a statement about how bizarre sitting in a circle, looking at each other for 30mins and not proclaiming bizarre statements like 'Be prepared to be suprised' was. I put the cynic away and went with it - in short open space is people proposing questions on the chosen subject and others attend your mini talk if it interests them. I proposed the question 'Where does trans sit in queer?' - When I set this question I guess I was thinking literally about where do trans people fit in queer, but the more I thought about it the more clarity I gained about my definition of trans. Now I'm fully aware of the ownership of words and the transgendered community have with 'T' but trans - for me - is much more than gender reassignment. Trans for me is a border less, sexless, genderless and gate less community for all free thinkers - it took me ages to really try to community with my group what I meant, so I drew this:
The X's mark where you can exist - anywhere.

Some people thought that queer already encapsulated this, I think queer is generational - I grew up in a post queer environment - queer: the politic had already happened, queer: the culture had already happened - by the time I came out queer was a television program on Channel4 about poofs in Manchester or a buzz word used for people who read TimeOut. Trans for me is the queer for others. This started to raise questions about what it is to belong to a community and who sets the boundaries and if trans was queers evolution.

Further discussions about queer made me reaffirm I'm trans: "I want more queer spaces just for us - why are LGBT spaces now gay friendly?" - this kind of thoughtless comment is my problem with those who identify with it, this self perpetuating victimization mentally that we need to exist in different spaces does not interest me. Anther comment was made about having to identify as LGBT to be queer - I could not disagree anymore, If queer is a sexuality then I want nothing to do with it.

I mentioned how all my friends refer to each other as simply 'trans', its our shorthand for 'being whatever it is you want to be today' weather it be M, F, MTF, FTM, MS, Miss, Mr, MX, drag, camp or butch - trans for me is everything, nothing and more.

My final comment in the group feedback was 'Hello, My name is Scottee and I'm Trans - Tonight I have learnt weather it be trans or queer a group of people cannot be identified by it - the word is owned by the person'

And thats all I've got to say on the matter. X
P.S - heres a radical idea - lets just LIVE!

1 comment:

redhairedqueer said...

Interesting ... and as some of your group seem to have suggested, your interpretation of 'trans' is what a lot of us refer to as 'queer'. Though for me queer is also more embracing of the cis-gendered 'other' people than trans is.

Perhaps, as you say, it's a generational thing, but don't think it's a teensy bit 'victimy' (your word) and contradictory to want to dismiss queer as being played out and wanting something new of your own? Isn't that all part of the 'I'm different' mentality?

Actually I don't think it's victimy at all to want to have your own clear sense of identity, and I am one of the people who is passionate about retaining LGBT space. It's not that I think I'm a victim, it's just a can't stand hen parties or groups of 'lads.' Or, come to think of it, families with small children. Heaven save us!