Dear reader, how are you? A friend and I were talking about their name and pronouns. Kindly, they asked about mine too. I wanted to share with you about my name and pronouns lately. They can change at any time. This post is partly an email I sent my caring friend.
I think about changing my name often. Laura-Marie is such a femmy mouthful. I hate Laura as a name, but I’m good with Laura-Marie. But I get Laura-ed too much by people who assume the Marie is optional.
An easier name might be one less thing to struggle against, in a struggle-y world. I’m seeing if something calls to me. I consider Lore. A bestie long ago called me that. I was River to some, but I don’t want to be River here.
As for pronouns, I think about adding a they option. I see gender as a scam, and my she-ness is such a performance I find silly.
But I don’t want to take on a they when I don’t really need the they. I see how Ming does gender, and I’m frustrated that Ming’s non-binariness is under-seen. His “they” is not an afterthought–he is full on super pertinently non-binary. But he doesn’t bring it up a lot or show much enby in his style of dress or other ways of showing it to the world. So most people ignore it, which hurts me vicariously.
Do you see Ming’s enby-ness, in everyday life? Do you feel it, in how you two interact on the day to day? I’m guessing you do.
Pronouns are central to how we do language, but I wish there were other ways I could show the world my actual values: Gender is a scam, and being a woman is something I’m good at, but in a way I think woman-ness should be thrown out the window. Woman-ness and man-ness have done So Much Harm to the world, and just in my own family of origin. We can do better. My values are central to my identity. I don’t think taking on a “they” would help me be understood.
I do a bit of genderfucking when I get the chance, when I say something like, “I’m your man.” In private Ming is my girlfriend and my bride very fluidly–in private, we do gender any which fuckin’ way, which is a pleasure and a joy. But I wish there were more ways I could publicly resist gender bullshit. I can write about it in blogs and zines–I do have three issues of sexuality as hidden, which I believe in. Maybe I should make a fourth issue.
Sometimes I think Ming is intersex, as he grows no chest hair (just a lil around his nipples) and has a fun sex drive but is not like other bio-dicked folx I’ve been close to with what I could call testosterone poisoning of deep selfishness. Ming knows how to love and enjoys it. Caring for the well-being of others is fun for him, not a chore.
Ming makes me ponder biology. He has never had a test for that sort of thing–there has been no reason to. I love that there’s so much variety of people. Breaking out of narrow confines is my life.
how to resist
Please let me know if you have any thoughts for ways I can resist mainstream gender bullshit. I have a shirt that says: No gender, no problem. I like that one. Maybe I could get a tattoo on my arm that says: Gender is a scam! Ask me how! But not sure that suits me either. I’m an artist and should be able to find a way.
I respect you, respect your gender, and respect your name and health and pronouns. And I respect your projects very much. I love you.