Elizabeth Barrette (ysabetwordsmith) wrote,
Elizabeth Barrette

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Poem: "Clutching at Pearls"

This is the second freebie for the July 4, 2017 fishbowl courtesy of several new prompters.  It was inspired by [Unknown LJ tag]. It also fills the "queer" square in my 5-29-17 card for the Pride Bingo fest.

"Clutching at Pearls"

When I arrived in this world,
people looked at my crotch and
guessed that I must be a girl.

As far as I know, none of them
ever found out how wrong they were,
so I suppose it doesn't matter much.

I grew up making mudpies and
catching frogs instead of playing
with Barbie dolls, wore blue jeans
instead of pink satin dresses, but
let my hair grow long because
I happen to like long hair.

Later on, as I made my way
through the fringes, people looked at
my life and guessed that, since it
wasn't falling apart, I must be a girl.

By then I could speak
and I was finding words
with which to describe myself,
so I tried to explain to them
that being genderqueer isn't
inherently a maddening thing.

Inconvenient, yes;
life-wrecking, not for me.

Most of them didn't understand,
but since they weren't part of my life,
I suppose it doesn't matter much.

I think more in terms of souls than in bodies,
and I don't really understand why so many people
clutch their pearls over non-issues such as
someone else's love or gender or skin.

We're all star stuff anyhow, celestial spirits
temporarily pretending to be meat.

I've gone through different descriptions --
omnisexual and pansexual and genderqueer --
before coming up with my own, metasexual.

This is me. I am metasexual.
I am a metasexual. Here I am.

I'm not strongly attached to
a gender presentation, I just like
to be comfortable and practical

and, above all, myself.

If it leaves some people
clutching at straws or
clutching at pearls,

well, that's their problem.

* * *


When a baby is born, someone takes a casual glance at the genitals and guesses a sex/gender. One would think if they really cared about accuracy like they claim, they'd check the chromosomes, but they don't; they just eyeball it, which shows that this is all about society, not science. Note, I do say "female-bodied people" as I find it a useful classification because it covers shape rather than gender identity; e.g. "You are not going to leave all the female-bodied people in the kitchen to clean up the mess while all the male-bodies people go sit in the living room." Most women, a few men, and probably about half of other genders have a female-shaped body.

Gender stereotypes do nobody any good, and can be especially harmful to children.

It is widely believed that being transgender or genderqueer is mentally stressful. But it isn't for everyone. Some people experience life-wrecking levels of stress from it and others just don't. A problem is that when a majority of people who are publicly out have the high-stress version, folks tend to think the more comfortable ones are not real. Which is bullshit, but people can be stupid.

Metasexual means "beyond sex" -- beyond thinking of biological sex or sexual attraction as limited concepts. It's like how a painted line is a wall to a 2-dimensional person but not a 3-dimensional one. My sexuality is a tesseract, so a 3-dimensional barrier doesn't really stop me. Why a tesseract? Well, if gender is a spectrum, and sexual orientation is one, and romantic attraction is another, and you add in things like desire to form permanent relationships and how fast that can happen and specific traits hardwired into personality such as kink -- it adds up to a lot more than 3 measly dimensions. The gender unicorn is another example.
Tags: cyberfunded creativity, fishbowl, gender studies, personal, poem, reading, weblit, writing
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