Friday, December 5, 2008

the year i wanted to be a girl

Creating Gender-Autonomous Space

Taking part in the “Global Gender Revolution,” as Shannon calls it, is an exciting idea but presently the current paradigm shows little sign of collapsing. With this in mind, what becomes of most concern is relating to other human beings in the now. By creating web pages, people who identify with genderqueer can practice building safe spaces for expressing themselves unfettered by dominant ideas. The webpage is a system that can be constructed from the ground-up. Instead of being limited by gender assumptions made based on sex people can be as androgynous as they please, molding the amorphous communicative potential of the Internet to their will.

While most sites present a “contact” link with no commentary, both Zenn and Shannon ask the user within main bodies of text to email them if they can relate to genderqueer issues and would like to talk about it. After describing eir isolation from people who identify as genderqueer, Shannon expresses a strong interest in feedback; “If you identify as genderqueer, I would so much love to hear about your identity and experiences. I am yearning to hear from others like me. Please drop me a line... I would be eternally grateful to hear how this is all working out for you!”

Physical reality can be an exhausting place to create subversive or alternative spaces. People who do not “fit in” are forced to either become completely alienated from society or find an alternate medium for communication. The websites I looked at were designed as personal havens as well as beacons for other isolated and alienated people.

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