Monday, June 11, 2007

a cigar is always just a cigar...

I wanna be a little more active on the board, but I'm in the middle of perhaps the most hectic month of my life. What with book readings and a bajillion Pride events - some that I'm performing in, some I want to see, and even more that I'd like to see but can't because I'm performing in something else that night...

but I did want to bring up one particular show I'm in, in part because I curated it, and part because it is an issue that gender variant women often have to deal with. That's right, you guessed it, the "Penis" Issue...

Below is a blurb for the show. I am scared and excited and anxious and looking forward to it...

The “Penis” Issue: Trans and Intersex Women Speak Their Minds

Performers: Charlie Anders, Ryka Aoki de la Cruz, Sherilyn Connelly, solidad decosta, Julia Serano and Shawna Virago.
Curator: Julia Serano.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007
Rainbow Room, the LGBT Center (2nd floor)
1800 Market St, San Francisco,
7:30 pm
Tickets: sliding scale $8-15
This show is a part of the National Queer Arts Festival 2007
and is made possible thanks to support from the Queer Cultural Center and The San Francisco Foundation.

tickets can be purchased online via Brown Paper Tickets.

It is commonly presumed that all men have penises and all women do not. In this ground-breaking spoken word event, trans and intersex women share their perspectives and experiences living as women who do not conform to this assumption.

The existence of “women with penises” has been widely sensationalized and demonized in both straight and queer communities: they are the punch-lines of jokes in the mainstream media, hyper-exaggerated in so-called “chicks with dicks” pornography, used as an excuse to justify the exclusion of gender-variant women from lesbian and women-only spaces, and often the focus of male homophobic/transphobic rage and violence. These highly phallocentric and objectifying representations tend to differ greatly from the perspectives of actual intersex and trans women themselves, who by necessity often develop far more complex, nuanced and varied views about their own genitals, recognizing them as a part of their physical bodies and a source of sexual pleasure, albeit one that is at odds with societal assumptions regarding femaleness and (in some cases) their own mental self-image.

The purpose of this event is to move beyond the highly polarizing rhetoric that typically plagues discussions about “the penis,” inevitably either glorifying or demonizing it. Instead, this show will attempt to “dephallocize” the penis, by offering intersex and trans women’s first-hand accounts of their own experiences navigating their way through the world as women whose genitals do not conform to other people’s assumptions, and who often have to deal with other people’s “penis issues” as a result. It will be an entertaining, intelligent, honest, moving and non-sensationalistic dialogue that is both empowering for gender-variant women and enlightening for those who have not had an intersex or trans female experience themselves.

1 comment:

Betty said...

Good luck to you, Julia. And fucking good on you for tackling this bit.

If I get asked one more time about my genitals....

My only wish is that I could could be there and be a part of it.