soft boys.

yes, tired baby/ based on a photograph by R. Mapplethorpe/ © jJSMith, 2017

The interaction of softness and hardness in masculinity has always been of interest to me. The urge to inspect this closely also comes from my very personal exploration of my own desires for a certain masculinity and trying to find my space within it. What about it feels comfortable for me and which parts or expressions don’t? Why is it so important for me that people actually understand my expression as a ‘feminine man’ rather than a ‘masculine woman’? How does this influence my behaviour?

The display of emotional vulnerability, sadness, pain, lust and desire, are extremely coded and highly restricted in the way men are ‘allowed’ to express these feelings. As a trans*masculine person navigating the codes and manners of masculine behaviour and being easily categorised as ‘female’ as soon as I tend towards a more feminin way of expressing myself has brought me to take a closer look at popular images of actual masculine ‘softness’.

I decided to make a zine, soft boy chronicles, to give these explorations a form, to integrate the artwork that emerges around these ideas, to dwell in some of the feelings I have around my desire to be a masculine person and the problems that come with it.

soft boy chronicles is an attempt to explore my relationship to masculinity/ies – I start this zine as I am on the brink to begin my transition, and this process has opened up a lot of questions for me:
What can boyhood as a non-binary trans masculine person look like? Where am I going to? Where from? What are the pitfalls (namely male/masculine privilege, in my case also combined with white/european privilege)of transitioning? How does it affect my sexual identity? Does it affect my sexual identity? How do I work with the trauma my body has archived for me?
It is a collection of thoughts, notes, sketches. As I am trying to re_orient myself in my body and this world – in that I am met with certain fixed ideas and expectations of how I will ‘turn out’ – I also struggle with the insecurities this condition involves.

To order a copy of issue#1 (5$ + posting), use the contact form in the ‘about’ section to get in



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