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 two drawings below are from a new series I started which is a visual exploration of being trans and affected by depression. I use different media to do and forms of narration to investigate this very personal topic. both drawings appeared in “All In Your Head: Queerness, Neurodivergence, and Disability” Issue #3 by Sam GlitterWurst: find them on tumblr. and Etsy (where you can also order the zine!).
Check it out and consider donating to them, it is an amazing project!
Der Queerfeministische Taschenkalender 2017 ist da!
Mit vielen tollen Texten und Comics und Ideen und Tipps und Tricks.
Und mit Zeichnungen von yours truly.
I’ve recently found a piece on Robot Hugs about coming out and the conclusive narratives people develop about you (‘Ah, you’re gay/trans*/queer/asexual! I always knew, because you would do this/play that/ dress like xyz as a child/ in your youth etc. pp. That explains a lot!’), which I really liked and which struck a lot of chords with me.
As much as ‘coming out’ is a step that we’re told is necessary by a hetero-normative cis-sexist society, it is not our story. As much as there might be some things that seem to similar for a lot of queer people (yes, many of us go through certain phases in our lives because we face the same oppressions, rejections and have similar doubts because society implies there’s something wrong with us), we all have our own unique stories.*
Our straight, linear, mono-temporal societies like to tell conclusive, flawless stories about how people become who they are. And how they learned to fit in. Defined their space. But our individual stories are far more complex and worthwhile and a lot of things don’t fall into place as easily and nicely as we expect them to . They are far more ‘frictious’ than the ideals that we’re expected to live up to. There are loose ends and threads that lead nowhere. Instead of believing that this due to our overall awkwardness and inconclusive history (‘But I did like to play with dolls, though…’) we should celebrate these as open ends to an ongoing process of developing ourselves. There’s nothing wrong with being constantly in-between.
*If you’re interested to deep dive into that, read Adriana Cavarero: Relating Narratives
This picture will also be featured in the #2 issue of Mothmilk, which you will soon find here