Study expands understanding of nonbinary identities

A recent study displays the variety, diversity and wonder of gender identity among nonbinary people. As someone who struggles to describe my own sense of gender (when I have one), it’s deeply life-affirming to see other people say a lot of the same things I’ve said.

Often when I’m trying to explain nonbinary genders to people, I have to start by explaining what binary means: “Woman/man, you have to pick from one of two categories, that’s the binary. Some people don’t fit neatly into those categories, they’re nonbinary.” After I say that, I often still get blank looks—because woman/man is so ingrained in our culture it doesn’t make sense to a lot of people (who fit inside that binary) that there are experiences outside of what feels to them like natural categories.READ MORE

Exciting October events!

QUEER YA with Second Story & Queer Voices — Oct. 8 @ 2 p.m.

Second Story Reading Series, in collaboration with Queer Voices Reading Series, will host a QUEER YA event on Sunday, October 8th at 2pm at The Loft Literary Center. The event will feature readings by local LGBTQ authors, a panel discussion, and book sales by Addendum Books. Author Molly Beth Griffin (Silhouette of a Sparrow) will read from Either/Or, a young adult novel in progress, as part of a 2017 Minnesota Arts Board Artist Initiative Grant.

Readers will include Rachel Gold (Nico & Tucker), dc edwards (Bright City), Brian Farrey (With Or Without You), Laura Bradley Rede (Kissing Midnight), Junauda Petrus (“Sweetness of Wild”), and David LaRochelle (Absolutely Positively Not). Ally authors Steve Brezenoff (Brooklyn Burning), Juliann Rich (Gravity), and Kirstin Cronn-Mills (Beautiful Music for Ugly Children) will then join the readers for a panel discussion and Q&A moderated by Vee Signorelli of GayYA.org. A reception and book signing will follow the program.

For more info: https://www.facebook.com/events/681836998671631

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Buckle up, you’re blessed

Antidotes to the “Nashville Statement”

If you missed it in the midst of the hurricanes, a bunch of fundamentalist Christians put out the “Nashville Statement” at the end of August, attacking LGBTQ people. This is nothing new, but it comes at a time when other attacks have been leveled against the LGBTQ community—and this can make it particularly scary and damaging.

(If you’re not a reader of long blog posts, please scroll to the video below in the seat belt section and watch that. It will make you smile and feel wonder, joy, blessing or all three.)READ MORE

Reader question: Nico’s dance style

Got great reader questions this week: where does Nico’s dance style come from? And what was the inspiration for the cabaret scene in Nico & Tucker?

Second question first: I’ve been to a few genderqueer/genderfluid performances in the last few years. A cabaret at the Philly Trans Health conference provided the framework for the scene. And it gave me some ideas of the kinds of performances to showcase.READ MORE

Gender shapes bodies — bodies don’t create gender

Last weekend I stopped by the MSP Comic Con. It was fun! But wow, the boobs and the chests. So much of the commercial comic art is about hyper-unrealistic body types. I know, this has been the case for ages. And this is not a blog post about the evils of comic art. I love comic art and comics.

But most of us are much better at realizing that superpowers are rarely literally real than we are at realizing superboobs are also rarely real. Also they’re not actually how I prefer my people to look. Not even my superheroes. I think that’s true for a lot of us. READ MORE

Nico & Tucker Launch Day!

I really wanted to post a video of me reading chapters 1 & 2 for launch day, but I woke up with some kind of funky virus. I am just not going to look as happy on video as I’d like. So bear with me and I’ll update later this week with the live reading.

In the mean time, have you read the awesome interview on Huffington Post? If you have, I’d love to know your thoughts about other ways to describe/communicate nonbinary genders, especially to people who are well inside the binary.READ MORE

Macalester Lavender Graduation 2017 Speech

Yesterday I had the privilege of being invited to speak at Macalester College’s 2017 Lavender Graduation ceremony. Yes, my alma mater is so cool that they have a graduation just for the LGBTQIA+ students — and there are so many graduating queer and trans students that they had to curl all the way around the stage. There were more students standing up in that graduation ceremony than there were in the entire queer and trans student group when I was at Mac.

It was an emotional and beautiful ceremony with a lot of great speakers. But I don’t have the text of what they said, so here’s what I said to the LGBTQIA+ graduating class of 2017:READ MORE

Help me pick an author photo

With the launch of Nico & Tucker happening mid-May, I decided it was time for a haircut and author photos that more accurately represent me. You can see my current photo on the home page of this site or the about page. It’s a really good photo! And it rocks my super-Jewish hair. But it also makes me look very “woman.” I still plan to use that one any time I need to infiltrate a bastion of conservativeness.

But now I get to rock a new photo! I enlisted the very expert help of Anna Min from Min Enterprises Photography. Her event photography has included a lot of high profile local queer and trans events, so I figured we’d easily be on the same page about the  photo I was looking for. We had a fun time trying different locations in her building. From that set of photos there are three that would work well as author photos.READ MORE

How to build resilience in trans kids (and everyone else)

With all the focus on awful government news these days, it’s easy to forget how much power we have as individuals—and as a thriving community of queer and trans people and our allies.

Let’s not get locked in to planning for the next 4 years. Let’s also look at the next 40 and the next 400. We need queer and trans kids to grow up resilient and become powerful adults. We know this is possible because we have powerful queer and trans adults who grew up when U.S. culture was worse than it is now for queer and trans kids. Remember the 1980s? Or the 1950s?

Each of us has the opportunity to help build resilience in each other and in the next generation of queer and trans kids. Let’s look at how we do this:READ MORE