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

2017 Year of Love

[Pictured above Amirah Sackett (left) and Rachel Gold at the Caravan of Love march in Minneapolis, Feb. 11, 2017.]

I’ve had some restless nights since the current regime was elected. Woke up panicky, wondering if they’d come for me. But I realized it wasn’t me they’d come for this time. Queer, white Jews in American—not the top of the hate list at the moment. We’re more in the middle. I started making lists of my friends, ranking them by the most vulnerable, so I’d know who to keep tabs on.

That was November. Now I’m making lists of who to pay attention to so I know when to show up and be part of the beautiful coalitions that are forming. I’m making lists of where I can make the biggest difference. I’m getting really excited for the next two-to-four years. It’s not going to be easy or comfortable, but we have one of the best opportunities in recent history to build immense coalitions across the U.S. and change the future for good.READ MORE

Finding the ideal nonbinary pronoun for fiction

I’ve been working on the Just Girls sequel and playing with some science fiction, so I’m obsessing about nonbinary pronouns. In the Just Girls sequel, I’m using the pronoun “yo” for Nico. (Or, rather, Nico’s using that pronoun for yoself, but when I say that my characters talk to me, people give me odd looks.)

But I wanted to try some additional pronouns in case I like something better. “They/them” pronouns in the singular is becoming more and more popular in spoken use, but it’s tougher in fiction. For example in this dialogue:

“Their new jacket looks great! Did they make it themself?
“It’s from their parents. They gave it to them for their birthday.”READ MORE

Non-binary biology

 “I write entirely to find out what I’m thinking, what I’m looking at, what I see and what it means.” — Joan Didion

At the Solcana event for Reclaim on Nov. 5, we were talking about how writing helps us understand ourselves. For me, writing My Year Zero helped me articulate feelings about my gender. In the novel, the main character, Lauren, is writing a science fiction story online with friends. Her character in the story turns out not to be human-like person, but rather a self-aware community of microscopic robots (nanites) that can take any form.

That’s how I feel about my gender — and I thought that was unusual, but maybe not so much.READ MORE

Taking care of yourself in tough times — a guide for the neurodiverse

You might not need this post, but I do. It started as a note to myself about what works. Some of it might also work for you. And I’m sure I missed some things. Feel free to add in the comments.

If you’re like me, you’re different from a lot of the people around you:

  • You might have more trouble letting go of obsessive negative thoughts
  • You might get easily triggered into traumatic states
  • You might be prone to spirals of anxiety or depression that are really hard to stop
  • You might feel that you’re the one responsible for fixing the world
  • You might absorb feelings and energy from the people around you, even if it makes you sick

One great thing is that you know this about yourself. Also there are a lot of simple steps you can take to be strong and healthy. Here’s my list:READ MORE