crowdsourcing, help please.
Are there any other transwomen on the AS spectrum out there? I’ve never looked for a medical diagnoses on either, but I’m connected to both as deep parts of my identity. My older brother has been diagnosed with Aspergers, so at the least I see myself as a fellow-traveler to folks with autism. I know one other translady who has a very similar situation to me (her dad’s an aspie) and she’s having a real hard time too. I just wondered if there are more of us around the internet?
Since I’ve been transitioning, I’ve felt like I’ve had to learn social cues all over again. It feels like highschool again. It’s been helpful that I could watch cis and NT women and copy their habits and manners of speaking, but it just feels like there’s always a wall there. There’s a point that I can’t copy them quite believably and I think I trip and fall into the uncanny valley. I feel like there’s this performance of femininity that I really love and sometimes I feel like that, but I get such awful performance anxiety about everything. Maybe I shouldn’t try to pass for either…
And no one has said it out front but whenever I mess it up it just feels like I’m so MALE. I don’t think that other transwomen keep carrying male privilege with them, but I can’t control the words that come out of my mouth sometimes so I find myself being paternalistic or speaking for other people in really gross ways and I hate it. Anyone else have this same experience?
Official announcement from grassroots disability justice performance project on upcoming documentary film
Sins Invalid: An Unshamed to Beauty in the Face of Invisibility (aka “Sins”) is a San Francisco/Bay Area based performance project that incubates and celebrates artists with disabilities, centralizing artists of color and queer and gender-variant artists as communities who have been historically marginalized. For the last five years, our performance work has explored themes of sexuality, embodiment, and the disabled body to sold-out audiences.
Sins – The Film
We have reached nearly 4,000 people through live Sins Invalid performances. But we’ve consistently heard from people who can’t make it to the Bay Area that want to experience Sins. We’re proud to say that in conjunction with the Aepoch Fund we’ve almost finished making a 41-minute film that reflects our groundbreaking performance work and weaves interviews of artists and co/founders alongside unreleased performance footage to serve as an entryway into the absurdly taboo topic of sexuality and disability.
With this film, we can magnify our message that ALL people and communities are beautiful and valuable. Imagine how many more lives and communities would change if people engaged in that simple message! And, we still need you to premiere this film!! Visit us at http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/dancersgroup/sins-invalid-an-unshamed-claim-to-beauty.
What We Have and What We Need
We’re in the final stages of production. We are committed to completing the film – so committed in fact that we are donating personal resources to move it forward. You know how artists stretch a dollar to make $100 worth of creativity happen. We’re stretching but your partnership will premiere this film!
We are raising $15,000 through the online platform Kickstarter. It will help us reach out to new communities – but there’s a catch. Kickstarter is an all or nothing platform – so we will receive the funds only if we raise the entire amount.
Your contribution will help lead us through the end stages of film production – sound editing and creating music, correcting the color, adjusting the titles, beginning the distribution launch.
Please share in the truth that beauty always recognizes itself. Be a part of completing a groundbreaking film on disability and sexuality. Visit us at http://sinsinvalid.org/.
What people say…
The world of enforced and embodied norms constricts all of us, regardless of where we identify on the spectrums of sexuality, gender, or ability. In this project, people with disabilities are engaging in the wholeness of our bodies and our sexualities. Visit us at http://kck.st/wgO4N5. When people experience our shows they are deeply impacted:
"I am moved beyond words, moved to an emotional state that I can’t quite explain. Thank you for making this space possible!"- audience member 2011
"You are brilliant and beautiful and help me remember that so am I. Thank you." - audience member 2011
"What makes Sins Invalid so powerful is that it thoroughly succeeds artistically and erotically, separate from the impact of its political message. Sins Invalid challenges its audience to think about sexuality, beauty, and disability in new and expanded ways. But Sins Invalid is also, quite simply, a hot, arousing, sexually charged evening of thought-provoking, imaginative sexual entertainment that only happens to be entirely by and about people with disabilities." - David Steinberg, SFGate
"One of the most powerful shows I have been to ever. The creativity and expression and depth literally took my breath away." - audience member 2009
"Sins Invalid’s work is a vibrant necessity in this age of bland complacency. The art that is presented brings the intersectionality of race, gender, class, and ability and throws it in your face, forcing the viewer to come to terms with how these realities are not so different and yet so different for those with disabilities. And this is beautifully done with the erotic and the body." - Phem Magazine
"Mesmerizing, thought provoking and hypnotic, erotic and humorously joyful, sad, hopeful intense and rebellious." - audience member 2008
druidsbird:For the sake of diplomacy it is best to just take a person’s word for it, whatever they claim their gender to be.
tSunshineLove: Or their sexual orientation, or their neurotype, or anything else that is personal to them and not necessarily obvious from the outside. We are our own best experts. Denying someone the gender that they feel the closest connection to is like denying autism to people who can speak.
Last night I called someone “she” and was promptly told the proper pronoun was “zie”. Mortified, I said I was sorry and I didn’t know. Zie said I could always ask. Which is major food for thought, because up until now I thought that was a rude question.
So, how does one ask that question? I’m thinking something like “Do you have any preferred pronouns?” But the only way it would really work is if I used it on EVERYONE, because I can’t tell who conforms to the binary and who doesn’t. Though I suppose it should be obvious. But it’s not. Not to me.
It scares me to think of asking everyone that question, because those who don’t have preferred pronouns won’t know what the fuck I’m talking about. And then I’m placed in the reluctant position of being a spokesperson for something I barely know what the fuck I’m talking about.
Which, um, thanks to the whole autism thing, means that my communication brain shuts down and I just start blinking and stammering while having mini panic attacks inside.
I can talk well on stuff I’m expert in. Other stuff? Not so much. And all this gender identity stuff is kinda new to me, to be truthful. I never knew there were other options. Most people don’t. Suppose that’s a good way to start a conversation, right there.
But it’s stunning to think that simply asking a single question consistently could potentially be a form of ongoing activism. And probably a fairly effective one.