Bondage-A-Go-Go, SF, Dec 2009
I took this shot at Bondage-a-Go-Go, the fetish danceclub in the SOMA district of San Francisco. It is one of my recent favorite photos. It makes me love photography again. Alison was inside getting here ass flogged in the BDSM play space. With her beautiful, big, round ass she never has any trouble finding Mab (Male at Birth) or Fab (Female at Birth) play partners.
I have made it onto Zagria’s 2009 Gender Variance Who’s Who. Yay! Zagria says I hit various nerves with [my] advocacy of male femininity. That is certainly the case. But hey, if I managed to upset so many vested Identity Activists I must be doing something right. I am glad that I not only attract the ire of various groups but also a very diverse readership.
I have changed my approach since my initial inflammatory manifestos back in August. Controversy is better than being ignored, but controversy makes people dig in their heels. At the height of the Stop Jasper Before He Kills Again crusade I found communication virtually impossible. All subtlety is lost in the heat of anger, destruction of the "Victimizing Other" becomes the only priority.
In August I had just exhibited at the Queer Arts Festival and was still reeling from the experience. Basically, at the festival I found Mab Femininity to only be represented by a some token MTF (Male-To-Female) Transsexuals. There was no intelligible category representing Jasper as a Non-transitioning, Mab Femme. There was a complete absence of GenderQueer Mabs, Femmeboys and Drag Queens in the transgender themed forums that I attended. The Transgender identity category had been appropriated as a non-stigmatized synonym for Transsexual. This structural category shift had reconstituted Male Femininity as exterior to Transgender.
I believe in a spectrum of Mab-Femininity that includes both MTF Transsexuals and Drag Queens at the strongly Female-Identified and Male-Identified extremes. The whole spectrum should be represented in any "Queer" representation of gender, but most of the spectrum was absent, silent and invisible. To my increasing dismay, I found that I could not even make the absence intelligible or discussable. One attempt to even talk about this spectrum provoked a white hot rage from an MTF performance artist called Meiske. I found I could not talk about the issue with a signifier which included both Meiske and Jasper. Her contentious of "I have never been Male" made any exploration of our samenness impossible. My attempt to create a shared signifier made her more outraged. Any attempt to posit shared experience was labeled as transphobic and transmisogynistic because her disidentification with the Male At Birth category was complete. She made a not-so-veiled threat to rally the other trans-activists in the room into an impromptu lynch mob and eject me from the space. This speak act of rallying the mob against the "Other" is an act huge ethical violence. Lesbian Separatists and Transphobic Straight men have also employed this "mob" mobilization against me and I know it well.
I once saw an interview with the Radical Feminist Andrea Dworkin. Her rage and hatred seemed to be eating her up from the inside. I have never "recognized" such a pure hatred directed towards me and my Male At Birth body. Its vivid image and the fear it invoked is still palpable after decades have passed. She had the crazed insanity of a right wing Calvinist preacher, ranting about sodomites while spittle flies from his lips. Full reign is given to a vengeful righteous anger which is vented against evil and depravity, the pervert or the patriarch.
Well, this was the kind of indignant, sanctimonious rage that Meiske vented on me. I have seen recognized it in quite a few Trans Activists. It is Deleuze’s micro-fascism and Nietzsche Slave Morality. It is the desire to lash out and make someone hurt, just like you are hurting. This displaced rage always hits the wrong target. Lesbian Separatists wreak their vengeance on poor MTFs when they think they are hitting the patriarch. Trans Activists lash out at people who think differently in the place of the true Transphobes who make their lives hell.
My initial Inflammatory post from August 1st was titled Critiquing Brain Sex Activism (ie. woman’s brain in a man’s body). I was angry and it came out in the text. Reading the post six months later, I realize that it somewhat misses the point. I was upset about the Red Guard tactics of the trans activists. I hated the way that the Seranoan terms Transphobia, Cissexual and Transmisogyny were being used to silence and intimidate. It is clear to me now that the authoritarian tactics and totalizing ideology are the problem and not any particular theory.