(Trying to create a linked topic from “The time it takes to be a woman”)
I am interested in discussions about how much of gender is based upon feelings of personal identity, societal expectations - both of one’s own gender as well as others, or other areas. Being genderqueer myself, I do not really subscribe to the concepts that masculine or feminine are very meaningful in themselves. So for me personally drag / crossdressing / transvesticism aren’t really “a thing”. But I love how the drag notion that gender IS performance intersects with other areas of gender studies, feminism, and human liberation generally.
I will go out on a limb and say that what I think gender actually is, appears to be rather unconventional (surprise!). To me it is more like polarities that change more or less regardless of one’s own intentions. The easiest analog is probably the concepts of yin and yang. Which gender you are depends upon which of these is more prevalent at any given time. And even if those two states might represent most people, one could also have both, neither, or something else entirely! Since this model contrasts with the popular western notions of gender as sexual biology or personal identity, I mostly keep quiet about it. Mainly because I try to be supportive of others gender identities and not confuse matters for them. From my POV, everybody’s gender is in flux all of the time.
So what does my outlook have to do with performance? Nothing! Since I see gender as flux, performance or presentation become completely arbitrary. That can yield a lot of freedom, as well as misunderstandings. It makes a lot of sense for me to see gender socially as people performing, except that I don’t expect those to be limited to a masculine/feminine binary. But I try to be sensitive to the fact that these are not completely arbitrary categories for many.
What do you think? How do you make sense of all this in your daily life?