"First, for transsexuals, rather than emphasizing the feeling of “wrong-bodiness,” as in the now familiar trope “trapped in the wrong body,” what if we highlight other genealogies of the word “trap”? Trap is also a mouth, a mode of utterance, the “O” curve of lips and throat that sounds out and names the apprehension of being embodied. A trap is the wet threshold between tongue and thought. Slang, but, like most lustful language, it longs, cries, erupts. In music, a trap is an ensemble of percussion instruments, drumming out collective arrangements and creative responses. Similarly, in weaving, a trap is a break in the threads of a warp, an unraveling, loosening, unwinding that undoes a tapestry. So, the language of being “trapped in a wrong body” must also, transpositionally, account for these alternate etymologies of articulation, of speaking oneself into culture and history, but also creating a site, a gap, making room in cultural and political fabrications, and finding a tempo, a beat. In this way, entrapment is always also about positionality. To be trapped in the body, then, is about building-out, unraveling, and unknotting so as to rework the territory of embodied self, to speak and receive ranges of sensuous input from one’s environment. To some degree, being trapped in a body is an existential crisis for all of us, trans or not. This is not another mind/body split; rather, our bodies are not endlessly available to intentionality. Bodies exceed intention, even as our intentions are always predicated on embodiment. We may belong to our bodies, but our bodies do not necessarily belong to us."

Eva Hayward, "Spiderwomen"

"An annoying thing about gender is that it always gets in the way of people understanding context. Gender confuses people. They are being transformed by it and they don’t pay it attention. They focus on the language too much and forget to get everyone housing and health care, for example, and they argue for the inclusion of trans people in the military as though the military isn’t perpetrating mass violence and unprecedented environmental destruction. This is another reason I would like to be uninscribed by language, like an uninscribed piece of paper. Of course, this is not literally true: I’ve written all over myself. There is the NO BAD on my arm, some in-joke acronyms in blown-out ink on each hip, the word shed on my ankle, and the phrase love me, go away on a leg. At first it was simply love me, and my mother used to say it made her sad whenever she saw it, and then I added go away, and she said, “Now that makes me even sadder,” and never brought it up again.

It’s taken a lot of resistance, that I want to leave my gender and my sex life uninscribed—that it took me years to consider the fact that I did not have to name my gender or sexuality at all, so that now I must always tell people that I am not something. I insist on this absence more, even, than I used to insist on my identities, that I was a bisexual boy, or genderqueer, or a queer, which was actually just unpleasant for me in lots of ways, come to realize. I stand by only a quarter of what I said when I was queer. Queerness, when I first encountered the idea, aspired to a life away from identity categories, eroticizing what lies outside them, but today it seems the word often points to a reification of identity, to new rules. The uninscribed, like Gonzalez-Torres says, is a site of change, where I might understand my actual context and do something about it, rather than getting tangled up in a game of words, and so that is where I would like to focus. I am of course still written into this whole structure, I can’t escape the language, but that won’t stop me from refusing it anyway, and believing that a blank paper might transport me somewhere else."

T Fleischmann on gender confusing conte…
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