Comic about what my wife (then girlfriend) and I do on our days off.
Playing with my ink and bushes. Loving the tradition mediums.
Brush and ink of my wife. She’s awesome enough to pose for me. Yes she’s that beautiful in real life, be jealous bitches.
To all the people out there who worry my marriage and none-traditional beliefs/lifestyle is somehow an attack on the family, your religion, and “traditional” marriage-
Just because someone lives differently than you do does not mean their way of living is wrong or visa-verse. I grew up in a very religion home with strong “moral” values. When I got older I realized that there are many different ways to live life, and not one thing fits for everyone. I held on to the things I found important and discarded the ones I found didn’t make sense or were harmful. I found the things that worked for me, I hope others find the things that works for them.
My marriage is a commitment between my wife and I, and a way to profess to society that commitment. If you ask me why I want to call it marriage, why I’m not satisfied with something else, my answer to you is the same question, “Why do YOU need to get married? Why don’t you call it something else?”
Marriage means something specific to me because of the ideas I grew up with and seeing the marriages of the people around me. That idea didn’t change just because the person I fell in love with was a woman. I love her the same way as you love your significant other, she’s that important to me, and I wanted to show her that importance by putting a ring on her finger.
As for it being an attack on your family, I wish nothing of the sort. If you love someone of the opposite sex I don’t wish for you to marry someone of the same sex. I don’t wish or advocate that you shouldn’t be able to get married or share in your relationship in a way that is meaningful to you. If you don’t like the LGBT community than I have no desire to get married in your churches, temples, or holy places. I don’t want to be married by someone who thinks I am evil or a sinner because of something as pure as my love for my partner.
If you want to say it still shouldn’t be because it is not “traditional”, I want you to really look into the history of marriage. “Tradition” varies from culture to culture, is constantly changing, and our typical idea of marriage has not been around that long. A couple hundred years ago if you told someone you wanted to marry for love they’d have scoffed at you. Your parents would have chosen your suitor as some point, or you might have been one of multiple wives. In biblical times women were considered property, not equal partners. Depending on when you’re comparing it to, your marriage probably isn’t very traditional either.
Let me love my wife and build my relationship with her the best I can, in a way that makes us happy, and I will do the same for you.
I’m ashamed to see how HRC is silencing the Transgender community (you can read the article here http://oblogdeeoblogda.me/2013/03/29/activists-seeing-red-over-hrc-antics-at-scotus-hearings/). If you’re going to call the organization “Human Rights Campaign” then start fighting for the rights of ALL the LGBT community, because the Transgender are people too. I was disheartened when I learned that transgender people have been dropped from many campaigns and programs, such as the repealing of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell, and other protective rights by the people claiming to be fighting for them. Until everyone is equal, no one is equal. How can we argue and ask to be treated the same and given the same rights as the rest of the nation when we are not willing to do the same things ourselves?
Going beyond the Western gender binary - unlearning our backward cultural conditioning
In Western colonial society (which dominates many aspects of the globalized, capitalist world today) we operate under the presumption that there are only two genders, male and female. But gender is a social construction. One’s options for what gender they identify with are shaped by the culture they are born into. Biological factors are most-often the primary driving forces that choose among the available socially-constructed gender categories.
Cultures around the world have different ways of talking about, thinking about, and identifying gender. It’s often a challenge for (particularly cis-sexual) Westerns to think about other ways gender can be socially constructed. Westerns have the false equivalency of gender and sex drilled into their eternal psyche from the time they are very young, and re-enforced through examples popular culture. There is no biological reality to gender. Many Westerners have the bizarre belief that one’s XY-sex-determination should also inform one’s gender identity, a socially constructed role in society.
In some cultures, there is no distinction made between gender and sexual orientation and the same can be said for sexual orientation - our culture socially-constructs the options and our biology helps us identify which socially-constructed option feels most ‘right’ and best resonates with us.
I’ve attached some photos to offer some examples of non-colonial, non-Western construction of gender. They’ve all been uploaded onto our Facebook page photostream in case you’d like to ‘like’ or ‘share’ them there. There are literally hundreds of ‘third-gender’ identifying peoples around the world. The eight I’ve chosen are mostly examples I remember from some of my anthropology courses but if you google ‘third genders’ you can find many lists and examples.
Who cares? Why it matters.
The most obvious reason to care about the way our culture has constructed gender and sexual orientation is to deepen one’s capacity for solidarity with people who identify as transgender, transsexual, and others whose gender or sexual identity exists outside of binary Western culture.
But there are other reasons as well. Western culture’s binary nature often creates non-sensical, problematic binary identity constructions that are inherently problematic. For example, I believe that Western masculinity (dominance, aggression, lack of communication, lack of emotional expression, etc) is inherently problematic. I believe that to be the reason why most acts of large-scale-violence and terror are committed by men (see: 100% of the mass school shootings in the United States), and I believe it fosters a degree of internal misery within people who heavily adopt these particular ‘masculine’ traits.
In the age of information, and the age of global connectivity, there is no longer any reason (particularly for young people) to feel isolated or restricted to Western definitions of gender, sexual orientation and identity in general. I think the social ramifications of a generation where more and more people begin to identify outside of the gender binary would be tremendous, and I think we should all consider how we can unlearn our cultural conditioning to embrace other, perhaps less exploitative and dominating identities.
Background information on the identities depicted in the above images:
Hijras are male-body-born, feminine-gender-identifying people who live in South Asia (mostly in India & Nepal). Many Hijras live in well-defined, organized, all-Hijra communities, led by a guru.
Although many Hijras identify as Muslim, many practice a form of syncretism that draws on multiple religions; seeing themselves to be neither men nor women, Hijras practice rituals for both men and women.
Hijras belong to a special caste. They are usually devotees of the mother goddess Bahuchara Mata, Lord Shiva, or both.
Nandi female husbands:
Among the Nandi in Western Kenya, one social identity option for women is to become a female husband, and thus a man in society’s eyes. Female husbands are expected to become men and take on all of the social and cultural responsibilities of a man, including finding a wife to marry and passing on property to the next generation through marriage. Female husbands may have lived their lives as women and may even be married to a man, but once she becomes a female-husband, she is expected to be a man. Women married to female-husbands may have sex with single men uninterested in commitment in order to become pregnant, but the female-husband (who is often an older woman, often a widow) will father the child of said pregnancy and treat the child like her own.
Two-Spirit is an umbrella term sometimes used for what was once commonly known as ‘berdaches’, Indigenous North Americans who fulfill one of many mixed gender roles found traditionally among many Native Americans and Canadian First Nations communities. The term usually indicates a person whose body simultaneously manifests both a masculine and a feminine spirit. Male and female two-spirits have been “documented in over 130 tribes, in every region of North America.”
In South America (with a large presence in Brazil), a travesti is a person who was assigned male at birth who has a feminine gender identity and is primarily sexually attracted to masculine men. Therefore, sometimes the distinction between gender identity and sexual orientation is not made. Travestis have been described as a third gender, but not all see themselves this way.Travestis often will begin taking female hormones and injecting silicone to enlargen their backsides as boys and continue the process into womanhood.
The work of cultural Anthropologist Don Kulick (a gay male by Western definitions) in Brazil demonstrated that gender construction in Brazil is binary (like Western gender construction), but unlike Western gender construction, instead of having a male-female binary, there is a male-notmale.
In this particular construction of gender:
- Males include: men who have sex with women, men who have sex with Travestis but are never on the receiving end of anal sex, men who have sex with men but are never on the receiving end of anal sex.
- Not-males include: women, men who receive anal sex from ‘male’ gay men or from Travestis.
Fa’afafine are the gender liminal, or third-gendered people of Samoa. A recognized and integral part of traditional Samoan culture, fa’afafine, born biologically male, embody both male and female gender traits. Their gendered behavior typically ranges from extravagantly feminine to mundanely masculine
Waria is a traditional third general role found in modern Indonesia. Additionally, the Bugis culture of Sulawesi (one of the four larger Sunda Islands of Indonesia) has been described as having three sexes (male, female and intersex) as well as five genders with distinct social roles.
Six Genders of old Israel
In the old Kingdom of Israel (1020–931 BCE) there were six officially recognized genders:
- Zachar: male
- Nekeveh: female
- Androgynos: both male and female
- Tumtum: gender neutral/without definite gender
- Aylonit: female-to-male transgender people
- Saris: male-to-female transgender people (often inaccurately translated as “eunuch”)
Kathoey (often called ‘ladyboys’)
Australian scholar of sexual politics in Thailand Peter Jackson’s work indicates that the term “kathoey” was used in pre-modern times to refer to intersexual people, and that the usage changed in the middle of the twentieth century to cover cross-dressing males, to create what is now a gender identity unique to Thailand. Thailand also has three identities related to female-bodied people: Tom, Dee, and heterosexual woman.
Aya Kamikawa: Why she kicks ass
- She is the only openly transgender official in Japan at this point, and the first to seek or win elected office in Japan.
- She won a four-year term as an independent under huge media attention, placing sixth of 72 candidates running for 52 seats in the Setagaya ward assembly, the most populous district in Tokyo. In April 2007, she was re-elected to her second term, placing second of 71 candidates running for 52 in the same ward assembly.
- While the government announced that they would continue to consider her male officially, she stated that she would work as a woman.
- She is devoted to work for various groups, the disabled, single-parent families, homeless people to evening junior high school students, LGBT people and to improve rights for women, children, the elderly. She strives to give support for these people and bring positive changes which would help them in society.
- She was also a committee member for Trans-net Japan (a self-support group for transgender people) and organised meetings and social events to give support and symposiums to raise the public awareness.
I need to see more stories like this one every day. Actually we all do.
Amen to that.
Self portrait (yes that is a ring on my finger and yes I’m getting married!) gift for my one and only <3
Portrait of my girlfriend. She was kind enough to sit still while I toiled away at this.
The pondering girl. Playing around with shapes and flats, I like how it came out.
Dragon’s Keep. Environment practice.