Gender Feature Story 1: The Shoes Review

In writing my other Gender post, I was reminded of the day I was on the Payless Shoes Website and saw a very cool review because it was a self described “gentleman” wearing “ladies shoes.” I then went back to the website just now and hunted down the review to quote it here. I posted it on something when I first saw it a year ago. It bears reposting just because it’s so great how gender and gender identity are not some side topic but are part of everywhere. I proposed my Gender Identity Altered Books Workshop and the person in charge said it may be too specific a population to do a workshop on, so I explained that it is extremely relevant to every clinician and ubiquitous and in fact everyone needs to be trained in gender identity sensitivity.

Anyway here is the review in all its glory. Thank you to this person who bravely put himself out there! And FYI, while they should be “unisex”, they are Mary Janes and look like non fancy practical shoes but have that element that makes you think of little kids (female) shoes.

“I just received my “Geanette” Mary Jane shoes today and have been wearing them most of the day. I could not be more pleased with them. My new “Mary Janes” are very comfortable and nice looking. I am a gentleman who enjoys wearing women`s shoes exclusively and find these to be very suitable for around the house or street wear. This shoe would be excellent for women as well as men, as it is a true “unisex” shoe. I am a red-blooded male and have already received a few compliments on this attractive looking shoe. I heartily recommend these well made nice looking shoes for anyone. I think I`ll order another pair just in case they are discontinued.”

Here are the shoes if you’re curious or want a pair, whatever your gender!


New Blog Feature: Gender, starting with Gender Activism Presentation

I’m taking the Blogging Fundamentals Class very slowly and not in lesson order (knowing ones learning style is helpful!)

Assignment: Make a feature for your blog to post more regularly on a particular topic!

Challenge Accepted! My Feature will be posts on Gender, Gender Identity, Gender Activism and Related Issues. I hope to try to post weekly and make it on Thursdays but I’ll aim for two posts per month. I may post more than weekly. For example, this post is a many part post as there are many subtopics to it.

Today I’m did a presentation at nearby school PS 234 to a 5th grade class about my activism as an artist and art therapist, especially around gender identity and trans/alternate gender rights. Also to tell them about mental health stigma and activism, being part of the Open Path Collective and LighthouseLGBT affirming website of therapists. Activism in different fronts and through different means, ie. individual personal, making art, then on community level, sharing it on social media platforms for activism, such as this blog, and especially Instagram. I brought in foam door hangers as an art activity for the kids to do at the end. It was a big hit, so I was very excited when I left. I got the kids thinking about guerrilla art and talking about the bathrooms in their schools. One kid said she was only going to use the gender neutral bathroom on the floor below their classroom…

Here are some photos from my solo art show, #BathroomArtOnly, October 2016. I’m going to start the presentation talking about an old art project from the 90s about gender and this more recent one.

Gratefulness Day 12

The only time I used a ouija board was in 1991 when I was living in Paris on a street named Goethe. I don’t know where we got it. I was asking for something about my recently dead friend James. The answer I got was that he was “pieces-full”. I got this great satisfied feeling I’ll never forget. I was also excited that the ouija board worked of course. I’m not one for talking to dead people or ghosts and spirits. I have conversations in my head with people I know who’ve died. It’s extremely unsatisfying and frustrating. I don’t get dreams where I get to talk to someone dead either. And I don’t get any feelings of excitement like the ouija board answer yay feeling.

Anyway the phrase “pieces-ful” stayed with me because it’s a great feeling you don’t have to be dead to enjoy.

I started a 100 Days of Gratitude on Facebook for my recently dead friend/colleague Benedikte.

Today I was running and at the end of the run, I felt the “pieces-ful” feeling. It doesn’t arise like other feelings. It kind of descends and comes into you head first. Then it’s like you vacuumed your brain and then windexed it. It’s like a mixture of peace, clarity and stillness. The world is just there and you can quietly take it in. It’s a very quiet feeling.

I’m on Day 12 and I posted that I was grateful for that feeling of being pieces-ful.

It’s strange because this pieces-ful thing is where I can really actually be grateful, and not just feel it and get some idea of whatever from the Day that’s simple to post. The 100 Days thing is about the small stuff.

When I’m pieces-ful I can appreciate almost anything.