Sunday, November 02, 2008
October 31, 2008 by Radha Smith, MSW
The weekend has arrived, or will at about 1:30 p.m. today. Catherine and I are going to a wedding in Massachusetts. Not our own, the wedding of a very good friend with whom we both once worked. She quit work a few years ago to go to Massachusetts in order to gather
a Master’s degree and now works on a PhD in Sports Psychology.
A couple of years prior to her stopping work she met the love of her life, a man who enjoys very often the wearing of “women’s” clothing. To be honest, I’m not sure exactly what that means. The range of human couture and fashion being such that if he wears a pair of slacks and a sweater, what makes it, exactly, a “women’s” pair of slacks and sweater. If he wears a scarf, what makes it a “women’s” scarf?
Does the notion that the clothes might be bought in a department of Nordstrom that’s labelled “women’s” make all of the clothing there female? What if he’s bought the same items at Old Navy? Unlabelled would the clothes then become “androgynous?”
I think we all have this tendency to “gender” pretty much everything in our world: our bodies, our clothing, our habits of action or inaction, our animals, our trees, flowers, the very ground of Earth and the moon, stars and Sun. I cannot think, just this moment, what gender clouds and watches, necklaces, gourds, wreaths and penicillin happen to be. Perhaps some reader would be kind enough to let me know. A note would be fine, please just try not to show forth your disdain when you inform me. I sometimes have this space in my brain that shows itself when I consider gender and gendering. . . .Read More
November 1, 2008
MY twin brother, Eli, is jealous of sea horses. They are the only animal species in which the male gives birth to the offspring. Male sea horses have brood pouches where the female deposits her eggs. The eggs then hatch in the father’s pouch, where the young continue to live until they are expelled into the ocean after strenuous labor that can last several days.
Eli is a transgender man, and lived the first 20 years of our lives as my fraternal twin sister. I have plenty of memories of my twin as a little girl, as Emma, not Eli. More often, though, my memories adjust to represent Eli as I know him now, as my brother.
When we were 5, living in a small apartment in Portland, Ore., my mother made our favorite breakfast of buckwheat pancakes on weekends, shaping the batter into K’s and E’s, for Kate and Emma. One morning as my mother assembled the ingredients, Emma, pretending she was a chicken, took two eggs from the counter and placed them next to each other on the carpet. I remember it was a pair of eggs, because even at our young age we knew what it meant to be twins, and whenever we played house, babies came in twos. . . .Read More
Between 1999 and 2005, Savannah Knoop lived an audacious double life as Jeremiah 'Terminator' LeRoy - a sex-change Aids sufferer whose stories, based around his white-trash upbringing and life on the streets, turned him into an overnight literary sensation. Polly Vernon unravels a twisted talePolly Vernon
November 2, 2008
The trunk show for Tinc - the tiny San Francisco-based fashion label - is New York Fashion Week's most achingly hip, most secretive event. It is held on a sticky day in early September, on the sixth floor of an anonymous warehouse building located 20 blocks down from the big tents and the main action of Bryant Park. Its designer, Savannah Knoop, greets a handful of fashion-week hipsters - the edgiest stylists, the most fashion-forward fashion editors - oh, and me. She rolls out her clothes on two chrome rails, so that we can cop a feel. She encourages us to try her creations on in the loos located halfway down a darkened corridor; she feeds us with farmers'-market brownies and a wine-punch concoction. There is no runway show, no models, no music, no scary clipboard ladies, and no reverence.
Tinc is brilliant. Androgynous, sharp, well-structured, well-fitting, cooler than Christmas. I don't care that 'Tinc' means 'throwaway' in Thai; that it's as green, as a company, as it possibly can be; that the pieces are spiritual one-offs, individually numbered and fashioned from unusual fabrics. I don't care that the logo is a visual representation of the soundwaves created whenever anyone says 'I love you'. I just care that it's good. . . .Read More