When a nonbinary trans woman named Lauren told her fellow audience members that she felt “like masculinity wasted so much of [her] life,” there was a definitive weight to her words. The conversation began as part of a post-show panel following director Eric Ting’s well-executed #LoveHateOthello at California Shakespeare Theatre. I was one of the panelists for “The Construction of Gender: The Impact of Toxic Masculinity in Society,” a free civic dialogue with folks in the community and theatre-goers. Sikander Iqbal (cis heterosexual man of color), Ariel Luckey (cis heterosexual white man), Michal “MJ” Jones (non-binary Black trans person) and I brought our very different, but complementary voices to discuss masculinities with a small audience after the Saturday matinée of this theatrical production of Othello. Eric Ting, Cal Shakes’ artistic director, moderated the conversation.
By Lyndol Descant
For me, crushes have turned out to be like a mind-trap or the ultimate carrot-and-stick scenario, ever dangling just out of reach but there to see; to entice.
Let me explain.
In the past my crushes have gotten me out of bed in the morning; the excitement, the thrill, the belief, or maybe it was hope, that he would eventually realize how wonderful I am and see that I deserve his love. And when he does, I will know for sure too. I will know with certainty that I too deserve good things.
But that never happened. It couldn’t. It can’t.
Romantic relationships are never as clean and easy as they are in our imaginations which, incidentally, don’t tend to indulge the realities of life; the complicated, messy, fleshed-out-by-difference-of-opinion and diversity-of-interest, realities of life.
Once I had a year-long crush on a peer who, one day, approached me, suggesting that we get coffee. What did I do? I ran in the opposite direction (literally and figuratively), yelling “thanks anyway”… over my shoulder.
DESCRIPTION: Nudies is a compilation of found footage that represents one’s intuitive relationship to gender over time. By looking at what we were looking at, we start to define our relationships to larger systems as reactive and changing. Through this metamorphosis, the subconscious mind reflects most honestly the inner struggles and accomplishments that can’t be defined or pinpointed by waves.
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Embodying the masculine and feminine in auto-portraiture: a case for mediating personal worlds with visual technology12 Jan
Images are said to evoke deeper elements of awareness than words are because apparently the parts of the brain that process images are older than the parts that process verbal information (Harper, 2002). If you think about it, it does make some sense when you consider that we have been using symbols longer than language to communicate. I love words, sharing them, exchanging them and rearranging them. Everything about words excites me but images, photographs in particular, have the ability to seduce me. They can take me somewhere else entirely. Some images have made such a visceral impression on me over the years that I make time to recall them. Visual anthropologists and sociologists have used photo elicitation and production techniques in their research for a number of years. The former is the practice of inserting photographs into an interview or focus group in order to draw out different kinds of data whereas the latter is the collaborative practice of using (mainly) participant-generated photographs as a primary source of data collection.