dominicdemeyn

:Neutrois Niche:

Month: July, 2012

An article by the THE OXFORD STUDENT newspaper: ‘Sub fusc gender restrictions thrown out’

Here’s a link to an article by James Restall of The Oxford Student newspaper that was sent to me by my Mum this morning.

Initially I wanted to talk about the film I saw yesterday, but I don’t have the mental energy right now and don’t really want to start my mornings bitching about a third rate movie. Plus, I still have to go shop for a postcard and do other things, while constantly worrying about things I cannot get done and have no control over, so it’s going to be a busy day 🙂

Here’s the link to the article:

http://oxfordstudent.com/2012/07/28/sub-fusc-gender-restrictions-thrown-out/

A bit more about ‘sub fusc clothing’:

http://www.stx.ox.ac.uk/members/official/new_members/sub_fusc_clothing/

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The brave new world of going beyond Part I: A short introduction to Transhumanism

I have often wondered what is wrong with me, why I keep feeling like the eternal outsider. Perhaps I have now found what I was looking for all along, a synthesis of ideas that match my feelings more closely than any other: Transhumanism.

Transhumanism is not new. Transhumanism is happening right now, in the minds and actions of people all over the world. Transhumanism also happened in the past. Transhumanism is past, present, and future, because it is us.

A bit about me and why I find transhumanism interesting

I grew up travelling the world, because my Mum worked overseas for about 2-3 years at a time, and then the whole family had to move around with her, wherever she went. Me and my brothers repeatedly changed countries, schools, friends, and were constantly bombarded with new sensations, different social settings, and human cultures. every school system presented its own challenges, new peer groups formed constantly around us and dissolved again, we were accustomed to airports and other forms of transport, as we left our home town to move abroad.

This has given us an immense opportunity to get to know different settings, landscapes, foods, scents, cultural impressions, political systems, and ways of life, but also imprinted in me a sense of strangeness, of not belonging anywhere, really. Maybe it is because I was not prepared for the great impressions I received from constantly travelling and never really coming to rest, maybe it was due to my character (which tends to be a bit cynical) that I didn’t fully appreciated being moved around a lot and never having my own, never-changing place to stay. I don’t know this for sure, but I can say that it affected my worldview, and maybe has made me more prone to bouts of anger about the human condition and lack of closeness with others, a strong dissociation. For I often saw and still see my surroundings through a detached lens, I am often the observer of others, but rarely the one who actively interacts. I am often the disinterested third wheel in a relationship and never the one initiating close contact. I am often more intested in old buildings and historical figures than real humans and the lived experience.

I think that is why I am also more into science-fiction-related-material than I was before. I often considered sci-fi to be close to lunacy and not very practical. But this view has changed, and I am increasingly more interested in (a) what it is/means to be human, and (b) how technology and ideas can be applied to ameliorate the human condition.

H+

I started googling transhumanism and came to wikipedia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Transhumanism) to get an understanding about what it is (really) about, as it had only ever really existed as a vague idea in my head.

According to wikipedia, transhumanism is seen as “a continuation of humanism and Enlightenment thinking”. Transhumanist concepts tackle “the applications of advanced sciences to human biology” and a major focus of the movement is “the application of science to better the (individual) human condition, the improvement of human bodies…”. Transhumanists generally seek a control of human evolution and the use of new technologies to achieve that.

Another aspect of the movement is the critical stance towards biological determinism, and biology in general, as transhumanists tend to “see the very concept of the specifically ‘natural’ as problematically nebulous at best, and an obstacle to progess at worst”.

Transhumanism is a movement encompassing various thinkers and topics affecting the way humans live and the potential for human life in the future. It is geared towards a goal that is a sort of utopia, a reference point for the future: posthumanism.

Posthumanism is something to strive towards, as this quote exemplifies: ” They [transhumanist thinkers] predict that human beings may eventually be able to transform themselves into beings with such greatly expanded abilities as to merit the label ‘posthuman’.

the Vitruvian genderqueer

Cognitive liberty, morphological freedom, procreative liberty

I personally cannot conceive of a time where transhumanist ideas were not in vogue or under scrutiny from various political parties and segments of society, and I used to be an Archaeology student. I think in humans there is a great motivation to strive to better things, to affect one’s environment, to change and adapt, to create and experiment, and to initiate ‘progress’.

A lot of humans want to gain knowledge about their environemnt (nature), their selves (human body and mind), and their abilities (boundaries and powers to transform). We wouldn’t have cars and tall buildings and complex social interactions if it weren’t for this desire to strive for progress.

Also, I think there’s still a great need for humans to “become more than human”, to exceed our limited potential and be the creatures that we envisage to be, but whose abilities we do not yet own. We look towards something greater than us to strive for, just like a child watches a sibling and tries to be as good at sports as them. There’s a competitive element there, perhaps a need to show off, to leave one’s mark, to create something new and exciting.

Transhumanism has to do with redefining humans and what life in the future could be like. It involves a lot of theorizing, but also has very practical applications. Eventhough this type of philosphy is called transhuman and even confronts us with menacing words such as ‘posthumanism’, it is not removed from humanity, humanism, and the human, because it is produced by humans, shaped and criticised by humans, and its efforts are to increase the quality of human life. It is no anti-human philosophy. Humans are at its centre, its focus is on making life better for individuals around the world.

I think individual choice is a major concern for transhumanist thinkers, and that’s another reason why this movement has become attractive for me. I don’t agree with every aspect of it, nor do I fully understand what it entails. I’m not really scientifically-minded, and have trouble understanding scientific concepts and mechanisms, but I like creative thinking and the expansion of thought. I wonder where it can lead and what it means for us common folk.

the universal brain

In the next post i would like to highlight some of the concepts of transhumanist thinkers, some more practical applications, and include some more personal commentary.

Series I, Part III: the Dandelion

Having been conscious of nature’s energy and the subtle variations in energy forms, ignomas Nobel watched one of his favourite plants. He gazed at the delicate form of a lonesome dandelion. First he only recognised the general shape and the white fringes of petals.

But movement came into teh scene when the wind started whirling around. The petals lossened and revealed a curious freight. Tiny orange figures were hanging onto the petals and were lifted up in the air.

“Where were they heading?”, thought Ignomas to himself. “What would await them wherever they would land?”

He continued to watch in amazement as the figures slowly disappeared out of sight, seemingly kept aloft not only by the power of the wind, but by their own desire to travel to somewhere.

These little creatures reminded him that he, too, felt like he was out and about long enough. He had almost forgotten that he had a home and a garden to care for and friends of his own. He wondered how he would get back home now, he did not know the way, never really knew the way back.

But then he thought more about the little orange people and how they could just hang onto a fragment of life and transport to another place. Ignomas put all his mental energy into thinking about his own little place, his garden, his front porch. He thought abuot all the details he could muster, so as to make the image more real.

It did not take long and then he could actually feel what it was like to be back there, to sit in his resting cahir and read a good book or stand in the entrance way and put down his umbrella after a walk in the rain.

He felt like he was home already.

 

 

 

A lot has changed since I started out…

…blogging. And yet I still feel as if I just published my first post, a bit insecure, wondering who might read it, if anyone really is interested in what I write.

Right now, I’m a bit stressed: My mom is here to visit and I am trying hard to change the standards of how I am adressed: I’m trying  to make my family agree with me on some new gender terms and conditions and it feels like a full time committment (which I’m not usually very good at):

I am thinking of changing jobs and have already gone through the Interview process, but am so clumsy that I lost the number of the person I was meant to call. Then my phone, of course, was set on call divert, and that did not give a good impression.
There was a misunderstading about cancelling my work agreement with the agency, and now this new workplace relation has gotten off to a bad start.

I’m looking for a new place, since my landlord is coming back soon to take over again. I have just gotten used to this one, and now I have to leave again very soon. The area is great for jogging and strolling along the riverbank. I might have to move further into the city.

My wordpress blog is giving me a bit of a headache, because I am not able to reply to all of the comments and am almost wishing to go back to the start, where my blog was still neat. I am happy that a lot of people have read my posts, but this sudden exposure has also made me fret: I am now under duress to produce more blog posts and more quality material.

I thank people for taking an interest in this space and hope they won’t be disappointed by my lack of communication and topics. I would like to adress more diverse issues, but I don’t really know much about them and don’t really feel qualified to write on anything other than my own ideas and feelings. I tend to read and think more and often I just want to share what others wrote, because I usually find that more interesting than my own stuff.

I want to continue with art and photography, as well, because art is the medium with which I am able to express myself more fully and personally. Writing is still an experiment that I enjoy doing, but that is often incoherent and not well organised. I tried writing a short story once, and it just never really ended….

 

 

Yours truly,

 

Dominic Demeyn.

 

We Won’t Run

quote from the song ‘we won’t run’ by Sarah Blasko

 

Dominic vs. God

Trigger Warning: Scars

This is to present my chest and what my idea of a Neutrois chest is. It’s also meant to show that when I talk about me being trans, I mean trans*, when I talk about me being queer, I mean genderqueer, when I talk about being neutral, I mean gender-neutral.

The body is a surface on which we project our emotions and ideas. People get tattoos and piercings ( I myself am a fan of tattoos, not so much piercings), and with the addition of clothing, we are able to communicate and protect our bodies from the weather and ‘immodesty’.

Our bodies are honest, in that they portray our phusical structure. Sometimes we can determine through the way the body lools or moves that a person is ill or has an injury. We can determine, through facial queues, if a person is happy or sad.

But we cannot always know what a person is like, inside of this vessel, without getting to know them firts. It takes time and energy to do so, and often we do not have either or have preceonceived ideas about the person which prevent us from going near them in the first place.

I am trying to make my body more honest by changing it to make it represent more fully and inclusively my ideals and how I picture myself. I have used the power of plastic surgery to modify and edit structures on my body that were giving me unease and failed to represent me and my ideals.

This ‘new’ body feels more natural, eventhough I haven’t had it long, it feels safer, eventhough people might look at me in a more negative light because of it. It feels like it belongs to me more now than it ever did.

Some say if the body is a vessel, and the person really shines through through the soul, therefore one does not need to focus so much on it. But my soul cann’t come through in a body I detest. When I had/have dysphoria I get really depressed and have strong anxiety attacks and even think about death and dying. Surgery has made my life better. I’m not saying it’s the only answer to one’s problems, but it’s not morally wrong and shouldn’t be ignored as an option.

This is my personal surgery result. I am curious to know how others would react if they saw my chest like this. I am happy with it, because it feels good and it simplifies my life (eg. not having to wear disgusting female underwear bra stuff, walking around shirtless [at least in my own four walls], and feeling lighter and healthier)….dysphoria of the chest (my previous chest structure) was making me ill, because I felt sick with it, I felt diseased and wrong, as if a foreign and malign object was put there to torment me. My chest felt like ‘a cancerous being’, so I had to remove it (everything).

To me, someone WITH a chest is incomplete….

The following Images: 1. My Lovely Chest TM, 2. Dominic: un point, God, Nature, the-not-me: 0 points, 3. Neutrois kitsch: My Lovely Chest Smiley

 

 

*IMAGESIMAGESIMAGESIMAGESIMAGESIMAGESIMAGESIMAGESIMAGESIMAGESIMAGESIMAGESIMAGESIMAGESIMAGESIMAGES*

My Lovely Chest ™

Dominic: un point, God: 0 points

Neutrois kitsch: My Lovely Chest ☺

 

Work: A Sort of Conclusion

Tomorrow will presumable be the last day at this workplace I have been at for about a month now.

In the beginning I was frequently pissed off at some of the responses I got from co-workers about my gender identity and their doubts associated with my identity, my beliefs.

But I’ve gotten used to them, their voices and mannerisms and I am more inclined to understand their attitudes.

They still question me when it comes to the gender binary, as they are so entrenched in this system, that they see no other. In addition, I doubt that they are interested in seeing another way of being, because the current social world suits them quite well. They are able to live comfortably in this world and even to profit from social rules and constructs. They are cis and happy with their lot.

I will miss the discussions we had, when emotions flared up and time went much faster than when it was quiet and everyone was serious. I will miss being able to explain myself and having someone listen and confront their own ideas. I will miss being in a group, and yet not belonging there, being able to mix with both men and women and sometimes being alone, being somewhat outside the rules.

We do tend to get along at work, after all, though it’s a strange relationship between all these different people from different age groups, countries, and backgrounds. Partly we work well together, because we have to, and partly because we all (as far as I can tell) are curious to know about other people and to learn about new things.

I am happy that I have been able to meet these people and talk about my ideas and feelings, to have an outlet for my emotions and philosophies. I hope in the new job (if I get it; it’s not 100% certain) I will be lucky and meet people who are, at heart, good people, who have good intentions and don’t only argue for the sake of it, who aren’t just shallow drones of the capitalist economy, who are capable of thinking for themselves.

Eventhough once again I was asked which gender I would ultimately choose, and I politely had to decline the choice of any gender, I am happy that this and other questions were asked. It’s like as if I was the colour orange and came into a world where only red and blue existed: Both red and blue would ask me which colour I am, as they could only see the colours red and blue. They couldn’t see my orange colour, my identity would be hidden to their naked eyes. I would have to keep responding that I am orange, eventhough they might still not understand this, because orange would not exist in their world.

As long as I don’t start to forget who I am, I will still have a certain amount of tranquility and freedom of being, of satisfaction.

The GenderQueer Atheist on YouTube

http://www.youtube.com/user/GenderQueerAtheists?feature=watch

 

Ten Things You CAN Say to a Trans Person (Reblogged from TRANIFESTO)

May I make a short introduction to what is to follow here:

I have reblogged the following post from Matt Kailey’s blog TRANIFESTO, which I hope all of you are following, or have at least visited often. I hope that this blog post did not come across as mine, because that is not the case. I realise now that I should have made this more obvious and honoured the person to whom this blo post belongs. I apologise to Matt for the inappropriate re-blogging and hope that I won’t make that mistake again.

I would like to also now add his website (link): http://tranifesto.com/

I get a lot of information from Matt’s blog and visit it regularly and am a bit embarrassed that I have not quoted his post properly. I don’t want any credit for posting this, the reason why I am posting this is because I like his post and want to share it.

Let’s see if I can do better now!

This is the post by Matt Kailey which can be found on his blog (see link, please).

“One of the most popular items on my blog is “Ten Things Not to Say to a Trans Person.” But I’m sure that non-trans people get tired of hearing what they can’t say. So, in the spirit of helpfulness, I present “Ten Things You CAN Say to a Trans Person”:

1. Good morning!

2. How was your weekend?

3. That outfit/shirt/tie looks great on you.

4. I am so tired of this heat/cold. I hope it rains/warms up pretty soon.

5. Have you seen the latest photo of my kid/dog/new house? Check it out!

6. Where are you from originally? Have you lived in this city long?

7. The traffic on the freeway is a nightmare today! Do you have to drive far to get here?

8. We’re all going across the street for lunch. Want to come?

9. I can’t believe summer/winter is almost over. Where does the time go?

10. Did you see that YouTube video about the snake that ate three baby goats?

Of course, you can adjust these to fit your purposes. And if you are close to this person, your conversations will obviously stray into less superficial aspects of life, such as art, politics, current events, their love life, your love life, Kim Kardashian’s love life, and so on. But use these as a guideline and you will never get yourself in hot water.”

[http://tranifesto.com/2012/07/16/ten-things-you-can-say-to-a-trans-person/]

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This is what I thought when I read the post:

I’m sure there are many more things one can ask/say to a trans person without intruding on personal space or making that person feel uncomfortable.

And not only Trans people enjoy some private space. We all have personal boundaries. Usually it’s only when our needs are not met or boundaries happen to be crossed (trespassed on) that we realise how important they are. These boundaries often cannot be seen and that is why often they are not respected. For some (other) reason, too, trans peoples’ boundaries seem to be less important than other peoples’, as if every trans person was a celebrity and needed to explain themselves.

Even in the zoo, the animals are kept at a distance from visitors. A trans person does not have a physical structure in place to protect him/her/it/… from prying minds.

We should keep in mind that when talking to a person, we are talking to an individual with …/it’s/her his personal history, likes/dislikes, personality, family structure, friends, hobbies. A trans person has as much substance and real-ness as any other person. One might not understand or support their idetifying as trans or their transition plans (if transition is indeed planned), but one can at least respect shared humanity/human-ness.

We all strive to be safe in our environment, to be individuals and yet to live as part of a social construct (a group of individuals). Some are more individual and freedom-loving than others and might clash with their surroundings due to their foreign-ness.

Should we ostracise some people, who could be valuable to society and contribute positivity to our environment (physical, spiritual, economic, social) because of their personal preferences regarding gender/sexuality/hobbies/ethnicity/ability/…?

What will be the next standard to highlight ‘Otherness’ and create an ‘Us’ and a ‘Them’? Who will be the next victimized group of social conditioning?

A lazy Saturday post

sex: none (asexual)

gender: none (agender)

gender expression: Neutrois

sexual orientation: none (asexual)

romantic orientation: ‘straight’

 

If you saw this without the context of it being written on this blog, what kind of individual would you picture? Or would you just think that someone who wrote this was making a stupid joke and wasn’t really real?

Also, can one who has no sex or sexual orientation and no gender (or close to none, considering Neutrois is rather agendered than gendered) be called ‘straight’ when it comes to romantic orientation?

And why is there not more emphasis placed on romantic orientation or at least a distinction made between sexuality and romance, between sexuality and sensuality?

I bet many people will still doubt my existence and the existence of countless others, who cannot or are unwilling to display themselves and open themselves up to others because gender and sexuality labels are not written on all our foreheads; they have to be created, edited, established, and communicated, and that is part of the problem of gender. It is difficult to establish, difficult to interpret, difficult to handle, to place boundaries on it, because it is inherently complex and made up of so many personal feelings and experiences, wishes and hopes, fears and doubts…and general life (without the thinking and theorising) often comes into play as well and destroys or reshapes theory, it can interfere in our perception of ourselves and others and destroy our dreams of perfection and throw our ideals into unreachable realms.

I want people to know who I am, to know that I am real!

My mom is coming to visit today for the first time since I had surgery. Will she see me as real or stick to the old perception of me, because being real as a Neutrois does not satisfy her? Will she place the invisible cloak of gender on me in order to hide the new contours of my chest and my ‘gender worth’? I’m not ‘in’ anymore, I am on the fringe of society. How will she handle my decline into oblivion and did she realise that I was being erased and manipulated ‘when I was a ‘girl”, too? Will the fact that I will change my body and expression of ‘gender’ be used as an excuse to bully me and make it more justifiable to do so? Will the bullying become more open and aggressive now that I am openly Neutrois rather than pretend-feminine?

All these questions are running through my mind, but i don’t have the answers and don’t really want to think about them at present, because I know where I stand and whatever comes my way I will have to deal with it as a Neutrois and as best I can. There will surely be times when I will be immensely frightened and act less radical, more subdued, than I want to. There will be times when I will try to compromise to survive, because I don’t want to lose what I still have…..

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