On Cuddling, Queer Presentation, Elitist Institutions, and The Lesbian, Capitalist Board Game: Random Reflections on a Week.

A list, even though I really don’t love lists. Linear lists, at least. Alliteration at it’s finest.

1. I played the L word board game today for the first (and probably last) time. In the game, the photos of the characters are so strange. The trans guy (Max) is femmed up. The (monopoly style) point of the game is to compete with the other characters to spend your money to buy “The Planet,” a cafe that features in the show. Capitalism, femmed up male identified queers… and me and my teammate had to sit out a turn because we were “leaping lesbians” and “lost our handbag on the cruise.” I get it: all rich and overly sexed femme queers carry hangbags, go on cruises, and have instant money they use while spending all of their time competing with each other and getting laid. That’s what I call a cooperative vision for a better world. Don’t you just love what capitalism does to queerness? I sure do.

2. I am newly obsessed with this video by awesome Athens Boys Choir. Check it out:

(Except for no POCs. Thoughts?)

Cause I got a V- to the – A- G-I-N-A but no P-E-N-I-S- ENVY, cause for real tho- i got a dildo, i got two dildos, i got three dildos.

3. I’m heading to P-town for Women’s Weekend this weekend with a bunch of queer friends. I’ll update upon my return. I expect a bunch of early 40’s popped-collar sports dykes… but why speculate? We’ll know soon enough.

4. Today I was really missing loving physical contact. Somehow the people around me sensed that (maybe it has to do with me talking about it with them?) and I got a friendly snuggle, a backrub, and many hugs. I really felt like my depths were being healed a little bit with this warm and loving physical contact. This makes me want to talk about something I think about a lot: I feel like friendly and warm physical love is not enough a part of the culture of which I am a part (and I feel like my subcultures and communities are probably far more supportive of physical closeness and friend love than most others in the place and time that I inhabit.) There is something really profound to me about being held and holding for the very sake of being held and holding someone I care about, and I do not think that this gets enough attention. At the beginning of the school year my friends at I at the student coop used to have cuddle piles and parties where we would hold each other and be warm together in groups, which was really wonderful. Perhaps we can reinstigate this ritual? Let’s make it a revolution! Cuddlers, spooners, want to be held-ers, want to hold-ers, feelers, givers, takers, lovers: let’s be there with each other! (Please remember that the number one most respectful, beautiful, loving, and sexy way to engage with another is to always ask first! Snuggling and loving is good when everybody involved wants to be there and engage, and we can’t know that without asking first!)

5. I am a part of an organization called Resource Generation that I really want to spotlight and talk about here- to spread the word.

So often, in social justice circles, I find that I tend to hide the fact that I have access to lots of wealth and resources. I think it’s important as a young person with wealth who cares about social justice that I do not hide that I have access to wealth but rather than I share my resources and connections to benefit social justice movements and that I challenge myself (with the help of those around me) to align my practice with my ideologies and beliefs. This organization is really great because it provides spaces for young people with wealth who are invested in social justice to come together and engage in discussion, thinking, challenging, acting, and learning around social responsibility as a young person with wealth. I go to monthly dinner potluck discussion meetings and talks and would love to go together if anybody is interested. I can be reached at noa.grayevsky@gmail.com, so feel free to email if you are interested of have any questions about this movement.

6. I’m trying to decide what to do about my piercings and the HBomb photos that are up in my room when my family visits for graduation in a couple of weeks. My mother has very strong negative feelings about my septum piercing (and my other piercings, and my hairy legs, and short hair, and hairy armpits, and sportsbras, and boys clothes, and gender ambiguous partners). I recently pointed out to her that though to her these things seem superficial and changeable and that’s why it really doesn’t seem like a big deal to her to constantly point them out to me as ugly and despicable, they all add up to give me a queer presentation, and that queer presentation feels very central to my identity and self hood. Thus, nit picking these parts of me is an unfair tactic that leaves me seeming like I am overreacting to some motherly comment about leg shaving (don’t all mothers want their daughters to have smooth legs? Maybe that’s why I haven’t found the nice Jewish American doctor my grandparents want me to marry and make children with so that we can help populate the holy land) when I feel like my self and my loving of others are being attacked on some fundamental level. Which is why I hate that I will probably take out my septum piercing when she comes to avoid awkwardness and anger- but where do we draw the line? When is it best to maintain peace within the family or community at the expense of internal turmoil due to an act that feels like it is disloyal to personal identity? When do we decide to take up the space we deserve even when it makes those we love radically uncomfortable? What do you think? What have you done in your life? Do you have any stories to share? I would love to hear them.

The photograph on my wall of me with a strap on and mustache drinking a beer next to a topless female-bodied friend may just be where we need to draw the line. Man (no pun intended), I hate lines- I don’t want to box myself in. Or you for that matter. I want to let my belly hang. No sucking in. No changing ourselves, myself, to fit within the lines that make other people comfortable. But I just might, nonetheless

7. Last but not least (7 reflections for this 7 day period): In a reflection form on my time at Harvard which I filled out today in preparation for my graduation, I was asked the following question by Harvard and gave the following answer:

8. What do you appreciate most about your time here at Harvard?

Finding communities that I love, feeling radically validated within those spaces, and learning (in many ways through being within the larger institution of Harvard) more about the ways in which elitist, racist, classist, heterosexist, and mysoginist institutions (such as this one) work to create and reinforce the material and more abstract inequalities between people that I want to help to change by working for and with others (including you).

I wonder if they plan to publish that in graduation paperwork? Read it in front of parents?

I was hanging out with a very close friend today (who is a brilliant blogger on this here community blog) who pointed out that if her answer to this question were going to be publicly shared she could not say what she really thinks/ feels. I am wondering what you really think/ feel. There are no good/ bad/ right/ wrong answers here (or anywhere, mostly. Thanks Postmodernism.)

Until next week, with QUEER STRAP-ON NAKED HONEST SNUGGLING LOVING GENDER VARIANT CAPITALIST CHALLENGING SELF ASSERTING CLASS AWARE WOMAN LOVING TRANS POSITIVE love-

and sincerely.

4 responses to “On Cuddling, Queer Presentation, Elitist Institutions, and The Lesbian, Capitalist Board Game: Random Reflections on a Week.

  1. personally, i think the L Word game sounds like fun. as an “overly sexed femme queer,” i kind of like it that there are some hot queer women on that show. i’m attracted to, and mostly date, butches, but that doesn’t mean that a board game has to be all about rage and capitalism. sometimes it’s just pink and fun. i dunno. that’s my take on it.

  2. This blog rocks my socks!!!!!!!

  3. Bengalese says : I absolutely agree with this !

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