The Feminine Urge: A PostMortem Analysis

What inspired it? What was the intention? My partner and I are both genderqueer/nonbinary but in slightly different flavors. This started as my very excited amateur attempt to explain my gender in artistic format but I got so sidetracked into the weeds of what it even means to “feel trans” or (in my case specifically) to “be a cis trans person” that I wound up making a venting zine about how frustrating it is to even define these concepts to a sometimes hostile audience which only cares about normativity, homogeneity, and policing gender presentation PERIOD (labeled as trans or not)

What went so sweetly, satisfyingly right? Getting the hang of the zine software I used was SO WORTH IT, it made the process so much easier and I could focus on putting my whole pussy into the panels. I had a really fun time locating open-source, public domain, or free-to-commercialize images online. I love the cover…i LOVE the cover so much. I also love the way it looks in black and white, and it folds up nice and neatly. I banged it out in 4 hours only, took the entire afternoon off to do so. It felt extremely cathartic, if a bit scattered and incoherent. I stand by the intent of this zine, as my first ever attempt to grapple with these big, nebulous, borderline-inarticulable concepts.

What went horribly, horribly wrong? Ironic that a zine supposedly intended about the failure of language to describe my lived experience…..would fail to accurately capture the exact feelings and opinions I hold on the topic. Again, it was meant to start out as slightly satirical in nature, but the more I articulated the phrasing and tweaked the ideas…..the more I realized it wasn’t satire at all. I genuinely believe it’s unfair and harmful to justify queerness within the playing field of anti-queer rhetoric, which taints nearly all language I’ve seen used to define queerness in online circles. The sheer fact is that I believe it’s not useful to define my queerness using language not invented or conducive to my lived experiences. I don’t think anybody has ever been as cis and straight in every realm of their life, every moment of their life until death. Queerness is the default, because the norms and expectations and roles are all artificially constructed ideals. So, this zine ended up very narrowly hyperfocused on just the venting, and the one single question of what it even means to be trans, but i feel like i’d really prefer a more essay-oriented format for my zines going forward. I also feel I may be erring on the side of sounding completely fucking insane, since I didn’t provide much context or explanation for the sentiments. This zine is all my concatenated thoughts and, like the inner cover illustrates, things often got lost in translation.

Where do we go from here? I hope that this zine helps others who may be struggling to articulate their gender within the currently accepted constraints and classifications. Helps them realize they’re not alone. Art is messy and vulnerable, and in creating this zine I expose myself to the very real possibility it will age like milk or upset people unintentionally. I can only live my truth. I’m excited to begin drafting my series of mini-essays for my next zine, Who’s Afraid of CisHet Queers?

Get The Feminine Urge to Be A Man

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