Posted by: maxvoltage | October 19, 2010

potential

Potential [puh-ten-shuhl] (adj)
1) capable of being or becoming.
2) a latent excellence or ability that may or may not be developed.
3) someone or something that is considered a worthwhile possibility

I have a tumultuous relationship with the word potential; the word haunts me. For most of my life, that word played a major part, was uttered about me, written on report cards, etc. I was a straight A student at one of the top ranked High Schools in the state, played violin since the age of 5, played sports, toured the world with my Youth Orchestra, made the all-state Orchestra, took all the AP classes, rarely got in any trouble, got accepted to all 8 colleges I applied to, got a Deans Scholarship to Santa Clara University, was accepted into the Intel Honors Internship Program and set to study Electrical Engineering. I had so much so-called “potential.”

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Posted by: maxvoltage | October 18, 2010

the bully epidemic

So many queer teens killing themselves.  What the fuck.  I’ve watched the outpouring of support and words of wisdom through the It Gets Better Project (launched by Dan Savage) and many have brought tears to my eyes.  ’cause as queer, we remember how hard it is just to survive high school.  and many of us literally don’t get out alive.

Suddenly, the media is paying attention.  Queer kids being bullied and killing themselves is not new, but suddenly it’s news.   Maybe we’ve turned a corner in our society where its no longer acceptable to be explicitly homophobic (just institutionally homophobic).  Maybe, due to the internet and our uber-public culture of facebook, twitter, youtube, etc, we find out that these suicides were related to queerness, instead of previously where it was just kept hush hush.  Whatever the reason, suddenly, queer youth are in the news.  And mainstream society is grappling with the issues of teen suicide and bullying.

What i find interesting is that no-one is talking about the root causes.  No one is taking a step back and seeing the big picture: that we are a culture of bullies.  Bullying is taught to be an acceptable form of power.  This is an cultural epidemic of our own devising.

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Posted by: maxvoltage | October 17, 2010

drag king revolutions

Next week is the International Drag King Community Extravaganza (IDKE) in Baltimore.   It very may well be the very last IDKE, as they haven’t yet found a host city to take-on the conference for next year.   And even though i’ve gone to many IDKEs (Chicago, Austin, Vancouver, Columbus), i am not going this year.

When i was in college, my thesis paper was titled “Performing a Revolution: Drag Kings, Transgender Theory & Feminism.”  I argued that the performance of drag king masculinity was, in itself, a radical act because it deconstructs essentialist gender assumptions.  It shows masculinity to be a social construction, that gender can be bent.  And i extended my argument to trans identities; that these identities are also inherently feminist because they are (intentionally or not) poking holes in the oppressive gender binary.

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Posted by: maxvoltage | October 3, 2010

max’s high-school reunion

My 10-year high school reunion was last night.  For years i’ve been daydreaming about such an event;  I would enter dramatically, looking hot and queer with some extra foxy homo on my arm, and get to be that out & proud queer person that i never got to be in highschool.  I remember wanting to go to senior prom with my first queer crush, when we were still just “friends” and before i realized what my queer feelings  meant, and how they would change my life.   But I wasn’t there yet.  So instead I went with a straight boy, wore a pink dress, had a completely unremarkable time.

All those things I was in highschool I would erase in this one reunion evening.  That shy, awkward genderqueer trying so hard to fit into spaces that couldn’t hold me. Laying low, excelling academically to get to the next step: college. Escape. Noticed for my violin playing and academics, if at all. I would have a total Romy & Michelle moment.  I even wracked my brain for ways to get members of my dance company into the reunion so we could bust-out some actual choreography. It was going to be epic, spectacular, unforgettable, all the things i never felt like i was in highschool.

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