I start off by drowning my morning in coffee and cigarettes, breakfast of champions, I know. I then proceed to deodorize my person and brave LA traffic to the dojo. I put on a thick black canvass karate uniform and make sure I’ve taken out all of my piercing jewelry, so that in the process of teaching a child how to poke someone’s eyes out, their little baby hairs don’t snag on my industrial bar. I put up my slick tuft of hair into a tiny man bun and make sure no red greasy wisps are sticking to the shaved sides of my rowdy head. In this moment I am Cory, confusingly androgynous karate teacher. Add some form of protein and a handful of nuts, and several karate lessons later, I’m de-ninja’ed and back on the road to the dungeon. Upon my arrival I’m greeted by an army of beautiful humans in lingerie. On go the thigh high black stocking, my blunt banged, black bob wig, blush, heels, mascara, faux leather collar, some over-sexualized costume (yes….you can be a sexy clown) and BOOM, I’m Submissive Simone. From Cory to Simone in twenty minutes. That’s one hell of a double shift, huh?
I’ve had several friends ask if it frustrated me that I have to dress in such traditionally feminine attire for work, as an androgynously identifying individual. I always remind them that I’ve been actively gender-bending and doing “femme” to “butch” and back again since I learned that both presentations were options. Fuck. If it’s all socially constructed why would I feel obligated to pick? As a second-grader, I remember being super excited when I misheard the lyrics of the Eve 6 song as, “I want to put my gender, hard in a blender…” What a thrilling concept! Some of us are born to bend, what can I say (that’s when I would throw a fuchsia feather boa over my left shoulder and walk away theatrically, WITHOUT tripping on my heels.) Frankly, I find the transition between gender presentations thrilling and empowering. Nothing thrills me more than gender piracy, except for really amazing haircuts, which is tangential.
So gender conformists, outlaws and benders, for your viewing pleasure, I present you with non-binary artists and celebrities and their cornucopia of gender presentations:
Del La Grace Volcano: Herm/Herm’s
“As a gender variant visual artist I access ‘technologies of gender’ in order to amplify rather than erase the hermaphroditic traces of my body. I name myself. A gender abolitionist. A part time gender terrorist.”
Rain Dove: She/Her, He/Him, They/Them
A model for both male and female lines of clothing.
Angel Haze: They/Them
A musical artist who described themselves as being “agender” on twitter.
“Love is boundary less.”
-To your personal revolts and riots and especially to your learning,
Cory is a poet and novelist in the Los Angeles area. They have worked in mental health, education, social justice and fashion blogging and aims to lead by example by bravely living an examined lifestyle.
“The learning process is something you can incite, literally incite, like a riot.” -Audre Lorde
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