Desire is something that I feel is very problematic to analyse or politicise. I had an experience when I was a teenager, when I was confused about sexuality and identity, wondering if I was feeling certain things because of this or that or the other, when I stepped back and said – “you know what? It doesn’t matter. These are my desires at the moment and that’s all I need to know”. This was a liberating realisation for me at the time and allowed me to explore my identity without going crazy with over thinking everything.
The above question is one that is heard a lot among queer circles, but one that I’ve always found quite strange and hard to really understand, let alone answer. If you ask me to describe myself and my experiences I’ll happily do so, but something about the word “identify” doesn’t really strike me as something I want to be doing.
This is an account of the same ritual I talked about in this post, but from the point of view of the spectator rather than the aspector. Enjoy!
Experiencing Baphomet in the Summer of 2011 at Queer Pagan Camp, Somewhere in Wales
By Jenny Peacock
The light of the leaves in the summer woods leapt on the wood walkway. My fellow travellers and I were in a land of queer spirit and queer deity, a magical and precious land which many of us have been invested in co-creating for years and which keeps spinning its wondrous web and evolving, powered by love, change and exploration.
By Kris Littlesun
I am going to talk about something I think about a lot, and especially recently as I’ve been reading a few anti-trans blogs and articles* (mainly because I like the mental exercise it gives me, and to understand why people think the way that they do).
The main argument against people transitioning, from a certain kind of feminist point of view, seems to be that gender is socially constructed – that when female bodied people talk about “feeling male” that what they really mean is that they are more comfortable with the male social role than the female (and also that they have been taught to hate their female body by a misogynistic culture). They claim that the problem is the limitations of the social roles of gender – that if these roles were broken down then people would be happy being in whatever social role they fitted into best and not feel the need to change their body or to identify as a gender different to the one assigned to them at birth.
Written by Kris Littlesun October 2010 after attending the Dion Fortune conference in Bristol
My experience of being a transgendered man is an important part of my identity, as well as being the thing that allowed me to begin to open up to forces beyond the surface world. It gave me the opportunity to step outside of the culturally upheld binary gender system and recognise how it binds people into ways of being and prevents them from being all they can. One of the reasons I was initially drawn to shamanic practice is the lack of dogmatic gendering found in the workings as well as the history of queer and transgender practitioners in many shamanic cultures. Within these cultures the transgendered person has their own role, they are valued for who they are and the gifts they bring. I feel that transgender people, and those who blur the gender line in different ways, are lacking a role of their own in western cultures, a cultural position that has worth and importance, in the same way that cisgendered men and women do. I found a comfort and acceptance within shamanic working, but ultimately I find myself being drawn away from this kind of practice.