Heteronormativity is different than heterosexuality. Heteronormativity is when heterosexuality is assumed to be the normal default for everyone, it is fortified and naturalized by institutions like media, schools, healthcare, etc. Heteronormativity is a cultural lens which makes us recruit everyone and everything into it. The opinion — not fact or “biological truth” — that all people are inherently predisposed to heterosexuality needs to be ended. So far mainstream lgbt politics has not posed a challenge to heteronormativity, but has instead participated in it for legitimacy. This opinion makes it so that we have to “come out” as anything other than straight, but more insidiously it maps on to our bodies and instrumentalizes all of their parts in service of heteronormativity. What I am saying is that the only way we are taught to view our bodies is insomuch as their heteronormative reproductive capacity. This is why trans exclusionary feminists dismissing trans women & trans femmes on the basis of our parts and “inability to give birth” is not okay. The gender binary exists because of heteronormativity. Institutions produce two distinct & oppositional genders & sexes as part of the project of heteronormativity. This is why the dismissal of non-binary people is so absurd and contradictory: you say that you aren’t straight but you are still thinking straight!! What would happen if rather than seeing gender non-conformity as something that we transition into, we see it as something we already were and were disciplined out of? What would happen if we didn’t see gender non-conforming people as an aberration or an exception, but instead recognize that we are inherently outside of the binary...and we become binarized? This is why I am skeptical of the rhetoric of transition. I did not become something new, I reclaimed what was. I re-assumed the form of my body outside of heteronormativity. I design clothes & model & remain visible to document what this ongoing process looks like: what it means to attempt to live a life that celebrates creativity not conformity. One in which my body belongs to me, not heteronormativity.
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