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I'm standing on a traghetto pier in Venice.  I must be 5 or 6 years old

My small hands are holding tightly onto a big black hat, which has a blue feather and a golden and red ribbon of some sort attached to it.

The hat is part of a much more intricate carnival costume.

Red fabric boots cover my shoes and part of my legs, puffy black trousers are popping out from under a red and gold vest with a shiny cross printed in the middle, and a black plastic sword is kept in place by a strip of golden cloth around my waist.

Under the vest, a white shirt covers my arms, and a red cape is falling onto my back, and to finish the costume off, my favourite detail – a black moustache drawn over my upper lip.

I'm dressed up as D'Artagnan, one of the three musketeers. From the photograph, it appears to be a sunny day, and I look excited, I can almost recall the smell of the costume — a synthetic smell of something that has been kept in plastic for a long time


It's not possible to live twenty-four hours a day soaked in the immediate awareness of one's sex. Gendered self-consciousness has, mercifully, a flickering nature.  (Riley)

Message n1

I've seen vids of crocodiles in a gender reveal party and I'm like…evolution will do its job.

It is September 2020 and a violent wild-fire in California which resulted in extensive damage, evacuation, and land loss, was started by what the news described as a 'smoke-generating pyrotechnic device' used in a gender reveal party.

The result of this news is that I get lost in a YouTube black hole for hours.

Balloons blow up ejecting blue or pink confetti into the air, and awful looking cakes are cut open to show the party guests whether the expectant couple will give birth to a little boy or a girl.

During my descent into the gender reveal nightmare, I realise how many of these celebrations went from slightly to terribly wrong, and I stumble into yet another video and yet another fire.

The video dates back a couple of years. It is 2018 in Arizona, the camera is recording a black shooting target surrounded by tall, dry grass. The words ‘Boy or Girl’ are handwritten on it, and soon the target, which I learn is packed with explosives, is shot by the father-to-be with a high-powered rifle.

A big blue cloud violently leaks out into the air and shortly afterwards the grass starts burning, all the while the voice of a man nervously suggests packing everything up and leaving, before the video cuts out.

The fire ended up destroying 47,000 acres and resulted in $8 million in damages, not to mention all the people who had to be evacuated.

Never before had I watched unfolding in a slow-motion video, the damage that heteronormativity can wreak.

We may, ultimately, want more undisciplined knowledge, more questions and fewer answers

Message n2

You both look extra gay.

I remember coming back home, you told me the porter had asked if we were both 'real' women.  He couldn't make sense of the fact we were a couple. He said he knew of Elton John, but that's how far his knowledge got. You told him we were married. I don't know if that made things better or worse.

I think about that a lot. Being queer and married.

The night of our wedding I remember joking with a friend and telling them: 'I can't believe I married a lesbian'.

Is desire, always a desire for recognition?

In an interview dating back 1993, Judith Butler describes to the interviewer the painful irony of being implicated in the very forms of power that one explicitly opposes and trying to understand what kind of agency might be derived from that situation.

Am I bad at being queer?

Message n3

What are your biggest turn-ons?

I was at the archive yesterday, and I read about someone getting off by looking at a National Geographic's cover.

Death queers, old queens, sad butches, lonely hearts, diesel dykes, leather, cocks, straps.

As it was a boarding school, on games day we were able to go to the dormitories together. One day she drew me in through the door and ran her hands over my breast and kissed me passionately. Then she put her hands under my skirt and drew down my knickers. Her hand seemed to shoot to my sex, and she soon had me very damp. She then put me on the bed and proceeded to spank me, slow but not painfully. Ever since then I have always preferred a woman. (Sandra Bellamy, Liverpool)

We were sitting in the director’s office at the bank, he asked his assistant to bring the documents in, so my husband and I could sign them.


You nor I have any issues in being read as a different gender from the one we identify with, but he knew that you were my wife, he just couldn't (wouldn't?) say it.

I often think about the irony of the whole thing - his inability to let go of normative expectations and language resulted in the sudden fashioning of a much more gender-bending scenario than the one we were experiencing.

Queer unhappiness offers a rather deviant form of fertility   (Ahmed )