‘I don’t think we should take the gender out of fashion’, says Rae Hill, designer at Origami Customs. ‘Instead of “genderless”, there needs to be more of a fluidity of gender. The gender of a piece of clothing is whatever gender you feel when you wear it, and not that you have to fit into the gender of that piece.’
A little while ago I spoke to New York Times contributor Brian Ng about airlines failing nonbinary passengers in their booking systems while pursuing the pink dollar. Read or listen to the story below.
Big thanks to Brian for pursuing this story, and shoutout also to photographer Asanka Brendon Ratnayake – I am so awkward in front of a camera but he really put me at ease and we had a nice chat about NYT Australia and journalism in Asia, Australia and the US.
The article is a follow-up to my TV story for China Tonight (video below). You can also watch the full 30-min episode on iview, which includes my chat with Stan Grant about the issue, as well as other stories from the China Tonight team.
But essentially space is also land. I think that’s where I contest this differentiation between ‘IRL and URL’ digital and physical space. They aren’t separate. There’s no third space that we occupy online. Our government dictates how we access digital spaces and connections, and infrastructures are imbued by the people who made them.
I loved talking to artist Sab D’Souza about feelings and the internet for the Liminal Magazine x Hyphenated Biennial series. Read it here.
‘Trans people are under immense pressure to present a coherent and palatable origin story that helps cis people make sense of us – even when we are not seeking medical treatment, we are treated by laypeople as if presenting to them for diagnosis. We are supposed to be intelligent, untroubled, sympathetic and reassuring.’
You can listen to my essay on the politics of changing my name here via Soundcloud. Kim Cheng Boey’s poem for Silent Dialogue is also available as audio, or you can order a print copy of the Silent Dialogue book here featuring Maria Tumarkin, Elizabeth Tan, Julie Koh and many more.
As an AFAB nonbinary person, many feminist and women’s spaces welcome me – but often that welcome is itself a form of trans erasure, an insistence on seeing us as the genders we were assigned. I wrote about my uncomfortable relationship with feminist literary spaces for Feminist Writers Festival.
‘I’m pretty accustomed to not feeling at home anywhere – this is often a good thing, a productive tension. The can of worms fertilises the soil. But whether it’s Feminist Writers Festival, Facebook writers’ groups, or other feminist literary initiatives like the Stella Prize, I think it’s important to remember that you can’t simply tweak the category of woman to accommodate nonbinary people. Nonbinary disturbs the foundations of binary gender because it’s supposed to. It’s intentionally an interruption, a question as well as an identity.’