|So, there I was in this Intro to Women's Studies class, and we were talking about fashion magazines and (under)representation. Names of magazines popped up through the discourse. My classmates talked about the difficult of making collages for "self" --things we identify with-- in those magazines. As the only transguy there, I was relieved that I wasn't the only one who felt alientated from the images. As the conversation contnued, someone mentioned Ms. Magazine, which I respect.
I remembered, right then, how the word "Ms." was barely used before Ms. Magazine. Leslie Feinberg wrote that there was "Miss" and there was "Mrs." and these were enforced quite rigidly: everyone felt entitled to know whether you were a "Miss" or a Mrs." Well, Ms. Magazine offered more than just a word to break down that gap, they offered images of women without pinning them down to the binary of titles. A major theme in Feinberg's writing is breaking down the dichotomy between "he" and "She" to allow freedom for anyone who wants to exist outside of those options. But until right then, I never thought to take the uncreatively small step of trying to make a magazine that would break down he/she. Hey, that would be copping out, wouldn't it?
Or would it?
Would it? With seemingly vapid fashion advice? With the same person, made over as a preppy boy, as a femme fatale, as a genderscrewing goth, as an androgynous athlete? Would it be too simple, to just make a "fashion" magazine "Baby X" would read, and name it after a gender-neutral pronoun?
There would be no gendered pronouns (except possibly in interviews, or when absolutely necessary) and any chance to use a neutral word would be prefered. A real effort would be make to include males, females and intersexuals responsibly, and in an equally positive, un-objectifying light. (Likewise, masculinity, femininity, both, neither, and something else entirely would be given their due on different bodies.) It'd be the magazine to explore interests stereotypically assigned to either gender, as well as analysis of ideas about gender, past and present, the news affecting genderqueers, and personal experiences.
Don't you want a magazine that puts an emphasis on body control and freedom? It is time to glorify gender passing and gender screwing. It is time for a smart magazine that gender-variant people can find themselves in. It is time for a magazine as tough as the stereotypical feminist and as fabulous as the stereotypical gay boy. It is time for a magazine that includes transgendered and intersexed people as real as you are.