On gender euphoria, disrupting the gender binary, and not being invalid, undetermined or unspecified

My first thoughts when seeing the Invalid theme for GLAM blog club were very similar to the Transgressive Archivist’s ones in their excellent “Your Data Is Invalid: Collecting Data On Sex, Gender, And Sexuality” post and I have had a long and ever growing draft blog post on a related topic for months, but I’m trying to keep this short and rough inspired by this micro essay challenge… although again it’s still not quite micro!

The theme also makes me of the brilliant Sandy O’Sullivan’s recent talk The colonial project of gender: Thinking through museums, creative representation and research imperatives:

Everyone must watch the whole talk several times, but some of Sandy’s comments from the talk that particularly struck me in relation to this theme were “universities share a great deal with the Creation Museum (Kentucky). They’re constantly defining groups according to the gender binary” and “I’m determined, and I’m not unspecified” – reflecting on having to select ‘indeterminate’ or ‘unspecified’ as a trans and non-binary academic.

Further reading/watching/listening from Sandy O’Sullivan:

ERA and gender equity-ish (blog post)

Transgender Warriors interview (audio)

Museum Queeries Queerstories talk (audio)

Are citations political? discussion hosted by Monash University Library featuring Sandy, Yves Rees, and Rico Tabor (video)

See also this piece on moving academia beyond the gender binary from JJ Eldridge.

This theme also made me think of Euphoria Kids by Alison Evans and their note to the reader at the start of the book on gender euphoria and why they have written this excellent book:

“I want people to know about gender euphoria. I want them to learn about it before gender dysphoria. I want the young trans kids that will read this book to be proud of who they are, and imagine wonderful, magic lives for themselves.”

Dear Reader extract from Euphoria Kids by Alison Evans

Elliot Page’s very recent post coming out as trans also beautifully and powerfully illustratesthis gender euphoria as well as the dangers -the joy, dreams, and courage, and the risks, fears, and violence:

“I love that I am trans. And I love that I am queer. And the more I hold myself close and fully embrace who I am, the more I dream, the more my heart grows and the more I thrive. To all trans people who deal with harassment, self-loathing, abuse and the threat of violence every day: I see you, I love you and I will do everything I can to change this world for the better.”

Trans Awareness Week s(h)elfies collection 2020 featuring my post lockdown long overdue haircut and subsequent gender euphoria!

I’m still reflecting on how good it felt to be Reid Marginalia at work and it’s been a little hard to go back to Clare.

Being Reid Marginalia

See also this incredible Adventures in Time and Gender podcast and website – an excellent and creative gaytway or portal to trans and gender diverse histories. We have always been here.

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