When I first started really thinking about my identities, and how I wanted to portray myself, I turned to books.
Before I start anything, let me say this: I love my body. I love its scars and scrapes and bruises, its imperfections and inflexibility and periodic infirmity. I love the ache in my shoulders after I lift, the burn in my quads after I row. I love the calluses on my hands and the freckles on my nose. Even when I don’t like what I see, I still appreciate and love what I have. Sometimes though, my mind tries to fight me on this. I look in the mirror and I can’t decide who’s looking back. Girl? Boy? Genderally ambiguous middle ground? All of the above? Some days, it’s hard to tell.
This past week, I had the privilege of attending a talk sponsored by my university featuring Alison Bechdel. Alison’s talk, entitled “Drawing Lessons: The Comics of Everyday Life,” focused mostly on her experiences writing and drawing her memoirs, and how she went through that process with her family and with herself. However, she did touch upon Dykes to Watch Out For, and its place as both a comic of queer visibility and political activism. In particular, she said that she stopped writing Dykes in 2008 because in some sense, being queer has stopped being a subversive gesture. That gave me pause.
We're excited to welcome another Amanda to the Creating Iris staff! She'll be writing a bi-weekly column for us, and we're really glad to feature her writing on the site. You'll be able to find all of Amanda's posts by clicking on her name to the right. - Ed.
YOU KNOW those awkward icebreaker games at team building activities you’re sometimes forced into by overzealous teachers or bosses? This feels a bit like that. It’s always “Say your name and an adjective that starts with the same letter!” or “Two truths and a lie!” or “Step into the circle if…”. I have a hard time describing myself, especially in front of people I don’t know. What kind of impression do I want to make? Depending on the setting and the audience, my answers vary. This, however, is even harder. I can’t see the faces of those who will be meeting me for the first time, on the other side of cyberspace, locked into their own computer screens or tablets or smartphones. On the other hand, you can’t see me here either, typing away while the snow and wind chase each other outside my window. So, let me give you a description.