When you don't identify with the main group your society and culture depicts as "normal," you've got to get creative about how and where you see yourself.
Receiving a sharp shove in the direction of your imagination maybe isn't the worst thing, though. One thing I've done, as a generally queer-shaped peg, is to become a squirrel.
Squirrels are what biologists call a "weed species." (Humans are too). They can survive almost anywhere because they are champion, omniverous scroungers; they can re-create any old time; and they have a highly developed sense of humor.
I'll eat anything.
I also translate a lot.
That's how I survived in the Catholic Church for several years. I was hungry for what the Church had to offer: a vessel for the sanctity of flesh and blood, incense, stone, wood, and gold.
But every thing was relentlessly male, even the obviously female Holy Spirit.
So I translated stuff like the Creed, recited aloud every Sunday, saying "she" in places instead of "he":
"We believe in the Holy Spirit.... She has spoken through the prophets."
And, like I said earlier, I do that in Star Trek too. The female characters are such nothings, I translate myself into the male ones who are diverse and substantive enough to bear this.
But I tell you, it gets old. It's like there's always a drain on your battery; someone drafting on your tail. You're always driving with the brake on.
Even squirrels get tired and cranky.
Sometimes I'm angry about these limitations, more often I'm bored by our collective lack of imagination.
So when I find someone doing something fun and squirrel-like, it's like finding a fuel dump.
Someone like E. Katie Holm. Katie is a fine-art and commercial photographer who is launched on a Women Warriors project, which she is blogging about.
She's in the process of researching and choosing women warriors in history to depict.
Sweetly, she also pointed me to Leonard Nimoy's new book:
Full Body Project.
I had earlier blogged about Nimoy's book Shekina. While he pushes some boundaries about how we depict god and spirituality in this book, his women models fit snuggly within Western standards of beauty.
The b&w art photographs of Nimoy's Full Body Project, on the contrary, present as beautiful women with big bodies--really big bodies.
If you think Americans aren't prejudiced (not that anyone with half a brain would think this), try being a fat woman here.
[squirrel photo from E Baum's World, a compilation of stuff he finds funny]