GenderEnders - mission statement!
GenderEnders exists to foster community among transgender-, intersex-, and genderqueer-identified performers and to provide opportunities for gender/sex variant voices to reach larger audiences. This will be accomplished in two ways. First, there will be a series of GenderEnders shows that will feature many of these artists. Artists who perform at GenderEnders events will get their info (weblinks, contact info) posted on the "Artists" page, so audiences and other performers can find out about them. Second, GenderEnders may occasionally organize other projects and events aimed at increasing trans-awareness and promoting gender/sex variant causes.
Why was GenderEnders created?
Well, over the last decade the number of people who openly identify as transgendered, intersexed and/or genderqueer has grown exponentially. Because of this fact, there has been a growing degree of acceptance of gender/sex variant folks among the larger queer community. Despite these gains, it is not uncommon to find queer or feminist events that are advertised as "trans-inclusive", yet have little or no transgender or intersex representation among the performers. Being a transgendered and genderqueer musician and spoken word artist myself, I wanted to reach out to other similar performers, but I was frustrated by my inability to find out about such artists by traditional means (e.g., websites, zines, etc.). So, I created GenderEnders to "dot the I's and cross the T's" in the GLBTIQ performance community.
Who can participate in GenderEnders events?
First off, GenderEnders events are open to people of all genders and sexualities! The majority of acts that perform at GenderEnders events have at least one member(s) who identifies as either intersexed (born with sex chromosomes, external genitalia, or an internal reproductive system that is not considered "standard" for either male or female), transgendered (people who transgress gender norms and/or identify as the sex opposite that which they were born into), and/or genderqueer (people who define their gender outside of the binary male/female system). GenderEnders also occasionally features our queer allies - folks who are not trans/intersex/genderqueer-identified themselves, but who are active in supporting and promoting "trans"-issues and inclusion.
Why does GenderEnders seem to be focused on music and spoken word performers?
There are two reasons. First, in the past there have been several artistic genres that allow the performer to visually transgress gender norms (for example, drag and glam). However, there have not been many outlets for gender/sex variant folks to have their voices heard. Both the music and spoken word genres provide the opportunity for this to happen. The second reason is that I happen to be a musician and spoken word artist myself and these are the artistic/performance outlets that interest me the most. I try to incorporate a good mix of different performance genres into my shows, but it is impossible to please all people all the time. If you feel there are particular artistic niches that I am overlooking, please feel free to bring it to my attention and I'll see what I can do. I also very much encourage others to create similar events that overlap or complement this one.
Why the name GenderEnders?
Well, it's a play on the common phrase gender bender, which implies a sort of playful and temporary toying with gender presentation. But these days, many of us gender/sex variant folks are defining ourselves outside of the binary gender/sex system altogether. GenderEnders can also refer to the fact that gender/sex variant queers usually make up the last few letters of the GLBTIQ alphabet soup...
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