No More Cincinnati GenderQueers

I have just found out that the radical, genderqueer activist organization I founded almost four years ago has reworded its description. What once described the group as “a radical queer group for all gender identities and sexualities, focusing on queer, trans, and genderqueer issues” now reads that it is a “queer social, support and activist group for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and allied students focusing on gender issues.” In the year and a half I have been gone, GenderBloc has gone from being a genderqueer and trans focused, queer radical organization to a LGBTQ social activist group… and just like the rest of the movement gender has moved from the forefront to an afterthought.

I cried when I read it.

Now the current focus of the group is “LGBTQ rights, inclusion, and visibility” and that it discusses “topics of gender a lot particularly in regards [to] those people who have a non-normative gender identity such as transgender or genderqueer.” Well, at least they talk about gender “a lot.” They wouldn’t want to leave “those people” out. They need our money and our blood to power our movement machine. They need us to die on the front lines because they are too pretty to do it. They need us to stir their souls into knowing that there is more here than what we’ve all been told… but they’ll never tell anyone about it.

I realize that this is an honest attempt to make GenderBloc better. I realize this makes GenderBloc more packagable. I realize that some people feel queer isn’t good enough and need to separate us into an acronym. I realize that there aren’t hoards of genderqueers around Cincinnati so people think we don’t need help. And I’ve finally realized that GenderBloc isn’t my baby anymore…

Someone once said to me, “I love GenderBloc is because its a place to belong for people who have never belonged anywhere.” It was one of the best things anyone has ever said to me, and I’ll always have that.

x-posted Amplifyyourvoice.org

7 comments

  • I think that what's bothering me about this is that I've known a lot of trans people who never identified as LGB or Q…and by making genderbloc a social lgbt group, it takes the focus off gender.

    i could be wrong..

  • Oh, Jac I know! This is why I left pretty much after you did. I felt myself and others being ignored again, I felt those labels creeping back in. It's politics winning over truth, and it breaks my heart to read that. Once again, queers are being pushed to the back burners, all for the sake of the approval of people who have no business passing judgment on anyone.

  • I would first like to note that this is being posted by a member of GenderBloc, but not a representative of GenderBloc, so I am posting my own thoughts and opinions not necessarily those of the group itself.

    First and foremost, I am very displeased that this was addressed first on a blog and personally second. After the blog was posted the members of GenderBloc met together and reworked what we believe is the best way to describe our group and bring people (who are willing to work with us and for us) to our cause. I think what displeases me the most is that both the members of GenderBloc and its founder would like to see the group both keep its purposes and keep it alive and working, and addressing these wording issues publicly first is definitely detrimental to both of these things. The points that were made were valid and needed to be looked at, however a public blog was not the place. After suggestions had been made if there was no result it would be then that bringing the issue to public would have been appropriate, in my opinion.

    After holding a meeting we have made a few changes and come to a wording that I personally believe is what will work best for our group. The wording states our purposes in a clear and concise manner, while being accessible to those in the queer community that do not understand the vernacular that we as a group often use. From my personal experience when I first joined GenderBloc I was reluctant to join because often the things we talked about were confusing and I being a shy timid baby queer was not willing to ask questions. I feel that we need to be accessible to everyone in order to further our movement. I believe it is our inaccessibility that is a main cause of GenderBloc slowly dying out and not retaining people who are new to the group.

    I hope that we educated queers in all of our queerness will not forget those who are new to the family that we all hold dear. After all if we are not giving them the tools to come to and learn and grow in our groups what are we really there for to begin with.

  • …so if the blog reporting on it made a change, I guess it was a good thing it was blogged about.

  • To Anonymous,
    It would have changed if Handled privately as well and would have been less detrimental to the group that way.

  • this balance is always tough…to be radical in your beliefs and approaches you are always being exclusive and in a lot of ways acting superior to others. on the other hand, the people who are often being the exclusive in this case have been excluded their whole lives and radical changes NEED to happen to truly make any changes that are inclusive.

    i think it always comes down to how to educate people if they are scared to even participate or listen? some people by the nature of their existence are radical and others come to it slowly over time after being disillusioned at the same time as having a space to hear the radical side of the argument.

    it's always a toss up and the members of the group are the people that need to decide- not people on the outside judging- no matter how involved at any point.

  • That's really sad. I tried to get such a group going on my campus but just didn't know enough people who were down for a rad queer group here. I visited that campus briefly and got a zine they made. It was cool, but did conclude with a VERY HRC-esque rant about marriage.

    On a side note, I just found your blog and LOVE IT! I added it to my blogroll.

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