I am just beginning to feel confident enough to reach out, seriously, as a gender activist. I have written a book that I am hoping to edit and publish in 2016. As well as becoming more and more comfortable as a gender bender in a binary world, mostly because of my work as Izzy Ahee. As Izzy Ahee, a Drag King, I am able to arrive masculine, confident, and strong. I also bring positive messages and have a peace keeping demeanor. I have spent the last 8 years exploring my gender and being non-binary has been no easy journey.
Most of us are forced to live a mostly binary life. Maybe we can get our closest of friends to use comfortable gender pronouns, but for most of us its like being the crooked block that doesn’t fit into the whole. This is fabulous in a lot of ways and I love to celebrate it! When I meet someone that is non-binary I immediately want to lift them up and find a way to plug them in. One way I do that is to invite their story to DiversiTree.org. I also offer a step into the world of drag because I feel like its the home for gender queers. Many of us that are willing to be on stage can play either side of the binary and/or a mixture of something in the middle. This gives us gender expression that is so big we can feel less belittled in our everyday life as we are misgendered. Also, if a person didn’t want to be on stage, they can still find community in drag. We still need back stage people and fans!
I have been living as an Androgyne GenderQueer Transman for the past 8 years. I have been asking friends, family and community to use gender neutral pronouns and recently began to ask for something different in general public relations. I have also been called to reach out to colleges and local LGBTQ centers to offer guidance for other GenderQueers. I know this is a much needed service and I know there are very few as out as me. I think we all need to unite not just in drag but as a community, in order to create a less binary world. We all want to the same things in the end, love and equality for all!
My intention is not to draw more lines and create more labels. Instead I want to recognize that not everyone lands on one side or the other. I would be comfortable with creating another gender expression in order to help our culture transition out of the binary, but in the end I truly feel the best is to remove gender and gender roles. Recognizing that we are all human and clearing the lines for peace is my end goal, but for now we must bring education and understanding. Just like we have for gay and lesbian couples.
I offer GenderQueer workshops for colleges around the USA, since I do travel at least 6 months out of the year. I offer workshops related to Gender, drag, and genderqueer. I even offer to run a drag show for colleges interested in providing an outlet to their gender variant students. Drag holds some sort of stigma about shame that is related to gender bending and we all know that gender bending has very little to do with sex!
Anyway this March I am featured at Colorado State University in Boulder for the TRANSforming Gender Conference. I am providing a GenderQueer workshop I have entitled “Genderqueer- Binary Non-Conforming: Do I have to Choose?”. I am also super excited to be representing Drag Kings, as an art form, on a panel for Rocky Mountain College of Art & Design Gay Straight Alliance. These two opportunities in March are super exciting for me and I look forward to many more in my future.
I am excited that these things are unfolding and hoping to capture the interest of the press and other GLBTQ organizations. Please feel free to contact me regarding public speaking and working with youth!