donderdag 6 september 2018

my requested public statement about the ending of the GBQP

Dear GBQP community,

i feel like i am in a break up with a person i can't be with anymore. i still love them and i know i will miss them as fuck. there was a time i was so in love with them that i gained a lot of energy from that love, but now, the relationship only seems to drain me. however, this break up comes with a lot of pain, and fear of losing mutual friends, moments, memories, and other good stuff.

the genderbendingqueerparty has to end. at the moment, i am suffering from depression, brought to the surface by a burn out. the burn out part is mostly due to queer activism, with the GBQP as the most visual expression of my politics. over the years, this project became bigger and bigger, and mostly; my notion of safer clubbing and queer activism started to get bigger and bigger. I would like to elaborate on that.

when i started this party in 2014, i was an active clubber myself. I went to a lot of clubnights/parties/bars and with that, i carried my (queer, nonbinary, fat, faggy, femme, clowny) body into specific situations on which i could reflect. I started to experience a lot of errors in nightlife, the biggest one a lacking of care.
I tried to do better for myself and my friends, throwing houseparties and afterparties, and talking to people about safer spaces, party ethics and ethical use of substances. The GBQP became the biggest playground of all my ideals, a place where i could try to practice all i was preaching about. and not only could i try to make those ethics come alive during the night itself, i could also ask my friends to help me do this, and create the queer family around me i always dreamed of: the genderclowns.

I am so ffing lucky to have these clowns around me! My goddess, we had so much fun, and there was so much care and kindness, and such deep talks too!

at the same time, seeing these clowns became work. the gatherings became bigger and bigger, because the preparation of the party began to take more and more time. and as i was still the consensual ‘clownboss’, for me this meant a lot of planning and queer leadership (yes, i am adding that skill to my clownresume). being the person i am, this came with a lot of struggles about asking too much of my friends, and fear of being left behind (because in the end, i was the only one who Really Wanted this, right?--toxic thoughts!).

the night itself, i always tried to programme DJs and performers that i personally know (like my berlin friends) or feel connected to in some way. this way, the ethics of the party could be carried by a group of people who i trust to be able to hold space with the clowns.
this also meant that the party comes with hosting friends and queer family from all over europe at my house, and the houses of other clowns. which is awesome, because we can all spend time together, but it’s also stressful, because in the middle of the fun there is this party to be organized, produced and hosted. more friends over, started to become more work to be done.

also, going out is not so high on my list of hobbies anymore, because i can’t stand the lack of care in other clubs and bars without speaking up about it. I can’t stand how places exploit bodies, by making them show up and be vulnerable, without protecting them to harassment, sexism, racism and all sorts of phobia. which makes me quite the annoying clubkid to go out with...

so right now, I am starting to learn to spend time with myself and my friends and community without an agenda, without having to work all the time. that is one of the hardest things of the burn out. it feels weird, out of place, restless, it makes me feel angry, useless, sad and lonely. but i also know it is the healthiest thing to do for me right now.

‘so non, why don’t you let other people do the party then?’
well, i have tried. some of the clowns stepped up, saying they wanted the party to continue and wanted to take over productions. we tried to make that happen. we failed. because we’re clowns, but mostly, because we are all people with jobs, with lives, and because this party as it is, comes with at least 40 hrs a month unpaid labour.

so we are giving the  spirit of the GBQP back to the community.
but the ethics will live on. I hope all of you will help us realize that.

*the genderclowns will stay alive and continue doing workshops, sessions of care, and awkward performances (website under construction)
**there is an awesome group of people called Queer Rotterdam ready to welcome you for all kinds of gatherings.
And in the meantime, i hope you will take care of the people next to you, be it while clubbing, demonstrating, hanging out, dating, or having sex: remember the intentions!
***Most importantly: remember to take care of YOU.


donderdag 1 maart 2018


'i learned the truth at 17'

janis ian, a queer female singer/songwriter, wrote this song (click on link) about being weird/not-pretty, and finding out about the truth of 'never belonging' at the age of 17. it was 1975. she wasn't really ugly.

this week, a lot of us are thinking about another kid who learned the truth at 17. and even though this kid also wasn't really ugly, the truth was uglier than anyone can ever imagine.

janis ian's song gets a whole new meaning when you listen to it and think of orlando:

"And those of us with ravaged faces
Lacking in the social graces
Desperately remained at home
Inventing lovers on the phone
Who called to say, "Come dance with me"
And murmured vague obscenities
It isn't all it seems
At seventeen"

last weeks, we could learn a lot of truths about what mainstream thinks about kids like orlando.
first when it turned out police didn't think orlando's missing was enough to do everything they can. until one full week had passed. by then, we all knew orlando was not only a vulnerable black kid of 17, he was also queer and cruising. i'd say that is not really a motive for police to NOT do everything they can. in fact, it makes their job easier: social media can be used to find people, this boy was everywhere on social media, get to it! his friends had to do that job.
then yesterday, when i read comments of people everywhere in (social) media, i got confronted with another ugly truth once again. unfortunately, being queer, black, and cruising, means being extra unsafe. not only and not mostly (!) because of the cruising, but because mainstream (incl police) thinks you must be somewhere, hidden, in a dark world full of sin and crimes, a world you have consciously chosen to be in. he did it himself. he went online, he talked to other sinners, he secretly wanted to meet them. he did this himself.
he is to be held responsible for his own sins. he'll get what he deserves.
at 17.

A brown-eyed girl in hand-me-downs
Whose name I never could pronounce
Said, "Pity, please, the ones who serve
They only get what they deserve"

janis ian was a white (?) girl, and learned from a brown-eyed girl in cheap clothes with an exotic name what social difference means for being worthy of love:

And the rich relationed hometown queen
Marries into what she needs
With a guarantee of company
And haven for the elderly
Remember those who win the game
Lose the love they sought to gain
In debentures of quality
And dubious integrity
Their small town eyes will gape at you
In dull surprise when payment due
Exceeds accounts received
At seventeen

in 2018, social difference and being worthy of love are still as much related as in ian’s age. that is the truth we all learned this week. white people should follow ian's footsteps more if you ask me, and listen and learn from people with names they may have a hard time pronouncing.
for now, i am still able to gather proof everyday for the truth that being black and queer means you will be looked at with small town eyes still. heads with small town eyes thinking: 'it’s your own fault. you are a slut, a prostitute, a criminal, a sex-driven reckless hedonist*. you don’t deserve our company, our elderly homes, our caresystem, our security. it is not for you.'

this is the truth we teach kids. and even though this doesn't mean that every queer kid looking for intimacy will write a hitsong about it, and thank goddess it doesn't mean every kid will die: but at 17, they will already have internalized these terrible judgements and will already think they know the truth: you are not worthy of love.

orlando learned the truth at 17. he died wiser than any white man will ever be. rest in powerful peace, kid. we are with you.

*all of these words don't stand for moral judgements in my community.

we have to change that truth.
***help giving orlando a beautiful goodbye by doing what you can here:***

woensdag 15 november 2017


Last friday, i decided to visit a performance of a queer non-binary duo from St Africa, FAKA. It reminded me of all the other times out at night in non-queer spaces. Unfortunately, going to a queer performance doesn’t mean the space is safe for queer people. Unfortunately, when a space is not actively held safer by people aware of what it feels like to be queer in public spaces, it means that the space will be taken over by the ones with a sense of entitlement.

Yes, dudeboys, it’s about goddamn time you start to at least slightly know who you are, and act on it. You DON’T have the right to occupy spaces that are meant for expression and other things you have no clue about. ART is NOT YOURS. Nothing is yours.  
This is not an incident on its own. It is a last-straw kind of incident, a fragment of a structural problem called toxic masculinity.

Back to last night. It happened like i remember: drunk people were bumping into me, groups of loud men were gathering around me, and i felt awkward and out of place. The music was too loud to really talk and there was not really a dance floor either. Nevertheless i stayed, and felt strengthened by our expanding group, amongst which appeared to be some incredible dancers and i enjoyed their company.
The two people performing were queer POC, and so were most of the people in my group. Being amongst POC, enjoying that specific music genre, makes me always very aware of my whiteness. I try to reflect upon that, because i don’t want anyone to be ‘othered’, but i can’t deny the awareness of difference either. I think queer POC don’t have enough safer public spaces, so when i am with them, i try to make space, step aside a bit, without disconnecting from the group. I think this is an (even) more important event for them as it is for me, considering the intersectional perspectives. I am their queer like-minded, and try to be their ally in racial matters. This makes me feel even more humble whenever i am with them at a performance of Black-artists, compared to, for instance, the predominantly white performers i invite over from Berlin to perform at my parties. Problematic enough as it is, i know.

Just before FAKA came on stage, our group got slowly pushed away from the front of the stage to the side. I remember how this always goes, from when i was a young girl trying to catch a glimpse of my rockstar heroes. There’s dudes in their jackets, hoodies mostly, they stand right in front of you, and slowly start walking backwards. If you don’t feel like touching them or pushing them, you have no other option but to move back, until you notice your favorite spot in front of the stage is suddenly miles away and you are stuck between this dude and others behind you.
This time it was like that, but quicker. Suddenly all the queer POC were all the way at the side of the stage, beyond the sound system. In front of the stage were dudes drinking their beers, standing still. The concert started and the dude-space was taken over by more dudes and also what seemed to be cis white women. My friends didn’t seem to bother and gave it their all at the side.
I noticed a difference between their dancing and the movements of the white people in front of the stage. I was wondering whether what felt wrong was just their white cis-bodies being there, so (too?) close to the bodies of the performers, or also something else.. It was like they were treating those 2 bodies (black and femme) differently. Was this objectification, fetishisation, exoticisation? I decided to postpone this question and to talk about this with my friends afterwards.

I was dealing with my anger and frustration for approximately 20 minutes, then i managed to let go a bit, it got a little less crowded and i was able to still enjoy the concert. But goddamnit, it was a queer performance! Why was it dominated by non-queers, without ANY hesitation?
This is why the riotgrrl movement said: girls to the front! Let me adjust that a bit:

FEMMES (of any gender) TO THE FRONT.

Rotterdam by night has been my refuge for a long time. First, as a teenager, there were concerts of unknown alternative bands, then there were nights in pubs and bars, then came clubbing, and now … i guess there’s nothing (unless i organize it myself). The last couple of weekends have one thing in common: going home sad and angry and frustrated and scared, because i had nowhere to go. I tried (gay)bars, alternative cinema, pubs, clubs and last night a performance bar, for the ‘weirdly artistic’. Nope. I feel unsafe everywhere. What happened?

I guess i always felt unsafe, but my coping strategy was to pull up a wall, take drugs and/or alcohol, gather friends and go for it. It has always been a fight. I am done fighting. I don’t want walls, and i don’t want to switch off parts of myself to be able to deal with assholes. I don’t want to sedate myself to be able to go to a party. At least not every week.
And I haven’t even gotten into what happens when we exit the bars, clubs, etc. because that is mostly even worse, or a different type of bad. Yesterday, i was cycling only a couple of metres away from the venue and there were  some guys catcalling me and asking me if they could taste my gothpussy. There is no way out. I got home tired, frustrated, but mostly sad and scared. Did the world change, or did i? What happened? How do i create a new way to cope with the daily struggle and escape from it all for a while?

I am so very grateful to be able to host a queer party in my city where i hope the experiences of my community are different. And of course, this party stems directly from my experiences elsewhere. But is this really it? Is there nowhere I can go, WE can go, in a free time, just to enjoy a drink, company, and a dance? Not even a queer performance? Do we really have to FIGHT for a spot on the dancefloor? Cause when we don’t, we get pushed away, touched, groped, asked inappropriate questions, and walked over?

We deserve the means to create a steady bar, a refuge where we can gather in vulnerability. We want a place of our own, on our own terms, without having to negotiate, educate or get hurt first. A place that is there, no matter what. A place where everything is femme. Think Silver Future in Berlin, think a small WORM for Avantgarde-avant-la-lettre-only, The Hang-Out 010 for all ages and times of the day. It’s not a lot to ask. We can do the work. It’s our daily life.


donderdag 24 augustus 2017

How proud can Rotterdam be?

This is a story about my personal experience. I would like to make a navelgazing-disclaimer, because i know my story can never represent a whole group and i am claiming a space that is meant for more than just me. But i do think there’s a value in sharing personal stories as a start for conversations about shared experiences, values and meaning. I also think the latter is the core of a movement.

I was born and raised in Rotterdam, and i never learned to be proud. (because that’s not a very ‘Rotterdam’ thing to learn..) Until that one moment, at least. That moment, when i marched at ‘de Lijnbaan’ with my community--i learned how it feels to be fucking proud!
It was September 2015, not more than a month after my partner-in-crime and I told the organization of Rotterdam Pride that we thought the core of a Pride should be a march, a demonstration.  The director of Pride said to us: Ok, maybe you’re right, go for it!
And so we did. We created a Facebook event and invited everyone we knew. I didn’t really expect a lot of people to show up, and i was bloody nervous about the safety of us all, but those realisations came up too late.
So at the friday afternoon of Pride Walk 2015, i cycled to the city council with my orange megaphone and a pink wig, expecting a little cute gathering. 300 people came.

This is what it looked like:

We claimed the streets alright! With not much more than our bodies, a brass band and a whole lot of Hang-Out  spirit.
-We didn’t get any funds. We didn’t spend any money. -

After this, all cliches happened. Because the march was such a success, Rotterdam Pride took over and made it into something i think goes against everything it should be. They told me about KPN as a sponsor. I told them a big multinational could never be a sponsor of a political march. (if you don’t know why, read along or read more) I also told them we didn’t need a lot of money. I told them about funds I researched and we could get. But they went along with KPN and made the march into an event, with a stage and a VIP-tent. I did what i could by speeching about the importance of visibility of diversity not only for the masses, but even more for the young LGBT+kids out there who think they’re alone. I tried to get everyone into the VIP tent, and me and my friends dragged the pink elderly to the front of the march. The Hang-Out kids danced their asses off, like they always do. I was very proud again, but something was missing. We lost something. We didn’t get it our way, but we were forced into a structure of others, and our message got lost in skipping the political, critical stuff and heading directly to the ‘fun’ part of pride.

Now it’s time to claim the missing part back

In Rotterdam we are still figuring out if we can even be proud at all. Is Rotterdam Pride-worthy? And what should that pride look like?

Rotterdam has no policy when it comes to refugees, Rotterdam thinks all people in welfare are scum who don’t want to work, Rotterdam takes non-violent demonstrators to prison, Rotterdam does racial profiling, Rotterdam blames Islam for all crimes, Rotterdam is governed by fascists claiming they are the norm, Rotterdam bans people from their houses to welcome the richer ...i could go on for ages.

But, also: Rotterdam is the most cultural diverse city in the Netherlands, Rotterdam has all those people living together pretty peacefully every day, Rotterdam is honest, Rotterdam has a real skyline, Rotterdam is the beautiful underdog, Rotterdam has a superlovely LGBT+community (with the best queerparty, of course :)), Rotterdam is unpredictable, Rotterdam loves itself without arrogance, ….etc.

I love my city. I believe that this city made me who i am today and all the events i organize are made because of this city. I feel The Hang-Out 010 is one of the best examples of the thing i love so much here: it wasn’t an initiative constructed from abstract ideas and plans. It happened as we went along. We just started, and we invited everyone who was willing to support in any way. The first editions of the Rotterdam Pride happened the same way. It was amateuristic, it was messy, you had to pay attention to find it, and by the time you found it, it was already almost over--but we got people together and we made a difference, especially for each other. That’s my Rotterdam.

--Niet lullen, maar poetsen. We don’t need a lot of money for that.--

KPN- voel je vrij (feel free) --- The slogan of Pride Walk’s sponsor is so ironic, Alanis wouldn’t know how to deal with it. Are they aware of this? Do they know how right-wing Rotterdam politicians are spreading hate speech since decades already? Do they know they are advocating a freedom based on wealth and privilege? Are they aware of the fact that a lot of transgender people don’t feel free, no matter how many MB’s they get? Don’t they see how excluding and disrespectful such a slogan is? Do they really think money can buy freedom? Are they really that stupid??

I am afraid not. I am afraid they are just very smart in PR-strategies. The stupid ones are Rotterdam Pride, thinking this is the way to organize a Pride. Thinking a pride should be about ‘building bridges’ and ‘minding the gap’ between the community and corporations, between straight people in power and oppressed LGBT+people.
No, Rotterdam Pride. A pride is about safer spaces, about community, about sharing experiences, about finding each other within the safety of a pride-environment. That safety can not be held if you invite the oppressor! There is still so much violence and (micro)aggression towards minorities. Let’s hear them out first, before we ask them to be friendly with the aggressors.

Rotterdam Pride, this is your wake up call -- not sponsored by KPN.

The people from We Reclaim Our Pride, a Dutch queer collective which focuses on giving Prides back to the community, have formed a group in Rotterdam to take back the Pride Walk and turn it back into the political march/demonstration it is supposed to be. We will be joining the walk armed with banners, flyers and statements raising questions about the content, purpose and value of Pride.

I hope this will be the start of good talks and critical reflection, a re-defining of what Rotterdam Pride, and especially a Pride Walk, is. And more important: i hope we get to show the kids of Rotterdam that there’s a community waiting for them that looks hopeful, warm and relatable, but is also ready to stand up and fight for each other in solidarity. A community always ready to dance, but not before we stand united against pinkwashing, racism, discrimination, sexism, homophobia, transphobia, ableism, hatespeech, fascism, and all the other things nowadays so common in our shared experiences.

We need you! Want to join? Let us know:


Manon la Decadence studied Humanistics but is better know as a genderclown, hosting safer spaces in Rotterdam with their GenderBendingQueerParty and Get a Room! at WORM, and talks and support groups at The Hang-Out 010 and Adem Inn.

woensdag 2 augustus 2017

Love is love is love?

I am a relationship anarchist. looking back, i can say it started when i became an unsolicited part of date-culture, and me and my female friends (i thought i was somewhat ‘straight’ back then. it has been a long road, people...;)) went to bars where we only seemed to get together to talk about guys and to maybe check out other guys. I felt like i needed to date because i needed the stories. and so i did, ‘cause i was always willing to take care of the entertainment. :)

so I dated guys through datingsites. I hated this, because i have always hated the talks with straight cis-dudes in bars. so I mainly did lots of one night stands, which i liked better because then i could party with my friends first and just take home a stranger without having to listen to him a lot. and while i was in the middle of those moments with random dudes, i thought about the caricature i could create telling my friends about him, or about the clumsy funny situations or bad sexstories to share with them.
-it wasn’t all cynical, i even sincerely enjoyed myself a couple of times, mostly because the guy was funny and/or hot, and i couldn’t WAIT to tell them all some days later at our weekly gathering.-

date- and fuckstories are worth sharing. at the same time, i had by far the most fun-times going out with my friends. because my friends are the fucking best! they have always been. I have always loved my friends so much and thought they were the coolest bunches ever. I was a proud friend.
sometimes i even fell a bit in love with new friends, my so called ‘friend-crushes’. this could mean i was open for physical intimacy with them, other times this wasn’t really what i thought i wanted, or i just left it out there in the unknown/undecided. I just wanted to be close to them, cuddle them, they made me happy, they made me a better person, they were the ones i wanted to share my life with. and they still are, the same ones, and more recent ones.

this is why it is so confusing to me to live in this discourse of relationships where only romantic love and sexual contact is worth sharing stories about. I am non-monogamous, which means i am not limited to being with one partner to be intimate with in whatever way. then why is it that i am expected to share certain stories with some of them, whereas other stories don’t seem to be a danger or even worth mentioning?
I struggle so much with the distinction continuously made between relationships worth telling stories about and relationships taken for granted in narratives. I really don’t see why my lover should tell me all about their romances while they are not expected to compare our love to the intimacy i experience with close friends...

i would ask myself: is this story or relationship with the other person a danger to our relationship? no? then why present it like that, and at the same time leaving out other scenario’s of intimacy?
why should i tell my partner about that date i just had a coffee with and not about meeting my friend the other night and having the most life changing conversations?

I don’t want those questions, i want to break the hierarchy and the structures that create that hierarchy. I want small stories to become worth sharing, and big narratives to become less dominant.
I want relationship anarchy. poly is not enough. polyamory is an open door and that’s why relationship anarchy means so much more. of course we’re poly, we love our people, every now and then! we’re in a rhizome of encounters and relationships, and the ones that matter are the ones worth sharing.
and what matters is what we value as stories to be told.

we need to change the discourse of which stories are worth sharing, by upgrading the stories about our beloved friends to the same level as those with lovers and dates.

nothing is a danger to something else when it comes to human encounters, cause all love is different and equal. and don’t get me wrong, my jealousy can be bad, but is never about this distinction either. I can be jealous of everything and everybody. and that’s ok, i think, as long as i look at the jealousy as something that indicates some other fear i have. and my jealousy of things i can’t seem to have gets worse if i feel like the connections i invest most in are not worth as much as dates with lovers. I don’t think i am the only one.

there was a period in my life during which i was not only single, i also didn’t really have lovers or dates. people asked me: how’s your lovelife? and it made me feel so uncomfortable. I started to reflect upon this uncomfortable feeling, and i found out it was there because i knew they were asking me about dates, lovers and romance. I had no stories to tell, which would make my lovelife shit. but it didn’t feel like that at all. I felt very loved, by my friends and community. I also sometimes had sex or playdates with friends, and i felt like those were a bit more worth sharing than the ones i had a platonic friendship with. that felt not right either. like being naked with each other got you to a next level in the hierarchy of connection. sometimes yes, maybe, but other things do that as well. so i decided to try and answer this question differently. it went like:
“How’s your lovelife?”
“Pretty awesome. I feel so loved. I had the best conversation yesterday with my friend D, we talked and had dinner and drinks and we hugged goodbye and it made me feel so good.”

I want dates with my lovers and friends where i want us to ask each other: how is your love life? and i want this question to be about my friends, my lovers, my partners, and the beautiful strangers. love is love right?

dinsdag 6 juni 2017


some days later, i gained some knowledge about the word BOI. I read this information as a response to a question a friend of mine posted on facebook:

‘how is ‘boi’ black cultural appropriation?’

here's the info:

not so long ago, i would have instantly changed my self claimed identity and profile picture and everything i ever posted about the word to correct myself. I would have been ashamed for not knowing and wouldn’t want anyone to see it, for they might not like me anymore.
however, I don’t believe this ‘self-censorship-and-shame cocktail’ is the attitude that helps anyone. nobody knows it all, and even though i try to be as open minded as can be, i still have limited outreach and i can’t see all the sides of the elephant at the same time.

so, with this writing i want to reflect upon my feelings and thoughts related to the term i was happy to claim as part of my identity, one day not-so-long-ago. after the dynamics of reflection and talks with others, i hope i can make a decision, as wisely as possible.

a short summary of the sources i found on the origins of ‘boi’- it’s in my own words, which is important because i need to really get this:

whereas the term ‘boi’ is used in different parts of the queer/LGBTQ+community in order to create a different manifestation of masculinity (from masculine lesbians to feminine gays and submissive whatevers)---

‘boi’ originates early 1990’s from the black community and served a totally different purpose, “it was more likely a play off the racially charged meaning that has long been associated with the term, given the long history of whites, calling adult black men by the diminutive term “boy.” black men reclaimed the word and changed it into ‘boi’.

-I am still curious about how widespread this word is known amongst the black male community, worldwide. because:
 personal sidenote: early 90s, i lived a great part of my life in the midst of communities of colour, or i'd rather say in one mixed poc-community. I never picked up on the term ‘boi’ back then, but hey, i was also called ‘wigger’ (i am not even going to write down where this comes from), without this being offensive for anybody at school back then. and i was a fan of both boyz II men and the backstreet boys...who knows what weird bubble i was living in!
times change, we have to as well. thank goddess. I lived in rotterdam, it might have been, or must have been, a totally different reality from racially mixed schools or communities elsewhere, during that time. of course now i know that even though i was from the same neighbourhood as my black/poc classmates, and even though my parents had more or less the same income as theirs, and we got the same education, there must have been moments when certain doors remained closed for them, whereas for me they were wide open. again: back then, i didn’t have a clue. we just didn’t talk about that. or my poc classmates didn’t talk about it with me...which makes me sad, and wish i'd done better.

anyhow: it’s a good thing that i have to go back to those times and think about it again. and it’s good that i know now where the word ‘boi’ originated from.
but now what?
is it an inappropriate word for me to use, as a white person? or is it merely a positive thing that words lead us to do research on other minority groups, as long as we’re open to do so? and given that, does doing this research make it more appropriate for me to keep on using the word? or should i change it, knowing what i know now?

the following part might be hard for people to follow. please ask if you are curious and don’t get it.
I love it when people call me ‘boi’. it feels playful, it excites me, and it suits me ‘cause it’s bratty, and faggy. it’s the more cheerful and easier way to say ‘fag with cunt’- which also has appropriation glued to it, but since i don’t identify as woman and since i just AM a fag, i already made up my mind about this and continue using it. My faggotry comrades agree. ‘boi’ also has a kinky element, which i also like. I want my lovers to be able to call me boi, because it sounds just right.

still, i want to respect and acknowledge the cultural heritage that sticks to the word, and the sensitivity it can cause for others, with different stories than mine.

since it is all about the spelling (you can’t hear the difference between boy/boi/bxi/bxy when you say it), i decided to change the spelling. i think the queer community needs to change and update their labels continuously, this is my contribution for now. the ‘x’ has been used in a variety of forms already, in attempts of making ‘old’ words more genderfluid - seems pretty good to me! i hope that with this reflection and minor change i can show the process that comes with trying to take into account all 'other' minorities, and how complex this can be, but also: how necessary. respectful feedback always welcome.



zaterdag 27 mei 2017


last night i went to a party organized by some friends, the House of Boys. i would like to share a story about that night. (first of all: dear friends/boys from House of Boys--it was a great party, i am very proud of you and this is in no way meant to be criticism)

i speak with a lot of gay boys: about their coming out, about public spaces, harassment, gender expression, etc. i love doing that and it makes me happy and proud to see them gather and have fun together, creating their own safe space. i also love the fact that a lot of them come up to me because they see somebody they apparently want to talk to. and i love how they perceive me as this queer person who doesn’t give a fuck. but in fact, i do give a lot of fucks (pun intended) and i am still very vulnerable and in search of my own gender identity and expression. i also thinks this never ends. as i said to one of the boys last night: it gets better. but being vulnerable about being seen in the way you want to be seen and getting hurt because stuff people say or never really stops. it’s inherently human.

as you can see in my profile pic, i had the word BOI* written on my chest. this was a risk i took, i realize now. it seems i value the word a lot more than i thought and i underestimated how writing something this precious on your body makes you some sort of diy target. i came out again last night, every second i was there. at first, it felt good. then something happened and it hurt like hell. picture me, some friends, and a stranger coming up to me:

‘So why doesn’t this say BOOBS?’

the moment someone says something to me that points out my body, especially when it’s being perceived as a (sexualized) woman’s body, i want to disappear. no, i want to scream. i don’t know, it makes me angry and sad and there’s so many feelings that i just don’t know what to feel or say or do anymore. so i stuttered:

‘Because i am not particularly fond of my boobs.’

this is not really true. i have had to deal with a lot of body image issues during my life, but my boobs (i don’t like that word but it was said and i don’t know a better word) have never been part of this. i don’t LOVE them, they’re just there, as a part of me. and they’re small, so they don’t bother me a lot. and, most importantly, they give me pleasure.
but at this point of the ‘conversation’, i was still processing the fact that someone perceived me as a cis woman with boobs, and the fact that i was approached as if they were the most notable aspect of my presence.

Why are you showing them off like that then?!’

i wanted to say that i wasn’t showing off anything, but that i just like to show skin with loads of glitter on it and my chest happens to have those two things people call boobs, but that for me they’re just a part of my body as a whole and not necessarily a special, striking part. i wanted to say that i wrote BOI on my chest to kind of show this to others, to make sure that people DON’T perceive me as cis woman and WON’T point out my boobs. (also: free the nipple!)

i didn’t say much though, i just mumbled to my friend that i was going somewhere else and i walked away, leaving the person in question behind in an indignant state.
my night was ruined. i tried to be my own kind of ‘boi’ at the House of Boys, but i suddenly i couldn’t be anymore. i felt exposed and unsafe. i put on a shirt and tried to process what happened, inside my head**. this writing is what came out.

i am sharing this because i want to point out not only that i am not the fearless and untouchable creature some people might think i am, but also that i experience myself, every day, how violent the gender and beauty standard prison can be, and how important it is to create safer spaces for all things queer. i refuse to believe i was the only one that got hurt last night. i am sure there were more genderqueers there, who experienced some kind of dysphoria because of something that happened. and i want them to know that i need them, and they need me.
i want to expose the vulnerability that comes with being queer, and i want vulnerability to be seen as strength, and as a force that can drive away toxicity. so...

hey bois, femmes, fags: let’s talk.
and while i am at it, hey partypeople: be careful with your comments and take care of each other.

*I use the word BOI to identify myself as ‘fag with cunt’, which is the gendercocktail i feel comfortable with most of the times, and stems from the way `boi’ is used in

1. the lesbian community, a young transgendered/androgynous/masculine person who is assigned female at birth and presents themselves in a young, boyish way; a boidyke; often also identifies as genderqueer.

2. in the gay community, a young gay man;

3. in the BDSM community, someone who presents themselves in a young, boyish way and is usually a bottom/submissive.

**of course this incident doesn't stand on its own. i am using it now because it was the last straw. other things had made me stagger and shake earlier, this made me trip.