February 6, 2012 § 2 Comments
Many people struggle with the narrow and restrictive boxes that society has created for identifying and categorizing different individuals. Mainstream society encourages people to identify as male or female according to their biological parts and live a heterosexual lifestyle. Oftentimes, anyone who does not fit into these categories is deemed an outsider or made to believe that something is wrong with their desire to live as something else, such as a transgender, pansexual goth. Genderfork.com is a blog that is devoted to people who identify outside of the box, those that mainstream society tries to ostracize and silence. Under the ‘about’ section, the site organizers say, “Genderfork is a supportive community for the expression of identities across the gender spectrum. Our primary space, Genderfork.com, is a blog that offers images, thoughts, identities, and conversations from gender variant people and their extended communities.” The top of the home page reads, “Beauty in Ambiguity.” The blog is extremely committed to acceptance and welcoming those of every race, class, sexuality, etc. and allowing them to be themselves in a warm, comforting, open atmosphere.
When you first enter Genderfork, there are profiles (with photos) of people who fill out a brief questionnaire to shine a little light on who they are, a chance to “identify yourself” with questions and statements like the following: You can call me ______ , I identify as _____ , As far as third-person pronouns go, I prefer _____ , I’m attracted to _____ , When people talk about me I want them to _____ , I want people to understand _______. Reading through the profiles shows that no two people answer a question the same way. For example, “Padraig” says he is “a polyamorous, pansexual, deeply kinky genderqueer” whereas “Avery Gage” says she is “a genderqueer lesbian who makes exceptions for handsome trans men.” I found it to be extremely interesting and eye-opening to read the answers that everyone gave, especially since I had never heard of some of the identities. For this reason, I think GenderFork has a wide, non-discriminatory intended audience. They want everyone to feel welcome and open to share their stories. There are inspirational quotes, videos, and photographs so that there truly is something for everyone. For example, if someone posts and says that he/she/other is struggling to be accepted into their family or community, others will post and rally behind them, offering advice and encouragement. Under the ‘Frequently Asked Questions’ the site leaders say, “We are a supportive, celebratory project that’s out to shine a big spotlight on how freaking lovable everyone is.” The focus with every post, every image, and every video is unity and acceptance.
On the whole, I think this is a great blog for anyone who has ever felt like an outsider or who doesn’t “fit” into society’s rigid boxes. I would definitely recommend it to anyone who is questioning their gender or sexuality. I think it’s great that the site is so welcoming and open to everyone. It is a warm atmosphere that allows people to share their feelings without the fear or being judged or ignored.