Monday, June 09, 2008

Callout for Writing on Gender, Queerness, and Fathering

The 'zine rad dad has recently published this frank and honest callout called "Where Hope Is Found -- Transgendered Fathering" for their upcoming issue. It asks people to "Send in your stories of what it’s like to be a transgendered parent, a queer parent, a queer ally and a parent." I don't currently have a subscription to the 'zine but I have in the past, and it is a pretty cool publication.

Here are the first couple of paragraphs:

From the start I knew I was in trouble. I understood that there lurked a Pandora’s box waiting within the pages of rad dad that would ultimately have to be opened releasing, as the myth states, chaos and confusion into the safe easy gender dichotomy that defined men as fathers and women as mothers. But to extend the metaphor, opening that box would also release hope, release the belief that in the end despite the difficulties of walking this parental path, we will make it out alive.

In issue one, I joked about feeling excluded from the mama club at parks and playgrounds. I wrote: Damn my cock! Although I know cocks don’t always make men and men don’t always have cocks, but that’s an essay for another time. But issue after issue, I skirted that essay, avoided it; however, in each consecutive zine, it kept rearing its pretty little head: someone wrote an article exploring the relationship sperm donors have to their biological children. I also considered how my vasectomy changed my perception of myself as being able to “father.” So now what kind of man was I? Does biology make the man or the father? Absolutely not. I know this, but how to write about it, how to explore it; and of course what does challenging gender do to how we define fatherhood; one dad pondered how, as a bisexual father, he should discuss sexuality with his growing pre teen child? But finally a friend flat out told me: I love rad dad but you gotta talk about queer issues, about how fathering is constructed there?

I could hear the box opening, all those questions wanting to get out.

Read the rest of the callout and then write something!

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