1. Describe your gender identity. Does it shift over time (day to day or year to year)?
My gender identity is that of a person who is exceedingly fond of ultra-feminine though slightly old-fashioned clothing styles, but who would never touch makeup nor ever dream about shaving off body hair, and who never wears any jewelry or other fashion accessories of any kind, and whose surface mannerisms in person are very very quiet and submissive-seeming, but whose underlying personality tendencies are very assertive for the most part, although when I assertively decide to become slavishly devoted to someone I can be quite submissive within that limited context. None of the above shifts very much over time, but I do shift from year to year in my relative comfort or discomfort levels with female pronouns versus my coming-and-going need to demand genderfree pronouns. At present I am in the phase of being more comfortable with female pronouns than I had been for quite a while, although this certainly doesn't imply any dislike for genderfree pronouns either - just that I no longer feel such a noticeable need for them right now as I have felt at times in the past and may feel at times again in the future.
2. Do you think gender is a choice too, like sexual orientation, or is it more innate?
Gender roles involve a whole lot of different qualities, including such not really inherently related qualities as fashion sense and assertiveness levels. I think people can be born with a mild tendency toward some qualities which fit slightly better into one gender role in our society than into the other, but I think the majority of our sense of our own gender develops as we're socialized as children and make choices in response to that socialization.
3. If you were going to move out of Sacramento, where would you go, and why?
In the past I've made a concerted effort to move to either Japan (because Asian cultures interest me and Japan was the Asian country where I had located intriguing job openings, which however I did not succeed in obtaining employment at) or New York City (because that's where all the big publishing companies are headquartered, and I work as an editor).
4. If you were going to break a law (aside from speeding and dling illegal computer programs), what would it be? Are you very law-abiding because you specifically follow all laws, or because things that are illegal just happen to be things you don't want to do?
I'm completely terrified of getting caught and punished - paranoid, really. There are lots of laws I'd have no moral reservations about breaking, but I'm far too terrified to even get into the whole mp3 thing. (Though I do aspire to someday commit sodomy in one of those states that still have sodomy laws.)
5. Cats or dogs? Why?
Cats, definitely. When dogs lick me they just slobber and I find it disgusting; when cats lick me they never leave puddles of saliva and I never find it disgusting. Also, cats purr, which is just simply most adorable noise that any species on earth is capable of. Dogs don't purr. Plus, dogs tend to be smellier.
6. What do you do for money? Would you still do it if money grew on trees?
I edit books about lawyers and judges. No, I certainly would never do it at all if money grew on trees.
7. Poetry, prose, or fiction? Why?
Poetry is not my favorite of the three, because I prefer works of art which go on for pages and pages, and poets don't really have the time to go on for as many pages (I've never yet met an epic poem that I really liked). Between prose nonfiction and fiction . . . well, I tend to read more fiction and write more nonfiction, but I'm not entirely sure whether I like that arrangement. Let's just say I'm torn between the two.
sarianna interviews me:
1. Do you keep a personal journal IRL and if so, what is on the cover?
No. I can't motivate myself to write a single word unless somebody's going to read it.
2. What is your favorite work of art (any form) and why?
Um . . . that's a huge question. It would probably be a novel, because novels are my favorite art form . . . they allow for more words than pretty much anything else, and I like ideas that can only be communicated with a large number of words. As for which novel . . . I can't decide between When I Was Five I Killed Myself by Howard Buten (which is the more political of the two but also plenty artistic) and Ida: A Novel by Gertrude Stein (which is the more artistic of the two but also plenty political).
3. Is there a texture you particularly like?
I like the texture of woven canvas . . . slick, but with little bumps everywhere. I like running my fingers across an unpainted canvas.
4. Do you usually make your own clothes (like that awesome skirt)?
Making clothes is something I'm interested in becoming good at, but so far I've barely begun. My first creation was a year ago, when I cut a hole in a circular tablecloth and put in a waistband to create a circle skirt. That was the last article of clothing I did anyything creative with until I decorated that white skirt with rainbows recently - but I bought the skirt fully created, all I did was weave rainbow threads through the white lacing it was decorated with. After that I bought a sewing machine, and I'm currently attempting to sew my first skirt completely from scratch, but I have not yet completed it.
5. What would you be most likely to buy at a yard sale?
Books, I suspect.
6. When you were ten years old, what did you like best to do with your friends?
When I was nine years old I tried to tell my friends about being from Pluto where everyone had magical powers and how I needed to use them to save the earth, but one of my friends was obsessed with horses (there was a horse pasture right behind her backyard) and she wanted us all to play with imaginary horses, so somehow the magic and the horses all got intertwined and we ended up all being fairies with stables full of unicorns and pegasuses, which is what we continued to play every day all the way through the end of elementary school. We were all fairies of different things - there was a Flower Fairy and a Diamond Fairy, and I named myself the Silver Fairy, because for some reason at the time I was convinced that silver was the most expensive substance on earth, more expensive than gold or platinum or anything. I don't know why I thought that, but anyway, that was why I wanted to be the Silver Fairy.
7. What do you think about just before you fall asleep?
lm interviews me:
1. Do you believe that there's life on other planets?
In 11th grade I did a math project for school in which I attempted to calculate the odds of intelligent life from other planets contacting us, based upon how big the universe is, how frequent planets seem to be, how unlikely it seems for amino acids to randomly combine into DNA, how likely it is for this DNA to evolve all the way to creating brains capable of inventing space travel, etc. I concluded that the odds are hugely in favor of bacterial life existing elsewhere in the universe, but rather against such bacterial life ever evolving much beyond the bacterial level at all.
2. Who is your favorite author of fiction? Of nonfiction?
Fiction: Amy Bloom is the one who comes most prominently to mind.
Nonfiction: Gore Vidal for broad political commentary and Minnie Bruce Pratt for autobiography.
3. Why do you like David Bowie so much?
Once upon a time, a long time aco, it was August 1993 and I was a barely-17-year-old queer kid who'd been queer for the past year and a half already and still hadn't managed to meet any other queer person ever, as far as I knew. (I did not discover what the internet was until college.) I was desperately lonely for some queer company. To fix this, I decided to go buy some David Bowie albums and hope that David Bowie would somehow manage to be my long-distance queer best friend, who would write me letters and give me queer advice through song lyrics. (I was not aware that David Bowie had long since retracted all claims to queerness back in 1983.) Anyway, the plan worked marvelously . . . I got quite spectacularly lucky with my choice of David Bowie, because particularly in his early albums (The Man Who Sold the World and Hunky Dory most of all), he has this huge complex about feeling depressingly alienated from the whole human species just because he's so tremendously superior to them all. The most glaring examples of his alienated-superiority complex: "The Supermen," "Saviour Machine," "After All," "Changes," "Oh! You Pretty Things" and "Quicksand." Lyrics like "Your minds are too green, I despise all I've seen" summed up everything I felt about life on a planet full of straight people very nicely - I always felt superior to all of them and bored to death by them and depressingly alienated by my inability to find anyone other than me who was smart enough to share my queer by choice ideas. So I related very very strongly to David Bowie's alienated-superiority complex and felt an immediate tremendous bond with him because of that.
4. What is your favorite childrens' book, and what's your favorite childhood memory involving it (if any)?
I'm told that when I was about two years old, I was completely obsessed with the Berenstein Bears book The Spooky Old Tree, and insisted upon having it read to me daily, until one day I completely shocked my mother by appearing to have just spontaneously learned how to read it all by myself. It turned out I'd just memorized all the sentences from having heard them so many times. But yeah, that must have been my favorite book . . . the three bears bravely venturing out to the spooky old tree. "One with a light [insert drawing of bear holding a flashlight here] . . . one with a stick . . . and one with a rope."
5. If you could change lives with anyone else in the world, during any time period, would you do it? If so, with whom?
I wouldn't want to. I'm immensely relieved to be myself.
6. What's something you've only done once in your life that you'd like to do again?
Have Jeremy visit me for two weeks of nonstop glorious sexual fulfillment. Also, have any adorable sexy person visit me for two weeks of nonstop glorious sexual fulfillment. Or for that matter, longer than two weeks. Hell, I just want as much sexual fulfillment with adorable sexy people as humanly possible, period.