I recently read Gender Outlaws: The Next Generation by Kate Bornstein and S. Bear Bergman (such a great book, I would recommend) and there was a comic strip/zine thing in it called ‘Transcension’ by Katie Diamond and Johnny Blazes. Parts of it were really empowering and thought-provoking to read – it gave me one of those penny drop/light bulb flash moments, so I thought I’d write a little bit about it.
“There are more meanings to trans that I had remembered! Not only does it mean across, but it also means beyond! So transgender doesn’t have to imply crossing an imaginary line…it could mean going completely BEYOND the gender binary! I can transgress the rules set in place by the patriarchy about how gender must be enacted. I can transcend gender” (pg. 181)
There’s quite a big misconception that being transgender means you are moving from box A to box B, which isn’t necessarily the case. Sometimes it just means you’re saying, fuck boxes, i’m going to go beyond the gender binary because I don’t identify with it at all. You don’t need to be moving from one binary gender to another. Your identity could be fluid or non-binary and so you could identify as somewhere in-between or outside the binaries, or on various different points of the gender spectrum. For example, you could be a non-binary trans masculine person who uses gender neutral pronouns and your trans identity would still be valid because you don’t identify with the gender you were assigned at birth. Your identity is no less valid if you’re not moving from binary to binary – because actually there’s a tonne of space between and around the binaries that might suit you perfectly.
As someone who is struggling with their gender identity and with the feeling that they don’t identify fully with a binary gender, this piece was incredibly empowering to read because it was a bit like a eureka moment where I was like, hang on, I can be in-between and still be trans, it doesn’t make me any less trans. It was just a really validating experience and made me realise that I don’t have to squeeze myself into a box because actually, there is all this wonderful space between or just outside boxes that would suit me much better.
G.L.O.S S. (Girls Living Outside Society’s Shit) are refusing to be silenced. They’re queer, they’re femme, they’re trans and seething with rage. ‘Trans Day Of Revenge’ is a ferocious kick in the teeth – and the unbearable relevancy of this hardcore punk release following the horrific mass shootings in Orlando, makes it all the more poignant. It’s a smack in the face, a fearless middle finger to society and it creates a space for marginalised voices pent up with wrath and frustration. They’ve hit breaking point and are using the EP to call out unjust politics, racism, sexism, transphobia and homophobia – it’s incredibly cathartic. It’s an unapologetic call to arms – and relatable or not, this EP will ignite an inner fury and give you something to be angry about.
Empowerment. That’s what you’ll feel after listening to this EP. Those who can relate will feel a sense of solidarity and be ready to take action. G.L.O.S.S. are vocalising the very real dangers and brutal experiences that come along with being queer or in minority groups. There’s nothing left for them to do except demand revenge against their oppressors. As soon as the first track ‘Give Violence A Chance’ starts, you know they’re going to make you listen to what they have to say. It’s raw punk to the core – and the potent brevity of the nonstop five tracks reiterates that now they’ve finally found a voice, they’re definitely not going to let it be taken away.
You can feel the wrath smouldering from the blisteringly fast-paced riffs in ‘Trans Day Of Revenge’. Fierce yells saturated with exhaustion and repetitive volatile lyrics, morph the track into a defiant anthem like war cry. ‘Fight’ sees the repetitive lyrical plea to “fight for your life” take over the entire track, making palpable the excruciating struggle for survival and visibility in a hatred fuelled, discriminatory society.
The profuse importance of ‘Trans Day Of Revenge’ and punk bands such as G.L.O.S.S. are understated. It’s just what we needed – an outlet for marginalised communities stifled by anger, especially in light of recent events. The struggle to be heard, visible and validated are pivotal in this EP. They’ve used it to gain access to a space and a voice that is so often denied to trans and queer people. G.L.O.S.S. are refusing to let discrimination be swept under the carpet any longer. Brace yourself. This is a brief but potent eruption of a rage that’s been simmering below the surface of unbearable layers of oppression.
(Taken from my review blog skindiving)