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Wednesday, March 28, 2012

What Defines a "Real" Woman? Who Decides? Why Does It Matter? Welcome to Girl Talk

Posted on Wed, Mar 28, 2012 at 10:30 AM

  • A lineup of awesome.

The physical world loves binaries. Day and night. Life and death. Action and reaction. The social world also loves binaries. If you're not white, then you're black. If you're not straight, that means you're gay. You're born either male or female, and you can't change that. These flavors of intolerance come not only from extreme, "red state" schools of thought, but sometimes from the deepest reaches of our great liberal mecca.

An example? Gender politics. Some queer women who were born female-bodied, for example, overtly reject the idea they share anything with transgender women, tossing around ugly terms such as "bio men" and accusing them of co-opting "real" women's space. Others, however, see gender as a variable and shifting thing, and they embrace the common ground that all queer women share regarding romance, family, friendship, employment, and activism.

It's people from this latter group who organized Girl Talk, Thursday at the the San Francisco LGBT Community Center.

The title alone shows us this camp holds the superior sense of humor.

The annual spoken-word show, in its fourth year, aims to foster and promote dialogue about the various bonds between transgender and so-called "cisgender" women. It's curated by Gina de Vries, Elena Rose, and Julia Serano, all of whom embody some combination of author, performer, activist, and educator. They perform in a lineup that also includes Dominika Bednarska, DavEnd, Thea Hillman, Nomy Lamm, Emily Manuel, Jos Truitt, and Pidge Vera.

We support this kind of dialogue, believing that we Left Coast oddballs should embrace each other in all our differences. Consider the battles that could be in our near future -- one of them is named Rick Santorum.

Girl Talk starts at 7 p.m. Thursday (March 29) at the San Francisco LGBT Community Center, 1800 Market (at Octavia), S.F. Admission is $12-$20.

For more events in San Francisco this week and beyond, check out our calendar section. Follow us on Twitter at @ExhibitionistSF and like us on Facebook.

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