"What?" Sumi-e Painting by K.J. Kingsley - Commissions available at www.ko-fi.com/kjk

    Our sense of identity has a profound impact upon our lives, whether we acknowledge it or not. No other aspect of our identities exemplifies this impact more strongly than that of our genders, and hence also (indirectly) our sexual orientation. While recognition of and respect for LGBT people is increasing year by year worldwide, it still has a long way to go, with acts of extreme violence motivated by discrimination still a regular occurance in many countries (“Your Sexuality Can Make You Enemy of the State” in Poland).
    Gender orientation is another story altogether however, one that arguably underpins the entire issue yet is much less broadly understood. As I see it, and as I discussed in “You Are a Word”, much of our torment an confusion stems from our reliance upon language (for thought, as much as communication) and the categories it forces us to impose. When our very simplistic categories of “male” and “female”/”man” or “woman” become entwined with thousands of years of tradition and cultural steoretypes shaped by religious beliefs, it is no wonder more and more people are finding themselves fitting into neither category.

    As a much more eloquent and informed voice on the subject, I’m extremely grateful to be able to share the talented Bertram Holt’s perspective– so before I put my misinformed foot in it any further, here’s “Geezabird”:

(You can find Bertram on Instagram here)


GEEZABIRD

Dunno what you heard
but i’m a geezabird
i’m a 1 and a 2
and maybe a 3rd
not trying to swerve
i’m not a bloody perve
just look better in a dress
and i guess that’s my curse
it’s scary out here
but hiding was worse
life flows a lot better
when you write your own verse
it’s a big idea
but it’s really just words
there’s plenty in the world
that’s way more absurd
this aint an act
and i aint a drag
i aint no tranny
and i aint no fag
i’m a whole new mixture
in a whole new bag
ripping off the label
and eating the tag
wearing heels
but i aint no slag
i fly so quick give you jet lag
don’t wanna be rude
don’t mean to brag
but that geezabird’s
got fucking swag

[Chorus:]
I’m ill-defined but i’m doing fine
trying to find a place of some kind

alright darling?
whoah sorry mate
thought you was a bird
but you’re just a fake
taking more than
your fair share of cake
making all these lads
do a doubletake
but i didn’t come to make
too much of a statement
just wanna be safe
when i walk the pavement
but the future’s on the way
the dawn is nascent
it’s getting in your face
like product placement
cos man’s a species
not a gender
so put your identity
in the blender
i’m only trying
to transcend the
two player game
and it’s agenda
made of the same
stuff as legends are
won’t stop til i’ve
gone a bit too far
sorry if its all
rather bizzare
but i came from the place
where the wild things are

[Chorus:]
I’m ill-defined but i’m doing fine
trying to find a place of some kind

now i feel i really
ought to mention
existence doesn’t
equate intention
so why the need
for all this tension?
give a little space
for reinvention
be a mister
and be a mrs
be a witch
and be a wizard
be the sky
and be the blizzard
be the paper
and be the scissors
be the thing
you feel inside
uncage your bird
and let it take flight
it’s doable
so don’t believe the hype
you can just adjust
your archetype
you’re an ancient myth
with a new design
so be more or less
or both is fine
who you are is a fantasy
a dream from a pipe
to help you get to
sleep at night

[Chorus:]
I’m ill-defined but i’m doing fine
trying to find a place of some kind

but look
i don’t really get it either
got the heart of a bird
but the bones of a geezer
but i wear myself out
just trying to please ya
and honestly, honesty
it just tastes sweeter
i’m a little bit both
little bit neither
i’m a little bit novice
and a little bit teacher
i’m kinda human
but mostly i’m a creature
all of you are on the bill
but i’m the main feature
so why you all trying to be
proving you’re pedigree
you know mostly shame’s
just a waste of energy?
you aint got the
room to measure me
until you can hear the
tune to my heresy
not sure you’re ready?
well i guess you better be
beheading my enemies
still ahead of my destiny
the world’ll be testing me
but the fight won’t be stressing me
i counted all my blessings
and i still got the best to be

[Chorus:]
I’m ill-defined but i’m doing fine
trying to find a place of some kind

so gentlemen and ladies
yes, nos and maybes
try to keep a peace
before shit gets crazy
it’s hard to grasp
it might be a little hazy
but i’m here to help
if you’re feeling lazy
just know my name
and know my antics
my self is independent
from your semantics
we’re tiny, man
but the world’s gigantic
too little time
for a space so frantic
i’m afraid i can’t be
anything tangible
i simply ain’t got the
meat for your mandibles
was spirit before i
was an animal
but this human body
trying ta keep me manacled
i’m made of stars
without a plan at all
the form is earth
but the soul is flamable
so why you coming at me
like you think you can at all?
i’ll eat your words
like a lyrical cannibal

 

Got something to say/paint/dance/sing/otherwise on the topic of gender identity or sexual orientation? Want to help encourage and inform discussion? Get in touch through the Contribute page or leave a comment below!

Huge thanks once again to Bertram for letting me share their stuff! x

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