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“Dude looks like a lady.”

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Is gender fluid?

Over at my public confessional (Dumb Sketch Daily) I did a drawing so bad that all my sketchy companions are ganging up. Well, OK, that’s an overstatement—they are uniformly kind and encouraging.LadyWithBeard-06092015

It was a quick sketch of a delightful woman sitting across from me at an evening meeting. But the sketch went haywire. In attempting shadow I accomplished a beard. She did not have a beard. She does not have a beard. Even at the time I recognized I had gone too far. So I made sure to sketch her necklace. But the critique of one artist still rings true:

Dude looks like a lady.

I agree with another sketchy commenter, that my unrealistic drawing is perhaps a “sign of the times.” Indeed, not a day goes by without a photo of the current Caitlyn Jenner/former Bruce Jenner and a story in the StarTribune or on MPR about another facet of transgender life.

Gender as something rather fluid is a relatively new thought for me, just as it is for a whole bunch of people. It’s an observation that creates an opportunity to go back and reread ancient texts and ask how I understand them. It’s also an opportunity for a whole series of (sorta uncomfortable) conversations. And the circle of topics included in those conversations gets wider and wider, taking in more ground. For starters: volumes of assumptions about gender, a reviewing of the binary nature of gender I had assumed for so long, questions about identity and self. It actually sounds like a fascinating discussion, if it weren’t all so awkward.

But this is another conversation we’re moving toward.

So gird your loins. Or not.

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Dumb sketch: Kirk Livingston

Written by kirkistan

June 11, 2015 at 9:05 am

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