You will write an autobiographical account of your own gender. But before you get started, you will read these two exemplary pieces (one authored by Yours Truly)
Teaching While Leaking by Lisa Jean Moore
Do You Get To Choose How Big Your Penis Will Be? by C. Ray Borck
Your essay should address SOME OF the following questions. (You will not answer all of these questions. This list is intended as inspiration. You will choose what you are most interested in writing about):
At some point in the essay you need to describe how the Moore and Borck pieces inspired your own autobiographical writing.
What gender were you assigned at birth? Who decided? Based on what information did they make the decision? How did your parents feel about your sex/gender? What expectations did they have of you and your life based on what sex you were assigned at birth? One thing you could do is talk to (in person or over the phone) the people who were there when you were born and ask them about this.
How do you think your life would have been different if you had been born a different sex/gender?
What was your gender socialization like during early childhood? When is the first time you became aware of your gender or can remember thinking “I am a boy.” or “I am a girl.” Where were you? How did you find out you were a boy/girl? What did you think of it?
What were the main gender milestones throughout your life? What were the defining moments of your gender? When you think of your own gender identity, what are the specific memories that you have and why are they meaningful to you?
What are the things you feel like you have to/must do because of your gender identity? What are you required to do? What are you not allowed to do? What parts of your gender identity do you like? What parts do you dislike and why? Are there things you wish you could do that you can’t/don’t do because of your gender?
Are there ways that you are gender-nonconforming and/or gender stereotypical? How? Why?
How are you treated because of your gender? What are aspects of this treatment do you like/dislike?
What choices do you make about your gender? How do you do your gender? What kind of man or woman (or other) are you? What kind of man/woman/other do you want to or try to be? What aspects of your gender are important to you?
What roles do you play in your life because of what your gender is?
Whose gender do you admire (this could be someone you know in your life or a famous person or a character — whatever) — why do you admire it?
How is your gender influenced by other aspects of your identity (e.g. your race, sexuality, age, culture, religion, ethnicity, etc)?
Formatting guidelines: 5+ double-spaced pages 12 pt font, not bold, not italicized, Times New Roman or Arial or Calibri or Garamond. Use headings that break your paper into sections. You have a lot of freedom in how you organize it. You should decide which of the above questions are most interesting to you, what stories you want to tell, in what order, etc. I’d say just start writing and see what happens. After you draft it, read what you have written and then write an introduction telling the reader (me) what’s to come. Be brave. Get creative. Tell stories. Use concepts that you’re learning in the course. Tie readings or films into your essay about yourself. Describe parts of this course (or others) that have impacted the way that you think about your own gender identity. This is really an essay about you — but lean on course materials where it is useful or helpful. I encourage you to be vulnerable and personal but obviously don’t disclose anything you’re not willing to share with me.
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