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What the heck is the Gender Forest? 

Welp, for now the gender forest is a map, a metaphor and a bunch of silly drawings in my sketchbook. Someday it will probably be a book or some worksheets. But always it will be a place for anyone who wants to, to wander and explore. 

This project comes from my own ongoing and perpetual explorations of my gender expression and identity. It helps me to:

  • attempt to map out ALL THE STUFF (there is so much stuff), that makes up gender and bumps up against it

  • serve as a continually evolving artifact of my human experience and existence

  • remind myself that others have charted this territory before me, but that I will create my own trails

  • be silly and playful and loose (with my art and also my gender)

  • share my process with friends and loved ones-- metaphor and map are such powerful tools to bring others in to the complexity of our story and experience

I hope you enjoy spending time with it. And check on back here every once in a while, I'll keep adding things as I'm able ;) 


 

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As you look through my forest map, this is the metaphorical landscape I used to help me make a distinction between which things felt dense, scarier, and like i might need a machette (or a good guide/therapist) to navigate, and which might be less steep and treacherous. And which other aspects of my identity (rock) or culture (rivers) were shaping my more organic, fluid gender space. 

WHAT MAKES UP THE GENDER FOREST

The Culture Rivers-- Capitalism, White Supremacy and Patriarchy. Run through the gender forest. These, along with others-- are what feed the forest with water and nutrients-- carve the landscape-- and ultimately shape what is possible. Their current runs strong, and they carry poison. But they are changing, getting the filth cleaned out. 

Mount race, class, body, etc. 

The trails. These are paths I have wandered. On my own, with my beloved therapists, with my community. Below I have laid out some questions that make up these paths that i invite you to wander along-- on your own, with a trusted friend or with a trained gender affirming therapist.

TOOLS TO BRING WITH YOU

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SOME HIKES (AKA REFLECTION PROMPTS) FOR YOU

These "hikes" are prompts, worksheets and questions for you to wander around with. Journal on them, talk about them with a trusted friend, therapist or family member. And most importantly, return to them! You'll be surprised to find how they might change over time.

Style & Swag Summit
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Pronoun Point
Youngpersonhood Estuary
Haircut Valley
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Sexy time Summit (or swamp?)
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