Context: I am not a poet. I am not a performer. But I wrote and performed this ‘poem’* as part of Eilidh MacAskill’s Gendersaurus Rex workshop, exploring gender, sexuality and queerness in children’s performance, and thought I would post it here before it became too weird and embarrassing to share.
Gender is a question without an answer
Gender is two days of discussion and barely scratching the surface
Gender is colour and noise
girls and boys
and everyone in between.
Gender is a princess, a pirate, a polar bear and open to interpretation.
Gender is black and white
and pink and blue
Gender is a unicorn, a walking phallus.
Gender is hashtag problematic.
Gender is a performance, a judgement, unconscious.
Gender is a reservoir, a floodgate, a dam.
Gender is invisible to itself.
Gender is empowering.
Gender is harmful, reductive.
Gender is prescriptive.
Gender is complicated, gender is impractical.
Gender is an imaginary rule book that is constantly changing.
Gender is a toolbox.
Gender is yours.
Gender is not something to feel guilty about.
Gender is not your fault.
* there’s those inverted commas again. Because – as a children’s writer, and a TV writer – a poem feels like something a proper writer would write, and I’m still not sure I’m there yet.
But that’s another story, for another blog.