Leslie Feinberg 's Stone Butch Blues Essay

1872 Words Dec 12th, 2016 8 Pages
In many ways, Leslie Feinberg’s Stone Butch Blues does more than explore what it means to be a part of the LGBTQ community. In many ways, Stone Butch Blues is a “how to” book just as much as it is a lifeline for the LGBTQ community. It is a “how to” book in the sense it examines how to be a member of the LGBTQ community, while at the same time revealing the follies of a definitive correct way how. In doing so, Feinberg reveals not only the performative nature of gender, but also how the concept of gender and strict binaries can be a destructing and limiting forced within and outside of the LGBTQ community.
From some of her earliest childhood memories onward, Jess is haunted by a recurring question: “is that a boy or girl?” The scope of the question covers ever context from her name (going by “Jess” rather than Jessica), to her appearance [“Brian says you’re a girl, but I think you’re a sissy boy” (17)]. No matter the situation that arouses the question, it is always motivated by some sort of need to categorize Jess’s identity as either A or B: male or female, straight or gay. Even the children Jess grows up with exhibit this behavior. That is not to say the genuinely ignorant children Jess later encounters (like Gloria’s kids) are to blame; our earliest education is often based on a system of categorization. It is often easier for children to learn by attaching a distinct image or value to a concept. The “rule” almost always precedes the exceptions or variations. Yet, there…

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