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So I have recently finished a book that I am obsessed about, obsessed with, and super excited about. It has totally affirmed all of my queerness in general, but sometimes, I somehow still feel like I need to be affirmed in my queerness even though I’m super queer and like, that’s awesome but we all need some affirmation sometimes, right?
So I would love to share with you this book Evolution’s Rainbow from Joan Roughgarden who is a trans woman biologist. An amazing person who wrote this amazing book. So, it’s Evolution’s Rainbow: Diversity, Gender, and Sexuality in Nature and People.
I love everything that I read in this book, I do feel like there were some kind of outdated terms in this book which kind of makes sense because it’s from 10 years ago. It’s been out for over 10 years. So, whatever potentially incorrect language is used in the book, I highly doubt like there was any kind of malice in using those terms. I would like to give Joan and the amount of time it’s been since Joan wrote his book, the benefit of the doubt that some of the like outdated language that was used wasn’t really on purpose. Language from 10 years ago, even if it’s not totally the way things would go today, but it’s nothing like super… what’s the word I’m looking for? Negative, I guess?
Distracted me! Yay. But anyway, this book is amazing. I wanted to go over this little section called Gender Defined, because it’s real great and it’s probably one of my favorite parts of the book and it’s pretty close to the beginning.
If you’re curious about like gender or, not gender, about nature being super fucking queer this is your book. This is all the science behind how queer nature is, nature is super fucking queer. So queer! Like, of course, humans are queer, because queerness is all throughout the animal kingdom! I don’t even like that term, okay, let’s find another term… all throughout life on this planet!
So I’m gonna read a little bit from this and let’s affirm your queerness too.
All right, Gender Defined.
“Up to now, we’ve come up with two generalizations. One: most species reproduce sexually, and two: among the species that do reproduce sexually, gamete size obeys a near universal binary between very small: sperm, and large: egg. So that male and female can be defined biologically as the production of small and large gametes, respectively. Beyond these two generalizations, the generalizing stops and diversity begins!
The binary in gamete size doesn’t extend outward. The biggest error of biology today is uncritically assuming that gamete size binary implies a corresponding binary in body type, behavior, and life history.”
(I’m going to read that sentence again because I think it is so important to really get in our brain. Here we go, reading a second time.)
“The biggest error of biology today is uncritically assuming that gamete size binary implies a corresponding binary in body type, behavior, and life history.
No binary governs the whole individuals who make gametes, who bring them to one another for fertilization and who interact with one another to survive in a native social context. In fact, the very sexual process that maintains the rainbow of a species and facilitates long-term survival automatically brings a cornucopia of colorful, sexual behaviors.
Gender, unlike gamete size, is not limited to two. Gender usually refers to the way a person expresses sexual identity in a cultural context. Gender reflects both the individual reaching out to cultural norms and society imposing expectations on the individual. Gender is usually thought to be uniquely human. Any species has sexes, but only people have genders.
With your permission though, I’d like to widen the meaning of gender to refer to non-human species as well. As a definition, I suggest gender is the appearance, behavior, and life history of a sexed body. A body becomes sexed when classified with respect to the size of the gametes produced. Thus gender is appearance plus action, how an organism uses morphology, including color and shape, plus behavior to carry out a sexual role. Now we’re free to explore the zoological and botanical counterpart of human gender studies.
So, we may ask how much variety occurs in gender expression among other species? Let’s take some favorite stereotypes and see. We will look mostly at vertebrae, but even more variety occurs with invertebrates and plants.”
(All right, this is going to be a list and it’s really great. I want to make this into a like, infographic post because it’s so good.)
“An organism is solely male or female for life.
No. The most common body form among plants and in perhaps half of the animal kingdom is for an individual to be both and female at the same time or at different times during its life. These individuals make both small and large gametes during their lives.
Males are bigger than females, on the average.
No, in lots of species, especially fish, the female is bigger than the male.
Females, not males, give birth.
No, in many species the female deposits the eggs in the pouch of the male, who incubates them until birth. In many species males, not females, tend the nest.
Males have XY chromosomes and females, XX chromosomes.
No, in birds including domesticated poultry like chickens the reverse is true. In many other species, males and females showed no difference in chromosomes. In all alligators and crocodiles, some turtles and lizards, and the occasional fish, sex is determined by the temperature at which the eggs are raised. A female can control the sex ratio among her offspring by laying eggs in a shady or sunny spot.
Only two genders occur, corresponding to the two sexes.
No, many species have three or more genders with individuals of each sex occurring in two or more forms.
Males and females look different from one another.
No, in some species males and females are almost indistinguishable. In other species males occur in two or more forms, one of which resembles a female while the others are different from the female.
The male has a penis and the female lactates. (This is probably my favorite one!)
No, in the spotted hyena, females have a penis-like structure externally identical to that of males, and in the fruit bat of Malaysia and Borneo, the males have milk producing mammary glands.
Males control females.
(Obviously hell no.) In some species, females control males, and in many, mating is a dynamic interaction between female and male choice. Females may or may not prefer a dominant male. Period. (I added the period.)
Females prefer monogamy and males want to play around.
No, depending on the species, either or both sexes may play around. Lifelong monogamy is rare, and even within monogamous species, females may initiate divorce to acquire a higher ranking male.”
And this is in the animal kingdom, or in the life that is non-human on the world… okay!? Yeah so nature is queer as fuck. There’s like transgender hummingbirds. There are plants that are male in the morning and female in the evening, and others of those plants are the opposite, female in the morning and male in the afternoon. Even different genders throughout like one day.
There’s like fish that like are very, like queer, gender weird. At all the things I’m just… *makes excited face*
Spotted hyena, all of them have penises. Also, it doesn’t say it in that section that I read to you, but in another section about those spotted hyenas, it’s probably, it’s one of my favorite things! Now I’m just like “haaa” …build expectation.
Female hyenas have penises too, they all have penises. The spotted hyena all have penises, and an erection is a sign of submission!!!!!!! In spotted hyena world!!!!
Okay, I’m done. So nature’s queer, end of story. I love you. Let’s go. Let’s check out more queer nature things.
Do you like this video? If you like this video, comment and let me know and I’ll make more queer nature videos. I love you!
If you’d like to read this book yourself, the Bookshop link is below!
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CAPTION FOR VIDEO ABOVE:
Hi friends! It’s been a little bit since I’ve done a video blog thing so I’m here to do that and say hi. I actually have a photoset to share with you that I took with Prana. She was traveling + was in NC + I was like “hey I’m in Charlotte if you’re in the area feel free to come visit me it’d be awesome to hang out + meet you in person!” She met me + she came to my house + we hung out + took some photos together. I have a couple rolls of landscapes that I hadn’t doubled over yet, so she picked out her favorite + we shot a whole roll of doubles + I love how they came out so much!
We did the photoshoot here in the back yard. We hung a black blanket from the fence right here + did the whole photoshoot here in a makeshift studio in my backyard. It was amazing! I’m sooooo happy with how the photos came out. We doubled her over images of Bryce Canyon + Zion + they’re amazing! I’m sure you can see how amazing they are by scrolling down because I’m sharing a few samples of the roll with you. I’m sharing the entire roll with all of the members of my website so you can see all 37 images from the shoot. And the behind the scenes videos! We took video while we were shooting so you can see how we hang out + talk + interact + stuff during a shoot! Yay! You can see what the setup was too, literally I was right over here.
I don’t want to be in the sun too long because I don’t have sunscreen on but I wanted to be outside because light. I just wanted to share these photos with you + to tell you how awesome Prana is! We just hung out in my back yard all day, we took 1 roll of film + then after that we just laid on a blanket + chatted. She took self portraits here + we just hung out, it was great. It was so relaxing + enjoyable. I laughed + smiled a whole lot so it was great. Yeahhhh I don’t think that’s… I have really anything else to tell you right now. But yeah I just wanted to share this photoset with you, because I think it’s awesome + I think you’ll like them too.
Samples below if you want to see some of my faves + if you want to see ALL of the photos members can click the links underneath those photos to go straight to the gallery + to see the behind the scenes video, yay!!!
I believe Prana is also sharing all of this on her patreon, so I’ll link to her patreon in the caption below so you can check out her patreon too (CLICK HERE!!!) She takes incredible self portraits…. I don’t know if you can hear that? *helicopter flying overhead* Very loud helicopter.
But yeah Prana takes amazing self portraits + she travels a decent amount, so you can see her self portraits from her travels + they’re incredible + amazing. I really love how she uses self portraiture as a way to heal + to be in her body when it’s hard to be in her body. I very much appreciate that + admire her ability to do that. So yeah, go check out her work, it’s amazing. I hope you enjoy these photos. Have a great day! Mwah!
CAPTION FOR THE VIDEO ABOVE:
Hi friends! I just wanted to quickly come on here and show you my face. Hiiii I’m alive! And also share with you a photoset that I actually took really recently, last weekend May 2nd. My friend Karolina Von (I’ll link her information below because you should totally be following her on her website) she’s currently pregnant and she’s due in July and we took some double exposures of her with Glacier National Park. I think they’re absolutely gorgeous.
I’m so humbled and thankful that she trusted me with her ever-changing body and her safety and her image for these photos. So super wonderful. I always love spending time with her. We’ve created together 4 or 5 times, she doesn’t live super far away, she lives less than an hour away from here so we’ve created together several times. You can see a bunch of our work together in the directory, in my archives. This time we took pictures of her while she’s pregnant and they’re double exposures so of course I love them, because doubles are my favorite. I just wanted to share this photoset with you. It’s the entire roll of film, all 37 images, I’m sharing the whole thing with you. I haven’t edited them at all, it’s just as they were taken. I’m pretty excited and I think they’re wonderful.
What else do I want to say? I don’t want to say too much because I know I have the nude gathering tomorrow and posts going out about that and stuff so I don’t want to overwhelm you with too many posts. I just wanted to come on here and share this photoset with you and say hi and I love you.
If you’re new here, I only do photos every once in a while. It used to be a regular thing but it’s not anymore. I’m shifting away from doing photography and modeling stuff and going more into the community events and queer resources and peer support kind of things so if you’re here for regular new images and videos and stuff from me you might be a little disappointed because those will come sporadically.
I have like literal thousands of photos and videos in my archives for you to enjoy. It will take you a really really long time to get through all of them because there’s so many, there’s over 17,000 photos and over 2,000 videos so there’s no shortage of content to enjoy.
I’m also like… if I force myself to create on a strict regular basis, like I have to create something once a week or whatever, then it ends up being me creating things because I feel like I HAVE to instead of me creating things because I’m excited and WANTING to and inspired to, and yall deserve the kind of content that I’m really excited about making instead of the content that I feel forced to make. It’s best for all of us if I’m not forcing myself to continually make something new all the time, because nobody needs that. We need time to rest and to shift gears and change and transform and yeah… so I’m giving that to myself and I hope that you give that to yourself.
I hope you enjoy this photoset because I think it is INCREDIBLE. *mwah*
I’m going to post a few samples below and then also the link to see the whole gallery of it so, yay enjoy! Thanks for being here! I LOVE YOU! *mwah*
I originally wrote this for Patreon on December 16th 2017. I no longer use Patreon and have replaced it with my website (here) but thought I would share some of my old blogs with you for FREE to show my appreciation for you visiting my website! <3
Yay I’m excited to share this self portrait set with you! I took it in August when I went to Tampa to take my brother in law’s girlfriend’s maternity photos. She was even comfortable with me taking a few rolls of her nude, and has allowed me to share them with you! That set is for some time in the future (but First Look members have access to it now!). Back to this set, now that I have you all excited about that future maternity set haha sorry for the tease!
I took this self portrait set in the airbnb I stayed in on the very first morning I was there. I took advantage of the morning light, and you probably recognize that kitchen! I’ve already shared a digital self portrait set I shot there the same day. It was really wonderful to wake up and have an entire house all to myself to do whatever I wanted. Of course I wanted to take a bunch of photos for all of you! This is when I used my Nikon N80 for the first time, and I took a chance and used expired film on top of not testing out the camera before I left, which I probably should have done. I guess I’m super lucky that there was nothing wrong with the camera OR the film! I just got some fun funky colors, but I love that kind of unexpected surprise from expired film. I shot an expired roll once that all the photos came out in pinks and purples! I will probably never stop shooting film, it is absolutely my favorite artistic medium. Film forever! <3
Video members have a bunch of awesome new videos to watch! I’ve added a 7.5 minute video of me nude exploring shapes and body movements AND I’ve also added 6 aerial silks videos to the galleries!
All members have access to this complete 24 image photoset by clicking here, the 7.5 minute video of me nude exploring shapes and body movements by clicking here, and 6 aerial silks videos by clicking here.