arvan's picture

the landscape ahead: who will identify the individual? self or society?


Identity—the very essence of who we are and how we interact with others—is in the middle of a period of extraordinary tumult. The Internet
and a host of new communications technologies have transformed the
concept of identity and redefined our relationships to businesses, governments and constantly churning networks of friends and peers.

Growing numbers of digital natives now define themselves by their
Web presence as well as their real-world presence. Indeed, they move
seamlessly from their online to offline lives, and they expect to assert
who they are on their own terms.

Call it the audacity of self-identity. I am whatever I say I am.

J.D. Lasica, Identity in the Age of Cloud Computing (emphasis mine)


Identity is the focus of and I want to take a shot at clearly articulating some of what I see going on right now (and maybe a little bit of conjecture on where this might all lead). 

There are several types of identity by which we all are known.  The two identity types that most people are familiar with are:

Self Identity - the way one person is defined by one's self.  It is the act of a person telling a group - "This is who I am".

Group Identity - the way one person is defined by a group of people.  It is the act of a group telling a person: "This is who you are".

Most of us employ a mixture of group identity terms as self identity.  We use language, which we did not invent, to describe who we are.  Often, we did not even choose the words we use (i.e. fat, skinny, smart, gay, man, woman, tall...and so on).  Labels, judgments, names, terms - all consisting of language.  

arvan's picture

Openly gay man voted prom queen at LA high school

From the Monterey News, a nice little bit of news about gender, high school, self-identification and group recognition.  The mindset of previous generations is still visible, but as this queen demonstrated, it is no longer in complete control.  A recognition of our shared humanity is becoming more and more commonplace. :-)

LOS ANGELES — An openly gay teen was voted prom queen at Los Angeles' Fairfax High School in a campaign that began as a stunt but ended up spurring discussion on the campus about gender roles and teen popularity.

Sergio Garcia, 18, was crowned queen Saturday night at the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel.

"I feel invincible," Garcia said in his tiara and charcoal-gray tuxedo.

A few days earlier, he gave a speech that won over some cynics and led to an ovation and his unlikely victory.

"At one time, prom may have been a big popularity contest where the best-looking guy or girl were crowned king and queen. Things have changed and it's no longer just about who has the most friends or who wears the coolest clothes," Garcia told a gymnasium full of seniors. "I'm not your typical prom queen candidate. There's more to me than meets the eye."

arvan's picture

Taslima Nasrin: Speech from Women's Forum

This speech was given by Taslima Nasrin in France, on October 15, 2005 at The Women's Forum.  Little has changed for herself or women around the world, since then.

          I would like to express my heartfelt gratitude for having been invited to the first International Conference by   Women's Forum.  Today I would tell you a little bit about my life. 
          I was born in 1962 to a Muslim family in a small town called Mymensingh  in what then was East Pakistan. Now, after it gained its independence in 1971, the country is called Bangladesh
          Bangladesh, where I was born, is a nation of more than 140 million people, one of the most populous countries in the world. It is a country where 70 per cent of the people live below the poverty line, where more than half the population cannot read and write, a country where there is insufficient health care, and where infant mortality is high. Nearly 40 million women have no access to education nor do they have the possibility of
becoming independent. 
        In my country, my childhood was not much different from that of other girls of my generation. Like other girls of a middle-class family, I was sent to a  school. Girls frequently dropped out of school when they were fifteen or sixteen, ages at which they often were given into marriage by their parents. Few girls had a chance to continue their studies, for after an arranged marriage they were not allowed to continue studying in school or college or university nor could they take a job. They became totally dependent upon their husbands, in other words.

arvan's picture

Who am I, if I'm not me anymore?

We get older.  We all do.  If we're really lucky, we get a lot older.  Sooner or later, we die.  That is the way of things.  As I rise this morning, eating my breakfast, I turn my attention to this aspect of sex, gender, body that I was kind of avoiding: getting old. 

Age is just as much of a conversation about sex, gender, body as anything else.  It could be argued that no conversation about sgb, or identity can exist without the conversation of age being included.  One of the site rules at is that no sex with minors is condoned or supported on this site.

As we age, we identify ourselves in different terms.  We shift how we view ourselves, how we wish others to see us and how we see others.  Age prejudice and labels are just as common as any other form of discrimination.  I don't know if any one form of discrimination gets more assistance or license than any other form, but age discrimination does seem to benefit greatly from a youth-worshiping society and many people's fear of dying.  Aging and the approach of death is uncomfortable for many to deal with.  It's why I was in no hurry to look at it myself.

Whether or not I include and embrace aging into the conversations of sex, gender, body - age is part of how each of us identify ourselves and are identified by others.  Plain and simple.

So, I took off looking for links on age, identity, sex, gender, body.  This is what I found for different search terms on Google.

Tetanus's picture

Gay and Christian

My partner is a transman. He was born with a female body, but a male mind. He is now in the process of realizing that male body that he should have been born with.

lovemagician's picture

Dispelling the Myths


(Image courtesy of CultureVulture)

The Heart of Polyamory

By Millie Jackson

Being polyamorous is not determined by how many relationships someone has, but is defined by the capacity to be in love with more than one person at a time.  How polyamory translates into someone’s life can look very different from one person to the next, but polyamorists tend to agree that it espouses the tenets of honesty and consensuality practiced ethically.

When people talk about their objections to polyamory they often describe scenarios that are not polyamorous, usually referring to someone being dishonest with lovers or misleading prospective partners.  The problems they portray always come down to some unethical behavior like lying, manipulation or violating agreements.  If it is not honest, ethical and consensual, then it’s not polyamory.

Although many people automatically make unfounded assumptions, learning that someone is polyamorous reveals nothing about that person’s life-style, sexual orientation, (past, present or future) relationship dynamics, approach to sex, etc.  Polyamorists are a melting pot of diversity.  By design, how polyamorists choose to structure relationships is up to them and their partners and is very individualistic.

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