Correction to Prior Post re: Andrej Pejic #girl #androgynous #trans

In a prior post on Andrej Pejic, I said:

Oh, and, yes, though Andrej models women’s clothes and appears feminine in his day-to-day life, he prefers to be called a boy (because he is) and so I’m using the right pronoun to talk about him.

But Anastasiya popped up in comments with the following printscreen from Andrej’s ex-boyfriend’s Tumblr:

But then itswhatever? pointed out in another comment the following Tweet from Andrej:

@AfterTheFashion @MTVstyle@TheGaloreMag well actually its whatever at this point, no need to be nitpicky ;) — 
Andrej Pejic (@Andrej_Pejic) February 09, 2013

And reported: “That was Andrej’s reply to someone who asked the gender pronoun preference. Maybe in Andrej’s personal life, Andrej prefers “she”. As far as we’re concerned, since we’re not in Andrej’s personal life, this doesnt apply to us because professionally it looks like Andrej has decided to have it be “whatever” :P


So, here on out, when discussing Andrej, I think I’ll just try not to use pronouns at all, until I read some statement or definite gender identity comment from Andrej. Or maybe I’ll go with the zhi and hir gender neutral ones.

Regardless, thanks to Anastasiya and itswhatever? for their links, discussion, and opinions!

Flipping Gender Changes Meaning — Examples

Photo by Michel Dierickx

A question I get a lot is “Why m/m? Why do you write so many books with gay main characters?” I’ve got a lot of reasons behind that, some of them incredibly deep and involved, based in feminism and gay rights and freeing the mind. But let’s leave all that behind for now, and focus on how things change meaning when you change the sex/gender of any particular person within a certain expected dynamic.

I feel like the easiest way to illustrate this is with music, so let’s start there.

Everyone knows Adele’s song “Someone Like You”. What happens to the meaning and to your understanding of the song when a man sings it without changing any lyrics.

Jay Brannan also did a cover of Lana Del Rey’s “Video Games”. When he performed it live, he said, “My favorite thing about this song is knowing that by singing it I make you all picture me in a sundress.” I practically jumped up and down when he said that because it told me that he gets it and isn’t just covering it because he likes it, but that he sees a wider implication in his choices.

Another example might be Tori Amos covering “I’m Not In Love”. As she said in an interview, people grew up in the 1970s and 80s slow-danced to this song, not really listening to the lyrics. She covered it to point out how the meaning of it changes when it’s sung by a woman. What opinions do we have about a woman who sings, “I’m not in love, so don’t forget it. It’s just a silly phase I’m going through, and just because I call you up, don’t get me wrong, don’t think you’ve got it made. I’m not in love, no no, it’s because…I like to see you, but then again, that doesn’t mean you mean that much to me.” How do we feel about her compared to how we might feel about a man singing the same thing.

And then there is the more obvious commentary of “Real Men”.

For me, aside from just wanting to tell good stories with characters that I like, I enjoy the challenging nature of writing away from expectations and exploring how changing the sex, gender, sexuality of characters changes the consequences of certain behaviors within relationships. As I said, this is only the tip of the iceberg, but it’s a nice fat tip. Enjoy it. (Heh. See what I did there? LOL!)