Have you ever considered creating your own gender? Clemson University students explored this phenomenon by embarking on a “Create Your Own Gender Adventure” workshop on Wednesday.
Clemson’s Harvey and Lucinda Gantt Multicultural Center hosted the event, which featured Lara Americo, a transgender activist and founder of Comic Girl Coffee, which is an “anti-capitalist space that uses the non-profit model to support community building,” according to its website.
Americo campaigns for greater rights for the LGBTQ community through TEDX, the ACLU, and Change.org.
“We create gender every day whether we realize it or not,” claims the event description. “When we wake up, with clothes and mannerisms, we perform and create gender.”
“Gender!” Americo exclaimed at the event. “It takes so much energy, so we need to eat, we need to sustain ourselves so we can keep up this performance that we put on every single day.”
Five students and four adults attended Americo’s presentation, sitting at tables surrounding the activist. Americo mixed and matched clothes from a pile to model “new genders.” The transgender activist selected two volunteers to pick out a shirt, pants, makeup, and accessories to assemble various outfits, while the audience attempted to guess what type of gender each piece of clothing represented.
“As soon as you wake up, think about all the things you do to prepare to walk outside of the house. You have all these clothes, all these products that you bought, all these different things that you use to create your identity and by default you use to create your gender expression: your blend of masculinity and femininity,” Americo explained.
“So, we’re gonna do it right now. We’re gonna create something. Are there only two genders? Is it just male and female? Or are genders infinite…and can we create infinite genders based on our emotions and our feelings for today?”
Americo dressed in a variety of clothes to mix and match styles, including fox-covered tights, cargo pants, pink cat ears, and a loose-fitting striped shirt.