by Gaby Marraro
|GendeRevolution is creating safe spaces on campus.|
Last Friday, I attended an even sponsored by Columbia University’s club GendeRevolution called GenderFuck. It was a trans, queer, body-positive, underwear dance party hosted in Lerner. The dress code was completely-clothing optional, as long as everyone was wearing underwear, and anyone who is a part of the LQBTQ community, including allies, were welcome to attend. Its purpose was to promote a positive space free from any and all discrimination related to sexuality and body-type. There were students dressed in drag, bras, underwear, and everything in between.
When I first learned about the event, I wasn’t sure what to expect or if I would be comfortable enough to reveal so much of myself to such a large group of strangers. But I was comforted by the positive and even more welcoming description, so I decided to ask a couple of friends to go along with me. Upon entering, every participant was asked to read and sign a list of ground rules about respecting all gender identities and expressions, not taking pictures, and the importance of comfort and consent. After that, I headed to the free clothes check and took off everything I was comfortable with.
Once I got to the dance floor, I totally forgot I was wearing only a bra and underwear in a sea of people, because everyone seemed so happy and free, inspiring me to feel the same. The whole night was a really empowering experience. Not once did I feel self-conscious or that people were judging me or looking at me negatively. I was surrounded by people who just wanted to feel comfortable in their own skin, and the space allowed that to happen.
While I certainly understand being unsure about attending GenderFuck when it comes around again next year, it was an experience I wouldn’t replace. I felt free, confident, and beautiful, and once I was able to get past the initial hesitation, it was an amazing time. Look out for announcements about the event next fall, and be sure to go!
Gaby Marraro is a first-year at Barnard and a staff writer for The Nine Ways of Knowing.
Image courtesy of Pinterest.