I was in the middle of a post about Lauren Duca, but that can obviously wait. As you can tell by the title, this is one of the most lulztastic things I’ve ever seen in my life. In short, Zoe Quinn has decided that she’s no longer a woman, and in fact, never has been. Welp, I guess that clears GamerGate of the whole “harassment of women in game development” thing. Glad to know I wasn’t a part of any nastiness like that. Feels good, man.
I’m honestly not sure what Ms. Quinn is saying. In fact, I wanted to say this means she’s a transexual, but I don’t know if that’s quite right. Of course, in reality, Zoe is still a woman. It doesn’t matter what she says here. But, I’m trying to think like a nutter for a second.
Speaking of nuts, here’s some of her post (from Tumblr, of course)…
I knew I loved women early in life. It wasn’t any major revelation, because to me, gender seemed to be such an arbitrary line to draw between what you were and weren’t attracted to. It was a non-issue, because I legitimately didn’t think in those terms. But there was an easy model for this, a name I knew, I was Bisexual and that was fine. I fell in with the local lgbtqa+ folks and I started learning about other letters. I’m painfully aware of how misguided I was initially when I started listening to trans people, because the concept of switching one gender for another made no sense to me. I didn’t understand how anyone could “feel” like a man or a woman, because I didn’t feel like either and was projecting. Thankfully I stuck to listening and not talking, and after a while the reality sunk in for me – it’s not them, it’s me. Gender wasn’t a thing to me, any more than infrared light is, but that doesn’t make those things any less real, it just means my eyes don’t work on that spectrum.
Unlike Bisexuality, I didn’t have any easy models. I didn’t know anyone who felt the same way, I hadn’t seen anyone like that in popular culture. I had dated trans people and while we could bond over some of the ways that our bodies felt like aliens to us, it felt like they knew how they would change themselves but I didn’t know where to start, and I didn’t want to add more gender-based exhaustion and work onto my partners so I just… never said anything about that part of myself. I never said anything to just about anyone because I felt caught between people who wouldn’t understand and would likely treat me with fear or disgust, or people who knew all too well what it’s like to look down and see someone else, but already had to put up with entirely too much shit and didn’t need me taking up spaces for people who needed them more.
I don’t even know where to begin, so I’ll just let Zoe continue the crazy.
I did drag shows with friends where I’d dress up as an aging used car salesman with sequined flame boxers. Another friend said she had a welcoming speech ready for whenever I was gonna come out as trans just in case. But still, I didn’t want to be a man. That wasn’t the missing puzzle piece for me…
Performing masculinity didn’t feel entirely safe, but I would just play it off as being butch that day if ever asked about it. But being able to perform it at all – to play with it – was a huge step towards lessening my dysphoria and self-loathing. Looking at my gender presentation, my fashion, and my body as something to be worked on or decorated, to try to re-write it to say something, took a lot of the sting out of my hatred of it. In customizing it, it felt like something that was “mine” a bit more than the alien meat suit I had been trapped in…
All the women and girls who had told me they’d looked up to me or found something inspiring in my stubbornness to continue making games despite gendered bullshit thrown my way, what would I tell them? It seemed so important for other people that I continue to be read as a woman, and I didn’t want to piss on the parade of people who already are being pissed on from nine other directions.
What would she tell the little girls…who have never heard of Zoe Quinn? This was her pressing concern. God, this woman is the most pretentious person I think I’ve ever seen. Get over yourself, Zoe. Or Zack, or whatever the hell you’re calling yourself these days.
She goes on to talk about a “binder.” I thought of Mitt Romney’s binder full of women, but no, it’s a breast binder so that her chest can be flattened out. It was pretty flat anyway, so I imagine that wasn’t much of a problem to begin with.
If I now no longer count as a “woman in tech”, maybe that’s ok, because maybe there’s other people who aren’t men or women that need to feel less alone too. Maybe the fact that I’m still treated as a woman in tech is enough, and my actual gender doesn’t detract from that.
So here it is:
I don’t know what I am yet, but I know what I’m not.
I’m not straight. I’m not cis, and I don’t think I can keep pretending to be cis just to get by. I’m not a man. I’m not a woman. I don’t want to be a man. I don’t want to be a woman. I don’t ever want to have the pronouns conversation because I feel equally apathetic to being called “he” or “she” so I guess if you just want to be accurate go for “they” but I won’t be offended by any. I’m not a crossdresser. I do have gender dysphoria. I don’t have an ideal self in mind. I don’t know if I want hormones or surgery, but I don’t think so because I don’t think that they’d help me move forward, since it still seems like you have two options there. I’m not well versed in what comes next, and I’m not immune to fucking up, but I’m not going to shrug off that responsibility and will do everything I can to do this the right way and make up for it when I failed at that. I’m not ever willing to speak for anyone else’s experiences or lives, unless they’ve specifically asked me to…
I would, however, like to start working toward capturing a fraction of the magic of David Bowie or Prince or any of the number of the queer genderfucking icons we lost last year. There are some extremely stylish shoes that need filling.
Yes, Quinn is going to fill the shoes of David Bowie and Prince. What an overload of self-important delusion, goodness gracious.
Despite what Zoe says in her post, this isn’t actually the first time she’s talked about this insanity. You can check this Twitter thread from last fall if you want to know more about that score. Personally, I don’t. I just came here to laugh at the absurdity that is Zoe Quinn, as well a celebrate the fact that GamerGate has just been exonerated. It’s a beautiful day.
2017 is off to a hell of a start. 2016 better watch its back.
NOTE: Alex Lifschitz could not be reached for comment.