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#255 Disgusting (Gay Pride)

On page 18 of the Amsterdam pride magazine you’ll find the cartoon that I made especially for the festival.
I really wonder whether non-trans people actually understand the joke. Here’s the English translation:

~

In a universe, not far away from this one, the bosoms have escaped the hospital, after they were removed from their transman…
-“Where are we now?…”
-“This looks like Amsterdam.”
-“How odd: those men do not have any scars at all…”
-“That’s disgusting…”

~

Yes, it’s basically a condescending sneer towards cis men and the perception of their bodies being ‘normal’ or ‘real’ as opposed to the scarred bodies of trans people. Enjoy.

~

JiroStripAGP700web

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news · Sketch

News: Amsterdam Gay Pride

Tagline in Dutch: twee afgekeurde schetsen en 1 teaser.

I have new zines and cartoons coming up, but many of them are going to be in Dutch. For the past year I’ve been thinking about quitting the Bosoms and moving on with other series, such as The Qualiens and my attempt to start a more personal graphic novel type of style.
But damn… Those two little bosoms remain quite popular… And people still ask about my plans for a transgender comicbook, so I’ve decided to continue them and explore the Dutch-language market a bit.
The next big thing that’s going to happen is their publication in the official Amsterdam Gay Pride 2014 magazine – thousands of these will be printed and distributed in the Netherlands as well as in Belgium in all LGBT venues, so watch out for that. Most likely my work will be the only visible transgender item in there, even though this year there will be the very first Transgender Pride in Amsterdam. The latter sounds like there will be a separate trans* pride parade, but… it looks like it’s just 1 film screening + a breakfast in a church + an information stand.
In this post you’ll find: a picture of my own face while I’m working on the final selection + the sketches of the 2 (Dutch) cartoons that did not make it.
I don’t want to post the final version yet, you’ll just have to wait until august, when all the condoms are dredged out of the canals.

UPDATE: view the finished comic here!

Teaser for the unfinished Amsterdam pride cartoon.
Teaser for the unfinished Amsterdam pride cartoon.

~

Since the dawn of time homo sapiens have uttered their ultimate mating call: let's fuck.
“Since the dawn of time homo sapiens have uttered their ultimate mating call: let’s fuck.”

~

Why do we need unifying LGBTQIA prides? Let's have super specific separate prides instead.
Why do we need unifying LGBTQIA prides? Let’s have super specific separate prides instead.

~

_

Cartoon

How I became feminist after becoming male.

Photo by Etta.
~   Photo by Etta.
This is the text I read out at Zsa Zsa Zine on march 8th.

On this “international women’s and women-identified-gendersoup” day it may seem out of place for someone like me to speak out. To put it simple: I really did live life as a girl and a woman completely, and in full immersion until the age of 33, since then I’ve been able to present as male and be totally invisible in public space in this new skin, this facade of calm gentlemen rationality.
Evidently I am a transman of a peculiar persuasion: I will never claim I was never a woman.

My wish would be that, besides international women’s day, in future there will be a widely promoted international day of feminism, so this opens up the day to male and male-presenting allies who acknowledge women’s struggles (and male struggles) and at the same time open up men’s eyes to the possibility that, even though you might have a lot of testosterone, there’s really no need to use this as an excuse for all sorts of horny behaviour.
Since that big day of ‘feminism-4-all’ is not the case yet, let me start off by reading to you this tiny excerpt from Julia Serano’s “Whipping Girl – a transsexual woman on sexism and the scapegoating of femininity” (2007).

See? It’s very short, so don’t be frightened. She says:

The idea that all anti-trans discrimination arises from the fact that, as transgender people, we “transgress binary gender norms” does not resonate completely with my personal experiences. As a somewhat eccentric kid, I was given plenty of leeway to opt out of boys’ activities and to cultivate an androgynous appearance and persona. I was sometimes teased for being different, for being an atypical or unmasculine boy, but it was nothing compared to the venom that was reserved for those boys who acted downright feminine. And now, as an out transsexual woman, I find that those who wish to ridicule or dismiss me do not simply take me to the task for the fact that I fail to conform to gender norms – instead, more often than not, they mock my FEMININITY.
From the perspective of an occasional gender bender or someone on the female-to-male spectrum, it might seem like binary gender norms are at the core of all anti-trans discrimination. But most of the anti-trans sentiment that I have had to deal with as a transsexual woman is probably better discribed as MISOGYNY.

I agree with Julia Serano: being on the ‘woman’ spectrum of things is a lot more troublesome than living and being perceived as male.
I could give you tons of examples on how a week is full of tiny gender moments, like when I call a random company with a complaint now and how they immediately listen to me, which was not the case when I was female. Ofcourse in this example people will say: “that’s not a gender thing, it’s just because you’re more at ease with yourself so you’re more convincing now then when you were still a girl!” Well, let me tell you: I have NEVER been at ease with myself and I am not expecting this to miraculously change any time soon… This is not dramatic in any way, it’s just that my entire being is full of road-blocks; don’t worry about it.

Anyway, I’d like to end this with something that happened last week. I could have taken an example from every week because yes, as I said: little weird gender moments happen a lot. Like yesterday, when I was sitting in the public library and reading Julia Serano’s book. Some guy, who took a chair besides me, said the following odd phrase to me “You’re reading a book about girls! Excellent!” and triumphantly he gave me the thumbs up. I really have no idea what he meant with that (did he think it was a book about dating or perhaps a kinky book? Because of the title “Whipping Girl”?) I just looked at him oddly and fiercely annoyed. He blushed and went away.

Let’s get back to last week. It was midday and I was standing in front of a gay bar with an acquaintance. I wish to present this situation as a case without proof. (See scene representation).

gender-scene
Gender-scene representation

Picture the gay bar here (G), the sidewalk here and here (S), me here (A) and my female companion here (B). We were talking when we were interrupted by a youngsters yell (coming from the red arrow’s direction) “hey sir! hey sir!” he walked right past my friend and asked me “will you please buy me some whiskey in that store there if I give you money?” I immediately said “No.” He asked “why not?” while twisting his feet insecurely. I replied “because I don’t want to, that’s enough reason” he quickly left and crossed the street (again passing my lady comrade) towards two bearded gay guys (C) and asked them the same question. I was stunned and surprised and so was my companion. I said “why didn’t he ask YOU? He just passed you without even considering you. Is it because you’re a woman??” Yes, this must have been the case. I guess: if you don’t grow hairy crap on your face, you’re probably incapable of A: having money or B: spending money or C: dealing with money. I felt the urge to shout at the kid “why don’t you ask HER? You have a lot to learn little boy!” but if I would have done that I would have sounded like an old patriarch and I don’t want that…

So you see. Before transitioning I was not a feminist. I simply did not notice all the micro aggressions, but now I see them every day and my eyeballs drop out of my sockets on a once-a-week basis.
The moral of this story is: only if you grow hairy crap on your face, you will be awarded with emancipation.

Thanks for listening.

– Jiro Ghianni – © 2014.

Jiro Ghianni is a Dutch genderqueer transman, of Rotterdam descent, currently living and studying webdevelopment in Amsterdam. Jiros’ pronoun is ‘it.’ It initiated TranScreen, blogs about gay cruising for transmen and publishes The Bosoms’ webcomics.

news

Busy as a bee

This weekend I will be presenting dialogues between the winners of the Pride Photo Award and related guests. Come to the Oude Kerk on saturday and sunday in my new hometown Amsterdam and ask the artists anything you want!
Next week I am off to Berlin again, where I’ll do a solo multimedia performance (with me in full trans nudity, oh my) at Wigstoeckl on saturday octobre 6th. RSVP to their Facebook event with the cute queer muppets flyer. I hope it will be a good one; I haven’t been able to practice anything yet because I’m still very busy moving into my new hometown and trying to reconstruct my apartment into something habitable.
And a nice surprise: there were two articles focusing on me and The Bosoms in LGBT art newsletter ‘GLIMP!’
glimp
If you like to be put on that Dutch LGBT-art mailinglist, send an email to stichtingquast[a]kpnmail.nl.
Oh and the new cartoons: I have a few new ones, but they’re still in relocation boxes…

Cartoon

#233 More interesting

233

Again I’ve gotten the opportunity (because I’m so interesting) to present a transgender themed film at a filmfestival.
This time it is the absolutely wonderful gem Mía (2011) – I’ll be having a talk to the director Javier van de Couter at World Cinema Amsterdam in Rialto.
Go see it if you can!
This sunday, august 19th at 19:45h.

Cartoon

Cartoon #230 Nature

230

In about one and a half week I’m off to Seattle, to visit the Translations transgender filmfestival. It’s always of excellent quality so I’m sure I’ll see things that are fit to show at TranScreen.
I visited the festival before but my stay there was too short to do any sightseeing and this time i’m doing things differently – I’m staying longer and I’m taking a Greyhound bus to Mount Vernon where I’ll be renting a bike and plan to check out the scenic route towards the North Cascades National Park. I’ll also go to Vancouver, but for only two days – still the nature I’ll see there will be far more impressive than the zero ‘old-growth’ forests that are left in The Netherlands.
Apart from outdoorsy nature, I’ll also hope to get acquainted with human nature in Seattle more: there is a transman BDSM night in the CSPC (Center for Sex Positive Culture) where transmen and their admirers can cruise and play. I am so much in awe of this. I don’t see this happening in the Netherlands soon. The majority of transmen here don’t like being seen as trans and certainly usually do not wish to be admired for that. I personally have no problem with being seen as a sex object – especially if it is in a setting where I myself actually am also viewing others as a side dish. Nothing wrong with that. I think playing with admirers can actually be quite empowering. It’s different from being in a 24/7 relationship, which usually comes with a more in depth personal bonding. But… not everyone wants a relationship! For some people this is just not in their nature.

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Cartoon #229 Fetish

look

Oh dear, oh dear, you really should not have looked at this cartoon… Now you’ve made the bosoms orgasm!
There are other comic strips out there, that are way more brilliant!
If you want to see good examples, read further (NSFW) and/or you should have visited Get a room! on friday april 20th, in Utrecht, because they showed the documentary ‘Sex in the Comix’ – scroll down for my winning coloring book page! 🙂

The power of comics should not be underestimated. For example the ones by Tom of Finland really totally defined gay male kink subculture. His visualisation of the idealized albeit unrealistic masculine body was truly pioneering.
Currently my absolute favorite is Oglaf.com – it is SO VERY GOOD it genuinely makes me doubt wether I should continue making cartoons at all… The way Trudy Cooper draws them is so very well lined, very well colored, perfect shadows, so very queer friendly and with well timed punchlines…. It makes my work useless.
Click here to read a good review about Oglaf, it is absolutely awesome and picking up fans at a great pace. “Her wit is sharp, quick and delivered like a ninja delivers a killing blow. Only the ninja usually has no pants and everyone laughs instead of dies.” Apart from being funny, I actually do find it erotically enjoyable as well.

If you look for them, there are plenty of online webcomics out there that you can click and read for free. Here are some I can recommend:

* There is also Nic Buxom. Nic is a pro-Domme and has a great sense of humor! Her work is not adult in that there’s a lot of sex going on but adult in the sense that it deals with Fetishes and BDSM topics.

* Bloomin’Faeries is not as funny in my opinion and since not ONE single penis has been shown, it feels a bit too hetero. The activities of a busty and mischief-prone fairy in a fantastical version of the Middle Ages drive the story; the comic follows the human characters and their poorly chosen actions. The art gets better (and more colored) every episode.

* Girls With Slingshots is just a great comic for people over the age of 18! And while it doesn’t depict too much graphic sex, it does have a dominatrix, adult stores, a magazine called Pussy Whipped, and various drunken shenanigans. The characters grow on you and one of them feeds into my librarian-girls-with-glasses-fetish.

* The Thin H-line, is a lesser favorite for me but occasionally smart. With black-and-white drawings. Can be a bit depressing sometimes.

* Menage-a-3 occasionally has some sex scenes, it’s very gay friendly but mostly hetero-gazed – even though its main storyline is about a cute riotgrrl and a nerdy guy who both dig the same lusciously boobed maiden. The quality of the jokes differs a lot throughout the episode, but the main quality is: it’s very well drawn in black-and-white! In a very nice slick modern manga-like style.

* Chester 5000 XYV is fairly unique. In an expressive Art Deco like style, with little dialogue. It’s hetero but I’m a sucker for robots so that’s why I like it.

* Patrick Fillion is also very noteworthy, since he’s kind of the new Tom of Finland right now. Obviously his work is mostly meant for pleasuring oneself, storylines are less important. And: it’s not funny! I prefer humor. Con: it’s not free.

* The last one I want to show you ‘Curvy‘ is a kind of graphic novel, from a women’s perspective, with an artistic independant feel to it. All episodes can be clicked for free.
Don’t expect big belly laughs here, although Curvy does get a lot lighter from chapter ‘World 2-1’ onwards.

Warning: don’t try to read the episodes of the cartoons I mentioned all above in one go, and if you do: don’t blame me for your procastination!

UPDATE: The ‘Get a Room!’ edition of friday april 20th at Cult Dealer Enzo was great! Really enjoyed the film (lots of famous comic illustrators and lots I actually did not know. Among which: Robert Crumb, Milo Manara, Ralf König, Aurelia Aurita, Aude Picault and Zep).
After the screening Madame Julie led a workshop on erotic coloring pages. The room went silent. All adults were coloring ferociously with the tongues from their mouths. At the end of the evening, unexpectedly we were asked to rate everyones’ colorings with cute little stickers (like in kindergarten) and… I won, I won, I won! I’m so honoured!
There were lots of other pretty colorings too, like the pirate with the fleas and the rainbow penis.
Not-Safe-For-Work photo-impression here:

My winning work:

3

Lovely rainbow penis:

1

Lord of the fleas:

2

This was the last ‘Get a room!’ of the season but make sure to catch ‘Drift‘ countering the Midzomergracht festival and view the TranScreen screenings in Cinema Hooft!

Cartoon

Cartoon #228 Popular

228

Finally the long awaited greatest hits album of The Bosoms will be available at your local gender music store.
The album, aptly named “The Greatest Tits”, contains such classics as:
1. I Will Never Leave You And Your Dildo
2. Please Miss Surgery Man
3. Stop Dripping In The Darkroom
4. I’m In Love With Your Nipplehole
5. Lay All Your Testosterone On Me
6. You Make My Bandage Wet
7. Masturbation Is My Boyfriend
8. You’ve Got The Magic Bust
9. Copper Thieves Stole My Syringe
10. Sex Toys R’ Us
11. How Is Your Mammary Gland?
12. We Did It In The Ambulance

Now back to reality:

I have made a completely new page that shows the 25 most popular cartoons of The Bosoms series, so it’s a easier to navigate and get a quick impression.
Enjoy!

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Cartoon #227 Enviro-porn

227

Wouldn’t that be a great idea?
In fact: let’s make ALL porn sites have a black background!
Since 90% of the website consists of porn anyway this would be a great and massively effective way to save energy.
When I thought of the name for this cartoon, I started googling for it (with Blackl ofcourse!) and I found this humorous post about ‘Fuck for Forest’.
Make activism sexy!

PS: There is still a lot of stigma and taboo surrounding sex work. I’m proposing a discount for transgender customers! It’s not so easy to enjoy sex when you’re body has changed due to hormones and/or operations.
Therefor my plan is to do some research among sex workers and to try and find out if they (the working girls and the gigolo’s) are prepared to have transmen as customers.
Find more about this on my now completely new trans-inclusion ‘TRANSGOLD’ website here.

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Cartoon #226 Opportunities

I made this cartoon because the thought puzzles me. I probably would not have these opportunities for public display if I would still have my bosoms on me…
I gave a lecture on transgender imagery in film, this monday the 12th of march at Cinema Kriterion in Amsterdam. My short lecture functioned as a kind of introduction to the film screening of Hedwig and the Angry Inch (one of my favorite movies ever. I love to watch it over and over again, and no: I don’t think it’s a film that portrays transgender people accurately. That’s not what it’s for. It’s a glamrock sing-a-long!).
+ This wednesday I will be speaking and debating as a part of the ‘gender and sexual citizenship’ panel at the University of Amsterdam which I also mentioned in my ‘Drag Yourself‘ post. I wonder if the future of gender/sexual citizenship will also be a subject at the new Queeristan event this may.

UPDATE I: the text (in Dutch) of my tiny ‘transgender in film’-lecture can be read here (quick PDF download, 36kb).
UPDATE II: And here is the text (in Dutch) of my Mosse Panel ‘Gender- and sexual citizenship’-speech (quick PDF download, 44kb).

Ofcourse I like being invited for these kinds of things but it also feels a bit odd: am I the token transsexual now? Is there really such a great divide between who is trans and who is not?
I once jokingly said, when I was presenting during the Pride Photo Awards: “The only reason I was asked to do this, is because I am transgender myself, and I have no other competences what so ever.”

Anyway: watch Hedwig! If you’ve never seen it, you’ll love it, and if you’ve already seen it: you know you want to again.

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Gouden Kabouter Awards

59(English below)

Stem op De Boezems!
Klik vóór 19 maart op deze stemlink van de Gouden Kabouter Awards.
Je ziet daar een wit vlak, met onderin een pijltje naar rechts – dit kun je doorklikken en invullen met wie jij wilt. In ieder geval doorskippen totdat je bij de “OPPER KABOUTER” votes komt.
En vul de naam ‘The Bosoms transgender stripserie’ of ‘Jiro’ in met een link naar http://www.thebosoms.com
klik verder (stem daarbij ook op Lee Machetti! De enige drag king tussen de queens) en vul op het eind je mailadres in.
Steun De Boezems!
Want sinds ze geen BH meer kunnen dragen, hebben ze geen ondersteuning meer.
Doe het voor hun mooie Bambi oogjes…

~~~

Vote for The Bosoms!
Click this link to vote in the Kabouter Industry Variety Awards before march the 19th.
You will see a white surface, with an arrow at the bottom right – this you can click through and fill in if you know of anything you’d like to nominate. In any case, click further (and along the way also vote for Lee Machetti! The only drag king among the queens) until you reach the “OPPER KABOUTER” votes.
And enter the name ‘The Bosoms transgender webcomics’ or ‘Jiro’ with a link to http://www.thebosoms.com
Click Continue and enter your email in the end.
Support The Bosoms!
Because since they no longer wear bra, they no longer have support.
Do it for their Bambi eyes…