Heads up, this content is 10 years old. Please keep its age in mind while reading.

Update! The fundraiser is live and we’re over here now: http://genderplayful.tumblr.com

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Wow. Okay. Hi. So it sounds like you want a Genderplayful Marketplace to happen. Awesome.

I’ve been humbled and overwhelmed by the letters, comments, tweets, likes, views, posts, and reblogs from the last 5 days. Ya’ll are phenomenal.

And videos are a lot to ask. I know. So far I’ve received four of them. I can work with that, but really, it would make a huge difference to our upcoming fundraising effort if we could bring in more. Also: all of the videos I’ve received so far appear to be from transmasculine crowd (trans men, butch/androgynous women). These are fantastic, and please keep them coming, but it would also mean a lot to the balance of the project if we could pull in some representing trans women, femmes (men, women, and so on), drag queens, and other genderfabulous faces.

So here’s where we get serious. If you’ve been thinking about making a short video of yourself explaining why this marketplace is important to you, go do it. Get it done. Go go go! Don’t worry too much about making it clean and perfect — I’ll be editing it down to chunks and weaving it together with other videos. You will be beautiful.

The best way to send them appears to be through Google Docs. Just log in, hit “Upload”, get it up there, and then hit “Share.” Share it with genderplayful@gmail.com.

For those who might be new to this conversation, here’s my overview of the project, complete with me sitting naked in a towel:

And here’s a small handful of the things people have written…

Why is a marketplace for androgynous clothing important? Because of people like me.

I want to be able to dress up, feel comfortable, feel like myself on a daily basis. I want to be able to have variety in my clothing styles besides just “jeans and a t-shirt” while mainting an androgynous image. I want suits and dresses and kilts and dress shirts that don’t accentuate the fact that I was born biologically female. I want to be able to find a place to buy and replace binders and packers of all varieties. I want a place where boots and shoes are bought and sold that fit my feet and don’t have a high heel.

To those trying to get this project off the ground, and turn this into a reality, I am grateful.

You’ve been to the department stores…

Here is an example of a genetic male androgyne shopping experience:

Go into any department store and look for clothes in the mens section, and you will find the following colors: beige, brown, gray, black, and navy blue. If you’re lucky you’ll find some red, forest greens, or maybe even a colorful Hawaiian shirt. The only place you’ll ever find a sense of color is in men’s dress shirts, but they all of the same cut, and usually are solids or pinstriped if you’re lucky – no scoop neck, V-neck, or something innovative and fun. If you want teal trousers or a paisley patterned shirt then you’re out of luck. Also, the men’s clothing isn’t fitted – it’s meant to fit baggy and not show off your figure. Fitted shirts or slacks are a rarity for men in department stores.

So you go shop in the women’s section and find the color and pattern you’ve been looking for. But the sizes aren’t big enough, the tail of the shirt is too short to tuck into your pants, the darts in the shirt are useless on your flat chest. The trousers would look cute on you, but don’t fit right around the hips, so you find a pair that does, but the pant cuffs are too short and barely cover your ankles.

I think there is a niche market for genderqueer fashion – the only other option I see is to break out my sewing machine and spend all of my free time making my own clothes, and I’m not that good at it anyway.

–Timi

Buying from our peers just feels better.

Where I get my stuff from matters to me. I like the idea of being able to dress the way I want to and buy from my community at the same time. I love the idea of a place where the genderqueer community could come together to swap second hands stuff that worked. I adore the idea of having a place to talk about how to make stuff fit or look cool with other people who get it. It would be fabulous to have a place where I could find people who made genderqueer stuff and support them in making my life a little bit easier.

I am also super excited about having a place where I could sell (or heck, give away) some of my funky femme clothes to my super beautiful funky femme brothers and sisters and siblings.

These are rocking my world, ya’ll. Keep the stories coming!

~ ~ ~

Update! The fundraiser is live and we’re over here now: http://genderplayful.tumblr.com

Heads up, this content is 11 years old. Please keep its age in mind while reading.
deviants online

I’m really excited, and really proud, of what’s starting to happen with Deviants Online.  Not familiar with it? No problem – here are the basics.

Deviants Online was started because, while there are plenty of social media resources for mainstream businesses, there just aren’t many (or any!) for us “deviants” – queer folk, artists, sex geeks, undergrounders, and others that don’t walk the straight and narrow. We wanted to create a way for us to network, learn from each other (and from guests who are experienced at handling the personal / professional / volunteer blend), teach each other, and talk about best practices for handling social media and online networking. Think – a Facebook tutorial for the queerly minded….a Twittering lesson for those who value their personal privacy but want to get the word out about their projects…ideas for blogging artists to get their work in front of more people…and other sexy things to do with Google.

While we’re having the workshops monthly in San Francisco, we wanted to make the conversations available to others who can’t attend, so we’re happy that we’ve got the edited recording of the December ’09 meeting up for your listening enjoyment. We give attendees a chance to chat “off record” and we edit out any mentions of identifying information that slip during the gathering, so what you’ll hear combines the amazing resources & information that come up during the discussion with a healthy respect and protection of personal privacy.

>> Listen to the first workshop here! <<

We’d love for you to join us in coming months – you can see a full schedule at the website. On January 12, Meitar “maymay” Moscovitz will be our featured guest for the next workshop. While we encourage donations to cover the cost of the meeting space, please don’t skip it if money’s an issue for you – we value your presence and energy far more than your money!

Any questions? Just ask…and please come check it out!

Heads up, this content is 11 years old. Please keep its age in mind while reading.

Someone I’m personally close to works at a marketing agency. She emailed me this morning, asking about how to contact bloggers for a campaign.  Here was my advice…

A number of bloggers are used to being contacted by marketers.  As a result, they can smell a good one from a bad one from a mile away.  Therefore, you should…

– Do your research. Don’t contact anyone whose blog is a bad fit, and if possible, make an effort to show that you get the topic and style of their blog when you approach them.  Contacting fewer people more personally will probably yield better results than contacting more people less personally.  The smaller newer bloggers might take anything, but the seasoned ones with real readership are very selective. If you treat them well and they like your products, they’ll expect to develop a relationship with you and be on your list for future offers.  It’s like being in a secret elite club.

– Have a single person on your team be their contact person.  They need to feel like they know someone.

– Speak in plain English and edit out any marketing language that may sound unnaturally excited or insincere. They need to feel like that contact person is a real human being that they could have a drink with.

– Don’t expect them to do you any favors.  They won’t blog about your product just because you ask them to — there needs to be something in it for them.  Offer something free to them that they’ll consider to be of value.  That might be the product itself, access to a really cool event, cash payment, something valuable that they can give away to readers on their blog through a contest that they create themselves, etc.

– Don’t ask them to blog positive things.  Ask them to speak honestly, and mean it.  They have to have your permission to speak negatively if they don’t like it.  (If they like and respect you, they won’t be jerks.)

– The FTC changed some rules this year, and bloggers now legally need to publicly disclose when they get free stuff or payment for a post.  Go look this up and read about it — bloggers will appreciate it if you know more about the rules than they do.

– Screwing up on any of the above will either result in being ignored or being publicly ranted about. They don’t really have a middle ground.

For contact info… Most bloggers have their email addresses listed on their blog somewhere, or at least provide a contact form.  Also try checking their sidebars for other blogs they like to read… that’ll clue you in on what the social circles are and who’s popular.  Also check who regularly has comments versus who doesn’t — that’s sometimes an indicator of popularity (tho really not always).

(Friends don’t let friends market badly to bloggers. Pass it on.)