Word of the week: liminal

May 10, 2008

“Liminal”: according to Ask Oxford (the online Compact OED), it means either relating to a transitional or initial stage or at a boundary or threshold, but I really like William Gibson’s explanation, referring to ‘liminal spaces’ he says: “They’re not even places, they’re thresholds that lead you into someplace else. I always find those interesting. Often there’s literally nothing going on in thresholds, it’s not the room, it’s not the house, but you can’t get into the house or room without going through the threshold.” (Via)

The concept has been in the back of my mind for a few days now. After my recent stint as Guest Blogger at The F Word came to an end, I was surprised to find myself in just such a liminal space. The problem was, I didn’t know what threshold I was standing on, or what lay beyond. I had a hunch that writing was going to be part of it: I have been keeping a personal Journal about my transition since 2006 and it has helped me realise that there were – are – things I needed to write about, matters with some bearing on my personal politics which I believe would also make a useful contribution to the wider debate about how transsexual women are viewed by, and contribute to, contemporary society.

Blogging at TFW had really helped me to start thinking about, not only feminist issues, but also feminism as an ideology, and how my experience as a trans woman informed my thinking, and vice versa. So I’m really delighted to have been invited to rejoin the team as a regular blogger; hopefully the rusty wheels which have begun to turn in my mind can gather a little momentum and my thoughts find an outlet there. I am still in search of a personal belief system, my own trans feminism, and I hope that by posting there we can all engage in a useful dialog that will help us to see things in a different light, and from which, maybe, we can learn.

In my liminal state I wrote a couple of pieces, one of which I’ve cross-posted there. It’s primarily a reflection on the way my Guest Blogger residency has modified the way I see feminism, and I originally planned to make it my farewell post – how things change in such a short time… So I apologise for any repetition to my friends, co-bloggers and any others who may recognise the content, but I think it’s a useful point for picking up the pieces before we move on to other discussions, other topics around the intersections and overlaps between feminism and trans* issues.

So here are some random thoughts from the past few days; I hope that they are of some interest and I look forward to posting at TFW more regularly in future.

So long and thanks for all the fish

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Cross-posted at The F Word on 11 May 2008

©2008 Helen G

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