I have often been told, "Real men do _____" or "Women don't do ______." I am sure you've heard similar comments and can easily fill in the blanks for yourselves.

Such ideas are what I ask people to confront with this photo project. To write their gender, or some words about gender on a piece of plastic, and pose with it. I do this so that through my photographs, the world can have a safe space to be, share, and learn. It is my desire that the world become a more welcoming place for all genders and gender expressions. Gender DiverCity is, in some ways, activism through art.

Here on Below the Belt, I will share a photo or group of photos from Gender DiverCity with you each month. This first set is of M. Fire, a beloved friend and author, who had some unexpected things to say about gender. They were all taken in December 2007, at my home in Phoenix, AZ. I must admit, I expected her to simply write "Female." I should have known better than to form expectations. People's gender identities are often much more complex than they may seem on the surface.

Army of Me 01

Army of Me 02

Is this Me 01

Is this Me 02

Sean-Michael joins us from http://genderdivercity.blogspot.com

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