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  WINDY CITY TIMES

T in the Life: Ronen Mark
2012-11-07

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Identifies as

Transgender, Genderqueer, Genderfluid

Pronouns

He/him/his or ze/hir/hirs

Neighborhood

Edgewater

Life's work

"Music and performance are my life's work. I've been a singer and performer all my life. Within the last five years I've set aside mainstream theatrical ambitions, picked up a guitar and begun to sing my own song, both literally and figuratively. I have a solo album which will be released soon, as well as a Time Lord rock band called Time Crash ( www.timecrashband.com ). Oh yeah, did I mention my rampant geekery yet?"

Hobbies

"Journal-based online roleplaying, reading science books for fun, climbing trees, cooking, watching British people on television."

When did you start questioning gender?

"The point at which I started questioning my assigned gender is difficult to pin down. I do remember deciding to label myself a 'tomboy' in elementary school. From puberty onward, there was an indefinable, nagging sense of wrongness that shows itself now in old diary entries and drawings I did of myself with a flat chest. I knew for years that 'girl' and 'woman' felt wrong, but 'boy' and 'man' didn't feel right enough to necessitate a change. It wasn't until my early twenties that I learned the term 'genderqueer' and my world opened up."

Do you have a coming out story?

"My 'coming out story,' as a whole, is ongoing. What I have so far is a great deal of small, individual coming out stories involving various friends and family members. They are largely positive, and for that I know I am fortunate. It gets a little bit easier every time."

What is the best thing about being gender-variant?

"Knowing that I am and owning it."

Whom do you admire most?

"Anyone who can manage to live their life without apologizing for it."

Do you consider yourself an activist?

"I applaud those who are fighting the fight for social change in the streets, but I'm not often one of them. If I'm any sort of activist, I'm the sort that asserts my views simply by living day to day the way I do."

How do you explain the way you feel about gender to others?

"People assume that gender is a strict spectrum of male to female, but actually, from a nonlinear, nonsubjective viewpoint, it's more like a big ball of wibbly-wobbly, gendery-wendery… stuff."

Photo by Elijah J. Burnett

To nominate a person for T in the life, email: Kate Sosin sosin@windycitytimes.com


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