Category Archives: Other Stuff

Introducing Genderplayful 2.0

Queer Glitter Resin Necklaces by RowdyBaubles on

Queer Glitter Resin Necklaces by RowdyBaubles on

Welcome to the next big thing! 

Genderplayful is a community project that aims to collaboratively solve wardrobe problems and inspire great fashion for anyone who doesn’t cleanly fit the roles, expectations, or body types of their assigned gender.

And today, we launch this as our new website. If you’ve been following our story, you know that this isn’t really a new website. We’ve been working on Genderplayful in one form or another for almost three years now.

Genderplayful 1.0 was a community marketplace for us to sell clothes to one another. We built it with a lot of volunteer help and a community fundraiser. It was a great idea, but it was also a bit too complicated for the budget we had in mind, and sadly, we couldn’t keep it up for very long. But whatever. Etsy and Ebay already exist. What we really want to do is share wardrobe solutions. And we can do that for a lot less money.

So allow us to introduce Genderplayful 2.0! We’re modeling this a bit off our sibling project, Genderfork — a supportive community for the expression of identities across the gender spectrum. We think we can use a similar approach to have a conversation about clothing, fashion, and just being able to leave the house in the morning.

In other words, if Genderfork is about people, then Genderplayful is about things.

At Genderplayful, we share what we’ve learned about how to make our appearances look the way we want them to look. We discuss how we’ve made clothing work for our bodies despite the fact that typical department stores seem to have no place for us. We recommend vendors who are friendly to people who don’t conform to the expectations of their genders, and who celebrate diversity in body types. We support each other and help each other navigate this world of creative self-expression and getting people to see us the way we see ourselves.

Wanna play?

The posts below are sample content from early submissions (along with some articles from the Genderplayful 1.0 community blog), but really, we’re just getting started here. And we need two big things to help us get off the ground:

1) Submissions!

Click the “Contribute” menu and find ways to help us out. As we kick this project off, what we’re most interested in is What are your favorite things to wear?, and What vendors or websites do you recommend? We invite you to start sharing whatever rings most true and important to you, so that others can connect with your experience and be inspired in their own explorations. (Please also take a look at our Community Guidelines for a few tips on the kind of values and culture we’re going for.)

2) Volunteers!

Do you want to help us out? We’re in the market for all kinds of volunteers right now, and so is Genderfork. We ask our volunteers to contribute a few hours a week, and to maintain high standards for representing diversity and building a supportive community. The roles available include blogging submissions, finding new content from the Internet, updating our social media feeds, helping to manage the team, moderating discussions, being an editor, and being a techie (and you generally only have to pick one). If you’d like to volunteer for either Genderfork or Genderplayful, just fill out this form so we know you’re interested, and we’ll get back to you when we can.

We hope you enjoy the next version of Genderplayful. Please take a minute to leave a supportive comment on our initial posts up to help get the conversation rolling!

Genderplayful Links Roundup 11.21.2012

Editor’s Note: This post is from the original Genderplayful Community Blog, back when we were also a marketplace.

Hey everyone! If, like me, you are currently trying to wrestle your way through one of the worst travel days in the USA, I wish you the very best of luck. If you are not, congratulations, and I hope your day is wonderful, and not full of overcrowded train cars and smashed toes.


- A 72-year-old grandfather, Liu Xianping, is modeling for his grandaughter’s online clothing boutique for women, and the Internet is falling for him. I confess, I’m kind of falling for him too. Here’s what he says in the article:

Why unacceptable (for someone like me to wear women’s clothes ? Modeling for the store is helping my granddaughter and I have nothing to lose. We were very happy on the day of the shooting. I’m very old and all that I care about is to be happy[.]

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Vendor Spotlight: One Raven Knits

Editor’s Note: This post is from the original Genderplayful Community Blog, back when we were also a marketplace.

Today I’m bringing you an interview with Alex, the talent behind One Raven Knits here on Genderplayful. Alex makes hand-felted hats and uses needle felting to cover them in swirling, organic patterns.

I asked Alex a few questions about One Raven Knits and about coming to Genderplayful:

Could you please tell us a bit about yourself and how you came to Genderplayful?
I live on the Massachusetts/ Connecticut border in the northeast United States with my wife and our dog. My passions are reading fantasy and science fiction novels, knitting, and watching British television. I’m a queer, atheist, introverted, geeky couch potato!

I heard about Genderplayful via tumblr early on when the project was being funded on Kickstarter. The mailing list kept me in the loop on Genderplayful’s progress, and when the site was up, I joined as a seller.

Why did you decide to go into business making hats? How did you learn to make them?
Making and selling hats is a hobby rather than a business for me. I hope this will change in the future.

I used to sell felted hats and other knit items on etsy, but I much prefer Genderplayful Marketplace’s philosophy.

I’m working on perfecting patterns for items other than hats. I want to craft inexpensive breast forms and packers for people who can’t afford — or don’t always need — expensive silicone prosthetics. As you can imagine, getting these products correct in size, look, and feel takes a lot of trial and error. Prototype felt breasts are scattered all over my house!

I’ve been knitting since 2004, when I taught myself because I wanted a Ravenclaw scarf in proper book colors. I learned to felt a few years later using online tutorials and kits from craft fairs and etsy sellers.

I prefer to create accessories rather than garments. They knit up quickly and are easy to vary in style and fit. Hats are perfect canvases for displaying the color and design possibilities in felt.

Do you have any fashion or style inspirations you’d like to share?

I’m not a very fashionable person — my uniform is a t-shirt and jeans — but I do have a background in the visual arts. It think this may be why I took to felting — felt projects can become wearable sculptures. Working with felt feels similar to working in paint or clay; it is a very malleable and forgiving medium.

Do you have any gender philosophies or inspirations you’d like to share?

Gender is also a malleable and forgiving medium.

Thanks for the interview, Alex!

I actually ened up buying one of Alex’s hats the every first time I signed on to Genderplayful. I was drawn to Alex’s work for two reasons: One, I love how the process of needle felting adds texture to the surface of the hat, making the swirls of color look like they’ve been embossed into the hat’s fabric.

Look at that texture. So cool.

And two, I love anything that lets me pick my own colors! I bought a hat in blue, black and green (to match my custom Converse) and after exchanging a few hex codes to make sure the color was just right, here is a process shot I got in my email:

And here’s the hat in action, saving me from freezing as the East Coast gets colder:

Thanks again!

Genderplayful Roundup 10.29.12

Editor’s Note: This post is from the original Genderplayful Community Blog, back when we were also a marketplace.

Hey all!

I’ve been to ground for a little while for a funeral and also an engagement (otherwise known as a whirlwind of emotion from all sides). Now Hurricane Sandy has arrived in Brooklyn, and my partner and I are hunkered down trying to squeeze the last little bits of internet access out of our computers before we lose power. If you’re in the same boat, here are some links! If you’re not in the path of the hurricane, hopefully these will prove a pleasant diversion for a Monday afternoon.

- Here’s an oldie but goodie from the Hairpin’s Scandals of Classic Hollywood series about Marlene Dietrich, including some really interesting thoughts about her gender presentation, as well as this gorgeous photo:

If you’re into that sort of thing, the entire “Scandals” collection is detailed, painstakingly researched, and fascinating.

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Genderplayful Cosplay at Comic Con

Editor’s Note: This post is from the original Genderplayful Community Blog, back when we were also a marketplace.

Here are some shots of mine from New York Comic Con this past weekend, of cosplayers having some fun with gender, or in some cases just plain having fun.

This Loki was trying to meet up with another Loki on the other side of the incredibly crowded convention hall:

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Genderplayful Roundup 10.11.12

Editor’s Note: This post is from the original Genderplayful Community Blog, back when we were also a marketplace.

Hey all!

I am way more excited about writing 10 11 12 in the title of this post than I should be.

Here’s a quick round-up of some links of interest that have passed my dashboard this week (though some of the links are older). This post style is unabashedly stolen from the Skepchick Quickies.

-    Gaultier’s new collection for Paris Fashion Week has a few interesting plays on the tailored suit; the shot that stood out to me is included below. The entire collection is full of interesting plays on androgyny, including garments that blend typically masculine and feminine silhouettes together, and a lot of models and outfits that avoid sensuality in favor of over-the-top color and styles.

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Hi! Nice to Meet You

Editor’s Note: This post is from the original Genderplayful Community Blog, back when we were also a marketplace.

Hi everyone!

I’m Sara Eileen, and I’ve just joined Genderplayful as a new blog editor. (We’re still looking for a few more blog editors, by the way; would you like to join me? Please get in touch with us!)

To start, here’s a little bit about me. I’m a color-obsessed, texture-loving compulsive crafter with a love of things that glitter, counterbalanced by a strong attraction to simplicity and a streak of butch identity that I’m still figuring out. I love layering different textures in the same color, mixing bright patterns together, wearing (and making) accessories, and I occasionally show up to places in sky-high leather heels. But then, I also spend a lot of my life in the same dark jeans, oversized button-front shirt and black motorcycle boots.



As a present to myself for my birthday last year, I ordered custom-color Converse sneakers, which is very easy to do and only a little more expensive than buying new, unmodified Converse:

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Trenchcoats and Superheroics

Editor’s Note: This post is from the original Genderplayful Community Blog, back when we were also a marketplace.
a child dressed as Wonder Woman mid-jump, reaching for the sky

We’re all toting super powers.
Some of us just reach higher with them.

In a flurry of black leather capes and jumpsuits, the superhero summer of 2012 is sadly over. Reading through The Fashion Harbinger’s rundown of the Avengers costumes, I was pleasantly surprised to realise that superheroes can be very reasonably dressed, especially compared to some of the more outrageous costumes that comics have inflicted on the world.

One staple of the superhero wardrobe is the trenchcoat ensemble. Trenchcoats hang comfortably on the frame of the body, don’t connote any particular expression of gender, and yet can be tweaked across styles to fit any sartorial preferences and gender presentations.

“Tintin in DC” by oinonio

Plus, they look badass.

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WorkWear, Part 1

Editor’s Note: This post is from the original Genderplayful Community Blog, back when we were also a marketplace.

Black-and-white photograph of a high-heeled shoe treading into carpet.

‘Looking professional’ is a phrase that never fails to set my teeth on edge. ‘Workwear’, ‘office attire’, or ‘formal dress’ are some of the most binarist categories of clothing, and they just don’t work for me because of that.

People who code or are read as female, for instance, are often pressured to present as femme in order to present as formal. (h/t to Emma for this gorgeous phrasing) In this post, some of the Genderplayful team members weigh in on this aspect of workwear binaries.

* * *

huimin says:

As s.e. smith writes:

There is an expectation, a demand, that working women dress fashionably. Not necessarily at the height of fashion, as runway looks wouldn’t be, as they say, work appropriate, but certainly neatly, elegantly. Dress codes are a snarled tangle to navigate when you’re supposed to be demure, but not drab, neat, but not flashy.

Whenever I have to dress up for a new setting – say an office job, or a formal presentation, or a dinner event – I become even more critical of my wardrobe. I am not a very femme person; I have some heels, some skirts, some dresses, and I wouldn’t have got them if I didn’t like them, but to present so explicitly as femme is a choice that I have to deliberate over, to be comfortable with. Continue reading

Steampunk Genderplay

Editor’s Note: This post is from the original Genderplayful Community Blog, back when we were also a marketplace.
A sepia photograph of a person wearing a beret and a flower-adorned suit standing in front of dinosaur bones.

Oxford Steampunk Art Exhibition. Photograph by Amanda Scrivener / flickr.

In the first issue of Neo-Victorian Studies in 2008, Rebecca Onion wrote: ‘Steampunk, a multi-textual aesthetic which first began to form in the late 1980s, imagines the world as it was during the early Victorian era, when steam power still fuelled machines.’ The steampunk aesthetic, which began as a subculture, has moved progressively towards the mainstream, helped in part by its appeal to crafters with the growing trend of DIY design. (Yay! – For example, see Sugardale’s How to Make a Petticoat: I can’t sew but feel so tempted to try, nonetheless!)

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