gender fuck (slang)
someone whose appearance and/or style is so androgynous as to make determining their sex a "mind fucking" proposition for the immediate observer. Although the best gender fucks are gay or transgendered, a huge number exist within wholly heterosexual identity as lifestyle choices. In the 1960s gender modifiers were people of all sexual persuasions who wore the mild unisex fashion items popular at the time. In the 1970s David Bowie was one of the first, if not the first, to synthesize the gender distorted fashion trend known as "glam rock" along with the music. His styles came about from diverse influences including mimes and an obscure transvestite rocker. But those who know Bowie, also know that he was essentially a transvestite fetishist found to be in drag even for off-stage events like his secluded cafe meeting with gay literary criminal Jean Genet, inspiration for the song Jean Genie, and Bowie's arrival to America. Legend has it that some of Bowie's designs were the direct result of his early acquaintance with Andy Warhol. The art icon himself also had many dalliances with "gender blending" from personal transvestism to the casting of gender bender actors (Holly Woodlawn and Candy Darling) in his films. Concurrently the punk rock movement, partly an incongruous combination of heterosexual working class "boi" culture and gay youth, had a variety of gender fuck looks from rough-house tomboy Patti Smith (G-L-O-R-I-A) to Boy George. Most of the above were typically a defiance of sexual values, authority or fashion conventions. By the late 1980s fetish practioners brought assorted styles to rock music and goth culture as well. Many of these fetish-influenced styles were androgynous, reflecting a newer social diversity of polysexual adherences in the underground.

Androgynous appearances based on actual sexual preference have long been a microculture within subculture. Male transvestites became somewhat more openly visible in the 1970s only to be reduced to "trash TV" in the public tolerance by the mid-1990s. More recently lesbians and drag kings as well have made a variety of "butch" looks so commonplace that they are often adopted in mild forms by heterosexual women. Stage and film star Marlene Dietrich, out of Berlin, immortalized an androgynous fashion statement by the 1930s. Then there was the flamboyant piano queen Liberace and rocker Little Richard in the 1950s. And these are just a few among scores of "gender criminals". Let's not even go back to the days of deviate Roman emporors as one might find in Fellini's Satyricon.

Sometime around the 16th and 17th centuries Libertine practitioners in France gave birth to a wave of sexual deviancy probably beginning inside perverted niches of the highest classes where bisexuality and crossdressing were immortalized by artists in the pornography of the times. The infamous Marquis de Sade wrote his notorious memoirs in this period. Much like today's fetish movement, the deviant sexuality of those times was not the norm among most people. However, like today, it apparently had a great influence upon heterosexual courtships, verbal communication and fashion as would be indicated by the contemporaneous pseudo-effeminate style of men in France, Britain and the new America during the period. History has thus shown that fashion gender benders, gender criminals, and mind-wrenching gender fucks will always be visible especially in the art-fashion underground where they are at home in the greatest variety.

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