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Eli Clare's frog tatoo!

Anne Dalke's picture
Kristin Lindgren is the disabilities studies scholar @ Haverford to whom, you may remember, you owe our discussion of disability and gender. A student of hers, Veronica Jimenez-Lu, said she'd be delighted to have posted on Serendip what she discovered, in doing work for Kristin's class, about the frog tattoo in Riva Lehrer's portrait of Eli Clare (which you may also remember, but just in case not....):

The tattoo of a common reed frog on the outside of Clare's right calf marks the final stage of his transition, which is marked by his personal understanding of his new identity. Nearly reaching the fold of his grungy brown socks, the frog permanently imprinted on his leg is an exact replica in color and form of a frog known as a transgender amphibian. The soft red outlining of the frog’s body is completed with a smooth shading of dark yellow with spotted black round ovals. The particular frog Eli Clare has chosen to imprint on his body, a common reed frog, is best known for its change in sex organs from female to male.

And here's the Wikipedia article that Veronica cites:

It seems to me particularly apt to share this reading w/ you just now--both in light of the questions several of you raised, in your most recent web events, about the accuracy-and-wisdom of anthropomorphozising animals to contribute to a conversation about human morality -- and in light of Gavi's wise post about "quantum integrity": Maybe, the idea that we do not have an overarching framework of integrity (as consistency) can free us to constantly question the lives and narratives we have constructed and reconstructed and, in doing so, let us attempt to find a maximized goodness for our selves and for other people (social justice work).