We do a lot of things with gender, don’t we? Attack, reflect, unpack, repress, queer, subvert, perform, question, undermine, codify, and, yes, even celebrate.  Sometimes there isn’t a whole lot of celebration going on, is there?  With the Gender Celebration Blog Carnival, I’d like to see that shift a bit. Gender is something we experience and steep in during every moment of our lives, we often butt our heads up against it. Some of us don’t think of it much at all. But, it is a constant presence.

The carnival is about reflecting on gender, questioning it, doing the hard work of grappling with it but also experiencing the joy of celebrating it. Does everything we say have to be all sunshine and puppydog tails? Absolutely not! Celebrations often include intense conflict, debate, and even mourning. This one will be no different. However, my hope is that when we take the time to think, write, and converse about gender we’ll bring good things into the world. We’ll shed light on the beauty of the human family and we’ll all become closer.

It is with that hope in my heart that I am humbly requesting submissions for the first (hopefully of many) Gender Celebration Blog Carnival.

The concept is simple. A group of bloggers all agree to post on the theme of the Carnival during a particular period of time and they link to the posts that transpired at the  end of the Carnival. What happens in the middle is the real magic as we will hopefully have fascinating things to read and great conversations to share on the issues that are generated. Think of it like a two week, virtual cocktail party with a fabulous guest list.

Each Carnival will have a theme and the opening theme is “Living Gender.” What does that mean? Well, you tell me! That is the point of this first Celebration. Share the ways in which you live gender or how gender touches your life. If it sounds like something you could write a dissertation on, then just tell us a tiny piece. Your submission might be a personal essay, an anecdote, a joke, a polemic, a photograph, an piece of art, a poem, or any number of other expressions you can think of.

Getting excited? In that case, please allow me to answer some of the questions you might have.

When will this happen?

July 5th – 16th, 2011. And then hopefully for a few weeks out of every month after that. If participation warrants, future carnivals will stretch across more days.

I want to post for the Gender Celebration Carnival, how do I do it?

Yay! There are two ways to get involved:

1) You can request to be pre-scheduled for the carnival by submitting this form no later than July 3rd, 2011.

This allows you to get scheduled on the carnival and mentioned in the opening post. It also lets all the other carnival participants know to watch out for your post. Your completed post will then be listed on the carnival wrap-up post at the end. It is like having an invitation to the cocktail party.

2) You can just make a post on the theme between 4th and 16th. Then fill in this form with a link to your post.

This option doesn’t allow us to include you in the opening post but we will definitely include you in the wrap-up post. It is like crashing the party but being so charming that you’re still offered a party favor before you leave :)

What is required of participants?
Make two posts on your blog: your submission to the carnival and the carnival wrap-up post.

Your own post is a response to the theme of the carnival in whatever format you refer. I do ask that somewhere in your post you link to the main carnival site (here) as well as the post that came the day before you and the blogger that is coming up after you.

The carnival closing post is a final round-up of all the posts both scheduled and extras that appeared. For the closing post, I request that you include the full list of links provided but beyond that you can customize it as you wish. Add a picture! Comment next to links you loved! Include a summary of a topic that appealed to you. It is your blog and our Celebration so personalize as you wish.

Optionally, you can help promote the Gender Celebration Carnival by posting on the day it opens with the list of blogs participating and the schedule. This information will be provided to all participants and available on this site.

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Ready to sign up? GO!