Tarzan Kay


July 2, 2024

to you

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Gay Stuff

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​HoneyBook wants to give you money  (a lot, in fact)​

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Let’s give a warm welcome to HoneyBook, our first official newsletter sponsor. (You know how persnickety I am about who I promote here, and HoneyBook more than made the cut with this one.)

HoneyBook just announced they’ll be investing $500,000 through their new program, The Breakthrough Grant, to help early-stage copywriters, SEO experts, content creators, designers, and more get the tools and support they need to be successful.

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Have dinner with me
Inbox Leadership Forum: Inaugural Dinner

A modern restaurant building named "The Bench" illuminated at night against a blue twilight sky. The building has a sleek, contemporary design with large windows and an outdoor seating area surrounded by lush landscaping and flowers. The restaurant's name is prominently displayed on a stone monument sign at the entrance, inviting customers to dine at this upscale establishment.

 Thursday, July 18, 2024, 6:30pm-8:30pm
Bench Brewery in Beamsville
3991 King St, Lincoln, ON, L3J 1E7

Join me for a fun + informal networking dinner in Niagara, for online business owners who want to talk shop, share what’s working and find collaborative partners. 

“I’m just an email marketer, standing in front of another email marketer, asking you to go to dinner with me.” 

Grab A Ticket ($95 USD) | Sponsor This Event

Let’s Talk About Gay Stuff ️‍

I have a classy problem which is too many ideas for newsletters. 

Each month I create a new Google Doc to write emails in, so I can add notes on things I want to write about, plot out sponsorships and topics for emails, etc. Here’s a quick Loom of our newsletter system. It’s not perfect but it’s resulted in nearly 8 years of weekly newsletters so…

Being pride month and all, I wrote “gay stuff” as a placeholder on June 4, then bumped it every single week since. There are no more Tuesdays in June to bump the subject of pride, so the time is finally here! 

I’ll start with the most important, which is updating you on my love life. 

Not much to report there. Despite my best efforts, I have not been doing much gay stuff personally. (I wish!) Other than one woman I broke up with at Christmas (heartless, amiright?!), this last year has a 6-car pileup of rejections. I’m pretty much okay tho. I have great friends and a very full life, so I’m rarely lonely. 

…which isn’t to say rejection doesn’t hurt or sometimes make me wonder if there isn’t some reason for me being so rejectable.

So boring, right? Sorry this isn’t more to report.  

Moving on. 

The pride flag on my front lawn didn’t used to feel like a controversial statement but now it does. The last few years have a bit of a backslide for queers, with the conspiritualist movement inciting homophobia in unlikely places, including my immediate family. That hurt like hell and I still don’t know what to do about it. 

During the 1 Million March last summer, one of my brothers texted me to say he saw what was going on and asked if I was okay. I was dating a trans woman at the time and I was really scared for her. I cried and hugged my brother through the phone all the way to Alberta, like, “thank you for helping me carry this huge sack of gravel, even just for a second.” That text will go down in history as one of the most important of my life. 

I wanted to write about allyship today, and some ways you can be an ally for the queer community. There are a lot of groups I don’t know how to be an ally for, but here is one place I do. (There’s one other area of allyship where I’m super confident, but I’ll save that for another day.)

So let’s talk about pronouns, some of the lowest-hanging fruit in terms of allyship. 

Back in March, I wrote about an email about using she/they pronouns on LinkedIn. I was surprised how many people replied and said they previously didn’t really get why cisgender people share pronouns. 

In case you need a refresher, cisgender people share their pronouns because—

  1. It’s a way to show allyship
  2. It makes trans and gender nonconforming folks safer since they are less likely to be targeted just for sharing pronouns

It’s also, as one of my subscribers put it, “a little sign that says ‘I’m safe for you to be your authentic self around.’” (<—pretty important if you’re leading groups.)

Deliberate misgendering is obviously harmful but unintentionally misgendering people is common and nothing to be embarrassed about. Trans people also mess up pronouns all the time.

Genderbenders and trans people generally prefer to be asked rather than misgendered. So if you’re not sure what to call someone, ask them. Normalizing the question, “May I ask what pronouns you prefer?” is another great way to show your allyship. It will feel weird the first few times you ask someone, but once you see how grateful people are to be asked, it will feel less weird. 

While it’s true that pronouns are serious and important, I also want to invite people to be playful with gender. This is a gift that trans people give to the world—permission for both cis and trans people to frolic with gender, to bend our definition of “what men are like” or “things women do”, and let more of ourselves into the daylight.

I’m pretty fluid myself; Any pronoun works for me. Last week I signed my email, “Tarzan Kay [king/kong].” 

One of my subscribers was like, “What the hell, Tarzan? Aren’t we not supposed to make fun of pronouns?” 

True. Making fun of pronouns is shitty. There’s this annoying trend on LinkedIn of people using the pronouns field to add a cute tagline about their work. 


Not the place. 

But I like to be playful with gender, try things on and see how they feel. 

Our Events Coordinator Zya suggested we ask our Inbox Leadership Forum dinner guests, “What pronouns would you like to use in this space?,” which is something her summer camp asks in case kids want to, say, try out being called “they” for a summer and see how it feels. Playfully, y’know? Like how summer camp kids often have a name and persona that’s specially reserved for July and August. 

The anti-trans movement wants you to think that letting kids talk about or experiment with gender is dangerous and will lead to irreversible surgeries they’ll regret later. Maybe that’s because cis folks so often conflate gender and genitalia, which are two separate things. (Lots of trans women have penises and no desire to get rid of them.) I think it’s about protecting the patriarchy, personally.  

But I’m not talking about hormones or surgery. 

I’m talking about pronouns, which are just words. 

I don’t speak for all queers. I’m just one genderbending cis woman who would like to see us all loosen our grip on gender a little bit, and playing with pronouns is an easy way to do that. 

I’m here for your replies on this one, and also I am impervious to shame on this subject. I’m also here for your questions and curiosity, especially the ones you’re afraid to ask or haven’t felt safe enough to ask. Maybe I have the answer, but more likely I’ll point you toward leaders and teachers who do. 

Happy Pride Month

On behalf of all my queer friends and lovers, thank you for reading and taking action on this one. 


Fueled by love and rage ❤️


Queer Books, Artists and Teachers ️‍

Neither, a board book about a little creature that's not quite a bird and not quite a bunny

Alok Vlad-Menon inspires me to live beyond the script of my gender; their book Beyond The Gender Binary is an easy read and looks great on your coffee table

Gay-ify your playlist with one of my favorite slow jams by Sam Smith (which is on one of my most-played albums of 2023)

‍ Gender Guide Tien Neo Emas leads workshops on releasing archaic gender paradigms, with a focus on discovering and making space for joy 

  A romantic novel with a hilarious title that is my next read (hint: requesting gay books at your library is another great act of allyship)

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