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Mark D. Snyder

By Mark D. Snyder
Mark Snyder is the founder of, an organization of activists and bloggers that seeks to continue the legacy of queer resistance of our dominant culture through media campaigns and protests. Mark is a former employee of The Boston Alliance of LGBT Youth, and currently serves on the Board of Directors for Greater Boston PFLAG. Through BAGLY, PFLAG, and SpeakOut Boston, Mark has shared his childhood struggle to overcome homophobia and oppression with thousands of students, teachers, and community leaders.

I continued to attend their meetings each week, though, and -- ever so slowly – I began to let go of my gendered conditioning and allow my feminine spirit to shine through again. The more strength I drew from my femininity, the happier and more empowered I felt. I made real, true, long lasting friends at BAGLY and at my school. And I allowed my activist self to blossom. And so I completed my senior year of high school and freshmen year of college, returning home to graduate that summer.

In 2001, I launched, which quickly became known as the prominent direct-action, outspoken queer activist group in Boston. We have received worldwide headlines for staging a protest at the Arch Diocese in Boston, and recently we formed the largest ever protest against James Dobson’s anti-gay Love Won Out Conference.

Today, I identify as genderqueer and I revel in my childhood memories of rebellious genderfuckery.  Being a sissy, while obviously a source of great pain, also gave me strength to survive. It has brought me to where I am today, and will take me to where I go tomorrow. It has given me the gift of queerness that has brought me close to a community of friends, activists, and support. I have always drawn my creativity, my strength, and my compassion from my inner femininity. When I sit in stillness it is my femininity that holds my spirit together.

Like many other sissy’s and queers, I’ve developed a close bond with other gender variant and queer people – my chosen family. Together, we bring with us our histories of oppression, and our current struggles for liberation. We reminisce about the good times in the 70s (even though we weren’t around). We lay naked smoking weed on the beaches of Provincetown. We wear big sunglasses, and pretend to be famous. We listen to Pink Floyd and the Scissor Sisters. We believe in sexual liberation, and we are often quick to remind everyone so. We go dancing, and do our best to patronize every single gay restaurant and bar so we can at least say we tried it. We complain that the gay neighborhoods have lost their rainbows to high-end condos, and that the sissies are overlooked by the “muscle-marys.”  We take long bus trips to Washington DC to march against the war. And we’re constantly planning our next protest, direct action, or campaign for social justice.

I like to think think we prove that young people are not complacent. And every day, I show that being a sissy is not a sign of weakness but an endless well that I pull my strength and motivation from.

Life for me now, post-college, is at once exhilarating and exhausting, and there is nothing that can stop it. Not the shouts of “faggot” from car windows, or people pretending to throw-up when the see me and my boyfriend holding hands. Not the bigots protesting at the statehouse against gay marriage, or the upper-class gay elite fighting for gay marriage. Not the corporate warmongers… not even the hunters!

This fall in Boston I expect will be like most.  I will return home to the orange, camouflage-invaded mountains and eat Thanksgiving tofurkey next to my loveable, hick of a brother. I will even take part in the target shooting competition.   Then I will lift my shirt to reveal to the family my very first tattoo: sissy.

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Candygirl said:

Love your tattoo! ;)

Posted at: September 6, 2008 6:35 PM

Chad_Kosmos said:

I thoroughly enjoy this, and it's nice to know that there are other proud sissys. i thought i was the only one, you're story helped me feel better about my life. thank you.

Posted at: January 28, 2009 4:27 AM