#17: The Queer Revolution

Alright, no witty introduction this time.  I want to start this off by saying I do not support or advocate for violence.  However, I also realize that it has, in the past, been necessary to bring about change.  Because of this, I am always quite baffled when members of the LGBT community pipe up saying that “violence never solves anything”.

There are two events in particular that come to mind: Compton’s Cafeteria Riot (1966) and, of course, the Stonewall Riots(1969).  Both of these events were spurred on by transwomen and yet, for whatever reason, certain factions within the LGBT community refuse to acknowledge it.  The same factions that believe the ‘T’ is a bit too distracting from queer liberation.  The same factions that were most offended when the city of Philadelphia added brown and black stripes to the pride flag.  The same factions that would never admit that they have transwomen of color to thank for their ability to get married.  It pains me that here, in 2017, in a community that is currently at risk of losing so many rights that had to be fought, that we are still bickering between one another.  How, I ask, do any of you still have the time to be racist and transphobic with all of this turmoil in the world?

This brings me to another point.  At every march for marriage equality, there were always trans people there in support of the cause, even if they might be in a heterosexual relationship.  Straight trans folks knew that success on the front of marriage equality would, in the long term, be beneficial to the entire lgbt community.  So I ask you this: where are all of the gay allies at trans liberation marches?  What?  Is our fight not just as important as yours?  Now that you have what you want, are we to just be tossed at the wayside?  I know some of my readers may read this and think that this might be some sort of vast generalization.  I assure you that given what I have heard from my contacts all over the nation, it is not.

Trans liberation may seem like a silly concept to some of you cis readers.  I won’t lie, it seems silly to me too.  Why, you ask?  It’s 2017.  The year is more than halfway over.  But here we are, still fighting.  Still trying to prove the validity of our existence to a world that seems determined to shut us down.  I am not asking for much.  I am just looking forward to the day when I can go out and have a good time without the fear of having my name read off on November 20th, or maybe even go to the grocery store without being harassed.  Or how about something else?  How about the ability to have stable employment or housing without the fear of losing either due to being openly trans?  Is this all really too much to ask?

Apparently the answer is yes.  But, you know what?  That’s fine.  We can keep fighting, absent allies be damned.  We started this thing and we are damn well going to finish it.  You can stand with us or don’t.  The queer revolution will keep moving, whether you help us or not.  At this point, we don’t have the time to worry about catering to the delicate sensibilities of some allies.  We just want people to stop murdering us.

This isn’t a fight that has to be violent.  I think most of us would prefer that it isn’t.  Even the smallest act can be revolutionary.  My trans siblings: go out, love, be happy!  In many cases, just living a valid, joyful existence is the most revolutionary act we can muster.  Let’s make sure each day is a small revolution!

 

So, readers, keep fighting.  Keep making your voice heard.  Keep loving one another! You are all valid and I love, and support, each and every one of you.  And, hey, stay safe.

#16: TERFs? TERFs.

It’s time again.  Let’s talk about TERFs, shall we?

 

So, feminism.  It’s all about equality, right?  According to some, this isn’t so.  TERFs, or Trans-Exclusionary Radical Feminists, don’t think we transwomen are real women.  As if we didn’t have enough issues from those of a more conservative cut!   I don’t want to name names, as I would hate to attract the wrong sort attention this early on. 

 

Look, TERFs, I really don’t want to distract myself from the people I already have to argue with to prove the validity of my identity.  I just want to live my life, not bothering anybody.  However, people can’t seem to live and let live.  I mean, why would we let folks that are different from us be happy?  The way people treat others simply baffles me.  Growing up, we were taught that we should treat others as we wish to be treated.  At what point in becoming an adult does this cease to be true?  When is it acceptable to start treating those around us like utter garbage because they aren’t “like us”?  The big thing about feminism is just that!  We want a level playing field for everyone.

However, there are those who call themselves feminists who seem to disagree with this.  I speak, of course, of those previously mentioned TERFs.  Honestly, it’s hard for me to come up with coherent thoughts pertaining to these lovely folks.  How anybody could be that misguided is beyond me.  So I will just offer this tip: if your equality involves invalidating trans folks identities, it isn’t equality!

 

For my amazing readers, keep fighting.  Be the change you wish to see in the world.  Do not stand by and watch the injustices that are currently being perpetrated in the world as of late.  Speak up, do something, be heard.

And remember, I love you.

#15: A shout-out to Daryl Metcalfe

I meant to post this yesterday, but I forgot to hit the publish button.  Oops.

How about a joke, yeah?  How many trans people does it take to change a light bulb?

Stumped? Here is the answer: Only one, but they have to live for a year in the dark to be completely, absolutely sure it needs changing and have the confirming opinions of 2 electricians (at least one with a PhD).

It’s funny because it’s true!

I am finally on track to get back on my hormones, but in the process, I learned a few things:

A.) Apparently carry letters have an expiration date.  Who woulda thunk it?

B.) Medicaid is a freaking blessing

I was able to go in, have my initial appointment with a new doctor, get blood work, the whole deal.  Without medicaid there is no way this would have happened.  I would not be able to afford any of this and my quality of life would continue it’s slow decline.  But, does this really matter?  I mean, we have some lovely politicians out there that believe lives like mine aren’t even valid in the first place, so why should I also be able to take care of myself?  What sort of blasphemy is this!

But hey, as long as those rich folks continue to get their government healthcare, it’s all good, right?  Fuck those below the poverty line!  Why should they worry about us?  It’s not like we contribute anything to society, right?  But let’s not forgot us pesky LGBT folks too.  The ones that still have to worry about keeping a job or a home if we come out.

On that topic, huge shout-out to Pennsylvania State Representative Daryl Metcalfe of the 12th Legislative District, Butler County!  Thank you, good sir, for your work as the chair of the House State Government Committee!  I love how, thanks to you, the updates to the PA Fairness act that would include Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity/Expression have been blocked 7 times in the last 14 years because you, as the chair, will not let it the bill enter your committee.  I applaud you in your audacity.  I really do.  But hey, sometimes we need a reminder of the past.  How else would we remember just how shitty people were?  I mean, eventually you will lose.  People from your cut of cloth almost always are.

But on the other hand, it is because of people like you that I have started this blog and joined various small activist groups.  You’ve given me motivation to do something with my spare time.  So again, thank you Rep. Metcalfe, in a way, you’ve done me a favor.

Maybe a nice thank you letter is in order.

 

 

And remember, I love you and I see how valid you are.  Go out, change the world in any way you can.  We all have a part in this fight, no matter how small.

#14: Happy Birthday

July 5th.  That’s today.  It also happens to be my 24th birthday, so go me, I suppose.

Yesterday was the American day of Independence.  Some people have been wondering why I don’t celebrate as much as I used to.  Honestly, that’s a pretty simple answer: why would I go super hard in celebrating a nation, my nation, when I still feel like a second-class citizen?  Why should I celebrate the fact that I still can be evicted from housing or fired from a job based purely on my trans status?  Why should I celebrate a nation where I still have to worry for my safety when I am out and about?

Some of you may have heard something along the lines of “well, at least we treat you better than ‘X'” and honestly that is bullshit.  I shouldn’t have to compromise my standards of living just because we are not somewhere else.  I am sorry that all I want is the same basic human rights as everyone else, but apparently that is too damn complex for some folks.

People ask what I want for my birthday every year.  The last few years I have just whispered “revolution” and gone about my day.  I don’t mean some violent revolution.  No, how about something more peaceful?  It doesn’t have to be quiet.  Actually, I would prefer that it isn’t.  And what exactly do I want out of this?  Great question!  I want people to be treated like freaking human beings.

This is not a goal to be taken lightly.  This isn’t the first time I’ve called for it.  How many times have I talked about people running for office?  How many times have I told people to be the change they want in the world?  That is how we need to get things done.  As for me?  I now have 6 more years until I can run for congress.  That is 6 years to shape myself into the change I want to be.  6 years to plan my campaign.

6 years til I try to change the world.

#13

It’s been awhile since I’ve posted, and I apologize for that.  Also, word of warning: this will be explicit. 

It’s been quite the week!  I recently took my civil service exam and have been patiently awaiting the results for that. 

But let’s get to the matter at hand: politics. What the fuck is going on with this TERF that Lord Dampnut put into a position?  To all of the people out there who swore up and down that I had nothing to worry about, fuck you. Like. Seriously. Every time I hear about some new appointee, I get another grey hair. 

But hey, at least Sessions is gonna look into these murders of trans folks. I guess that’s something. Good to know that somebody is fucking noticing, even if it is coming from the last person anyone expected!  

Honestly, I’ve been a bit angry this week and that’s why I haven’t been able to upset. I haven’t been able to rationally explain my headspace in a way that would be very constructive. I know this isn’t much better, but hey, who cares?

Anyways, short post this time. I love you all, dear readers. 

#12

Here we are, in the middle of the week.  I’ve decided that I can’t come up with a new name for every post, so I think I will start numbering them.  But now for the content: Challenges!

Honestly, I am not sure how to talk about this.  People from my past keep appearing.  People that I wish I could keep out of my life once and for all.  But nothing is as easy as that, is it?  Many of us try to shut out the negative parts of the past.  I know that I do!  But, as always, the ghost of Christmas past must make an appearance.

The last few days I have been filled with an inner turmoil of panic and anxiety, wondering how I will deal with this return of the past.  I couldn’t keep running this time.  It was time to stop, find out what exactly was going on, and confront the issue head on.  For some of you, this might not be too difficult.  I, on the other hand, do my best to avoid direct confrontations.  This time, however, I charged in.

As scary as this was, I feel so liberated now.  I feel like I don’t have to be afraid of this particular facet anymore.  In all honesty, I think I also choose not to be afraid anymore.  We cannot spend our entire lives in fear.  We need to make those positive changes for ourselves.  No more waiting around and hoping the issue goes away!

Eventually we all come across some sort of trial or tribulation.  We all face the same choice: Do I run, do I give in, or do I stand my ground?  For many of us, our instinct is to run far away.  Sometimes it may be just to give in to the challenge, admit defeat.  but some face everything head on.  On occasion, this will be the best option.  Whenever it’s there, take it.  Let people know you cannot be stepped all over like a welcome mat!

Vague post aside, my point is this: You owe your abuser nothing.  You do not need to give in to their wishes when they come from the past to haunt you.  Stand your ground.  Be strong.  Be you.

 

And remember: You are valid and I love you.

Visibility

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So, this is me.  I do not hide the fact that I am trans.  This confuses some folks.  They don’t understand how or why I can be so openly queer.  It’s obvious, really.  I am visible for both myself and those who cannot be.

Do I always pass?  No.  Do I always try?  Another no.  Even when I do, my bag is covered in pins.  I refuse to let the negative folks silence me for existing.  If this means I have to scream just how trans I am, fine.  And, to be honest, for the most part I enjoy it.  I look forward to educating people from time to time, explaining what my existence means.  I look forward to those times where I run into other queer folks who aren’t able to be as open.  But this visibility isn’t always easy.

I have learned how to read most of my environments.  I have learned to watch for the subtle clues that might mean I should hide my pins.  Those situations where it is genuinely dangerous to exist as myself.  Usually, if I can avoid this altogether, I will.  If it is unavoidable, even if I have to “hide”, I will take a friend with me.  This is one of the hardest skills I’ve hard to learn, reading my surroundings.  I am not sure I could explain how it’s done to somebody else, I just sort of know.  Sometimes it is just a bit safer to not be so loud.

But back to visibility.  There are people that aspire to be.  Trans activists and the like that go out and shake the foundations of the world by daring to be visibly queer.  This is something that certain factions of the world find completely abhorrent.  When my existence is enough to offend you and disrupt your world view, you remind me why I choose to be so visible.  Why I choose to announce to the world just how trans I am.  I refuse to go silent because of your comfort levels.  If my life causes you discomfort, I will get louder, I assure you.

Just because I can.

 

And remember, readers: You are valid and I love you.

Justification

It’s been a bit since I’ve posted and for that I apologize.  But let’s talk about how it feels when you constantly have to justify your existence.

I do not have a problem answering naive questions asked by people who are genuinely trying to learn, even if they are a bit rude from time to time.  But I will not continue to politely justify things about me.  I will not continue to smile and play nice.

If you ask how I can be a lesbian when I have a “you-know-what”, I will call have some choice words for you.  Who I date and why is not your concern.  How I identify, in any way, for the most part, is none of your concern.  If I have to explain and justify the reasons behind why I would prefer you not use slurs, I will get very loud.  I do not care if such and such popular celebrity uses it.  They shouldn’t use it.  You shouldn’t use it.  If you try to defend such language, I will tell you how shitty of a person you are.

But do you know what I love most?  Justifying my identity.  How I can “be a woman” when I don’t “act like one”.  Tell me, readers, how does a woman act?  What am I missing here?  Can I not like gaming?  Can I not wear t-shirts and jeans?  These things do not matter.  What I do and how I dress does not shape my gender.  You do not get to dictate these things to me because they do not fit your world view.  Let me live my way and I will leave you well enough alone, ya dig?

I know this might sound a bit harsh to some of you.  But for those of us who deal with the exact same statements and questions every day, it gets old fast.

 

And hey, remember this: You are valid. You are loved. You matter.

Dysphoria

Dysphoria.  It’s a funny sounding word.  It feels strange in my mouth.  But, it’s a very important word in my world.

I’ve been trying to find a way to describe dysphoria to one who hasn’t experienced it.  It’s been bouncing around in my head, even as I am dealing with the worst case of it that I’ve had in over a year, yet I simply couldn’t find the words.  Given my issues with articulation, I asked around a bit until I could.

The answers I received were all over the place.  I was told by some that it can be a feeling of intense sadness and anger.  Others told me that it feels similar to anxiety.  Personally, I feel a general unease with myself, like I am not welcome in my own body.  But it is different for everyone, as you can see.  Some folks don’t experience it at all, but this doesn’t make them any less valid.

But those of you that do, you know exactly what I mean.  You don’t need someone to describe what it feels like.  You just have to keep pushing on, finding new ways to validate your existence until it stops.  It’s tough, it really is.  For some, it’s new clothes or a makeover.  For others, hormones can do the trick.  Some have other ways of overcoming these feelings.  We all handle it differently, just as we all experience it differently.

If you are someone who does not experience dysphoria, this next bit is for you.  If one of your close friends is struggling with this, find out how you can help.  You may not be able to do much more than offer your support and validation and this is okay.  Sometimes this can be the most important and validating in the world, trust me on this.

On that note, remember: dysphoric or not, you are valid and I love you