another_constellation: A white man smiling at a laptop (Default)
Trigger warning: cissexism, violence, rape jokes, bullshit


References to a transwoman in a McDonald's getting the shit kicked out of her so badly she seized while a number of McDonald's workers looked on/filmed it are making the rounds. I posted a link on my Facebook and I wanted to say something like "please, if you are not trans and/or not a violence survivor, please watch this. You owe us being a witness to this." But that seemed pushy, and I don't know what everyone's triggers are, so I didn't say it.

A few minutes later, my sister commented to say "Just reading about the video made me feel sick. I could never watch it , but I like to think I would have stopped it, had I been there." And my first thought was how? how? Please tell me, because I wish I knew. because if I were there, I would have been too scard to stop it. I would run away or shut down, pretend not to see it, maybe scream, maybe call the police, maybe appeal to the people who were watching, but I don't think I would have known how to stop it.

My second thought was "how do I tell my own sister that she owes it to me to watch this? That if this woman could get her head kicked in, the least we can do is be witnesses to that?"

I took a shower and the thought came into my head, the thought around which I think a lot of my reaction to this event was centered:

How can they expect me to leave my house tomorrow?

But then:

I was talking with my roommates today, before I saw the video. I have had a few days off, and I am starting to feel human because I have barely left my house. Andthey were making rape jokes. And I kept thinking, how do I make this stop? What can I say to them that doesn't give them too much of myself? But which is still enough that they won't debate me. I came up with nothing, and so I was silent until explictly asked my opinion about the "cis men can't be raped by cis women" thing, when I pointed out that we are having the Wrong Fucking Discussion

After my shower, I was trying to figure out what to do about my facial hair situation. I keep getting she'd and "person"ed, purposely not gendered. Which doesn't bother me, but bemuses me. Pretty much any gender people give me these days bemuses me. All I can think is "is that what you're getting from me right now?" I like to have some facial hair, because otherwise the "she" is too easy, and I don't want it to be too easy for people right now. I am enjoying my body and enjoying my femininity and I don't want that to be too easy for people, because it's not easy for me.

So I was trimming and shaving and thinking:

There is so much of my life that I cannot explain to [straight people, cis people, non-mentally ill people].

And I understood in a new way the need for woman-only spaces, people of color-only-spaces. But where do I go? Where are my spaces?
another_constellation: A white man smiling at a laptop (Default)
I tried to write to Congressman Pence, but I didn't get much further than
Congressman Pence, I know there is nothing I can say to you about the amendment that bears your name. I know that there is no way that I can change your mind or make you see that it is a death knell, expressing disdain for women-- especially poor women and those of color, and their babies.
So I just want you to know that you're a sack of shit.
Sincerely,
Elijah ---------
another_constellation: A white man smiling at a laptop (Default)
This post at ADeeperCountry has me thinking a lot right now. I already wrote a comment here, but it is starting to gel for me a little what those sites are in my life.

Namely, I don't know what my place in activist spaces (which for me are usually shaped by women, feminist in background, and often feminist-/queer-/disability-/race- focused is as a person who is white, who presents as masculine and doesn't call himself a woman but feels very closely linked to all things woman, is trans, is queer, is mentally ill, believes himself to be non-neurotypical, but NOS, able-bodied but whose body acts up a lot). The contridictions are all up in there, but one I have been thinking about a lot lately is the gender stuff. I haven't taken testosterone since September, which a) probably has a lot to do with why I've been so depressed, b) has feminized my face a lot and firmed-up my chest, c) has made me spot once, possibly twice, d) made me feel very confused about a lot of things (for example, how can I not know if I am spotting? The injustice and pain of this is so incredible I don't know what to do or where to go with it How can I know all these things about other people's bodies and not my own? Is it because it never feels like my own?).

I guess b is the easiest to talk about, because in a way, it has the least to do with me. My voice has cracked several times. I've gotten she'd many times, and purposely not-gendered many more. Part of me feels like I need to stick out in order to have any credience in queer and trans places. Part of me feels like I want people to see mememe and that means knowing how I was raised. A lot of me feels like I want people to stop acting so smug when the clock me. Because they aren't clocking me, they are picking up the signals I am sending out, and also, stop being a dick. I sort of don't give a shit right now about how people are gendering me. "He" is easiest because it's most consistent, but also a sort of amusing surprise some times.

These thoughts all seem barely connected, but I promise, they all are so intertwined.

I think what I really want to express is my desire for new words, new vocabularies, new categories that speak to MY experiences.

So that brings me back to the post that started this train of thought. I wish it were more normal to tell people exactly where you are. I wish it were okay to talk about the places where you had to cover, the times you could not, where you are right now, what it feels like to be there, and what it feels like to be where you are from. I carry around so much trauma simply from all the depression and all the harm I have done to myself, from living such a complicated life in such silence. I think it is that way for most people. It starts to feel like the only way to live honestly is to live with painful visibility (see: this journal) but we cannot be the only ones. The system hurts us all. The colonized cannot undo the work of the colonizer while so many of us continue to replicate these systems not even knowing.

I wish it were okay to tell people what you need. Because maybe then some day you might get to stop looking for it alone.

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July 2011

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