another_constellation: A white man smiling at a laptop (Default)
I don't have a tone of language right now, but there;s some stuff I need to try to articulate
Okay, so I got my period today, for the first ime in four years, and i feel like dying.
The two are, I think connected, but in hard to figure out ways. I wanted to kill myself today before I discovered I was menstruating, so discovering that helped to contextualize how terrible I felt, and also that the only things on my "things that do not make me want to kill myself" list were foods. That's a joke, but also true.
I thought yesterday, sort of dimly that I should put an Instead in my bag for today, but didn't. I don't remember what made me think I should do that. I had slight cramps today, but nothing like what I remembered. When it came, I knew it was happening. But there have been many times in the past few years when I was sure I was menstruating, but was not. There was someone in the men's room for at least a half an hour, so I had ot use the woman's room to check. Which was weird, and made me have to fight back tears and an implacable panic, but good in that at least there was a ton of free tampons in there, one disaster adverted. Also, I was running the store today.
I had such a bad day. It started with my clothes refusing to iron, getting over-dressed for the weather, barel missing my bus and waiting ten minutes for the next one, only to discover I didn't have my bus pass. I paid with cash and it spit out a paper card for fifty cents. I had to run to catch my transfer. The train ate the paper card but didn't credit me for it, but I wouldn't have had enough cash anyway. I was on the verge of tears and the driver let me on. I was late and hot and kept dropping things and mostly just feeling dizzy and migrane-y and like I wanted to die. Kept tearing up at odd moments. I don't remember periods feeling like this, hormonally, but my hormones are so different from the last time I got my period and the problem with a mental illness is that it's also hard to figure out where feeling are coming from: if it is something external, internal, or just the madness.
At verious times overthe past few years, especially the past year or so, when I got really lax about my testosterone (I havent taken it for about five months), I have wanted my period to come. Mostly, I think, because I wanted to know that it was something I could live though. At some moments, I imagined that it might make me feel powerful, that I could do this and not die. That i was in touch with my body. That I was having a particularly female experience. That I wouldn't have to keep waiting to see if it would happen and what  I would do when it came
So I am still alive, but sad and heart broken and crying occationally. It this momen, i don't feel closer to my body, but I also don't feel like I need to destroy it, the urge to destroy my body being different than the urge to kill myself. Both are disconcerting to me, but the former more so. I have lived many times through the urge to kill myself. I have failed many times to protect myself from myself when the urge for destruction comes on.
So /I will probably hurt myself in a fairly mundanre way as compromise, and to try to stop these feelings, which I feel that I have still not fully articulated. I jsut don't know how to explain how terribly, terribly alone and vulnerable and stupid and wrong this makes me feel.
another_constellation: A white man smiling at a laptop (Default)
Vaguely heart-broken, which is sort of my default.

Saw my ex today. It was awkward, but I didn't feel the love or anger rushing back at me, like I imagined I would. I buried those parts of myself. For now, at least.

In class, we were talking about "Thirteen Reasons Why," which is narrated (in part) by a girl who has decided to kill herself. Really shitty comments about whiny, depressed suicidal people and how part of us cheers when they finally do it. There's a woman in the class whom I really like because she always manages to bring us back to the humanizing place. She looked like she was having a hard time with it. Also, I'm prjecting, because I was totally having a hard time with it. My litmus test for whether a book is Problematic or not is whether I will be embarrassed describing it to someone who the book is about.

And so I disclosed that the reason I reacted strongly to Hannah was that she reminded me so much of myself when I was suicidal, and that what we are seeing is the moments of clarity and power before she kills herself, moments she has been greatly deprived of.

The discussion changed after that.
another_constellation: George from Arrested Development scowling (this is shit)

If you are an ally wearing purple today in support and solidarity with those who have taken their own lives because of anti-queer bullying, good for you. What else are you doing? If you are supporting the It Gets Better project, what are you doing to make it better?

 

Because I have spent too much of my life repressing who I am, trying to kill myself for who I am, tenuously striking a bargain with myself to be okay with who I am, to put much faith in the idea of some undefined "tomorrow." It is not enough for me. It should not be enough for you.

People should not have to wait until later for it to get better. People should not have to wait for "better," period, if "better" means "well, people aren't giving you wedgies, drowning out your words with derision and exaggerated lisping, conveniently ignoring your raised hand in class, disseminating videos of you without your consent, trying to rape you straight, jumping you in the bathroom, or whispering in your ear that you should do everyone a favor and kill yourself anymore, but you can't get married, put your partner on your health insurance, be visited by hir in the hospital, or even have your partner join you in this country if ze was born abroad, be out at your job if you want to keep it, be treated by the government or random dudes on the street with any semblance of respect or dignity, or turn on the TV without hearing some red-faced pundit blame you for the wrongs of the modern world."

That is not better. That is a gross violation of civil rights for which people should not be reduced to begging, or lied to about it being the carrot worth keeping them moving forward. It is a vision of the world in which being queer is only okay if you can still squeeze yourself into a white heterosexual ideal.

If you have been surprised by the six suicides we've heard about in the past few weeks, you should be driven to tears when I tell you that 34,598 killed themselves in 2007 in this nation and more than a quarter of them were queer. Queer children kill themselves (and plot to kill themselves, and attempt to kill themselves) in droves. For queer children, self-hatred and self-harm come to feel like the necessary steps to a productive adulthood. Messages that it "gets better" are tacit approvals of how horrible it feels and is now, and vague promises of a future that feels like it will never come. It is why the other groups most at-risk for attempting or completing suicide are Native American men, elderly people, people who have recently post partners to divorce or death, people in or recently released from prisons and mental hospitals, veterans, and homeless people-- people, in other words, who feel different and alone, who have no safe space to bring their thoughts, minds, and bodies.

Wear purple, if you want. But do not do it an then pat yourself on the back for it, feeling that the message has been delivered. Because until you have written your congress person, refused to laugh at jokes made at the expense of trans women, had a meeting with your school principal about why the GSA can't seem to find a meeting room, spoken at your place of worship, thanked someone for coming out to you, asked your health clinic why they don't provide sliding-scale therapy to make mental health care more accessible, gotten up from the table when your cousin wouldn't stop describing things as gay, pushed for immigration reform, demanded that your school district provide sensitivity training for all school personnel, stopped assuming you know someone's gender history (or future!) just by looking at them, expressed love for your friends without quickly qualifying that you're "not like that," served meals at soup kitchens, held actual discussions with your child about difference, read books by people who look and love differently than you, not jerked your hand away when it is accidentally brushed by someone of the same sex on the T, and rallied your peers against the climate of death with which we surround difference in this country-- until we have taken steps to make queer lives with living now-- there is still an impossible amount of work to be undertaken and your self-congratulation is a disservice to the millions of queers who have killed themselves or been killed by others for who they are.

You have the duty to know these things and the power to change them.

What steps are you taking?
 

I end with an address to queer people in the words of Audre Lorde, who has said anything I might ever want to say more eloquently already:

[T]hat visibility which makes us most vulnerable is that which also is the source of our greatest strength. Because the machine will try to grind you into dust anyway, whether or not we speak. We can sit in our corners mute forever while our sisters and our selves are wasted, while our children are distorted and destroyed, while our earth is poisoned; we can sit in our safe corners mute as bottles, and we will still be no less afraid. [...]

The fact that we are here and that I speak these words is an attempt to break that silence and bridge some of those differences between us, for it is not difference which immobilizes us, but silence. And there are so many silences to be broken.

--"The Transformation of Silence into Language and Action"

 

Please donate to a worthy organization, and ask them what more you can do to help them. If you know an organization that could use some help, please feel free to leave a comment with their contact info.

The Trevor Project (http://www.thetrevorproject.org/)
866-4-U-TREVOR National listening line for queer youths contemplating suicide

Fenway Community Health Peer Listening Line (http://www.fenwayhealth.com/)
800-399-PEER A national, Boston-based listening line for queer people

Hopeline (http://www.hopeline.com/)
1-800-SUICIDE A national listening line.

The Boston Area Rape Crisis Counselling Center (BARCC) (http://www.barcc.org/)
800.841.8371 A Boston-based rape crisis center

Boston-Alliance of Gay, Lesbian, (Bisexual, Transgender) Youth (BAGLY) (http://www.BAGLY.com/)
A Boston institution nurturing the next generation of queer leaders

The Home for Little Wanderers (http://www.thehome.org/
A Boston non-profit that helps and houses at-risk kids (including a house for queer kids who have been kicked out of home or foster placements due to their sexuality or gender)

The Audre Lorde Project (http://www.alp.org/)  
Brooklyn-based organization for queer people of color concentrating on community organizing and radical nonviolent activism around progressive issues.

Camp Aranutiq (http://www.camparanutiq.org/)  
A summer camp for gender-variant kids aged 8-15.

Gay, Lesbian, Straight Education Network (GLSEN) (http://www.glsn.org/)  
A national organization supporting kids through schools. Especially notable for their work with GSAs and their school climate studies

Soulforce (http://www.soulforce.org/)

"Guided by the spirit of truth and empowered by the principles of relentless nonviolent resistance, works to end the religious and political oppression of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, and questioning people."


(Please link with abandon.)

Profile

another_constellation: A white man smiling at a laptop (Default)
another_constellation

July 2011

S M T W T F S
     12
3456789
1011121314 1516
17181920212223
24252627282930
31      

Syndicate

RSS Atom

Most Popular Tags

Style Credit

Expand Cut Tags

No cut tags