another_constellation: A white man smiling at a laptop (Default)
2011-04-23 12:56 am

(no subject)

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)
2011-01-16 05:20 am

About this journal

I feel like I should say a few words about the new journal, even if it is less new now. First I want to just quote Audre Lorde because "The Transformation of Silence into Language and Action" is a completely life-changing piece for me every time I read it and is intimately connected with what I'm working on here. It would help me if you would read it in its entirety.
      In becoming forcibly and essentially aware of my own mortality, and of what I wished and wanted for in my life, however short it might be, priorities and omissions became strongly etched in a merciless light and what I most regretted were my silences. Of what had ever been afraid? To question or to speak as I believed I would have meant pain, or death. But we all hurt in so many different ways, all the time, and pain will either change or end. Death, on the other hand, is the final silence. And that might be coming quickly, now, without regard for whether I had ever spoken what needed to be said, or only betrayed myself into small silences, while I planned someday to speak, or waited for someone else’s words. And I began to recognize a source of power within myself that comes from the knowledge that while it is most desirable not to be afraid, learning to put fear into a perspective gave me great strength. I was going to die, if not sooner then later, whether or not I had ever spoken myself. My silences had not protected me. Your silence will not protect you.
      But for every real word spoken, for every attempt I had ever made to speak those truths for which I am still seeking, I had made contact with other women while we examined the words to fit a world in which we all believed, bridging our differences. [...]

[W]ithin the war we are all waging with the forces of death, subtle, and otherwise, conscious or not– I am not only a casualty, I am also a warrior.
What I am trying to do, as of right now, in this journal is to speak publicly those "small silences." I recognize that I have a problem with language and speech. I lose words often, I forget things, and my brain is often completely, disconcertingly blank. I suspect, though, that in those times my brain is in fact not blank, but utterly full of the need for emptiness. Is this the "fear [of] the visibility without which we also cannot truly live" that Audre describes as the "cause of silence"? I'm sure I should be citing theorists here but the lack of the thing marks the presence of the thing.

Part of what I am trying to do here is to practice verbalizing things, which means practicing feeling, noticing, decoding, and sharing them. Each of those steps is difficult for me in their own way. For this reason, I am trying to treat each entry almost as stand-alone. It's very hard for me to remember things, any things, so my feelings change often even about a single event because I don't have that stored up emotional response to that event. So I'm trying to make that okay, whilst creating a record of what I do think and feel. Already it is becoming clear to me that I think, feel, recognize, and remember a lot more than I tend to realize I do. But my attempts to take down the bricks of the wall to pave the road means also that the terrain may be some what rocky and repetitive for the reader. It is important that people hear the things I say, but it is more important that I say them.

In other words: I don't take it personally if you find yourself scrolling past me, but I am trying not to use cuts, even when the entry is long or angsty. I will make an effort to use one when triggery. Feel free to ask for one on that front. I should also note that I am trying to post most things publicly, but you may find that entries appear and disappear depending how I am feeling in relation to them. I'm not deleting, just making decisions about what words are for whom when.

I'm finding often in these entries that my words go in directions I did not plan to go. I am trying to follow them. They know best what most needs to be said.

There are very, very few pictures of me. I know of only about a dozen from my teenage years. Camera shyness and photo-destroying rampages are only part of the story. As I once explained to a friend, I had for so long the intention of not "sticking around," so I didn't see any need to document. I now see the need. This journal is apart of that reclamation of my right to exist.

"And there are so many silences to be broken"...
another_constellation: A white man smiling at a laptop (Default)
2011-01-07 04:16 am

Continuing work stuff.

So T has asked a couple times about my transition, which feels nice right now. I know that at a time, I would have really been defensive and felt that my shit was private and not open to discussion or generally been closed off, but it feels nice ot have someone asking questions about this stuff. I'm at the point now that when someone finds out I was raised as a girl, it's clear enough that I am a guy that that information doesn't change a lot. But as a result of this, I never get to talk about what that experience felt like and feels like. It's so weird to me, especially at school (where I'm getting a Master's degree in Gender and Cultural Studies, hich I mention because, it makes t suck more) that people never ask me questions about it.

I don't remember if I talked about this before, but last semester I took a class on white anti-racist activism and justice work or, as one Kenyan woman in my program described it, "how to be a good White person." The class kicked my ass every single week in more ways than I would ever have thought imaginable. I cut again, a few seperate times, after probably four years without it, but I can't say much about that. I never realized how much all of this stuff (race, gender, sexuality, sex, BODIES, disability, language) was bound up together for me (and most people). It was a really, really painful class, but also very valuable. Anyway, the professor, B , was really great, and I went to see her in office hours a few times, which is something I never do. I was , talking about my depression because I really need to be in thrapy right now, but I can't bring myself to go because I'm depressed and my life is totally off the tracks, and that brought up my transition, which she actually asked a couple questions about, as well as made a couple statements that didn't jive well for me. But at one point she was referencing all these people and I thought maybe they were theorists and she asked if I knew them and I said no. She aked about a couple others, then said they were all really active in the Boston trans community. I said I don't really like being in trans spaces, because people look at me like they know something about my life in a way that makes me feel incredibly invisible, and di don't lik that, feeling invisble while people look at me and think thyeknow me. She looked at me for a very long time.

more when I'm not crying so much
another_constellation: A white man smiling at a laptop (thinking)
2010-12-13 05:54 am
Entry tags:

(no subject)

So I'm thinking that the weird, persistant, burning mostly-joint pain I've been having for the past few months is likely linked to cold/damp weather. My knee was pretty stiff yesterday and today it was pouring and the usual joints hurt (knee, ankles, wrist, elbows, fingers). On the one hand, it's a comfort that it's most likely just normal joint pain, the likes of which many older people experience. But I'm not "older," I'm twenty-three and it's time like these that I am reminded of with how little care I have treated my body. It is a cold comfort to know that many others treat their bodies with similar disregard, and some even with more open animosity than I. I basically need a shit load of therapy regarding the great psychic divide I have between my mind and body and the tenuousnesss with with I mediate their interactions.
another_constellation: A white man smiling at a laptop (Default)
2010-11-30 02:15 am
Entry tags:

Memory fragment

I got shampoo in my eye the other day and started seeing geometric patterns of yellow on dark brown. When Bekky and I were little, we would press on our eyes until we saw these shapes and tell one another we were seeing Jesus. The memory was so powerful I didn't wash the shampoo out right away, just had a moment of deep nostalgia.

I find myself missing Bekky and a few people from high school, but I think what I really miss is the ability to go home, and to be legible to others. I have been living stealth; whether intentionally or not, I knew what I was doing. And as I result, I feel cut off from myself. I no longer invent a male childhood, as I once did, and my expression feels extremely feminine. I haven't done a shot in a few months, no real reason, it was just getting harder to do so and my prescription ran out and I have been feeling a bit self-destructive. My gender these days is a quagmire-- that's literally my gender identification. I identify so strongly with women, but not as a woman. And I don't think I want to be a man, a monolith illegible even to myself. I think I spotted last month or the month before, and to my shock, the world didn't end. Part of me wants to push this, too see how far I can go.

The good part is that I am okay with this. The bad part is that I am not speaking it to anyone.

I rarely speak these days.

This cycle is so familiar to me. I know it is ultimately not the healthiest thing for me, but it doesn't feel half as bad as it once did.

Today, I float.