“WHAT IS TRANS” / “I LOVE AMOS”
signal boost the HELL out of this, please! it’s negative public attention that gets the attention of websites like wordpress!
oh man, get her picture OFF there at the VERY least…
right? obviously the next step is to get wordpress to adopt a policy for their TOS that disallows hateful blogs like gallus mag and gendertrender, but this would be the VERY LEAST they could do.
And she bought me pizza one time! Charming conversationalist, fabulous activist!
By clicking the link above, you can say happy birthday to Mara by donating to the Center, which is a kickass organization. If you can afford it, I recommend it highly!
You might’ve seen that I’ve been reblogging quotes about queer theory from this tumblr a lot. It’s the class tumblr of a class I’m taking with a professor named Vanessa this year. It’s called “Queer Worlds/Queer Ethnographies.” During the first semester, we’re thinking about what we mean by “queer” and by “ethnography.” During the second, we’re writing an ethnography based on some deep hanging out—a term Vanessa uses and that I’ve been using in addition to/instead of “fieldwork.”
I’m going to be writing an ethnography about queer femme online self-documentation, and if you want to be a part of it, please let me know. If you post pictures of yourself in makeup when you are sad, or if you don’t, I would love to deep hang out with you. If you write long posts about your feelings so that you can figure out what they are, or if you don’t, I would love to deep hang out with you. If you are documenting a transition online that has nothing to do with how many weeks you’ve been on hormones, or if you aren’t, I would love to deep hang out with you.
My ethnography isn’t going to observe the usual formal constraints of the genre. It will probably involve poetry, vignettes, and images—maybe even ventilated prose, which is an idea I’m unsteady on but interested in at the moment. As you might be able to guess, I’m not “an anthropologist.” I don’t intend to go to grad school for anthropology; I don’t intend to become a professor of anthropology who occasionally goes on sabbatical to do fieldwork or write a book. If I had to pick an academic discipline, it would be either literature or critical theory. If I got to invent my own discipline, it could be called literary justice theory, or something else neat along those lines. And I have no idea how picking a discipline interacts with the fact that I’m a writer before I’m anything, and that the stuff I mostly write is poetry.
I’m not interested in “documenting” and “theorizing about” passive people. I’m interested in talking about my analysis with you, collaborating with you on a work about a form of social interaction we both engage in. I don’t want to demand writing or reading or anything from people who are kind enough to get involved in my project, but if you want to do that kind of stuff I would LOVE it. All of my theorizing and writing process will be transparent.
With regard to dissemination/publication/exposure, I have no idea right now. This could be something I try to publish—in which case pseudonyms are a workable thing, though imperfect—or this could be something that my professor and maybe a few classmates read, but no one else. I’m not sure yet. If you choose to work with me on this, I will inform you whenever the possibility of dissemination comes up. If you reject the possibility, it won’t happen.
A word on this project and identities: As a trans person, I’m interested in privileging trans voices over cis voices. Still, cis femmes are encouraged to message me!
Second word on this project and identities: Because this project is in large part about femme, I’m interested in people who identify now, have identified, feel a connection to the aesthetic of, etc., “fem/me.” If you’ve distanced yourself from femme or fem or fem/me for whatever reason, but still identify with the self-documentation self-realization practices I’m talking about here, and you’re interested in being involved, please do shoot me a message!
Third and most important word on this project and identities: I’m a white man; I’m trying not to be scum. Of course, the fact that I say this could mean nothing at all, because who would trust a white man when he says a thing like that? All I can say is that I welcome call outs, and would welcome them even more in the course of a project like this.
If you’re reading this post and you’re like, who is this guy, what is his deal, what the hell, here’s some information about me. On the scholarly side, I always have trouble describing myself, but the books on my desk right now are Gloria Anzaldúa’s Borderlands/La Frontera, Evelyn Waugh’s Charles Ryder’s Schooldays, David Eng’s Racial Castration: Managing Masculinity in Asian America, Harold Acton’s Memoirs of an Aesthete, Tennessee Williams’s Memoirs, Samuel R. Delaney’s Nova, Ann Cvetkovich’s An Archive of Feelings, EM Forster’s Howard’s End,and a book of queer critiques of Forster called Queer Forster. I like these books and also other books and would like to talk to you about books.
If you have literally any sort of question at all about this project, you can email me at patchworknureyev at gmail, or you can send me a message on tumblr.
It would also be awesome if you could reblog this to signal boost!
Sent a message to my old boss at Lambda Legal, who specializes in transgender rights. This is a more eloquent version of what was said and what upset me, rather than a quick phone whinging session:
Today, in Psychology of Gender, James Gillam, executive deputy director of ACLU’s Southern California branch, came in to speak to the class. He was talking about anti-discrimination for LGBTQ people, and said a few REALLY problematic things that actually made me see red.
Firstly, he was discussing the LGBTQ acronym, and when discussing the Q, put genderqueers in there because they are questioning their identities, and don’t fit in with the T part of the equation. He clearly didn’t realize that there’s a trans* umbrella in which GQ folks fit in, but I’m more bothered by the fact that he called it “questioning”.
Secondly, he was talking about ENDA, and how it’s yet to pass, without giving so much as a nod or mention to the fact that it was originally GENDA. That really bothered me, but then he kinda mentioned how LGB people thought that it would be easier to get their rights if they threw trans* people under the bus and pursued for LGB rights first (not with that wording, but that’s essentially what he meant). He then said that he regretted the schism that caused within the LGBT community.
Immediately after that last bit, he was talking about…well, oppression olympics in the LGBTQ community, basically. He was saying that trans* people essentially move on to be the opposite sex, so all they’re subject to is “normal sex-stereotype discrimination”. I think he even said that trans* people are less at risk/have more privilege than LGB people because they pass as normal, therefore we need to focus on giving LGB people rights because they present themselves in a non-normative manner sometimes.
Do you see what’s wrong with this picture or am I unnecessarily angry and offended? I can’t believe that this is someone from the ACLU, who is supposed to be helping -me- and -people like us- get the rights we deserve. And yet, Gillam basically said that we don’t need those rights, that LGB people need it more, that we’re actually higher up on the hierarchy than LGB people are. He was clearly uneducated on the subject, but still acted like he was to a room of 100+ students.
I’m still seeing red I’m so upset. I can’t believe this.
It sounds like Gilliam was parroting—at least in part—the party line of “trans people are covered under current gender-related anti-discrimination legislation because they do not behave according to the stereotypical construction of their assigned gender.” As if that were enough.
I talk about how cis media chooses to emphasize trans people’s emotional journeys at the expense of our ability to contribute to discourse.
(Tyler Clementi’s dad)
They’re sweet as hell. I especially like the trans man’s husband remarking that after transition, the trans guy didn’t become “a different person”—rather, he became himself “more so,” more like the person he’d been during happier times in their life together. Also wonderful: a little girl asking why her mom can’t turn into a cat instead of a man. If there are any ten-year-olds reading this, “cat” was my first choice, but I ended up with “man” because I didn’t have a good spot in line.
This could be triggering because of the stupidly essentialist and cissexist language that even NPR still uses to talk about trans lives and bodies. I mean, come on—“born a woman”? “Becomes a man”? What year is it, mainstream media?
Yesterday I was browsing tumblr & ended up on the blog of someone I don’t follow, but have mutual acquaintances with, and encountered some weird stuff. I’d appreciate your thoughts, because I am trying to figure this out in my head! I’m going to quote their statements because I don’t want to mischaracterize them, but I’m not going to put up their blog’s name either.
I would really appreciate it if you guys helped me think about this.
(TW: homophobic language behind cut, talk of monosexism, general discussion of triggers and triggering)
So, this person was responding to a post that was really monosexist, and wrote:
monosexuality aka heterosexuality and homosexuality are disgusting.
I understand how that is an important and necessary statement, especially if you’re someone who’s bi or pan and suffers from monosexism. But I find that super triggering! For those of you following along at home, I’m gay and have suffered pretty significantly at the hands of the sentiment “homosexuality is disgusting”—but I don’t think that’s just me, or just gay people. I feel like plenty of people who aren’t monosexual could be triggered by that statement, because it’s probably been used against them.
I’ll level with you: I was triggered very badly and had to spend a couple of hours in bed. I’m not sure why—some days it’s like water off a duck’s back and some days it really gets to me. I eventually felt better, got up, did my show (I direct a radio theatre variety show), and came home. Once I was back home I felt ready to do some self-advocacy, so I sent the following ask, and this morning, got a response:
So, I don’t want to use my monosexual privilege against this person. On the other hand! Some things, like homophobic language, needles, substance abuse, discussion of ED behavior, wounds, etc., are just really commonly triggering! And it is really problematic not to warn for them! And I ended up spending most of my day in bed and incapacitated because of this person’s refusal to, which could have been easily avoided. And why would you deliberately include what triggered me again in your response to my question? I mean, come on. Kindness.
Of course some triggers are uncommon and impossible to warn for—like, a college friend of mine is triggered by the movie Labyrinth, and I’m sometimes triggered by this one Train song (not just because it is bad music). But I don’t think that warning for common triggers privileges them over uncommon ones.
In my trigger policy I try to account for this:
Please, if you feel comfortable, either leave a comment or email me and I will warn for your particular trigger in the future, even if it’s totally uncommon and specific to you. I understand; some of my triggers are unique and inexplicable as well, but they’re still triggers and horrible! If you’re going to be in this space regularly, I value your health and safety and I want to make this space as safe and healthful as I can for you.
This system seems to work pretty well. (I got the idea from Ira.)
Then there’s the question here about monosexism and homosexuality. I am thinking a lot about this.
What do you think? Is exclusively homosexual desire monosexist? Is having a gay or lesbian identity monosexist? Am I being monosexist by being triggered by the statement that homosexuality is disgusting?
There are many, but unlike much other fanfic, they are almost entirely sexless. The governing trope of John Darnielle fanfic is called “slay or...
Oh by the way I got the solo
I guess I’ll be
Closin the show
in other news stephen ira’s blogging is on point tonight
“female to girl who can’t say no”
and “female to mage” (true neutral)
are having a moment.
I get irrationally upset when I find out someone who I didn’t like in high school is queer now.
Stop it I finally found a fun party that I like and...