October 31, 2018

Oregonians, for the love of God, please vote for Kate Brown


I mostly talk about politics in broad strokes. I so happen to live in Oregon, a state where a zillionaire fake “moderate” who blocks even gentle criticism, who won’t talk to even slightly critical press, and who is running patently false ads with gendered criticism…is somehow still in this Governor’s race. Despite the fact that Trump is trying to roll back the meager Federal protections LGBT people have and he has declared a full-on war on basic reproductive rights, Dashing Duke of Doublespeak Knute Buehler claims to be pro-choice on one day as he swears fealty to forced-birthers with his votes.

Oregonians, for the love of God, imperfect though you may find her, vote for Kate Brown if you care about gay rights, reproductive rights, trans rights, and, oh yeah, things like therapeutic courts and keeping the faith on Oregon’s staying free of a pesky, regressive sales tax. I know you think she’s messed up one education, when in fact pretty much everyone who’s peed in the Capitol Building, Governor Brown and Dr. Buehler-Trump included, is at fault there.  The gendered, gross “overwhelmed” ads that Buehler echoes Trump’s meaningless yet scary-sounding claims of illness and “low energy”; they’re designed to promote the idea that a woman plum can’t handle the job. The coincidences aren’t just familiar, they’re outright uncanny.

So here’s why you should be *really* scared of Buehler: he’s not just running the same sorts of ads as Trump, he’s all over the map on what he’ll actually do.  Though we can all agree that he is a-ok with “gay marriage”, the reality is his record on LGBTQ rights generally is nonexistent, and asking even the most vague questions about what Buehler intends to do to protect the basic rights of LGBTQ citizens if Trump pushes for greater restrictions on our basic rights, you’ll get this:

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…blocked. If this is what Knute Buehler-Trump does when someone asks what he’s going to do to protect us in the event of greater Federal interference in our lives, I think it speaks volumes about his disdain for talking about gay people in any sense besides marriage. Does marriage matter? You bet your bippy, but it’s not the be-all and end-all of basic rights for queer people, and if he’s the moderate who supports our rights, why is he terrified of being asked where he stands on our humanity? If he’s such a “moderate”, why is he unwilling to take a public position on queer rights?

Well, it gets worse. See, those same soft-focus ads that show Dr. Buehler having deep-seeming conversation with blonde-haired, blue-eyed women (I’m sure it’s an accidental oversight that they’re all blonde-haired blue-eyed white women…) tell us he’s “pro-choice.” And he is…you know, if I’m the Dutchess of Sussex. I mean, we’re both mixed-race women, we must be the same, right?  So, uh, turns out no group concerned with abortion rights in Oregon agrees. It may come as a shock in allegedly oh-so-liberal Oregon, but the Pacific Northwest is often where new and changing concepts of regressive law get introduced. It’s pretty easy to get a referendum on the ballot, see…direct democracy and all.  Direct democracy got us legalized weed and gay marriage and that ruled. It got us better governmental oversight and better public records laws, too!  However, direct democracy also allows pretty simple access to the ballot, and as a result we end up with candidates who often say they support one thing and they actually support another.

With Buehler, this hypocritical decision comes with the terrifying Measure 105, which seeks to repeal Oregon’s ancient law against using local cops as the long arm of the Federal immigration enforcement complex. (We’d love to know where he stands on the Measure 106 backdoor ban on abortion, but he, once again, is mysteriously without comment. How very “pro-choice.”)  Buehler unashamedly supports this SB1090-like measure which is essentially legalizing racial profiling…which a non-trivial portion of law enforcement opposes. There’s good people who oppose this pro-profiling law on both sides of the aisle…the one time “both sides” matters, but there’s a lot of folks like Buehler who support it with no clue how to pay for letting the Feds have yet another unfunded mandate and no idea how to make any of this work.  The reality is if you’re convicted of a violent crime or a felony in Oregon, just like anywhere else, the Feds get a cut at your immigration status. They shouldn’t get one the you’re just walking down the street, and it’s literally giving cops more impetus to claim race as probable cause. Buehler is for it, but claims he’s not campaigning for it or wants it on the ballot…so why are you voting for it, sir?

One of Buehler’s linchpins is the vague “do something about the homeless” that he claims Brown has done nothing about. Has Governor Brown done enough? Hell no. But to single her out as the problem when plenty of politicians just kick the can on homelessness is a bit facile. Again, Dr. Buehler had plenty of time to raise appropriations bills in the House during his time there. He hasn’t done anything in terms of providing solutions, but he sure runs a lot of really negative ads. In what might be really telling, unlike any other candidate for Governor since Street Roots has existed, he just blew off the homelessness issues questionnaire. The refusal to talk to any media that might be so much as slightly critical is the worst hallmark of Trumpism, the ideal that only “good media” gets answers, and that the secretiveness is somehow deserved if you don’t fall in lock step. Lest you say “but that paper would be critical of any Republican”, multiple previous GOP candidates for Gov have talked to Street Roots. Including Dennis Richardson, who showed an almost disarming level of candor even if we didn’t agree, Chris Dudley, and…well, all of them since SR has existed. Except Dr. Buehler.

We could go into the other terrifying parallels with Trump: won’t release his tax returns, won’t stop trying to claim that Brown’s office somehow did something involving the Cover Oregon mess, won’t stick to any one thing, because like Trump, the story changes depending on the day and who he’s telling it to. You don’t get to be one person in Bend and another in Beaverton, and having some pretty intimate knowledge of Buehler’s communication style, I can tell you with great confidence he isn’t the “moderate” he claims to be. Not just because his votes say otherwise and his back-room promises show otherwise, but because his idea of “leadership” is much like Trump’s: sow chaos and try to profit off the results. Everything about his similarities and overlaps, from refusing to talk to slightly critical media to blocking someone for asking him to commit to LGBT rights when Trump comes at us…these are not the acts of a moderate. They’re the acts of someone who believes they should be beyond reproach and who sees mild criticism as an “attack.” Don’t be fooled.

Knute Buehler is just too risky in these times. A Governor who can’t even decide if trans people should have basic rights and who promises forced-birther zeal one day to one bunch while claiming to be pro-choice on TV is not your friend, and he’s not going to lead in any “progressive” manner. He’s as pro-LGBTQ as Trump himself, and similarly uses shifty language to say nothing’s going to happen to you…but he refuses steadfastly to say he has our back.

Knute Buehler is no moderate, nor will he ever be. He’s a living embodiment of Trumpian politics in a time when we can’t afford that. And if you ask him if he’s willing to stand behind LGBTQ people in these troubled times for us…you get blocked.

Sounds familiar. Too familiar. Don’t fall for it, Oregon.

September 17, 2018

there is no feminist Gilead: why forced-birther rhetoric from TERFs is no accident

It’s hardly original thought that the FART (the official new and less problematic term for “T**F“) set is deeply in the pocket of the reactionary white Calvinist right; far wiser people than I have pointed this out previously. But what if I told you this was nothing new and that the forced-birther sympathies of the FART in fact date back decades to infamous pro-genocide activist Janice Raymond?

This willingness to conspire with the far-right dates to at least 1991. Planned Parenthood of Southeast PA v. Casey loomed large in the road ahead, the challenge to Roe v. Wade that the forced-birthers dreamed of. It was the worst of times for reproductive freedom in the United States…you know, until now, when there is an eerie silence from the FARTs about Kavanaugh, someone who has been accused of sexual assault (I guess the FART looks the other way when their darlings like Victoria Brownworth or Anne Quisling Lawrence commit sexual assault…add Kavanaugh to that list?) and who advocates a brutal, regressive forced-birther agenda in the US.

Now, we know what the point of this forced-birther nonsense is to the Trumpenbrownshirt: Gilead. The place he dreams of where womenfolk will do what we’re told, and behave at the behest of the Holy White Man. No more of those pesky gay people unless they’re Obedient, no more disabled people, no more no more no more.

This is what the patriarchy dreams of. And on the service the FART at least claims to be against patriarchy. So what happened in 1991, other than Gang Starr’s Step In The Arena, arguably the best hip-hop album ever, UDub winning the national championship in football (also arguably), and Hawai’i and Connecticut passed gay rights laws? Janice Raymond helped pen a book which formed a broadside attack against RU486, aka “the abortion pill.” Though the intent of her treatise was, facially, the preservation of access to  abortion, the reality remains that in much of the US, and non-zero constituencies throughout the Western Anglosphere, RU486 represented broader access to basic reproductive medicine that included abortion. (Though I entreat you not to financially support hate, the title of the treatise is RU 486: misconceptions, myths and morals. I’m betting you can probably find a copy out there in the aether somewhere.)

I am not going to tell you that there is no complexity to Dr. Raymond’s position; you should read her treatise on the matter if you want to make up your own mind, since I am by nature not going to claim to be objective: I support abortion on demand without apology, and Dr. Raymond…kinda doesn’t, so we have a difference of opinion based solely on fact and questions may arise from that. There were similarly some questions about mifepristone-misoprostol abortion care back in the day, but they were largely resolved by 1991. In fact, this treatise has held up over time about as well as Simon Baron-Cohen’s repeatedly debunked Vaccines Cause Autism quackery.

But the thing that really matters: It was 1991. There was significant doubt in the States that Roe would survive its next date with the Supreme Court and the early Australian studies cited in RU486:MMM had nuggets of truth but didn’t justify handing the Calvinist fundamentalists the gift the book represented. But that’s the thing about the FART: it’s never actually been about the well-being of women, especially of lesbians, when you see what the FART actually does: from the gutless Cathy Brennan casting her lot in with the forced-birther Pacific Justice Institute (you know, the people who literally made up a story about a trans girl in a school in Colorado) to the fact that they continue to collaborate with Kaeley Triller Haver, who screams bloody murder that every trans woman is somehow a man *and* a sex predator whilst she herself is an admitted…well, you decide what this counts as.

By the same token, in 1991, RU486 felt like our Last Best Hope for Victory in access to abortion care in the US, but one that remained very illegal on our shores. The first real push to get RU486 into the States came to be in 1988, but speedy threats from the forced-birther set pushed it back. Its second crack came in 1991, when it was legalized in the United Kingdom and this treatise of concern trolling was one of the many things the forced-birthers seized upon. In fact, 20+ years later, repro health organizations across the globe…literally, across the globe, from ALRANZ in New Zealand to the UK’s ASN have been forced to push back against claims made by forced-birthers grounded in RU486:MMM.

Though Dr. Raymond walks among us to this day, her silence on the ongoing use of her conclusions in this treatise to support forced-birther theology is telling. When one’s words are misconstrued, one ordinarily corrects those who are using their words to speak falsehood, right? I mean, would you expect that anyone would accidentally allow as anti-feminist a cause as the forced-birth movement to use the words of a putative feminist without comment?

There’s things we all want to forget. My late 90s pop-punk “phase.”  Fleetwood Mac’s “Behind The Mask”. Election Night in 2016. That one time you tried to be a trans woman with NO MEN in her profile on FetLife and the discovery that will await you in your inbox three days later.

I don’t think Dr. Raymond intends to forget her contribution to RU486:MMM.  I’m actually pretty sure she stands by it but would prefer that we not discuss it because she knows shameful forced-birther perspectives really don’t play well in modern feminist circles and the FART party line that by supporting regressive policies they’re the real feminists but those scary trans women are the real problem because…*vigorous handwaving*.

So ultimately one has to question what the ultimate goal of the FART is when on every issue of women’s liberation, their sole talking points are sex workers and trans women are bad; that’s what happens when a group claiming to hold the moral high ground in their twisted parody of feminism seeks to inure itself to a patriarchal society: it starts throwing the people it thinks patriarchy hates worst off the bus. It takes us one step closer to Gilead, in the Handmaid’s Tale sense…and I’m pretty sure there is no feminist version of Gilead.

And if you don’t think that lower-economic-class people in need of abortion care isn’t next on their list, I have a bridge to sell you. One owner, low miles.


August 13, 2018

the trans tax, or why I’d really like a ‘polite word’ with Caitlin Jenner

There’s this thing called the “pink tax”, the reality that things intended for women to purchase, or services provided to women. If you’ve ever heard the BS reasons provided as justification, it should be quite obvious that the belief of the manufacturer and/or service provider is that somehow women “deserve” to pay more. It’s especially bad if you’re not a size 2-10, if you require specific shapes or cuts of clothing, and if you need adaptive technology. Apparently disabled women have more disposable income to spend on basic survival?

The pink tax is obvious to basically anyone less regressive than an MRA, so that means about 99% of the world. It’s not even debatable as to why, it’s debatable as to how severely it disadvantages women, but basically everyone agrees that it does, and I think most people understand that since we’re already getting paid less and face more basic obstacles in the activities of daily living in a patriarchal world, the “pink tax” is pretty severe, especially if you work in a situation where extensive grooming is forced upon you; it’s one thing to choose it, but being forced to wear makeup is like being forced to spend money, and unfortunately for some reason this kind of thing is often even considered legal, a pleasant reminder that what is legal isn’t always the same as what is moral.

The pink tax is, obviously, morally repugnant. It’s occasionally supported by three factions of people: marketers, who will basically support anything that makes money and damn the torpedos, Calvinist “Christian” fundamentalists, aka a bunch of white men who hate the idea of women having independent thoughts, or MRAs, who are a bunch of white men who really hate the idea of women having independent thoughts. Strange they’re completely alike, eh?

So let’s talk about a different issue. The “trans tax”.  See, a lot of us out here in the real world who don’t come from privilege and a six-figure tech salary, we have to woodwork to survive. That doesn’t mean, as white trans orthodoxy always screams, not being out to anyone or not working for trans rights. You’re welcome to that reductive point of view, but that reductive point of view, like much of white trans orthodoxy, literally kills TWoC, disabled trans women, and working-class trans women. You may be out to your friends, but not at work. You might be out to your work, but not to your family. You might be out at work and school but not to your neighbors.  This has been our basic safety method for decades, since trans time immemorial, really.

Trouble is, the “transgender tipping point” makes people like me more visible; there are many of us, more than you might know, and it’s somewhat hard to ponder why we stay out. Is it that trans culture is so toxic and obsessed with external beauty? Is it that it sucks to get called a man and stared at by our peers? Is it that when you have to worry about your spoons, trans orthodoxy is that you don’t get to be part of the group? Is it that there’s nowhere for you when something’s for “cuties only” and you can’t be good enough in the eyes of the skinny abled white trans woman who arbits who is and isn’t a “cutie” to be seen as female, much less a female person?

And then there’s our public relations problem. For every Laverne Cox, Imogen Binnie, Julia Serano, or Kim Coco Iwamoto out there who does great things for us, we have…(HBSer, Republican, kinda killed someone with her car) Caitlyn Jenner, (unashamed racist) Lana Wachowski, or (Republican, warhawk, Romney and the NRA-loving) Jennifer Prtizker. The former use their visibility and placement to uplift us all. The latter, well…let’s just say they modem the punching down that trans orthodoxy loves, yet at the same time, the latter use their hypervisibility to do things like traffic in tired racist stereotypes and to make sure they get their 15 minutes of fame in a reality show that focuses in an almost lurid fashion on trans women as living zoo exhibits.

Trouble is that such media exposure tends to tend the people who get off on living zoo exhibits to start looking under the eaves for them. In the past couple of years since Caitlyn Jenner endorsed a goddamn Fascist and since that goddamned Fascist has been enabling people who want to, you know, “morally mandate” people like us out of existence, it’s been different out there. When I go to work, I feel a little more on edge; I feel a little more terrified when the occasional Staring White Trans Woman thing happens on the train. I get a little more cautious, because what could happen next?

So I know I’ve said it before somewhere on the intertubes, so apologies for rehashing it: when you’re visibly disabled, people treat you like a goddamn zoo exhibit. Sometimes, they just grab you or your adaptive equipment. People assume that anything you do is somehow seeking attention. Custom paint job on your wheelchair? Must be seeking attention. In the meantime, people wear suits and nobody says that’s seeking attention; something that goes with you is as much a part of your clothing as a suit or your unders. The idea that because you left the house you deserve this inspection…it’s pretty ableist, yet almost everyone who is visibly disabled knows this as part of daily life.

See, those of us most at risk of coming to some sort of grief over our trans status suffer the worst in the post-I Am Cait world. And many of us are starting to feel the pinch because we are in no way able to pay the “trans tax” whilst horror stories make us think we might not be able to woodwork our way through that manicure or haircut, or going to the mall for a new pair of jeans, or picking up our meds at the pharmacy. If I even get the slightest hesitation when picking up hormones, I change pharmacies. Life’s too short to wonder if you’ll even get them the next time, or if they’re putting you on a list of Those People.

There’s an explicitly queer-friendly nail salon here in River City. I don’t want to single them out by name, since they’re both part of the problem but seem to be decent people trying to make a living. Trouble is, that’s where I’d feel safe getting my claws did anymore because what if this is the time the tech notices how big my hands are and then what?

But I can’t afford what they charge. The knowledge that that will be the safe judgment-free option is the reason they ain’t cheap.  If you had nappy hair and were a trans woman in New England back in the day, you know that one lady who didn’t give a shit and didn’t tell tales. I’m sure there’s more options now, but that was a pain in the ass back then half because she was across the universe from me and half because it felt weird I couldn’t just stroll down Main Street and get my tresses tended to. None of my friends had to leave the state to get their hair did. And I’m pretty sure even the bougie ones paid less.

This is the trans tax. It sucks, and it hits other/Outsider trans women without access to the commons even harder. If there’s some trans-friendly nail tech at 88 Lines About 44 Nails or something where word of mouth says they’re awesome…perhaps they won’t carry the same tax as the ones who advertise out and out being trans friendly. Well, the one. Single. Un. Solo.  I’ve been pondering getting a tattoo; unfortunately, I know of literally one tattoo artist in all River City who is okay with working with a trans woman. I’m sure there are others, but again, this is the one visible option. A lack of access to the commons is particularly costly in these situations, as those who lack such access can’t find out others through word of mouth. (I’ll gladly take suggestions in my Tumblr Ask Box if you have one and you know what I’m saying when I say River City.)

There’s the ones that affect us all, too. Like having to pay ridiculously spendy shipping (looking at you, Torrid) because you can’t just go into a clothing store without fear anymore. What if this is the time someone decides you’re a perv and you get trespassed from the mall? I mean, this is the kind of thing the far-right is encouraging people to do. What if the friendly salesperson trying to sign me up for store credit gives my address to K!w!Farms?

I’m not given to magic solutions about what to do about the trans tax. I know service providers gotta get paid, and I know that it is meant as a labor of love after a fact. I’d just really like to be able to afford it. I know that for the more moneyed among us that perhaps it’s great to be able to buy that kind of peace of mind and…well, bully for you, but why can’t we *all* have that? I mean, this is the kind of thing where trans orthodoxy is merciless toward outsider/Other trans women: grooming. I’m already harshly judged for not meeting impossible white-abled beauty standards, and I imagine that sooner or later in finding things to complain about it would get to that my cuticles look like hot ass. I’d say it’s ironic, but perhaps the grandest irony of all is that I’m sure the same hot garbage people who defend the pink tax laugh their ass off at the idea of a trans tax.

June 21, 2018

sisterhood isn’t staring

It’s a Thursday afternoon here in River City. Overcast, humid, a little breezy. Everyone’s blasting the air conditioning inside so it’s more temperate outside than inside, and thus my hair has collapsed and regrown into a tangled mess kin of Medusa, who you have to admit had the best nappy hair because it was goddamned snakes.

I get on the bus. Show my pass, say my pleasantries to the driver, and sit down. And I feel it. You know that soul-crushing feeling when someone is staring at you? You try to do the thing we’re instructed to do as “polite”; look up, flash a quick smile, look away.

It doesn’t work. White Trans Woman Stare Of Death, how I don’t miss you. And you’re everywhere, from the same white trans women who harangue, who mock, and who make sure that nobody who isn’t a rail-thin “cutie” is allowed in trans community.

And yet you’re the same people who constantly yell at me about what I owe them, their bizarre concept of “sisterhood.” If you expect sisterhood, if you expect support, if you expect to provide some sort of “you owe me”, you need to owe me and mine something: stop staring. Stop maintaining impossible standards of beauty for “trans enough” and, yes, perhaps consider that this is what white trans women broadcast in the same breath that they expect you to owe them “sisterhood”:

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Twitter user @tranimegirl tells me I’m “unattractive…unhealthy.” No word on when she became my GP. 

Sooner or later, she called me a man and that I had somehow transitioned improperly because…I don’t even know. You tell me what the hell this means:

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Apparently, I’m a son of a bitch. And I’m allergic to dairy, so I don’t think I’m eating Haagen Dazs. Also, totally finna detransition  RIGHT NOW…not.

You can’t stare and claim sisterhood. When you stare, you intend to do harm. When you stare, you’re causing pain and angst for funsies. When you stare, you remind me that trans community says you’re better than me because only “cuties” are allowed anymore, and God, that term is so fucking ghastly.  “Cuties only” means that trans women who are outsider/Other can’t participate since the person making the decision are white trans women who get to exclude and harm at will because the slave mentality runs so deep in the trans community that enforcing impossible standards of “good enough” is de rigeur.

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That’s right. Because you’re fat and won’t answer questions from a 4chan troll. you’re not trans. Amazing leap of logic there.

This is your mainstream “trans community”. This is “the only option for outsider/Other trans women is the support group” since when something is for “cuties only”, obviously that has a very strict weight limit, and ableds or people with invisibile disabilities only… because white feels. And, well, this literally plays into the arguments T**Fs and MRAssholes make about the uniformity of trans women, but that’s for another post, not when I’m crying into my Pendleton in a bar because I just spent 15 minutes on the bus having daggers stared into my soul for the shameful actions of leaving the house, which is what that kind of hateful lashing out is. You don’t stare at someone for 15 minutes unless you’re doing it to express your deep, abiding antipathy. Ableist douchebros don’t do that,

I guess my question is why. If you can harangue me on Twitter about how I’m a terrible person for not doing enough for the trans community, you can a)figure out accessible points of entry to said community that aren’t “because you’re not a ‘cutie’ you have to go to the support group” and b)stop fucking staring. If you want sisterhood, which y’all keep talking about, you gotta treat me like a sister. That means staying together in the good and the bad, and that means saying together even when someone is somehow one dress size too large, since all my sisters, whether by blood, by family, or by choice aren’t going  to give a shit about the size of my ass, if my face is perfect enough, or if I’m looking “abled enough” on any given day.

But…you tell me what I owe you constantly, and yet…you stare. You throw rocks whenever you can, and I understand your life may well be horrible, but that doesn’t give you the right to be abusive to me because I fail some means test that white trans women have created which is literally impossible to clear because I’m not a tiny “cutie.”

In short, stop staring. For now, though, if you insist on it, please remember that you’re doing tangible and actual harm and I did not consent to that. You’re invading my ability to leave the house and do people things because I don’t conform to your idea of what an “acceptable” trans woman is, which seems to be the racist/ableist/douchey “cutie” nonsense.

I’m sorry your life sucks, but part and parcel of sisterhood is not a belief that you get to harm those you consider beneath you whenever you think lashing out sounds good. If you think lashing out sounds good, perhaps you’re using me as a vessel for your anger.

You want to do that from here on, it’s $200 an hour or fraction thereof, cash only. Until then, please stop staring or fuck off into the sun. Please stop telling me online how much I owe you but believing I must be shut out of anything other than the inherently abusive support group for not being a “cutie.” And maybe attempt to get over yourself.

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“Bellend” means dick. Just call me a dick. We’re all dicks sometimes. And as you requested, posting your screenshots. 🙂

June 11, 2018

“too fat to pass”…can you not?

I read this at the Women Your Mother Warned You About event in New York City on June 5, 2018. I promised I’d put it online…which I was totally going to do in the airport…which always turns into “I swear there’s a Red Mango in this terminal somewhere” and “Hm, maybe the bathroom will be less crowded now.”  It’s Newark. The bathroom will NEVER be less crowded.

Without further ado…

“I’m too fat to pass”, you say.

Want to know how you convince a fat trans woman to be terrified of you? You say things like that.

White trans orthodoxy places an almost monomaniacal focus on being thin, and if you’re not, you get informed of how much weight you “have” to lose to pass, or that you can’t be your “authentic self” if you’re fat. And those are the nice ones. When you talk about being fat and trans online, the abuse from the faceless masses tends to come flying. In one week not that long ago,, I was termed “unhealthy and unattractive” and referred to not only as a man, the favored chestnut of the horrible wyt trans woman, but also by the delightful sobriquet of “bacon grease.” A few years back, when I’d been beaming with joy I took a selfie I liked, the response was, and I quote, “you’re a fat, ugly cow.”

My hometown newspaper, or what passes for one, wrote a human interest story about a county commissioner out on the coast who, in the story, informed us all that she “had to lose 250 pounds” to transition.  Now, admittedly, my hometown newspaper is politely described as hot garbage, but that sentiment isn’t just commonplace; it is to weight what putting on lipstick in a mirror is to these stories.

I grew up quite literally tortured over food, and denied it for reasons too toe-curling to discuss here. I have a scad of eating disorders that forms a list longer than a damn CVS receipt, and at the same time as a fat woman I remind folks that fat people can have more eating disorders than “just” Binge Eating Disorder.  The thing about eating disorders is that they’re almost impossible to have an honest conversation about them, and when you do it’s meant to be hushed and secretive. At the same time, people yell at really thin women to eat a cheeseburger and call them anorexic behind their back. It’s terrible behavior, half because often those skinny women are thin because that’s how genetics work…I know a few, and they’re all wonderful people who aren’t fatphobes, and half because diagnosing people remotely without a medical degree has literally never worked.

But, of course, the same people telling me that I’m “unhealthy and unattractive” are somehow magically capable of doing just that. They have by some miracle figured out the ins and outs of my medical status and able to know what my doctor recommends. They are informing me in grotesque detail of how “surgeons” won’t work with anyone with a BMI over 28. They know my blood pressure is high, except that it’s so low I can’t take beta blockers for anxiety. They know my fasting blood sugar and A1C by some magic ability, except that I’m not diabetic and not anywhere near pre-diabetes. They know I must be disabled because I’m fat, which is truly amazing given that my disabilities are largely congenital. And, of course, there’s a wide range of reasons they seem to believe that this is brought on solely by eating 6000 calories a day.

Now, I’m not going to tell you those days never happen. Or that I never eat at McDonald’s or have a shitty week where I may well plow a pint of Halo Top and drink red wine out of the bottle. Thing is, that’s not policed for most people, hell it’s fodder for the single-camera sitcom.  When you’re fat, every Big Mac is allegedly political, and every calorie that isn’t approved gets you a little more disapproval. Do you know what it’s like to go to the grocery store without wondering if maybe you buy a box of Triscuits you’re going to get someone’s opinion foisted on you? How about having to ask your skinny friends to buy ice cream for you if there’s no self-check lane? What about when you haven’t eaten for ten hours and you’re driving in rural Washington, where your options after 8pm are often McDonald’s or McDonald’s? Can I have a Big Mac then?

Fat is a unique American bugaboo, and given the perfect storm of the wyt/wyt-adjacent trans community’s obsession with sameness and the gendered nature of body policing under patriarchy (if you were timing how long it’d take for me to say patriarchy…), fat trans women occupy a special kind of hell. It’s still acceptable in trans circles to claim being triggered by disabled people or fat people because in the sameness-obsessed place that is your trans community, these are easy acceptable ways to hate people. Claim it’s a trigger, something you can’t argue with because what kind of monster would trigger someone, and then demand the exclusion of that person, because after all if your presence, and I must be clear not your words or your actions, is triggering, you’re kicked out. You’re given the choice of stay and be called a monster who would consciously trigger someone or alternately leave and give up.

That obsession with sameness really stems from the unspoken truth of trans community: our leaders really are obsessed with what wyt men think of us. When wyt trans women promote gatekeeping, it’s because the approval the wyt trans community seeks is that of wyt men. When wyt trans women defend weight limits for things like hormones, much less genital or facial surgery, they’re trying to constrain supply in the bloody capitalist system we live in. When wyt trans women tell those of us who are mixed-race or people of color that we have to make our features less “ethnic” to pass, they use both the weaponized Caucasian trans concept of what passing means to tell us that we’re not one of them.

They believe there can only be so many, like Highlanders or some shit like that. When there’s a trans lobby day, they talk in terms that seem to say we don’t want you here, because they’re afraid it might be disability lobby day or lesbians with frizzy hair lobby day or some similar nonsense. As part of the workings of this kind of oppressive thought, the reality becomes obvious: trans community loves sameness because to a group that is almost exclusively wyt and suburban-raised, the idea of “what will the neighbors think” literally rules the discourse.

And to that suburban Puritan mentality the Aryans from Darien love so much, being fat or being disabled is seen as a moral failing.  Trans community is pretty much like any other wyt intentional community in that there’s layers and layers of  moral purity that must be proven. Are your politics correct? Are you out enough? Do you cone from money? Do you work in the right job? Did the other people watch you transition so they’re sure you’re the right kind of trans, or actually trans, or or or.

But what the Puritan really despises is the capital-O Other. I feel it, from the whole idea that the mere presence of a fat person in a space is triggering.  I didn’t transition in public view or with any trans community to speak of, because when I transitioned, we weren’t supposed to talk to each other outside of a therapeutic setting.  And yes, I’m fat and disabled, but this might be a news flash to wyt trans women: there are such things as fat women and disabled women. There are in fact women who are *both*.

But to wyt trans community, there’s this constant thrum of “dues”. Have you so-called paid them? Did you pay them correctly? Do wyt trans women have enough dirt on you so that if you get out of line they can push you back into the trough? And why doyou need to know my dead name, anyways? Why is it any of your business if I’m out at work? I have worked in a slew of pink-collar jobs all my life, where I really don’t want to be the one who finds out if she’ll keep her job or not when she gets outed, because that’s how I end up homeless again. I say this not to make you feel bad for me; I don’t want your sympathy. I really would prefer you see me as a human being with a number of desires and wants, not an item to be treated like a non-player character in a role-playing game.

And that’s the heart of it: if you keep trans community pure, and perfect through the lens of suburban wyt identity, you’re not only doing a disservice to the people you expect to do all the labor for you, you’re putting an edge out to the world where the first criticism the people who hate us, from MRAs to wyt Christian fundamentalists to edgy douchebag professors to TERFs…they all seize upon that trans community, and in particular trans women, look the same, talk the same, act the same, and…well, with all due respect, most of you are the same, and you enforce it. You can’t be one of us, you’re not in tech. You can’t be one of us, this space is for “cuties” only. You can’t be one of us, you’re not abled enough. You’re not smart enough to know what your gender is.  You don’t have a diagnosis. You don’t, you can’t, you don’t. And, well, in the past couple of years, every excuse under the sun to make trans community more inaccessible has been used under the guise of the far-right. Hate to break it to you, but fat people can be leftists, too. It’s just that there’s too much wrapped up in the perception of the wyt gaze that says if you’re fat you’re probably a Republican.  Can someone explain for me how that works?

So we fight from two fronts as Others, whether as the people of color wyt trans community expects to stay out and die so that they can read  our names one day a year and forget about equity and inclusion for trans women of color for the other 364, or as people deemed “too fat” or “too disabled” or the like.  But we also fight the greater fight against cis oppressors, and we are often told how because all trans women are the same, it’s somehow logical to the wyt trans mindset that we’re still the defective ones holding you back. If we can just get rid of those pesky defective ones, everything will be alright.

You’re hurting yourselves when you hurt us. I know it feels like making sure there’s a strict 200 pound weight limit on womanhood sounds logical to most of you, but…it’s not, and it only harms you to keep us away. You may think you’re being so clever by labeling things “cuties only” and using the white suburban eye to grade who is “femme enough” but you’re just repeating the harm, and because the responses are the queer equivalent of BBQ Becky, except with vague meaningless terms like “problematic”, you’re expecting to be backed up by the very thick layer of wyt trans community that won’t say anything because they’re so concerned about what the neighbors think. When you call me “unhealthy and unattractive”, or stare that deathly glare on the train, or call me “he” and “eric” when I’m trying to get my coffee? You’re hurting two people.

You’re hurting me by misgendering, or staring…why do you people stare? You’re hurting me by telling me there is no space in trans community for me where everyone has to be a “cutie” to the wyt gaze, the standard of beauty enforced mercilessly and cruelly by privileged wyt trans women, or we’re worthless.

But in the end, you’re hurting yourself. You play into this idea that if you throw enough people overboard, maybe the ship won’t sink. Perhaps instead we should be talking about how to smash patriarchy and get free instead of invasive questions about genitalia and making sure everyone has the same approved “look.”  Perhaps instead of telling trans women who are Other that all we deserve for community is the support group, it’s time to let us be full citizens of your community.

I keep being told things will get better, things will change, and maybe you can really be one of us someday. I have been being told this for literally decades at this point. I’m getting old and I can’t come back in five years when maybe trans community will think about having a place for me if you’ll just lose 50 pounds. I have spent my whole adult life waiting for my peers to see me as human.

It hasn’t happened yet.

April 13, 2016

come on baby… play me a song, like “here comes the sun”

This has slurs about intelligence. I’m sick of blotting them out in my blogging, because they’re very real words with a very real meaning in my life. It also talks about people who commit sexual assault. If this isn’t going to work for you, stop now. And yes, I call myself “stupid”, because that’s my word to reclaim, thank you very much. 

There’s this band from Toronto called Metric. If you live close enough to the border that you can get Canadian radio, you’ve probably known them since the early 00s. They didn’t blow in the US until 2008, so that a lead singer in her mid-30s got away with the line you’re gonna make mistakes, you’re young.” The Canadian audience chuckled, the American audience didn’t get it, and a rather salty music critic dismissed the band as being “3 replaceable guys behind a 23-year-old blonde.” The response was this video, two outstretched middle fingers at the concept, as well as at the reviewer. When I’m warming up at karaoke, it’s what I sing…I can sing the song in my sleep, as it’s the middle of my range. It’s pretty close to a psych-up song, the one that enables the real belting after two more doubles of whiskey. But the song actually contains a pretty powerful message: screw you all, we want to be ourselves.

And, well, trans activism often elicits this reply from me in my mind, because frankly I do kind of want to be myself. I used to see writing as a tool of change, but I’ve quit writing so many times, folks, whether over MRA pressure, having to delete the blog to be “allowed” in a trans women’s group on FB, or just outright being sick of being told I’m an “asshole on the internet” by middle-class white trans dudes. The message isn’t exactly subtle: it’s who the hell are you? You’re not involved, all you do is write…it makes it feel rather selfish and pointless to keep doing so.

I get asked…a lot…why a picture of me doesn’t grace this blog. You see, you can pick and choose from the answers. One is that I’m the lying fabricated sock puppet of some sad white man. Two is that I’m fond of having a job. Three would be that frankly every time my picture has moved in to the orbit of Caucasian abled trans women, the response is some combination of retarded/fat/stupid/ugly/broken & cow/pig/man/bitch. You can pick and choose between these three reasons…I sort of wish for one, because I could just walk away from this, couldn’t I then? There is also that a face really isn’t necessary for criticism unless your predilections to judge that face are somehow, pardon the pun, facially neutral. White abled trans women have failed me over and over again at being able to be so neutral, so I will just allow for the implicit bias. But why is the abuse necessary? Why the informing me how much FFS I will “need to ever pass” when that’s not what I asked for? It’s kicking the unfamiliar. Why not “Hi, what’s your name?”

This is, unfortunately, typical of the outright abuse that is used as an informal gatekeeping system within any organized commons that “trans community” is supposed to gather in. And, well, when you’re an unknown, that’s the only option you’re given. I have never been able to understand why the abuse is so necessary, but there’s always an excuse, and you think you’re out, have some basic trans-related question, and get pointed back to that commons again. The unknown party has to clear whatever the hazing ritual is. I didn’t pledge in college (WOO NON-HELLENIC ELITIST BULLSHIT LIBERAL ARTS SCHOOLS!) but I know men and women who did. Despite the public lie that there’s no more hazing, it’s as true as climate change or the pay gap. It’s benignly ignored because they consented to it. It’s benignly ignored as long as nobody dies. It’s benignly ignored if nobody calls the cops.

Is benign ignorance really something we’re comfortable with? Is it okay to mock someone’s disability or their name and then put the onus on them for leaving after they’ve been mocked and thus explicitly told they aren’t welcome in this intentional space? Do you make fun of the names of people you think you’ll ever see as an equal? No, no you don’t, or you’re an asshole a la It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia. The joke in that show? It’s always on The Gang. Just like the joke was always on Archie Bunker. It means that isn’t how you’re supposed to behave, and you really shouldn’t do that. When the American media tells you, in comedic form, not to mock people, maybe there’s a hidden message there.

See, you may well say I’m weak. But we need to talk about something here, and that something is microaggressions. You know, old meme, sometimes misused. But those microaggressions add up. Pretty much any day I leave the house and venture into Polite White Society, I play a fun game called “how long will it take for someone to call me a retard?” Some days, I get lucky and don’t hear it. Some days, it’ll be 3 times before lunch. Generally, the fancier I look, the less it happens…in my suit, it’s rare. In my daily wear, it’s not. It’s the white abled man’s way of reminding me I am beneath him on the food chain and in his way, and this makes him unhappy. It rarely comes from white women, and almost never from people of color. Nope, just white abled men. I know what your reaction is, though. It’s “she’s saying this so I’ll feel sorry for her.” No. I’m saying this because this is a fact of my life, and like the facts of your life, it is how it is. If you feel pity, you’re looking down on me as a person. If you roll your eyes, you’re saying it’s not a fight you can or want to take. But what I want is for you to get angry. I don’t want your money, your sympathy, or your cheapening pity. No, I want change, and the only way the dispossessed really get change is anger.

Microaggressions have this way of stacking at bad times, like when you’re depressed, your joints hurt, you’re under stress at work, etc. Because of this, these are the times you may notice things you’d otherwise ignore, like, say, a white dude slamming past you and calling you a “retard” as he chucks you into the farebox of the bus. A good day, you mutter “rude”.  A bad day, you spend the entire trip down Fourth Plain trying not to cry, duck behind the weed shop when you get off, and lose it…this happened to me just the other day. The world is full of them, and as a person who has to participate in the world to not be miserable and to have a paycheck, they can roll into a big ball by the end of the week.

This is why the culture of hazing in our community’s commons is a problem. See, when you’ve got this giant ball of bullshit you’ve accrued, it really hurts to go into a setting where you’re told about how welcoming and diverse our community is…and almost everyone’s white. And one of those people sent you 12 FB messages during the fucking meeting about what a horrible person you are. And one of those people decided to make fun of your name, a name you can’t even stand, but can’t get away from using, because our community demands the greatest “accountability”, a nice way of saying “you don’t ever get to make a mistake”, from the people who are positioned as outgroup. Because as your Twitter feed will remind you every day, serial abusers, rapists, ex-“T**F” white trans women, and my god WILL YOU SHUT UP ABOUT CAITLYN JENNER get endless second chances, but the assumption that someone who can’t handle constant microaggressions  in intentional space is somehow sinister means you get one chance and every mistake is permanent. I guess skinny white rapists are just better Calvinists…er, I mean white women….than you.

So you get reminded of this, every day. You get your name mocked, but yet you get threatened that your name will be reported to Facebook if you speak out about how we treat you (bring it). You get invited to things for “femme-of-center trans women only” and can’t figure out how to say that you can’t go because you’re explicitly unwelcome, but then people get weird that you didn’t go. Well, let’s see. If you go, and you’re adjudged “not femme enough” by the same caliber of white trans woman who’s busy calling you a man, you’ll be accused of invading space. Invade space, that makes you a monster and you’ve blown your one chance. You’re not friends with the organizer on FB or even know what name they’re using on there, and there’s no handy email address to ask. But you’re crap for not going. And then when you bring it up, you get told you’re “shitting on” femmes for pointing out that something marketed as a TRANS WOMAN’S WHATEVER isn’t open to you.  So you ask hard questions, like “if you make fun of me and call me a man in jeans and a t-shirt, what would you say about my fat ugly ass in a dress and presenting femme?” and nobody is willing to answer. I’ve been pushed into a role of being more femme than I’m comfortable with for religious compliance and to be “allowed” to transition. (This is, of course, used to deride my entire narrative, because God knows Spack wasn’t notorious in the 90s for insisting on “perfection”. Oh, wait, he *was*!)  I’ve recovered from that to “whatever” as in I present however the hell I want, which is neither butch nor femme, but I know that to a white trans woman who wants to exclude, I’ll be “not femme enough” no matter what I do. Gotta keep carrying water for that patriarchy, ladies! Calvinism is your friend!

This is why it adds up. It looks like a bunch of little things to you. But it becomes a very large stack of shit to me. It looks like nothing to you, but you’re not the outsider in the picture. It looks like nothing to you, because you’ve been insulated from the path that the undesirables are shoved into: you have to go to the support group if you want to branch out.

But then you get mocked, because the support group is just too high on bullying.  So you try the political group. And then you get mocked. You know what they used to tell us in home ec? After the second insult from the head of the household, when you’re a guest, you and yours politely excuse yourself and go. It’s the calculus that has worked through interminable schmoozefests and awful dinners. When you know you’re going to lose, you leave. If you stick it out and react, you’ll be called an asshole. If you stick it out and ignore it, it keeps happening. If you leave, you at least are responding to the signal that you’re not welcome. The fact that people feel the need to broadcast this signal confuses me, bit I have more theories than Foucault here…not tonight.

We go through enough shit every day as living, breathing trans women. I do not understand why an order that favors the skinny white trans woman with a tech job and a rape problem over the weird fatty from the wrong side of the tracks is inviolable, but something’s gotta give, and until then, the aspersion cast that “you’re just an asshole on the internet” is retorted to with “yes, but you’re the asshole who cast the first stone.” Exclusionary politics and the idea that there should be multiple classes of trans women, an organization of classes that favors the most privileged in every way but one and yet can’t seem to bother admitting it, is casting that stone. The idea that when you don’t know what doctor to see and you’re not rail-thin, the answer is “go to the support group and ask”? That’s casting stones.

You want me to carry the water of being a stupid girl from the hood for you, my ass being the one that’s much more likely to get stabbed if I got outed in my local community, every day? You can understand that maybe the burden of that water means the hazing isn’t necessary.  Maybe the burden of that water is understanding why it took me an hour to get here. Maybe the burden of that water is chancing that perhaps a newcomer can bring you something and not “who the fuck are you?” Maybe the burden of that water is holding your tongue rather than “you come from a place of deficit.”

Because until there’s a commons, political, social, or whatever (or people stop using them as methods of screening) that doesn’t come with snippy comments about one’s intellect, the size of their ass, the place they live, their ostensible education level, or the consistency of their hair, there’s no commons that’s open to all of us. So it’s your call: consider that the people mainstream white trans theology considers beneath them aren’t actually beneath you, or change your damn commons. Stop writing off trans women who don’t agree with you in absolute cultlike lockstep as “T**Fs” and aim your dislike at the people who do seek to harm us from within through something much greater than polite dissent.  The priorities you may end up needing to address aren’t all the same, and the exclusionary tactics like “trans femmes only” to narrow down trans women’s spaces to only being for some trans women will need to come to an end, but…isn’t that better if your commons actually cares about the diversity it’s guilting some white people about without actually letting in the diverse cast of characters that forms the greater reality of what trans women are generally?

Don’t pity me. Don’t tell me how great I am. Fucking change things, or make new roads. But until then…until then much like the rest of the people who have been shoved aside by a purity-obsessed community that shelters abusers and grifters because they’re thin and white…there is no road for us. Road or not, I’d rather keep being myself. Being someone else kind of isn’t true to the “authentic self” we hear so much about in trans community. Because I don’t want to be the Beatles or the Rolling Stones, I want to be myself, too, and I know I’m not alone, it just feels that way.

January 13, 2016

white abled trans women in tech making six figures be all…

(Obligatory Disclaimer: There are certainly more than a few white trans women in tech who make six figures who aren’t at all awful. Some of y’all are pretty great, actually! In other words, this isn’t necessarily about you. If you haven’t blocked my ass in the past 3 months, or met me and panicked because omg gross fatty, this isn’t about you. Stay frosty and buy your pal Erica a beer?)

“Oh, you agreed with something *problematic*” …*block*

Don’t bother explaining. Don’t bother when you get busted making a post about how you can’t stand poor people with “low culture.” Don’t bother when one of your friends points out that no, even though someone like me isn’t the same kind of “proper” that we weren’t the people who beat you up in high school. I literally couldn’t have beaten you up in high school because we didn’t go to high school together, and I was too busy being an awful insecure bitch to beat people up. No, I wounded with words and zingers. But don’t bother with reality at all or the assumption that someone who is imperfect may still have value or may not have known someone’s friend of a friend knew someone who did something vaguely *problematic* which nobody bothered to tell you about but oops, you’re *problematic* now for not knowing. 

Just go on with your bad self. Pat yourself on the back some more that you won’t ever see another post where I explain offensive shit like the science of kicking a football or talk about scary things like choosing not to have facial surgery half because I don’t have the ducats and half because frankly I don’t want to “look abled.” I don’t want my face “fixed”, and frankly don’t care if you do or not, but I’ll support you either way…just understand that though I am by no means gorgeous, this is my face. I’ve had it for a long time, and I would be someone else if I changed it. I don’t want to be someone else.

I used to feel bad when these people back-stabbed or turned on my fat ugly ass. And you know what? You’ve invented a newspeak where more time is spent defending shitty people because they’re *~*important*~* to you rather than having nuanced discussion where the realities of being human and the actions of humans might come up.
You can be Marie Antoinette all you want. Brioche is gross as fuck anyways. Do hope the money keeps you warm at night once you’ve decided everyone who isn’t skinny, white, rich and abled is too impure for your church. Did I say church? I meant “trans community.” Really.

Also, lemme get out in front of this: Biyuti and the too often forgotten Monica Maldonado both predicted this…separately, with different conclusions, but they both said it…years ago. I tried to be an optimist, I tried to believe, I hoped for some salvation. Y’all were right, and I don’t like being all THIS PERSON SAID IT FIRST but this is le truth. I didn’t buy in, because I thought reasoned criticism could change things. I was wrong.

You can block me all you want. You can tell tales all you want. There’s a reason I never sleep with anyone like this, I’m never alone in a room with anyone like this, I never take a red cent of their money. They want people like you and I to be beasts, to be their fears.
When we are instead humans, they have no place for us in their church…er, I mean trans community. When we are sinners, our sins are unforgivable. When they sin, their sins are okay. If you grew up in a white fundamentalist Christian church, you know how it is. Some sins are fine. Some sinners are not. Your ironic tech stock options are great, but fat queer freaks who don’t have “learned” enough taste are not.

I am no beast. I’m sorry that conclusion hurts you…actually, no, no I’m not sorry at all.

November 29, 2015

Regarding the Planned Parenthood forced-birther terrorist:

I seem to be getting some clickthroughs from  We Hunted The Mammoth, where a couple of rather disingenuous actors are engaging in some bad-faith rhetoric and putting words in my mouth…so before you try to quote me out of context or make up things altogether let me be abundantly clear about a few things:

  • This was a far-right orchestrated attack on reproductive health services that largely affect women. This makes it an attack on women’s basic rights. Yes, some people with uteri aren’t women, but that’s not who the far-right thinks about, and frankly it’s not degendering to say what the intent was in shooting up a Planned Parenthood.
  • Pro-patriarchy activism is a cancer. That means whether it’s a “Men’s Rights” douchebag, a radical fauxminist (a “T**F”, so-called and so-misappellated), or a white Christian fundamentalist pushing it, it’s all the same hate.  You can’t granulate between the hate, because it’s all in the service of white patriarchy. (Same goes for HBSers/New Trans Separatists, a galling number of which are forced-birthers and it’s disgusting…but hey the New Trans Separatists believe rapists and Nazis are edgy but can’t deal with disabled or fat trans women, so their priorities are obviously pro-patriarchy.)
  • The expectation from random anons that radical fauxminists in particular get a free pass on their pro-patriarchy activism is frankly whole-cloth misogyny, because there is literally no such thing as “benign” sexism. See, the idea that some people whose interest is in harming women get to prolong that interest on the basis of their also being women, while more understandable in a world choked by patriarchy, doesn’t mean it’s okay or that it shouldn’t be criticized.When it comes to obnoxious rapey comments about my nethers, why is it more okay when a woman makes them in the service of patriarchy than when a man does? The radical fauxminist, again what some people erroneously call a “T**F”, isn’t feminist at all, and is merely claiming feminism as they punch down on disabled women, Black women, trans women…need I go on? Punching down on women isn’t feminist, and the radical fauxminist is not radical, feminist, or a radical feminist. Here’s a handy guide: Greer ain’t MacKinnon, and Brennan sure as hell ain’t Dworkin. Don’t confuse the two: in each case one’s a pro-patriarchy shill and the other is a radical feminist. You know, like me. (Not that I think I’m one-tenth as cool as Dworkin or one-hundredth as cool as MacKinnon.)
  • It’s somewhat hilarious to inveigle that I’m somehow connected to the Men’s Rights (Bowel) Movement. See, there are trans women who choose the path of hate and violence via the MRA option, since MRAs are inherently hateful, violent people by the very theology of Barnes, Elam, Price, and Esmay they defend. But if you think I’m one of them, you know less than nothing about me. Or my personal history of online and offline harassment from the jackbooted douchebags of the MRBM. Sorry, not my cup of tea. Perhaps you’ve confused me with Valerie Keefe or something? Hint: I’m not a baseball fan, an adherent to the lies of patriarchy, or someone who harasses trans women of color on Tumblr.
  • It’s similarly hilarious to claim that trans women all have some animus against Planned Parenthood. Given that PP is the best informed consent access in a *lot* of places and generally works to make sexual and reproductive healthcare available to all, with a few unfortunate exceptions that aren’t the norm, guess what? Most of us are just fine with it. The minority of HBSish/New Trans Separatist trans women don’t speak for us all, and they sure as hell don’t speak for me, since in their eyes, I’m a man.
  • Oh yeah, in the meantime, when the rest of us were concerned with the fact that a Planned Parenthood got shot up by some murderous douchebag, the insistence on splitting hairs and shaming people for pointing out the insidious nature of patriarchy has lead to a burial of the lede: three people are dead. If you think it’s more critical to split hairs about holding pro-patriarchy activism accountable and why we shouldn’t than to focus on the fact that some homicidal scumbucket killed three people in the name of doing harm to women’s reproductive healthcare, congratulations, you’re missing the forest, the trees, and wandered off the path, namely that a pro-patriarchy white forced-birther terrorist committed atrocities in El Paso County  and he and the movements that gave him aid and comfort must be held accountable.

No quarter for pro-patriarchy activism, no matter who engages in it. No quarter for cowards, traitors, or forced-birthers.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I need a goddamn drink. No more excuses, misdirection, disingenuity, or straight out lies, folks, we’ve got an enemy to fight, and that enemy is patriarchy, in all its hateful forms.

(Want to contribute to quality blogging from a radical feminist trans woman…or pay for her whiskey? Head to the Tip Jar. Or, you know, better yet, send money to your local abortion fund. I can survive without whiskey, but many can’t survive without an abortion. If you’re from outside the States, please consider the Spring Adams Fund, as it’s near and dear to my heart.)

June 18, 2015

older and wiser, maybe: ground rules for the blog

My first blog post, I kid you not, had a mission statement. It was all in emo emo lowercase, but I stand by it. I’ve learned to “love” my shift key, but in these three elapsed years, I’ve become an entirely different person, though I’d like to say I’m the same Erica…I just have vastly different priorities and realities.  Anyways, it was as follows:

i want us all to be strong and free.
no cis policing of our identities
no trans/genderqueer-on-trans/genderqueer policing of our identities
no more minimizing other trans/genderqueer people for being different from you
my body, my rules, my life.

And that’s the same ground rule that applies now. But sometimes rules require clarification, or we wouldn’t have a Judicial Branch in the US government, so here goes:

One: This is an Erica-ocracy, not a democracy. In other words, this is my blog, and I get to decide what goes.

Two: Comment moderation is common amongst blogs. Birds do it, bees do it, and many, many other blogs do it. I am not unusual in having a policy of comment moderation.

Three: If you leave screaming incoherent rage, employ personal attacks, or accuse me of various fanciful things, I’m not going to unmoderate your comment. It’s going to sit in moderation where it belongs for eternity. In other words: pro-patriarchy hate will not be tolerated, whether by a radical fauxminist (T**F, so-called), a HBSer trans woman, a truscum CAFAB trans person, an MRA, or a white holy roller who believes God allows them to decide trans women aren’t women. I am Gandalfrica, and you shall *not* pass.

Four: If you call me a “man”, an “it”, or any one of a number of the preferred terms of the transfundamentalist for referring to someone like me, there’s no way I’m going to unmoderate your comment. I’ve explained this many times: I don’t really care if some random cis person calls me a man, because they’d immediately be laughed off. In trans space, however, this is a weaponized term for anyone who doesn’t fit a very exact set of rules, and guess what: women don’t have to fit a special set of rules to be women. This applies to all women, and since trans women are women, it applies to us, too.

Five: If you’re just going to accuse me of “negativity”, please actually make some positive suggestions as to other ideas that you feel can be dealt with in a better manner. In other words, when you’re shut out all the damn time, you’re going to have some negative aspects to what you’re talking about. If you think speaking up makes me the problem, then you’re part of the problem. “Unity” in the trans community means all of us, not some of you and none of us. In other words, DON’T BE JENNIFER USHER. (Jennifer Usher = “Just Jennifer” and her bullshit misgendering and hatred toward almost all trans women.)

Six: Dissenting views are welcome, but you have to play by the rules. That means no misgendering, no racism, no fatphobia, etc. If you can’t play by these rules, you have no respect whatsoever for the forum. If you think this is “censorship”, please remember two things: I’m not the government or a governmentally-sanctioned monopoly, and yeah, you have freedom of speech, but when you say things they have consequences. If it’s more important for you to rail against fat people than it is to focus on trans liberation, I think you’ve just admitted your real priority.
six-a: Yes, I’m fat. Get the fuck over it. And don’t tell me how great it would be for me to come to your trans group, or tell me we should hang out, and then freak out because omg I’m fat. You’re free to not want to fuck fat people, though I’m sure you don’t understand the perks of a jiggly ride…your loss…but you’re not free to decide adipose tissue makes someone less worthy of existence in the trans community. Similarly, defending fatphobes, making assumptions about the alleged health of fat people, etc…get lost. Or keep up with me on my bike ride in the morning and we’ll talk. I got a sweet new pair of low-rolling-resistance Schwalbes last week.
six-b: defending fatphobic medical access policies is gross. I’m sorry you’re not comfortable your doctor has a “strict” 200 pound weight limit for hormones, but why don’t you talk to her about how bullshit that is rather than backpedal?
six-c: FAT. Seriously, suck it the fuck up, because I guarantee you it’s not as much work as I do sucking it the fuck in all the time.

Seven: If you want to speak with me directly, feel free to contact me at inchoaterica (at) gmail (dot) com. You can also say hey through the ask box on Tumblr, now that my Tumblr is back from the Tumblrdead, at http://ericainchoate.tumblr.com as long as you’re logged in. No anonymous asks because MRAssholes exist, sorry.  If you have accountability issues or similar, this is how you can contact me, or you can leave a comment with a real email address.

Eight: I forget what eight was for.

These are the ground rules. You want to play, you want my writing, this is what you live with. You have a problem with this, you are free to choose not to participate and blithely ignore my existence. But my work comes on my terms, and my terms come with that basic respect is part of the deal. If you think giving me basic respect is controversial…you’re part of the problem.

More soon.

February 7, 2015

new post on fakecisgirl: “feel it break: why GamerGate is still bad, bad news for women and minorities in gaming”


Please follow the FCG blog for future posts, as that’s the new home for all things Erica. I’ll cross-post things here through early 2015, but after that and going forward, that’s where my blogging lives.