Love in a Threadbare, Tired World

My Twitter feed has been brutal tonight! One of my dear sisters is being evicted from her home by a transphobic landlord. People are hurting and anxious. People can’t sleep.

…and another of my dear sisters is at war with everyone.

Being a person without cis-priviledge is hard. At many times, it can feel like the entire world is in on some fantastically elaborate plan to harm us. What I regret so deeply is that many of us get so used to the fight, that we know no other way.

Such was the case tonight, when an ally was coming to the community to be affirmed for her work on Trans* Awareness Week as part of her college’s LGBTQIA+ alliance. When someone performs an act of service, there is a sort of implied exchange. This ally was wanting to be thanked in return for her work. Gratitude is a very reasonable exchange, and many of us were happy to give it.

But, surely as I sit here, there seems to always be someone who wants a fight. So, my dear sister brought her fight to the doorstep of our ally. She took exception to the ally’s choice of the word “nifty” to describe the work she was doing. My dear sister did not believe that word should be included anywhere in a conversation which also addressed transphobia and violence.

To be clear, in no possible interpretation was the ally saying that violence was nifty. But my dear sister, presumably so deeply entrenched in fighting with every person and every institution, in public and in private, each day and each night scolded and bullied the poor ally in such a way as to bring shame on us all.

In this world, there are those who need to be thanked for their help and solidarity…

There are those needing gentle and kind corrections of their misconceptions…

And, yes, there are those who deserve the full weight of our refusal to back down.

As a marginalized group, we must pay close attention to which person we are addressing at any given time. Know your history, my loves. While progress is moving more swiftly than at any other time, we remain in the Booker T. Washington part of our fight. We must not prove ourselves to be as our detractors portray us. We must use our lives to embody the best in our community.

It is an unfair burden, to be sure. But when you open your mouth to speak, do so knowing that you hold the power to make life better or worse for every other person like you. Speak of love for the oppressed. Speak not of hate for the oppressor. Unleash the deep humanity of forgiveness, in all its transformative power. See in your oppressor the potential for compassion.

…and yes, if they fail to provide such compassion, demand it!

Demand it until the last vile drop of this sickening hatred and fear is driven from our good world.

Care for yourselves, care for one another, and make love your weapon of choice.

 

‘A naked artist, looking at his balls nailed to the Kremlin pavement’

The Keeper gets Trans* Visibility Week rolling by linking the story of a performance artist, and his protest aimed at shining a light on Russian social issues. ***story depicts nudity and self-mutilation.***
http://metro.co.uk/2013/11/10/artist-nails-his-own-testicles-to-the-ground-in-front-of-horrified-tourists-4181107/

This seems like the perfect way to enter into this important week.

I say that, not because the Moscow protest had to do with trans* issues, but that it is an illustration of just how much some people seem to understand the deadliness of silence.

For context, two transwomen, Melony Smith and Domonique Newbury were killed in Southern California over the last year. For a community this size, that’s a huge number! …and, both of them were ethnic minorities, which is a huge factor in one’s likelihood to be a victim of violence.

Political progress in places like Colorado and California has made issues of Trans* rights very visible, and so the opposition has become similarly visible. What that actually means is that there is progress, but it can certainly feel like a very scary additional microscope to suddenly be under.

So, that’s visibility… the purifying sunlight which serves as the vehicle for the survival of a group. This principle can be applied individually as well. Part of my growth and wellness require that I be open and honest about things like my mental state.

That came into sharp focus Thursday, when my months of trying to be “strong” and make it through life with an insufficient safety net exploded into an afternoon of getting desperately needed visibility from The Keeper.

I have moments like that. The one before this was in April. At that point, I just cried for an entire day and listened to Mary Lambert. Sometimes carrying one’s own weight is simply too much. What is important about that, is that we need to let people see that we hurt and struggle in order for them to help us bear the burden of such times.

For those living with depression, invisibility can be fatal.

Be honest with yourself about how things are really going. Find someone to trust, and share the complete truth. We aren’t meant to do this alone, and I hope you never feel that have to.

All my love.

 

 

How Do You Solve a Problem Like a Dry Spell?

…or, “How The Keeper and USC Girl have ruined everything”

A couple of days ago, I got a message on the dating site saying that someone had selected me as a person of interest. I wrote her a pleasant note, which she replied to, and things were off to a fast start.

Already, I am feeling like this is too easy. I told DW last night “The new girl is not asking enough questions.” One example is that there was no conversation about my status after I came out to her. To my thinking, it makes sense to ask questions like “Is there anything that I need to be doing to be respectful of, or sensitive to that issue?” That didn’t happen. For all I know, she isn’t even aware of what trans* means.

…and, she’s never been with a girl.

She’s recently divorced, and is distinctly not looking for anything serious. I’m fine with that. It would take a lot to get me to be serious about anyone but the most exceptional people right now. Honestly, just being in the outer social orbits of USC Girl (whom I may begin to call ChattingAboutHeidegger… thoughts?) and The Keeper has my want for people of substance pretty well satisfied.

I just need some freaking contact! Sex would be magnificent, but just being held, and cuddled would fill a huge empty place in my life.

I can tell you that she is …um…very actively exploring her freedom as a single person. I have a couple of concerns for that, and they are health related.

so…there’s that.

And, while easy to talk to, she isn’t a person with whom I feel I can have particularly meaningful conversation.

So, what do you think? Meet her and hope for uncommitted fun time, or take a pass and wait for someone with more potential?

Help a girl out!

MWAH!

*NSFW* Hey L.A., It’s Lauren. Can We Talk?

I was watching a YouTube clip from “Ellen” this morning in which this woman:

Robyn Lawley, who is either a size 12 or size 16, depending on whose account you’re reading said “I got called BIG, I got called HEFTY, it’s fine, I’m really confident and I love my body as it is.”

By the way, I’m trying to find an attribution for this image, but I can tell you it comes from an article for which the header reads “Would you look at me and say I’m fat?” And, I’m sure most reasonable people are reading this with the appropriate WTF-type reaction. Here is a woman who is exactly the average size for an adult woman in the U.S. having to ward off fat-shaming. Stupid Hollywood asshole media, right? RIGHT!

…except, I live in that world.

Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston is in the midst of studying why lesbians seem to have higher rates of obesity than their straight counterparts when the opposite is true of gay men. What interests me, beyond the broad conclusions that the study may or may not ultimately yield, is whether that paradigm holds true for Southern California, and other highly image-conscious localities. I definitely see how much gay male culture polices itself on things like fitness, but I would argue that lesbian culture around here is exactly the same way.

And, being thin is only the very beginning. We have to have the right relationships with cats, fresh local foods, and The Buddha. We have to work out, and do lots of yoga, and read lots of books, and be artistic, and linguistic, and work for social justice.

This is all cool stuff, but I am just not cool enough to even bother to write most of these people. (and, there’s no chance in Naraka that they’d ever write me.)

I just fed my kid microwave popcorn for lunch, for fuck’s sake! I’m hopeless!

The phrase that launched this post was one I read on a dating site this morning. The phrase was “Artisanal Hummus.” Artisanal hummus? Artisanal Hummus!

I mean, I’ve had artisanal hummus. I like artisanal hummus. I do! But, artisanal hummus came packaged in a profile which I have decided typifies an L.A. lesbian. I could have chosen a real outlier… someone who had several advanced degrees, or spoke five languages, or had single-handedly freed Tibet while keeping up a daily regimen of deadlifting a Prius filled with rescue dogs…. But I think this girl is a good view of what average looks like here.

The author, who looks to be about a size 4, discussed specific neighborhoods within L.A. that this person was looking to find someone in… okay, local is good. Who wants to drive all over?

Farmer’s Market asparagus was mentioned.

“Guerrilla peacefare,” to the extent that I understand what this entails, I’m all for that.

She works in holistic healthcare, and entertainment; and is leaning about orthomolecular medicine and wishes to do energy work.

She meditates and does yoga, and she sees these as undervalued in people’s lives. She seeks spiritual growth. She works out regularly.

I lifted this passage verbatim: “My focus this year is painting, freelance website design, creative writing – mentoring/co-writing on a few scripts (having a blast nerding out on Greek mythology, ancient religions/philosophies and witchcraft for research)….Regularly working towards manifestation of my future adventures….”

She is a gifted cook, a reader…discusses being like MacGyver in her ability to build Ikea bunkbeds by herself using pulleys and acrobatics.

She has an impressively precocious list of books, shows, music and food that she likes (mentions avoiding sugar/starch/complex carbs/gluten/corn/GMOs/non-organic foods) She also wants to ferment her own foods.

Kombucha (which I had to look up) is one of the six things she can’t live without.

She lists the specific exercise equipment she uses at home.

…and, I’m not even going to go into what she talks about wanting to find in someone.

Now, my point is not to say that I find this person unappealing. I think she’s fascinating! Many of the things she claims to be are things I’d be very interested in.

That being said, if I ever was able to secure a very captivating first date, I’m not sure that I think there’s a place for me in all of that living perfectly. I don’t need fixing, but I do need someone with the time and energy to care about me.

So, while it’s ever harder to find imperfect people like me, I will look as hard as I need to in order to find them.

Be well, my loves

MWAH!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Super quick men’s rights BS thing

This will not be today’s regular post, but this editorial made me feel icky. http://www.wwtdd.com/2013/11/boo-hoo-my-hot-english-teacher-had-sex-with-me/
Ok, so first off (big fucking surprise) an idiot misogynist wrote this. Immediately, that irritates me, because one of the prevailing problems with the MRM’s brain trust of douchebaggery is that, while they are happy to point out how often men are the victims of attitudes like this, THEY ARE ALSO THE PURVEYORS!

On a second level, am I the only one sick of hearing rape (statutory or otherwise) be classified based on how sexy the woman is in the story? I mean, we all know about the victim blaming around women who dare to dress some certain way, or whatever. As if to say, well, she looked hot, and any reasonable man would be completely unable to conduct himself as anything but a violent criminal.

But, here we have extended the same notion to the perpetrator: the woman’s attractiveness is the key to how ‘bad’ this is. Had the teacher been seen by the author as unattractive, would this then be rape?

 

Monday in My Life: Fantasia Hair

I’ve been getting bored with my hair. That happens about once a month around here. This time I decided to go back to bright colors. So, with the help of DW, I now have a lovely blend of aqua, purple and magenta hair.

We took Princess Toddlerpants (Babykiddo really is no longer descriptive) to Disneyland Saturday evening.I don’t know whether to feel better about it or not, but we don’t seem to fare any better with DW’s extra pair of hands, as compared with the results I get taking her alone. She was fairly difficult, but we got through about three good hours.

Princess Toddlerpants has been engaging in nightly psychological warfare with me. Last night, she woke me up at 3am ready to start her day. I was able to wrangle her back into bed, but every time that happens, it breaks my sleep mid-cycle. So, I end up with an amalgamation of catnaps through the night. It’s very reminiscent of those early days of two-hours feedings and whatnot.

I will admit, just as then, I like the closeness that she and I have, and that I seem to be the answer to what troubles her.

I just need some sleep 🙂

I’m not sure at all what the week ahead holds, but I am very excited to continue with our scheduled blogging experiment.

I really do need topics and questions and feedback. If you have any ideas, please hop in! What do you want to know about any of our topics? What do you want to know about me?

serialnonconformist@gmail.com

I did receive one bit of feedback, and it’s that someone liked hearing about The Keeper, and my USC friend.

The Keeper remains as busy as ever. She and I chatted briefly today, and I always feel very honored when she takes time out to acknowledge me. We have had some amazingly charged (in a good way) discussions about the exciting possibilities of accepting trans* visibility. She shared a scholarly article on the subject with me last week that had my brain doing new tricks. I learned today that she had opted to drop a class whose professor had engaged her in a feud-like battle of wits and wills over an idea she shared in class which didn’t fit his world-view.

My USC friend is traveling this weekend, and narrowly missed being caught up in the events of a shooting at LAX about an hour after she’d departed. I heard from her not long after I heard the news of the shooting, so I was glad not to have my stomach in knots for a significant period of time.

That’s the short version on myself and our main characters.

I hope you start your week in some wonderful way!

Be good to someone today… YOU! 🙂
MWAH!

 

 

 

 

From the Archive: Why Are “The Gays” So Special Anyway?

Originally posted (elsewhere) December 12, 2010

I have found myself engaged in numerous conversations, of late, in which I have felt compelled to defend the idea that LGBTQIA+ suicides, and the bullying that often leads to them deserve special attention.

The fact is, all bullying is abhorrent. No matter the cause. This campaign simply attempts to shed light on one specific facet.

This country has a very short attention span. We seem to move on from one issue to the next without ever really solving them.

Being bullied for being an outsider has been addressed. Am I the only one who remembers the coverage after the Columbine High School tragedy?  Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold killed 15 people and injured 24 others, purportedly as a result of being bullied.  There was great attention paid to bullying, and the ‘outsider’ status.  (I happened to catch a little bit of a break from being bullied in the immediate aftermath.)  The media attention focused on these teens as having been part of a small band of outsiders known as the ‘Trenchcoat Mafia.’

While we have no statistics on the incidence of suicide attempts among those wearing black trenchcoats to school, it has been shown (and I just went back and looked over my stats on this one) that LGBT youth (especially males, and those rejected by their parents say at least some of the numbers) Have a significantly elevated suicide risk. The numbers show differences of 300% to over 800% among the various demographics evaluated, as opposed to their non-LGBT counterparts.

Here’s the thing, though. As a member of the LGBT community myself, I think it is fair to say that many of us would be the first to stand up against the bullying of trenchcoat wearers. I would buy the tee shirt…attend the rally…call my elected representatives.

The bullying of any one minority is an offense against us all. Perhaps that is the real lesson. Call it Gay, call it Trenchcoat Mafia, call it Little Rock Nine. We all suffer when any one suffers. The idea of using our differences to divide is hardly a new one. But, rest assured…whatever the next group to be singled out is….I will be there to resist.

“They came first for the Communists, and I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t a Communist.

Then they came for the trade unionists, and I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t a trade unionist.

Then they came for the Jews, and I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t a Jew.

Then they came for me and by that time no one was left to speak up.”

-Martin Niemöller

Original Poetry: “I am All of These”

I love queer girls, because I don’t have to explain the appeal of a body and heart like one’s own

How it feels to come out and join our great, gay family, and yet…

To be disowned

to be a survivor, struggling with drawn claws to grasp the dignity which is afforded most without request

I love fat girls, because I don’t have to explain how much the world insists that we hide ourselves

how we vacillate between allowing and refusing to be policed by thinly-veiled bullshit rhetoric about health

that Loving myself is brave and subversive

to stand proud in my size 22 body, knowing that I would fuck me…  a lot

I love trans girls, because there is no one with a greater ability to deconstruct what being a woman really means

We will never birth babies.  Our forms may be forever odd and prolapsed, confusing partners and gawkers alike

But we know a different womanhood than those whose first bra came at 12 and not 30, We are fire-proven

to be radically unafraid, and say to that condemning delivery room doctor YOU ARE MISTAKEN

I love poly girls, because Hearts can be too big for one

We have great big arms, and great big tables, and great big listening ears

Our villages are warmly lit by the glow of generous giving

To refuse society’s fear, and give of ourselves as fully as we know how

I love nurturers, and counselors, andteachers andbestfriendsandsisters-in-armsandromanticsandcreativesandsillies, and those-for-whom-things-haven’t-been-easy, and 

AM   ALL   

OF   THESE