Depression Sinks

In the last week my lifelong struggle with depression turned ugly once again. Despondent after a cycle of depression affecting my writing affecting my depression, I was ready to take my own life. Had my brother not had the prescience to ask if I intended to hurt myself, I would have. I had every intention of asking my new housemate/landlord, a man I could not pay because I did not have money from commissions, to watch my things until someone from my family came for them, and then walk the five miles to the Veteran’s Memorial Bridge, and jump in the gorge. My brother did ask though, and, sobbing, I told him yes. Continue reading

No, The Police Did Not Create White Supremacy

It has been two thousand, seven hundred, and fifty five days since the state sanctioned murder of Oscar Grant. Many of those days, and if it were one it would still be too many, have been marred by the execution of more unarmed and innocent black bodies. Michael Brown, Tamir Rice, Rashida McBride, and Sandra Bland are the names that come to the top of my head, but there have been so many more. Continue reading

Another Special Trans Episode

I have to admit, save for Orange is the New Black and Sens8, I have not seen much of the portrayals of trans women outside the few Law and Order SVU episodes and Claudia Christian’s story arc in LA Law so many years ago. I have, however, read many critiques of the way we are portrayed in television, and it has generally not been pretty. We are at best the punchline, often victims, and too often made out as psychotics. So when NBC’s new medical drama Heartbeat threw its hat in the trans narrative ring I bit my lip and decided to power through it. I wanted to see how they would do. Continue reading

Yes, it IS about bathrooms, but also so much more.

So, I’ve read fear mongering comments from some family, I’ve read support from others (and my amazing friends), and I have read desperate attempts to keep the peace and put forward a false equivalency narrative.

Let me tell you what all this “hullabaloo” over bathrooms means to me as a trans woman (not speaking for anyone else.)

For starters, since coming out I have had far too many negative experiences in both bathrooms. If I go in the ladies room and someone “makes” me, I risk arrest, even here in NY, for “public indecency.” If I go to the men’s room in my dress and make up, I risk a beating, or worse. So even on those days that I am too rushed to “pass” and it is the default to use the men’s room, I am full of anxiety.

But let’s forget that for a moment. Let’s talk about the fact that the fearmongers are trying to paint us as monsters and what that means. To illustrate my point I want you to think of a Triple A baseball stadium in your region. I want you to think of it as filling up with people, and the very last person in gets murdered. That is the murder rate for the general populace. Now I want you to think of your dining room table, sure go ahead, put the leaf in, pretend it’s Thanksgiving. Then murder the last person to sit down for dinner. That is the murder rate for Trans Women. Make it your breakfast nook for Trans Women of Color. The narrative pushed by the haters makes it that much more likely that folks will feel justified killing us.

Not just killing us though. Killing us brutally. Killing us with baseball bats. Sodomizing us, killing us slowly. Killing us the way the fictional psychos in a Tarantino or Scorsese film kill. That shit is for real for us. It happens because, again, you make it easy to not see us as human.

You make it easy to not see us as human so I have to hear frat boys joke about “let’s hold IT down and fuck IT up ITS ass to see if IT really wants to be a woman.” I read my sisters wanting to die and while I preach strength and perseverance, I do so as a hypocrite because there is not a week that goes by that I don’t feel that urge.

So for those of you who hate us, I have to wonder about what shred of decency there is in your soul if your bigotry is worth the brutality we suffer. To those of you who are too afraid of confrontations to call out your friends, family and acquaintances when they perpetuate their bigotry at our expense: shame on you, your silence empowers them. To those of you who have stood up and spoken for us: thank you, I could not survive without you. To my sisters: one more time I will be hypocrite and preach strength and perseverance. You are beautiful and brilliant and worth a thousand, no a million, of those who think their self righteousness trumps our humanity.

The Other “C” Word

welfare-e1306934392194

This primary season has brought out both the best and worst in some folks. As has been the case since her entry to the national stage, Hillary Clinton, by no means my choice for the Democratic nomination, has been subject to sexist garbage. Almost all of it comes from the right. Republicans are fairly cruel to the women in their own ranks, and even worse to those outside. Some has also come from my fellow Bernie supporters, though that less than a mole hill has been made into a mountain by her mouth pieces. It is an issue though. As can be expected when patriarchal fools get their ire up, a certain “c word” is often casually, and disgustingly dropped. That is not what I want to talk about today though. I want to talk about the other “c word.” I want to talk about class.

Because it is increasingly apparent that is something no one in establishment politics, Republican or Democrat wants to talk about. To do so is to invoke “class warfare” though how one can look at the history of our country and not conclude that we have been in a class war since before the American Revolution, and that all the casualties have been on one side, is beyond me. Republicans loathe talk of income inequality, and Democrats will side step that talk, and how their support of oligarchy worsens inequality, if they can. They focus on other intersections of oppression. They tell us we have to vote for them over the so-called identity issues, because the Republicans, and in this they are correct, would gladly prop up the White supremacist, cis het patriarchy  every chance they get. They conveniently forget that they do so too when electoral politics call for it. They will gladly tell their donors that they support keeping “deadbeats” off welfare, or throw theocrats a bone by calling for “responsible” abortion access, or “respect for family values.”

These issues are important, do not mistake me. Class, however, is every bit as important an intersection of oppression as the rest. I am a trans woman. I have been threatened with rape and arrest just for being. I have had employment opportunities denied me. I have had my voice dismissed in discussion of women’s issues. I have been hurt for being trans. Despite this, class has affected me far more. I have been homeless while employed in multiple jobs. I am in debt up to my eyeballs over a school loan for an education I could not complete because I had to leave school to help my sick and dying mother when they could not afford a nurse to come into the house. I am uninsured, and face dim prospects of improving my lot, mostly due to my economic status. My class.

I am well aware that in the past the Democrats, and even the radical left, have dismissed race, gender, and sexuality issues in lieu of framing them all as class issues. It is foolish to think those issues do not matter. It is equally foolish though, to pretend class does not matter. They each work together to keep folks down. That is something the Democratic establishment, and their chosen candidate, routinely seek to hide. The party has become the party of entitled upper middle and upper class elites. They tell us to trust them, as though we should appreciate what little they will throw us in their noblesse oblige, while they run our economy to ruin, send our young to war, and back environmental policies that are to ecological reform what leeching is to medicine because they will live well away from the consequences while the little people choke on poisoned air and drown in rising waters.

Hillary Clinton is not unfit to lead our nation because she is a woman. She is unfit because she is yet another member of the upper class who is so disconnected from the lower classes she claims to represent that she is, at best, led astray by her peers who fund her campaign. Class matters. It matters to People of Color who are disproportionately  affected by it. It matters to working class women, who often do not reap the benefits of a bourgeoisie feminist movement. It matters to poor gay, lesbian and trans folks who are often left behind behind by a pride movement that works mainly to help “presentable” queer folk of a certain strata rather than us all. Hillary is the beneficiary of a classist “progressive” movement that only wants liberals of a certain strain in their club. It is a club I have no desire to be a part of, and one that needs to have its grip on American politics loosened.