The goal of this summit is for youth 24 and under from Massachusetts/New England that identify with, or could fall under, the label ‘transgender’ or youth who are in some way connected to the transgender youth community, such as partners/friends, to meet and connect with other transgender and gender variant youth. At the summit, youth will have the opportunity to share ideas, learn about their legal rights, learn about the larger transgender community, participate in workshops and fun activities.
Activities include: Dance, Gender Identity Groups, Exploring Your Voice: A Writing Workshop, Creating Art, Performance and Drag Exploration, Organizing in schools & communities, Health and Legal Information.
Who is it for?
It’s for youth 24 and under from Massachusetts that identify with, or could fall under, the label ‘transgender’.
When is it?
June 16, 2012 Doors open at 9:30 am, event starts at 10 am and ends at 5 pm
Who will be there?
Youth 24 and under from all over MA and Greater New England, and, in a separate track, theirparents. Join our e-newsletter to be alerted to further information.
What does it cost?
The Transgender Youth Summit is free. Transportation stipends are also available for Massachusetts youth.
Here’s a list of ways I’ve come up with for trans people to deal with attacks by radfems.
1. Let some trans people who are being attacked (or, if you’re the one being attacked, then any trans friends you have, especially trans women) know that you appreciate them/their work, that you think they are awesome and lovely, and that you support them, and that you’re glad that they are part of your life.
2. Build community! The cure to poisonous community is not to try to save that community, but to build new, stronger, healthier community. Create events, blogs, youtube videos, art, or whatever you want that will draw in likeminded people and make a safer space for people who are awesome. Or even just have a few trans friends over for dinner (maybe make it a regular thing, or turn it into a bookclub or sex party). Eventually, most of the jerks will give up being jerks and come to the cool side of things that you’ve created.
3. Play with cats, or dogs, or babies, or books.
4. DO NOT ENGAGE. This is the most important part. Do not engage with radfem trolls. You will waste all of the energy you could be spending building community, making art, having amazing sex, petting cats, and having fun. And that will make you sad. So just don’t engage. You can’t convince them that they are wrong, usually, but you can live a much better life than theirs.
5. If you are going to engage with them, take the moral highroad. Don’t let them wind you up. Don’t let them bait you into saying things they can misconstrue as offensive or violent. Be careful with your words. This will illustrate just how hateful they are to any casual observer, because when this approach is used, they get wound up and become nearly incoherent. It’s also really funny.
What are your ways of dealing with radfem hate mongers?
“Certainly, she, and we, saw the day pass when a specific ethnic ancestry was an SRS requirement, and we’re doubtlessly moving – albeit too slowly – towards the time when Black, Hispanic, or Native American ancestry is never an impediment.”—
And white trans culture has forgotten it. In all of the discourse I’ve read about gatekeeping, especially what past generations had to go through, in Whipping Girl and on blogs and everywhere, it talks all about how you had to dress conventionally feminine in skirts and heels and makeup, had to sit with your legs crossed, had to follow a script about knowing since you were little even if you didn’t, had to be straight (or lie about being straight), and so on, to be permitted to medically transition. NOT ONCE has any of it talked about having to be White. Not. Once. Where is the acknowledgement from white trans activists that we at least had a chance to make it through the gatekeeping, unlike POC who couldn’t even attempt to just say what the psychs wanted to hear ‘cause white supremacy disqualified them from the get go? Where are the stories and voices of trans POC from past generations who had to live with that? Coming across that article today is the first I’ve heard of it. That’s unacceptable. And I will cop to blogging about trans stuff for almost nine months, since I started my own transition under conditions of relative privilege, and not doing enough to educate myself about trans folks who are less privileged than I am.
All of this. I’m just as guilty (even as a trans POC with “passing as white” privilege) of not emphasizing enough the importance race has played in the relative safety of white trans* women as well as the opportunities that white trans* women have had in the past (and today as well) of getting through the gatekeepers and/or being able to access an IC-model clinic, especially outside of the large urban centers.
In a bold and unprecedented move, representatives of the Lakota Freedom Delegation recently declared the Lakota Nation is formally and unilaterally withdrawing from all agreements and treaties with the government of the United States.
“We are no longer citizens of the United States,” said longtime indigenous rights activist Russell Means at a press conference at Plymouth Congregational Church in Washington, D.C. on Dec. 19. “We offer citizenship to anyone provided they renounce their U.S. citizenship,” said Mr. Means.
he Lakota delegation delivered signed documents to the U.S. State Department informing officials of the decision to formally declare sovereignty from the United States as a result of its genocidal assault on the political, cultural and economic freedom of the Lakota Nation. The geographic area making up what will be called the Republic of Lakota covers portions of northern Nebraska, half of South Dakota, one-quarter of North Dakota, 20 percent of Montana and 20 percent of Wyoming. Mr. Means used the term “apartheid” to describe the dire conditions facing the Lakota Nation.
The life expectancy of Lakota men is less than 44 years; 97 percent of the Lakota people live below the poverty line. The Lakota infant mortality rate is 300 percent higher than the national average. The tuberculosis rate on Lakota reservations is 800 percent higher than the national average; cervical cancer is 500 percent higher than the national average; the rate of diabetes is 800 percent higher than the national average
The unemployment rate on reservations is over 85 percent with the median income between $2,600 to $3,500 per year. One-third of the homes on reservations lack clean water and 40 percent of the homes lack electricity. In addition, alcoholism affects 8 in 10 Lakota families with rates of drug abuse and suicide increasing.
Naomi Archer, communications liaison for the Lakota Freedom Delegation, said many other indigenous nations and political independence movements in North America, South America, Europe and Africa have reached out in solidarity and support. A portion of the document delivered to the State Department read, “Should the United States and its subordinate governments choose not to act in good faith concerning the rebirth of our nation, we hereby advise the United States Government that Lakota will begin to administer liens against real estate transactions” within the five state area of what will be called the Republic of Lakota.
A history of broken treaties
The first contacts between the Lakota and the United States began after what is commonly known as the “Louisiana Purchase” in 1803. It is estimated that the United States bought 530 million acres of land from France for $15 million. Part of this sale included land already inhabited by the Lakota. They never consented to the sale of any of their land.
When POC characters are turned white:this isin't about race, if you think it is then you're the racist one, lets just enjoy the book/film as it is, this is about the character's personality god you're so sensitive, the new skin tone actually fits the character's personality IMO, I never imagined them as POC anyway, not all whitewashing is racist god get over it!!111
When white characters are turned into POC:omg how could they!?!?!? this is soooo racist and unfair! why cant they present that white character as WHITE, how dare they change the original skin color to suit their own terms! this is reverse racism!! this is about race! I NEVER imaged that white character to be a POC that is so weird, it doesn't fit, this is political correctness gone crazy!!
When women complain about the glass ceiling, it isn’t so we can guilt or shame our bosses into a promotion. Nor is it a statement that my company (or my boss) must be sexist because I didn’t get that last promotion. Many women who complain about the glass ceiling don’t want to be a CEO - or perhaps already are one. Rather than being interested in personal gain the main goal is to see an end to the old boys club in corporate boardrooms.
Discussing the glass ceiling is about identifying the systemic problems leading to the lack of women in workplace leadership despite being present in lower positions. It’s about an education system that doesn’t give girls the same support as boys. It’s about double standards in the workplace. It’s about internalized societal messages that women can’t succeed in science or business and shouldn’t try. It’s about customers and clients that don’t respect women in positions of authority. It’s about workplace harassment that makes many women decide it’s not worth it. It’s about how the companies that do promote women to positions of leadership risk having their stock prices go down or otherwise being seen as less than other companies.
All of these issues have parallels with the cotton ceiling. Discussing the cotton ceiling is about identifying the systemic problems leading to the lack of trans women in queer women’s sexual spaces and relationship networks, despite being present in non-romantic/sexual queer women’s spaces. It’s about feminist community and training that doesn’t give trans women the same support as cis women. It’s about double standards that celebrate sexually empowered behavior in cis women yet call that same behavior “male privilege” or “rape-y” when trans women do it. It’s about internalized messages that no one will ever love a freak like you so you shouldn’t even try. It’s about trans women in queer women sexual spaces who are treated disrespectfully and told we’re disgusting. It’s about harassment campaigns against trans women speaking out on this topic (including publishing work and personal email and phone contact). It’s about being hit on by someone who’s really really into you but turns cold when you disclose trans status. It’s about how cis women who are involved with trans women are told they aren’t real lesbians.
The call to discuss the cotton ceiling is a plea for an end to the shame and coercion trans women - and our cis partners - face. The anti-trans feminist activists who frame the cotton ceiling as a shaming tactic to coerce cis women to have sex with trans women are purposefully misinterpreting the metaphor it is based on. They frequently accuse trans women and trans-supportive cis women of not having an awareness or understanding of feminism from the 70s and 80s, however, when they dismiss the ceiling metaphor as coercion and shaming or as insincere attempts at personal gain, they clearly are the ones who lack understanding of second wave feminism - or are choosing to ignore it.
Teach everyone you work with to give trans people basic decency and respect. Especially trans women/transfeminine people, especially trans people of color, especially disabled trans people and especially trans people who don’t “pass” or who don’t have a binary gender to “pass as.” No harassment, no intrusive questions, no slurs. This should go without saying, duh.
If you need a legal name, allow people to give you their chosen name as well. Moreover, give them a space to indicate when you should use this chosen name and when you should not. Make sure everyone on your staff knows how to handle these things gracefully. Make sure that trans people have their actual, chosen names respected. But also make sure that no one winds up accidentally outing a trans kid to their parents by using the wrong name.
Ask for preferred pronouns! With patients, with colleagues, with volunteers. Make sure everyone you work with knows to how pronounce and respect gender-neutral pronouns, as well.
Anyone who is providing medical care should know about trans-specific dysphoria and should be mindful of their patient’s potential discomfort. Make sure no one is pressured into a medical procedure that they’re not consenting to (this is sadly not even a trans-exclusive issue…).
If you teach sex ed (in a classroom or a workshop or a counselling session or during a doctor’s appointment), make it inclusive. Make sure you have information/materials about safe sex from trans activists on hand, hire trans presenters, make sure that you never forget there might be a trans person in the room.
Involve trans people in the decision-making processes of your organization. Involve trans people of color. Involve disabled trans people and working-class trans people and involve transfeminine people.
If you have a website, be sure to specify what kinds of services trans people can expect. If you’re putting up information about gender or gender identity (*cough* planned parenthood *cough*), you should definitely involve a diverse group of trans people in developing the content of that information so that it isn’t horribly inaccurate and cissexist.
Understand that trans people absolutely have barriers to accessing gynecological care (including abortion), birth control and applicable safe sex supplies/information. But also know that our fight includes many, many other issues. Stand against forcible sterilization, stand for affordable sperm-banking, stand for trans parents’ custodial rights, and stand for our economic equality so that trans people can provide for the children they have and want.
Stand against eugenics and capitalism and nationalism and racism and all kinds of injustices everywhere. If you’re “pro-trans,” but really only pro-trans-citizens or pro-trans-men or pro-trans-white-people, they you aren’t an “ally” at all. None of these issues are disconnected.
Yes. So much yes.
Also, if you’re gonna theorize about gender, take the existence of trans* people into account!
On twitter today, a person said that they wished they looked like a trans woman. I mentally tripped reading that because apparently there is a look to trans women? This is news to me. In response to my stating that trans women look like trans women, an academic said that ‘real social codes exist and dictate placement’. Basically, it’s the same thing every trans person has heard before. Transnormativity.
Transnormativity is something I encountered as a term in the post “i used to be a boy: challenging trans-normativity”, which I strongly encourage you to read. I’m extending it a bit but it’s certainly part of the standard trans narrative that there is a certain look, a time when you pass over from looking cis to looking trans especially when you are on HRT. I’ve especially seen this with trans women because of the emphasis on beauty and looks for women in our culture though trans men get it as well (and non-binary people have as yet no standard narrative for this). The standard narrative is that HRT turns you from looking cis to looking trans to looking like a cis person of the ‘opposite sex’ like a caterpillar going into a chrysalis and finally turning into a butterfly (which is why you will find so many older organisations and trans people focused on those symbols in case you ever wondered).
Now, even as bad at empathy as I can be at times, I understand why this is a standard narrative because for many trans people it is about wanting to look a certain way or to at least look different than one does now. I include myself among those people. But the problem with the standard narrative is that it means you have lots of miserable trans people who are defining themselves as lesser trans people because they don’t look like trans women or trans men, let alone like cis women and cis men (except in the bad sense of looking like a cis man when one is a woman). It also leaves out the trans people who have no desire to walk along the butterfly path to some ideal of trans and/or cis beauty and looks. Because transnormativity plays into cisnormativity this is about defining cis people as the standard of beauty and looks for all trans people. Which is nonsense.
I don’t want to be heartless but having the standards of cis beauty for trans people hurts trans people. I understand the desire to be beautiful or handsome. I understand that period for some trans people where they are waiting for the changes of HRT so that they can finally look like who they are. I certainly have those desires, I experience that sense of waiting, of despair, and I have felt (and sometimes still feel) crushed to not be beautiful or handsome but that’s because I let cisnormativity and transnormativity get inside me and dictate to me what I should look like. Look, I know too many attractive trans people who are attractive but not according to rigid cis or trans standards, so they feel ugly and hideous. It’s wrong and destructive and it’s eating and destroying trans people from the inside out.
So what the heck do we do? Queen Emily at Questioning Transphobia talked about how to take this on with regard to photographs:
In other words, we need to see the woman in the pre-transition photo of a trans woman, the man in the pre-transition photo of a trans man. That, and only that, will help begin to dissipate the painful and fraught relationship so many of us have with photographs.
Her words had a profound effect on me and I resolved to do that not just with photographs but with people themselves. It takes some effort but it is possible to develop transsight (as my boyfriend coined it). Transsight is about seeing, say, that a trans woman is a woman with her own beauty no matter where she is in regards to any transition. It’s about not seeing someone’s potential future attractiveness after HRT, surgeries, and whatever but seeing their attractiveness now. It’s about throwing away the idea that trans people are ugly caterpillars until they transform into beautiful butterflies. It’s instead seeing beautiful and handsome caterpillars.
Now, none of this is to say that trans people should not engage in HRT, surgeries, or whatever. But it is to say that we need to stop defining attractiveness as something that is only achieved in the future, that nowwe look cis, nowwe look trans, and nowwe look like butterflies. Looking trans, looking beautiful and handsome or whatever, is not an achieved state determined by transnormativity and cis beauty standards. It’s about being who we are now. If you’re a trans woman you look like a trans woman now because who else would you look like now?
So there are groups that do this, they stay in highly policed areas on shifts and bring cameras and such, and record to make sure police brutality doesn’t escalate, and when it happens there’s evidence against it.
But that’s not the only way it can happen.
Every single person is entitled to watch an arrest go down as long as they are not obstructing or interfering. That means, if you see cops bumrush someone, even if that person is waving a gun, you are allowed, even legally permitted and encouraged to watch the events occur.
This is important white folks, because the cops work inyourservice. Oh sure, they’re supposedly in the service of “the common good” but we all know that means protecting white people.
And now a story, when I was in high school, and my mom was working under a horrific principal, she was late to work one day because there was something going on in our neighborhood. Cops were gathered near our pharmacy and a guy was on the roof (it’s a little over one story, so he wasn’t a jumper or anything) and she stayed as long as she could and watched the scenario go down for a while. Not because she’s trifling. not because she’s nosy. But because she saw a POC and cops gathered and said to herself “I want to make sure this goes by the book.”
And that’s all it takes to be a cop watcher.
You acknowledge that you, as a white person, are in a relative position of safety and you watch. You bear witness, because your voice, unfortunately, carries more weight than ours in the criminal justice system.
Justice is not blind, nor should you be.
If there are cops, and they outnumber an individual, shit, even if it’s 1:1, it is your responsibility to keep an eye on the scenario and take down whatever information you can. And if it looks like something shady is going on, you areobligatedto call in to your local precinct and say “Listen, I saw X happen on Y, and it looked questionable.” And if you get a negative response, well, y’know what? You find out if there’s a civilian oversight committee. In NYC we have one, but they’re underfunded and continually being legislated against (currently there’s a statute of 18 months from the time of the event within which you have to file charges).
If the prospect of keeping vigilant about cops scares you, imagine being a POC, and knowing that no matter what you do, you could be railroaded by a system that wants to not only disenfranchise you, but has no intentions of treating you as a human being.
Take your fears and shove ‘em down, because they’ll never be anything when compared to what we face on a daily basis.
AND YOU KNOW WHAT IS SO FUNNY??? THIS POST HAS SEVEN FUCKING NOTES. BECAUSE GIVING WHITE PEOPLE SOME INFORMATION AND TOOLS THAT THEY CAN ACTUALLY USE TO TAKE ACTION AS ALLIES IS NOT WORTH THEM LIKING OR REBLOGGING AND SHARING WITH EACH OTHER. IT’S NOT LIKE THEY ARE ACTUALLY GOING TO DO ANYTHING WITH IT! RIGHT? RIGHT? IT’S “FUNNY” CUZ IT’S JUST BLACK AND BROWN LIVES ON THE LINE ANYWAY.
word. we ALL have white followers. but they prefer to reblog jokes or pretty pictures or “universal” (read: non-racial shit) things. let it be a good, useful critique on them and their structures and their fucking bullshit. let it be a word of advice so they can stop being oppressive dicks and *crickets*
we all see you.
Please boost this signal.
Exposure is the best tool to prompt accountability.
Sometimes I hear people say that racism/sexism/etc in culture isn’t important or worth criticizing. ”Oh it’s just a book,” they say. ”It’s just a crappy TV show.” ”It’s just a commercial.”
This argument always baffles me. It’s like if you put poison into a fish-tank and then say “Oh well I didn’t poison the fish, I just poisoned the water.” The fish lives in the water, dumbass; it’s completely submerged in and surrounded by the water. I’m pretty sure that poisoned water is going to affect the fish.
Similarly, we all live constantly immersed in this miasma of information that we call “culture.” People are not born prejudiced. We don’t emerge from the womb knowing that all black men are scary thugs, that all Latinas are spicy sexpots, that all Indians are violent savages, that all women are weepy and frail, that all gay men are depraved pedophiles, and that all people in wheelchairs are objects of pity. We learn these things, usually starting at a very young age, and we often learn them from our culture — the books we read, the movies we watch, and the constant barrage of advertising that we don’t really pay attention to but which still manages to seep into our brains, and which shapes the way we think about the world, for better or for worse.
If you want to save the fish, you need to purify the water.
The letter was a bit of a mixed bag. Before anything else, I’ll clarify that she does say, “I’ll cut to the chase: I do believe transwomen [sic] are real women, I don’t prescribe to outdated essentialist notions of gender, that just isn’t what I am about.” So there’s that. On the other hand, she seemed sorta more interested in denouncing the rumors of her transphobia than anything else.
In my original letter to her, I mentioned that while I always hear she’s transphobic, I couldn’t find anything in particular to back it up other than the fact that when Le Tigre played MichFest and Mr. Lady (their label) made a really fucked-up statement about it, she didn’t say anything about it. She didn’t actually divorce herself from that statement; she just said that some people sent Le Tigre and Mr. Lady “abusive, inexcusable mean letters and emails. Some contained death threats.” She says at that point they had to disengage, and she expresses regret at the loss of what she believes “could’ve been an extremely fruitful, productive dialogue.”
So she says she thinks trans women are women, but she seems pretty wishy-washy about backing it up. Pretty much your average cis person I guess.