Monday, December 16, 2013

Look; I've made a neck-
lace of the jagged stones that
you have thrown at me.

Friday, December 13, 2013

There is
so much loveliness here
in these three-o-clock shadows-
the naked trees that spread their claws
o'er the slick black road
ice spikes that threaten
from stone ceilings of transverse tunnels
and in the cold that promises to wait out my patient bones
So much loveliness, that
I would be fine
to leave it all behind
so long as I might depart
with its
taste yet upon my cold lips.

Saturday, December 07, 2013

I think I need to come out again, not as a trans* this time, nor as a lesbian, but as someone who suffers from major depression and anxiety disorder. I'm not writing this to solicit notes of sympathy or support, (I know my family and friends love me,) but because I'm ashamed.

Being depressed, in addition to making certain feelings of helplessness and hopelessness extremely pronounced, causes me to feel more or less worthless, and as someone who feels worthless, the other feelings of pain start to feel like an unearned indulgence, because no matter how I know that it's not my fault, there's that nasty stigma- that nagging inner voice that tells me I should be able to move through my life productively, like "everyone else", if only I would "just get over it".
I know that these are lies I tell myself, and that I'm not worthless, (that's how I'm able to share these feelings,) but much of the time, that's how I truly feel.
I know I'm not the only one who's daily life is a battle with major depression and/or crippling anxiety, and I know I'm not the only one who victimizes herself with this kind of hurtful self-talk. I'm sharing this part of myself, because, as we are with our queerness, it's time we were about all the aspects of who we are. We ought not suffer from shame because we fail to represent some shining ideal of emotional and/or mental and/or physical fitness. Instead, we should revel in our strength, the strength we find when we reject the outside expectations, the power we reclaim, when we choose live our genuine lives without shame.

Tuesday, December 03, 2013

An open letter to a cisgender friend who excitedly informed me of a part she'd gotten playing a trans* woman in an indie film:

Although I'd originally congratulated you, my conscience wouldn't allow me to leave something unsaid; understand that I think highly of you, as both an actor and as a human being, and that I don't fault you in the least for innocently taking on what promises to be both an interesting and challenging role. That said, I have to admit that when I read your excited pronouncement, I found myself shaking, and that soon after, came tears, nausea, and a level of upset that at first I didn't understand.

The fact is, frankly, it's unacceptable that the creators of your film chose you, a cis woman, to play the part of a trans* character.
Maybe I sound harsh, but hear me out: Time and again, trans* lives are used by popular media as little more than awkward plot devices, or worse, (as in recent episodes of both "Mike & Molly" and "Two and a Half Men",) the punchline of harmful and hurtful jokes; more often than not, we're cast as predators, out to trick unwitting straight men into betraying their heterosexuality. The usual joke goes like this:
Joe Stud meets a gorgeous chick at the bar. The two of them are getting hot and heavy, when suddenly, it turns out that the gorgeous chick has (or had,) a penis. Joe Stud is now a laughingstock, because he fell for a dude, and the whole world knows it. That's right, according to the ever repeated joke, the trans* woman isn't a woman at all; she's, or, "he's" a "dude". Do you see what I'm getting at?
Wait though, it actually gets worse, because you see, as the studio audience (or laugh track or whatever) titters nervously, or groans, or laughs at a character revealed to be trans*, (and the emasculated guy who got duped,) another would-be attacker of a trans* person is validated in his feeling that we're dangerous or even just "icky", that our lives are inherently "less than", and that it's therefore okay that scores of trans* women (and although less frequently, not less notable, trans* men) are killed each year, simply because they're trans*.

Look; I know that you're a good and thoughtful person, and that you'll do your best to play this role with as much sensitivity and understanding as possible; I also know, that had you any understanding of how insensitive and hurtful it is when trans* roles are played by cis actors, you would have never accepted it, but how could you have known? Afterall, you only know me through my Facebook posts since we haven't seen one another since 1985; otherwise, it's more likely than not that your main understanding of trans* lives comes from those aforementioned misrepresentations popular culture is so fond of. You're not trans*, and so you enjoy the privilege of moving through your daily life without ever having to worry about passing, or not passing, or being harassed or arrested for using the restroom consummate with your true gender, or how or when or if to safely "come out" to a prospective romantic or sexual partner. None of these things, nor the myriad of others that sometimes render so many of us trans* folk's lives a neurotic nightmare are issues for you; you're both privileged, and lucky.
Unfortunately, it's because of just that, that it's so inappropriate for you to undertake this role, and so, while I wish you joy and success, I simply can't congratulate you or share in your excitement.

Sunday, December 01, 2013

Sometimes it seems
the dark has such advantages
Its course runs smooth and known
and it brings with it the warmth
of old familiarity
but the light
The light
is a tourist here
a brash neophyte
who makes assumptions and generalizations
and so, so many promises
one ought never hope
it will keep.