some April readings.

April is a month I spent without a second job, so I had a little more time for reading than usual. We’ve got the regular eclectic mix of everything, starting with Autistic communication and ending with a discovered-late series of letters from trans people to other trans people in their lives left over from TDoV. And, sadly, there are still lost lives to mourn (my least favorite part of these posts, but the most necessary one).

 

Lost this year

 

Naomi Hersi, London, UK

Tennis enthusiast, music lover, and chocolate addict

Read a letter to Naomi

 

Sasha Wall, Pageland, SC

Always ready for the camera

Read more

 

Take Action

 

If you live in Massachusetts, sign the pledge to protect trans anti-discrimination laws.

 

In 2011, gender identity was included in employment and housing anti-discrimination laws.

In 2016, gender identity was included in public accommodations anti-discrimination laws.

This November, Massachusetts will be voting on repealing the 2016 decision, which would allow for discrimination against trans and gender non-conforming people in pretty anywhere that isn’t home, work, or school.

 

You can pledge to vote to protect trans people.

There are also a number of volunteer opportunities.

And, most importantly, talk to folks you know in Massachusetts and make sure they’re voting and on the same page!

 

Reading

 

I Like That, I Want That, Can I Have That?: When NonAutistic People Don’t Understand Autistic Communication and Punish Us For It.

 

“Even though I could explain what I meant, I was miscommunicating and was rude. There was only ever need for me to change. Not the person who consistently and often willfully misunderstood me. They knew what I meant. I’d explained it clearly but I had to shift into an imprecise way of speech that was completely unnatural to me. It’s not something that I mastered until after I was diagnosed and could understand why I behaved differently than society expected me too.”

 

The “Threat” of Sex

 

“Sex can be a weapon – a dagger that can leave wounds that will never fully heal. I’ve heard it said that while murder kills a body, rape kills a soul. Its destructive capabilities are well-known, which I’m sure is why women are the primary targets of rape threats. Corrective rape is used as a brutal cudgel against those who are viewed as wrong. The idea that someone can be “raped straight” is yet another sickening and evil facet of rape culture. But I want to submit that there is a more shadowy threat of sex that affects asexuals in a different way than it does straight people or even allosexuals. This threat of sex – the implication that a lack of sexual attraction will eventually produce negative consequences – is why I no longer find safety in my asexuality.”

 

Don’t neglect the UK’s indigenous languages

 

“Would you be surprised if I told you that, far from being a land of monoglots, there are ten indigenous languages spoken today in the British Isles? Yet we are very quick to tell ourselves that we’re rubbish at languages. We are linguistically isolated monoglots, marooned on a cluster of islands on the edge of the Atlantic. If we were in the mix of mainland Europe, we tell ourselves, we’d be blethering away in at least two languages.”

 

Questions from the Search Terms: “Femme Woman using they them”

 

“I’ve written before about how ‘they’ as a pronoun is simply a way of referring to someone without gendering them at all, and there’s nothing wrong with someone preferring not to have their gender brought up every time they’re being referred to. Using ‘they’ pronouns is one way to reduce that frequency, and if it works for some women (femme or not! Femme-ness or lack thereof is completely irrelevant here, to be clear!) then that’s just fine.”

 

It’s a Gaslight Life for Us!

 

“We live in a society that holds up lies as the ideal. People lie to be polite. To be accepted. The thing is, to be nice, you must be a liar and the first person you need to become good at lying to is yourself. So, we lie about how we feel about things until those lies become truths and those truths become the norm, and the norm is self-deception of such scale that even the tiniest threat of revelation is met with extreme prejudice – personal attacks meant to undermine and discredit you and whatever you said that triggered them. And then they’ll blame you for it.”

 

Another Invisible Bisexual: E. Nesbit

 

“I’ve written about this denial of bisexuality before, but it’s still frustrating. It’s a denial that forces a biographer into several possibly unwarranted conclusions, and robs the text of nuances. And in this case, it also heightens the image of woman as reactor instead of actor, by assuming that Edith Nesbit had affairs in reaction to Hubert Bland’s affairs, instead of welcoming the prospect of an open marriage with a husband that tolerated and encouraged her own sexual needs; this may have been one reason why she married him. If you accept that Edith Nesbit might have been a bisexual, sexually healthy and adventurous woman, you can accept that an open marriage might well have been her choice as well. Certainly she seems to have enjoyed many aspects of it.”

 

Trans Day of Visibility Roundtable: Letters to the Trans People Who Shaped Us

 

“To celebrate, we asked trans writers to write to a fellow trans person who has been important to them — someone they look up to, someone who has helped them,​ ​someone who has changed their life or otherwise made a major impact. Below you’ll find their notes of love and admiration for their trans friends.”

 

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Some February readings

This month, I read about a whole lot of things I want to share with you. Once again, the trans community continues to face loss (and I know I am behind in recording it), so I have decided to also add an action point to these posts. Even as we face loss and frustration, there is always something we can do. Also, lots of good reading from depressed exercise to Star Trek!

 

Lost this year

 

Viccky Gutierrez, Lost Angeles, CA

Originally from Honduras, she is described as the “nicest girl in the world”

Learn more

 

 

Take Action!

by Neta Bomani (2018)                                                          [image is a person behind prison gates with swirly circles in the back. Underneath are the words “NO LADY, Anonymous, B 32018] 
Prison Culture and Neta Bomani have made a zine for folks in women’s prisons.

You can

  • Spread the word
  • Help send it into prisons
  • Donate to help cover printing and mailing costs

 

Reading:

 

Dress to kill, Fight to win

 

“I think sometimes being anti-fashion leads to a false notion that we can be in bodies that aren’t modified, and that any intentional modification or decoration of your body is politically undesirable because it somehow buys into the pitfalls of reliance on appearances.”

 

The Philosophy of Selfishness is Destroying America

 

“The very idea of selfishness is one that by virtue of its existence implies something deeply poisonous and wrong: that in order to get what we want, someone else must pay a cost.  And vice versa: if anyone else gets what they want, it comes at a cost to us.”

 

Why is Fixing Sexism Women’s Work?

 

“Sexism is a male invention. White supremacy is a white invention. Transphobia is a cisgender invention. So far, men have treated #MeToo like a bumbling dad in a detergent commercial: well-intentioned but floundering, as though they are not the experts. They have a chance to do better by Time’s Up.”

 

Star Trek’s Economic Model – Fantasy or Future?

 

“The universe of Star Trek allows us to peer into a possible alternative of our lifestyle. Not just about exploring the universe, but about exploring the human condition that we have all chosen to accept as “normal.” If any of us transported into the world of Star Trek, we would stick out like sore thumbs.”

 

Depressing Busting Exercise Tips For People Too Depressed to Exercise

 

“But where the well-meaning mentally healthy person sees a straightforward progression toward improvement, we see the paradox: yes, if we could do those things, it might help our depression, but not being able to do those things is a major part of being depressed.”