This month I’ve been running a crowdfunding campaign to send copies of Margins and Murmurations to trans folks in prison through the wonderful work of LGBT Books to Prisoners. They offered these kind words about the campaign and the novel.
[image shows: A black and white image of a cut rose on a wooden table with only the red petals in colour.] [article contains: sadness, dissociation, transmisogyny, street harassment]
“I feel like I detransition and retransition six times a day. And each time I do I feel more shame that I’m betraying my true self. Every compromise I make just to receive affection or to be safe in the street, pulls me further away from my own integrity and takes me deeper down into a place I don’t want to be.”
I wrote this in one of those tragic self-pitying moments that I rarely allow myself. I block these feelings so that I don’t get consumed and overwhelmed by them with no hope in sight and no way out. The source? It’s simple. The men I desire, don’t desire me. Even in Berlin, the centre of queerness, a great global capital of possibilities, I am simply unwanted. And it’s getting kind of bad.
[Image description: two snails, one with a striped shell, meeting with their antennae almost touching.]
Recently I’ve been blessed with some really good conversations. Maybe it’s summer, maybe it’s being on tour and being exposed to such different kinds of people, pushing my own envelope and meeting new ideas, but I feel like every day is an adventure and every hour I’m learning something new. I’ve met more people since publishing my novel than I think I met in the ten years before that and in all this meeting and connecting, a deep lesson I keep relearning is how to really see a person in front of me.
Article contains mentions of dysphoria. [image: Otter on stage in Marseilles dressed in a pretty blue top reading from Margins and Murmurations]
My voice. My fucking voice. This week I spoke into a microphone, slow, sultry. Let’s call it a spoken word performance although the very concept terrifies me. And I heard myself, pushed through cables and speakers, amplified. And my voice, it was low. It was so fucking low. There are times when I’m in the shower, singing only for myself without shame when my voice even growls. Apparently I have a tiger inside me that only hot water and privacy can release.