Ageism and survival

Despite everything the world tells me – the mainstream of course, but also, more painfully, the queer and trans communities, I have never been sexier. Because age is sexy. Wisdom is sexy. I’ve survived nearly forty years and mobilized for twenty and that is hot as hell.


[image shows: Otter in a cute black top standing in front of a wall painted in pink, purple, green and blue graffiti. She has her hands on her hips and is looking straight at the camera] [contains mentions of various oppressions and sui*i*e]

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But they will.

In these times of unending attacks on trans women and sex workers, writing is a risk, visibility is a risk. Just existing sometimes feels dangerous. But I know precarity well, and I know my work is important enough to keep going.


I’m so proud of those of us telling our stories, fighting to exist and build something beautiful in every corner. I’m so proud of each and every one of us resisting the co-optation of our history and our struggle.

They have no idea how powerful we really are. But they will. 

Conserve and Control
Margins and Murmurations

[image shows: Otter standing against a tree with grey bark. She’s wearing a cute black top and denim mini-skirt. She’s holding a copy of her novel, Conserve and Control]

Dear Otter

Otter, darling, I’m so proud of you.30743500_712379972485891_5822547593929949184_n
In a few days you’re embarking on the biggest of adventures and you’re doing really well. There are no words for how important and intimidating this is for you, but you’ll be okay. You’ve got this.

Although you’re about to start a world book tour – you, this invisible trans girl from the countryside – you still don’t believe in yourself. Not really. But this is happening one way or the other.

[image shows: Otter in a mirror selfie wearing a cute green top. The wall behind her is purple with stars]

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I have never been more visible in my life. And sometimes it terrifies me.

In the last year I’ve become more public, more seen, more known than ever before. Being visible is literally part of my survival now and it’s how I put food on the table. But with every book sold, every reading given, I know that I’m also more at risk, more of a target for those who would eradicate people like me from the world.

Visibility is complicated. Today I think about incarceration. The populations of trans women made invisible by society, hidden away behind bars by those in power. And more often than not, locked away with men – at risk from both visibility and invisibility.

Today I think about the trans women (usually young, poor and of colour) caught in this relentless wave of transmisogynistic violence. Too visible to be safe, too invisible for the mainstream to give a fuck. I often walk a similar line myself. Am I femme enough to get into this queer or feminist space or to be accepted as who I am? (while knowing that, yes, forcing only trans women to jump through these hoops is both sexist and cis-sexist)

And later, back into the street – tucking my skirt in and pulling down my sweater – I wonder if tonight is the night that I’m too visible to get home safely.

I still have no good options. The only thing I’ll say for visibility is that while increasing my risk of danger, it’s also widened my support network. For everyone at risk today – from invisibility, visibility or both – please remember that you’re not alone. I don’t have answers for how we bring all this down or how we build something better, I just know that we’re stronger together. 

#tdov #tdov2018 #transdayofvisibility

We did it!


It really happened – Conserve and Control was launched today!
I’m so proud that this radical, sexy, uncompromising novel is out in the world. And barely a year since Margins and Murmurations hit the shelf…it’s been a ride!
If you pre-ordered your copy, it’s on its way. If you missed it, no problem, it’s already up on Amazon and there should be a second edition with Active Distributions next month in time for the tour.
Thank you so much to everyone who’s been on this epic journey making a dream come true. If you’d like to support the book, there are some ideas below.
love you all and thank you!
Books like Conserve and Control exist because of the communities that create them. I’ve done some epic writing these months and now I need some help getting it out into the world!
  • Order a copy for you and your friends
  • Take a book selfie (or cat photo…) and post it on social media
  • Request it at your local library, it’s already available in North London because of this – it works!
  • Support the Patreon. Without this financial support, this whole project would never have happened. Crowdfunding is such an incredible thing and has made all the difference