Walking on eggshells — surviving social capital

My latest article on Medium!  This might be the most fire-filled article I’ve written in quite a while. It took me two decades but I’m finding my voice. And my rage 

“I’ve been told that everyone experiences this, that we’re all walking on eggshells and being vigilant not to say the wrong thing. It’s the toxicity of call-out culture, I’m told. We’re all affected, I’m told. I don’t agree. I see people with more social capital in our circles saying and doing anything they like, with apparent impunity. I’ve experienced classism, ableism, transmisogyny and sexual assaults within the scene that would put the mainstream to shame. And accountability doesn’t serve people like me.”

View at Medium.com

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Fight like hell

(Contains mentions of various systematic forms of violence against trans women including incarceration. Image shows a purple and yellow pansy flower in focus, surrounded by several others out of focus)

 

This Tuesday is Trans Day of Remembrance/Resilience. It’s become something of a tradition, this ‘remembering’ of the trans folk (almost all young, poor, trans women of colour) murdered by transphobia, transmisogyny, poverty and racism in the last year.
 
While marking this is incredibly important (and definitely let’s talk about the systemic reasons behind this violence and then bring it all down) I would also like wider society to show up for trans women while we’re still alive.
pansie.jpg

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And Pride was a riot. Again

In my decades of activism I’ve watched – and resisted – as Pride parades in so many places have been gradually occupied. The military and the police with their institutional violence against queer communities. The banks and airlines deporting queer asylum seekers. The TERFS may have invaded Pride in London this summer (and erased the work of trans women that built their whole world) but that shit had already been occupied for a very long time.  Overwhelmed with frustration, I wrote myself a dream…

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[image shows: a group of people standing on a tank painted pink. They wave rainbow flags and are riding through a street.]

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14 months

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14 months.
65 events, readings and workshops. More beds and floors than I can possibly count. 20 cities. 8 countries. 14 months.

14 months in which I’ve been treated like a celebrity with the occasional respect – and often exploitation – that being visible inevitably brings.

14 months in which I’ve been called ‘demon’, ‘faggot’ and ‘man’ and misgendered in every imaginable way, threatened with violence and sometimes scared for my life.

14 months in which verbal harassment from groups of men on street corners became a regular part of my life. Exposure. Vulnerability. Fear.

14 months.

14 months also, of respect, and beauty. Of having the privilege to create new networks and projects, new friendships and connections. Of building change,and getting to share my stories. And best of all, to hear those of so many inspiring activists and their communities and struggles.

14 months of seeing people show up for each other with such elegance, dignity and sincerity, so far from the shallow ally theatre we all know so well.

14 months in which I could not have worked harder, which have left me as precarious as ever, just a bit more tired with some incredible memories.

Financially, energetically, I can’t say if its been worth it. I also had no other option to get my work out. Publishing and success are all about money and looks. Power and class and knowing the right people. The odds might be stacked too high for my work to really get out in the world, but I’m going to keep trying just the same.

My best won’t always be good enough, I know that. I feel it. But I can at least celebrate that I tried. I’m deeply, deeply grateful to everyone who supported me and also to myself for making this happen. I showed up. We did this. Thank you with all my heart. 

A Valentine’s love story

It’s the month of worshipping romance. Particularly the cis-het-monogamous variety. So it seemed a good time to publish another article for my Queer Ecology series.

I considered writing about anti-romance and desirability politics. And I have a lot to say about fetish and transmisogyny. But I did that already so instead here’s a polyandrous love-story about a little bird.

Dunnock_crop2 [images shows: A Dunnock sitting on a branch on a sunny day.]

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