Time

starling

Moving between arbitrarily delineated years feels something like time travel. Everyone looking backwards and forwards. Nostalgia and prediction. Resolutions and remembrance.

I want things to change, to be better for all of us at the margins. Not in some future year, not when there’s finally enough of us to make a difference or to be noticed by the powerful. No more waiting.

The line was crossed with the first species killed off, the first person murdered for their gender, the first cage, the first police attack. The line was crossed a very long time ago.

This is the perfect moment. It’s our only moment. And it’s about time

#marginsandmurmurations

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My gender is precarity

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My gender is precarity.

Not all trans women are created equal. More and more I come to see how poverty and precarity define my life experience and being poor and trans, I do not live in the same world as people who are rich and trans. We do not experience the same risks, the same expectations. And we do not have the same hopes or dreams. Yet poverty and class are still unmentionable things. The people who decide which subjects are important, which double-standards we as communities will break down, do not prioritize class-oppression. I suspect it’s because they benefit from it.

I hear the voices of rich trans and queer people every day and it exhausts me. I get it, you have power and you have the power to elevate your own voices to get more power. You have the power to break the ceiling. We all get it. There are better things you could do with that power though. Your lip service to solidarity means very little to the rest of us while we’re still trans and poor.

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Remembrance, resilience, revolution

Don’t be tempted to oversimplify this day.

The long lists of victims are not yours to consume. They are not a spectacle. And trans people will not be reduced to our (dead) bodies.

The people in these lists are overwhelmingly young trans women of colour. Yet race, gender presentation, class, age (not to mention ability, sexuality, and historical context) are deliberately erased. All these murders were against ‘trans’ people because of ‘transphobia’. A much simpler narrative indeed.

And simple problems demand simple solutions: better policing and bigger punishments. More money to the reformist NGOs and the police. There’s certainly no need to mention racism, poverty, trans people in prison or the criminalisation of sex work.

Violence is not a snapshot, some single moment when individual transphobe meets individual trans person in a dark alley. It is systemic, it is everywhere and it works through intersections. In a society built on violence and privilege and double standards, when we ignore these experiences, certain powerful people – cis and trans – get to tell the story, to define who ‘trans’ people are and to decide who remembers what and how.

These people in these lists were not only trans. And they did not only die. Their bodies are most certainly not available for anyone’s colonisation or remembrance as a spectacle of gruesome violence.

When that happens, the dead are objectified and fetishised.

When that happens, our resistance is co-opted,  stolen and misdirected to the benefit of the most privileged.

None of this is new of course. These same things have been happening for centuries. But this is a moment of opportunity and choice for trans communities in the west. We can have our resistance, our analysis, our struggle, our work be stolen for the benefit of the few.  Or we can actually do something real about the violent forces that are killing the most marginalised of our communities. I think it’s time.

(Thanks to Yonah for edits <3)

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Thorns and petals

romance

[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.

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Connection

Kissingsnails

[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.

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