BEING TRANS DOES NOT MAKE YOU A SHITTY FEMINIST.

NOT BEING TRANS IN THE SAME WAY AS OTHER PEOPLE DOES NOT MAKE YOU TRANSPHOBIC.

but is it true?

the truth: constant self-doubt.

TOO LONG FOR MY KNUCKLES.

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04/25/2012

oh did this like, used to be a blog about fighting back against the kyriarchy and stuff?

well, right now it’s a blog about PEEWEE’S BIG HEALING ADVENTURE JOURNEY.

me: “BLAH BLAH BLAH, NEUROSES ABOUT RELATIONSHAPES.”

therapist: “you’re thinking about it too much. how do you feel? what do you feel in your body? the thing is not to let the fear overwhelm your ability to love.”

that is the lightbulb moment i will carry around with me for the next month.

04/24/2012

pro tip: whatever you do, don’t get out of therapy all cheery-like, bike home on a fucking beautiful day, go home, drink two beers while hanging with your housemate and reading, and start googling your estranged family, no matter how many slices of “self care” pizza you have ingested, it is never enough to settle your stomach when you find that picture of your father, aged nearly a decade since you last saw him.

the thing to do, tho, after the disastrous wash of grief–is to go downstairs, discover your other housemate is attempting to solve the “mystery” in the years-unused mini fridge and that it is stinking up the entire floor. offer to help them move it so as to alleviate the smell. feel good about lifting bulky, heavy things, have body, will use it. tuck yourself into the strap of your bass. plunk around for a good hour or so, a really good one, until your fingertips are raw and numb at the same time, and you can count 16th beats even when you close your eyes. play slow. play fast. play hard so that the strings slap against the neck of the instrument. yes yes, this is where it’s at. drink water every time your throat gets parched from excitement and concentration. you will still wake up sad and slightly hungover, but it’s like being in a dark tunnel where you can see the pinhole of light at the end, and you have directions, and you have been there before, and you will go there again.

04/23/2012

Other dreams:

I dreamt that I was homeless* again, and spent much of my time trying to sleep in the bushes in downtown Portland, Maine, or in public parks trying not to get arrested for vagrancy, or finding public restrooms to wash up/get water/excrete/change clothes. Somehow some of my friends (P, and a few others) and I got recruited for some kind of contest by some asshole television producers. We were playing the game (which involved some sort of running around in a circle and hopping) when one of my muscles began to spasm. Without my consent, one of the other contestants (who was some kind of yoga teacher asshole) began to try to force me to stretch it out, while I yelled at her to stop touching me. Finally she did, and one of the producers started mocking me for calling her out. I said “fuck this! This is inappropriate!” and walked out. My friends followed me. I think we walked down to the waterfront to beg for spare change and hope we could get up enough for one of those bread bowls of clam chowder. Then I woke up, proud of myself, and rolled close to J_, tried to steal back the covers he had gotten away with in the night.

I dreamt that I went to a shitty party. I don’t really remember most of the party except people trying to make out at me, and me trying to make out at people, and all of it feeling not-great because drunk people suck at consent and/or most types of communication, especially the kind they will remember the nuances of in the morning. Finally I tried to sleep on the floor while two people fucked in the bed above me, but couldn’t sleep. When I went home, P. was inexplicably in my bed, and I curled up next to him with my head on his shoulder and finally fell asleep. It was nice.

Theeeend.

*most of my homelessness has not been the houseless, sleeping out-of-doors kind, but the home-less kind, couchsurfing without a foreseeable end kind. once when i was 14 i ran away and slept in someone who i had met in the park’s backyard for a few nights, but that’s a whole ‘nother story, and really the exception to the rule.

true story

04/20/2012

writing lyrics. imagine Modest Mouse meets yelling music.

we find our selves in the strangest places
behind the two ogres and the crack motels
i lived with a crooked bird in a crowded cave
we clicked and clacked under the feet of the witches, witches
they were not kind
they were not cruel
just witches, witches

auburn frizzy hair and deep black eyeliner
ruddy thick fingers with claws
she beckoned me to secrets
i could not hear her incantations
all i could hear was her damnations

sometimes i think that i live there still
will i have to beg for my dinner
will i have to beg for love?
i’ve never been safer than in harm’s way
i’ve never been safer than in harm’s way
i know the worst that you hold.

we wrap ourselves in our wings
you never hear us sing but too loud
i’m learning to take up space
gonna feather myself down to a safer place.
i’ve never been safer than in harm’s way
i’ve never been safer than in harm’s way
i know the worst that you hold.

trigger warning for um, y’know. the stuff of nightmares. violence, sexual assault, despair.

lots of bad dreams lately, ugh.

nightmare the 1st: my mother, stepfather and i are in a car, speeding down a highway through the forest. it’s curvy, maybe in the Cascades. we are arguing and drinking, gulping vodka from a plastic jug. they are taking me to the woods so they can leave me there because they don’t want me any more. i am a bad seed, too gender variant to fit into their lives, their family. i keep trying to grab the wheel to make us stop or crash so that we can all either die together or i can get out and run away. something very bad is waiting for me at the place they are taking me. i pull out fistfuls of my mother’s beautiful black hair, bloody flecks of scalp cling to the ends. i hate this dream. i wake up unable to move and breathing hard, trying to will myself awake so i can turn over and put my hand on the person next to me, remind myself of all that is real.

nightmare the 2nd: my father is chasing me around trying to rape me. he has done this before, he will do it again. and again. my parts hurt. i hate him. i hate that 8 years later, i still wake up yelling. it took me hours to fall asleep, heart rushing and mind racing, and this is what i get when i finally fall sleep. i hate whatever it was that happened to me (i still don’t know what it was!) that makes my brain call it back up like this. i hate waking up exhausted, body aching. i hate feeling like there is so much work to do outside of myself, but that what i really need to be doing is self-care. i feel broken the whole morning, carrying this memory of a nightmare inside of me like cancer that sheds despair. how can you kill what is a part of you? sometimes i think: i would torch my childhood memories (even those happy ones) to rid me, for once and for all, of these nightmares.

04/11/2012

so angry/stressed out i feel like standing on top of a chair and screaming, then jumping down and smashing that chair to smithereens. in my imagination the chair is one of those industrial school grade affairs, something like this.

i want the plastic to splinter, the metal to be contorted to the shape of my rage.

up all night again with the worry-sads, exhausted and exhausting.

one of those places we come from: south of the mason-dixon line, everything’s bigger in ____.
my aunt Carlene*, 400 pounds and mounting,  the result of polycystic ovarian syndrome (no health insurance, how could anyone have known?). hormones so altered that she grew a fine hair all over her body and a beard (waxed). didn’t know she was pregnant for months (too late), gave birth to a little boy a few months later. worked at Luby’s Cafeteria in ____ for 17 years (fired now, who knows for what?). they kept trying to promote her but she refused to work anything above cashier (must be genetic, i’ve done this). they bought her a little glass paperweight for her 15th anniversary. my mother says: i resent her because her child’s things are nicer than mine, and she’s on food stamps! as if it’s some kind of sin, to ask for what you need, and get it. to never have married (whatever for?), except common law. to work at Walmart (now, she does.). to shop there (what other choice?).
she was the only person from my mother’s family to get my mother anything more than a card with a scrawled signature for her 50th birthday: slice of cake from a nice bakery, probably more than $5. know she had to go out of her way for that.
my mother said once that she had a beautiful singing voice. i wonder what it’s like now?
as a child, one of my worst fears was getting fat. saying this aloud to my peers at 10 years old, i imagined the thunderous hams of her arms, their power to invoke ridicule and shame. but now, whenever i hear someone say her name i think, “beautiful”.

*name(s) changed

after the Cindy Crabb reading i biked home thru the steady rain and dark, dodging cars and chanting in my booming tenor:

THE BOUGHT AND SOLD BODY
TRADED UP ON FOR SAFETY
THE BOUGHT AND SOLD BODY
TRADED UP ON FOR SAFETY
what you want, a hip, a breast, a thigh, a wing?
drapers’ family farm fresh, the best
THE BOUGHT AND SOLD BODY
THE BOUGHT AND SOLD BODY
TRADED UP ON FOR SAFETY

over and over. got home and C was smiling, wanted to regale me with some something, cooli’llberightbackgottawritesomethingdown. jogged downstairs chanting, rhyming, hoping to keep the flow but nothing more came. crept back up the stairs after and smiled and listened (tho i can’t even recall what it was now), and went off to whatever.

the rhyme is both about trading up on sex or perceived attractiveness for resources (esp. safety) but also about the medicalization of trans bodies. also also of course about capitalism and alienated labor. and and and. dig how broadly applicable to so many circumstances.