in this post will be the collection of all of my past status updates from early 2016 until march 2017
MARCH STATUS UPDATES:
5 march 2017
from a formal logical point of view, i posit that there is nothing inherently wrong with binaries...however. however, we must frame the binaries appropriately. X is *not* the opposite of Y. but X *is* the opposite of not-X.
the implications of this in gender and sexual discourse would be to say that man is not the opposite of woman. however, man is the opposite of not-man. this is of course woefully reductive and is fraught with its own st of problems, but i think that it's a good starting point to reorient the larger discussion of gender and sexuality.
i think this creates a different space in which to have the discussion about what gender is and how we embody and personify gender. to understand not-X, there is the necessary task of defining what *is* X, and i think that is a discussion that needs to be had because, as a society, we are operating largely on assumptions of X, which in turn leads to very destructive misunderstandings and miscommunications.
5 march 2017
please don't delete comment chains within posts or entire posts without at least letting the other participants know. it can lead people to question their memories (as in they know that they said something but the go back to look for it and it's gone) and it also erases emotional labour that people expel. at best, it's annoying when you've taken the time and energy to engage in a conversation and then all of that time spent is for naught. especially leave the threads up when conversation gets heated or if you're otherwise unhappy with where the conversation went because it shows that we can be humble with our mistakes and also there is a lot for everyone to learn from reading conversations.
if you do delete posts, i would suggest giving someone a warning that you'll delete it and wait for them to like the warning or otherwise acknowledge that your message was received; or if you want a conversation to stop simply say that the conversation is now over and say that further comments will be deleted.
1 march 2017
i would really like to get back to posting angry femme tirades, seductive photos of my kink life, and reviews of coffee shops along with write-ups about friends, but my mind is currently on a single track with the hope of getting as many people to my show tomorrow nite as possible. but don't worry, once this show is over and i make some loud shout-outs to all of the people involved and who came out and supported the show then you'll be returned to my regular programming. also, did i mention that all of the proceeds of this show are going to be given to the standing rock sioux tribe? so know that the money you're spending on a ticket is going to somewhere great. no one involved with the show is walking away with money; we've all volunteered our time and energy to this project.
side note: i just walked by a herd of small children and holy hell, wtf are these things?! they're like humans but they're not? (this should make it apparent that my life is pleasantly devoid of small humans)
FEBRUARY STATUS UPDATES:
25 february 2017
been thinking about it a lot lately and i'm kinda over the whole having a penis thing. i wish that i could give it to one of my friends who could actually make use of it. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
21 february 2017
i'm starting to figure out the ingredients of my musical style, sheesh.
i take the rhythmic language of jazz, hardcore, and metal.
the tonal language of serialism and the avant garde.
the social language of punk and hip hop.
20 february 2017
there's this song by modern life is war called 'fuck the sex pistols'. it is, as the title implies, a big middle finger to the notion that punk is dead and the glory days ended decades ago. what i especially like about this song is that it's very provocative, abrupt, and strongly besmirches the seminal punk acts. listening to these lyrics gives me life and license to talk shit about the greats of my own genres of music (as if i didn't already have such a license!). so with that i say, fuck the white man pantheon of western art music.
mozart and brahms and beethoven have had their time. i think we can put their music six feet under along with them. yes, the music is good and important, but that voice of championing those dudes is loud enough. ima be here to be the dissenting voice and rant and rave about how damaging it is to modern composers and listeners to revere these guys so highly. art music audiences are frequently diminishing and many major art music orgs have gone belly up this century. and furthermore, every fucking mozart symphony or beethoven sonata that gets performed or recorded is that much less time that living, breathing, working composers have for their art to be heard.
17 february 2017
i am in awe of how cool life is and how much i am enjoying my own life right now. i just got home from my first little runway show where i got to perform in a new and wonderful way surrounded by so many incredible people and new friends. i had great and brief little chats with two new femme friends, i got approached by a fashion editor at a well-known website to do another modelling gig next month, and the whole evening unfolded quite flawlessly. yesterday i met with a vj to discuss ideas for a collaboration that we're doing for my protest concert in a few weeks, tomorrow i have a fourth date with someone who i'm really digging, last saturday i had an interview at my top-pick school and my fingers are crossed so hard that i get an offer to attend there in the fall, this tuesday i have a new piece of mine being premiered, last friday i had a fourth date with another person who i really dig, in two weeks i'm putting on my first show in this city and my first interdisciplinary show ever, last monday i had a first date with another person who i really dig, and all in all it just feels like so much good news and so many good things are being layered and layered on top of each other.
but then...then i get this nagging, this inkling in the back of my head reminding me of my childhood. while i was growing up with my mom i was a very excited child (i guess not much has changed in that regard), but i remember my mom often quelling my excitement. she didn't ever want me to get too excited about things because she was well aware of how quickly the tides could turn. as a way of protecting her child from harm, she often dissuaded me from having lofty goals and high aspirations because she didn't want me to be hurt by the inevitable collapse of everything good. and to this day i still carry that with me. i recognise all of the magical and wonderful things happening around me and i'm waiting for the other shoe to drop. i don't know if i consciously want to admit it, but all of the good in my life really scares me because it's only matter of time before this all come crashing down. my mom also always reminded me that you see the same people on the way up as you do on the way down. i think that she meant to teach me to be nice to everyone but instead taught me that failure is inevitable. i want to unlearn all of this but it's really hard and i've been unsuccessful so far. i'm also really scared in life in general right now because of what i perceive to be a lot of instability. i have a place in school and a home and a solid life right now, but at this very moment i have no idea what lies on the other side of this school year. i haven't been accepted into any doctoral programs yet which means that i have no solid plans for what i will be doing in life five months from now and that freaks me the fuck out. i want to know what i'll be doing for the next few years. i love this city and my life here so much and i'm really scared of losing it all. every few years, my life comes to a point of extreme uncertainty and it's always exciting yet anxiety-inducing and each period of uncertainty seems to get riskier and riskier.
i thought myself into this tizzy of fear and anxiety and i want to try to think myself out of it. throughout this last week i've noticed a lot of really wonderful coincidences in my life, and i was reminded of luck. luck isn't something that gets talked about much outside of the card and tabletop gaming worlds, but i think that it's a really important part of life. at least, in my life it has been. so much of my good fortune seems to trace back to simple blind luck. in life i try to do as much as i can to put the odds in my favour, but at the end of the days it's all a bit of a crapshoot. however, that crapshoot has been pretty damn fruitful so far and if nothing else then i'll put my limited faith into luck and see if that continues to get me where i need to go.
this has been a stream of consciousness bit of writing and i'm not entirely sure if i want to go back and read it, so ima just post it like it is and hope that i didn't make too many typos and the just let go of these thoughts for bit. feel free to comment or interact with these thoughts or anything really. my ears are open.
16 february 2017
identity is always on my mind, and it is in the vein that i want to write a little bit about my trans identity. before i get started, please note that these words are my own and only describe my experience so please do not take what i say as indicative of anyone else, however similar or dissimilar to me they may appear to be.
in short, i feel like my identity of trans has lost a lot of meaning and importance to me. trans, as an important identifier, has shown itself to be, well, transitory. that is to say that identifying as trans was very important for me when i was trying on other identities and wasn't sure of where i fit in, but now i have found some homes and i don't rely much on trans at this point. loudly identifying as trans gave me a sense of self and a sense of belonging. however, now that i have found and embraced my femme identity and have reexamined and grown closer to my queer identity, i feel that those are my two most important and defining social identities.
but of course there is the fact that whether or not i actively identify as trans (something that i still haven't fully decided on), my lived experience is a trans one. i am not ashamed of my trans identity and do not want to hide it, but at the same time i'm not wanting to flaunt it and i don't want to make a big deal of it. i simultaneously don't want my trans identity to define me but it is also a defining characteristic of me. i'm trying to think of a reasonable comparison to help me, and perhaps you, understand what i'm trying to explain and the best i can come up with is, like, where a person went to high school. to me, a lot of me came from my high school years, it was an important time of my life; i didn't have any choice in the matter, and i wouldn't change it, but it's also kinda insignificant at this point. or perhaps to put it differently, it would be like focusing on the material used to create the frame of my apartment building. sure, i could dig around (literally and figuratively) and see what exactly makes up this frame, but that shit, as important as it is, is largely irrelevant in the day to day living in this building and the actual digging around would be a waste of time. it's there, it provides structure to the building, it's incredibly important, but i'm more concerned about what i actually see–the apartment that i live in and witness daily.
my point in writing this was to share some thoughts with all of you that have been on my mind a lot lately and also for me to figure my own shit out by means of writing. as with all of my posts, feel free to comment as you see fit, share your own similar experiences, or offer me advice. i'm open to hearing advice (and unless otherwise noted, i'm always open to relevant advice [with the honest caveat that some people's opinion carries more weight than others]).
15 february 2017
content note: i'm writing and pondering about sadism and extremely taboo sexuality
there is a quote by the marquis de sade that has been in my head for probably a decade now. he said that "it is not my mode of thought that has caused my misfortune, but the thought of others." i think that there's a lot of great stuff here to unpack and consider.
the large point he is making (i think), is that nothing he thinks is inherently wrong (and it is my firm belief that there are no "bad" thoughts), but because of puritanical social mores, all of his thoughts that get expressed are met with resistance. from this i think that there is a great conversation about social contracts and constructs to be had. for example, think about identity politics, especially related to uncommon genders and sexualities. very simply, i am queer and there is nothing at all wrong with this identity, although much of society would have it be that i am a menace for being queer.
there also seems to be a thread of accountability here in that i wonder how many of his ills he would have blamed entirely on society and how many he would have taken any amount of responsibility for. i ponder that both in a vacuum and also in context, because, and this brings me to my final point, it is well-known that not only did he write about many sadistic (if you didn't know, 'sadism' is derived from the marquis) events, but he also committed many sadistic and truly vile acts. where i currently stand on this is that any of the non-consensual violence that he committed against anyone, especially underage people, is indeed abhorrent. that part of my thought will surely never change. however, where i am interested in doing thought work is on the matter of his pure thoughts and writings. in concept, and in following with my previous statement of there being no "bad" thoughts, can we fully accept his debauched fantasies as simple fantasies?
5 february 2017
i notice that anti-abortionists often talk about the life that could have been had by little organisms that begin to grow inside of a pregnant person. "if these people didn't murder their babies think of all of the great people that would exist beside us!"
and then i see that today is trayvon martin's birthday. he would have been 22. but where are these "pro-lifers" now?
4 february 2017
here are my thoughts on the speeches and atmosphere of the lgbt rally outside the stonewall inn earlier today. fair warning, i don't have many accolades and am pretty much a feminist killjoy. sorrynotsorry
•i'm sorry, but no, we are not all muslim, we are not all gay, we are not all immigrants, we are not all marginalised. i like that you are trying to show solidarity and support for marginalised people, however please do not co-opt our/their identities.
•do not say transgenders. just don't. i understand that it's slip of the tongue when you're rattling off 'gays' and 'lesbians' and 'queers', but i can tell that it's a slip of the tongue because these are not words that you say often. if you actually spoke about this issues on a daily basis, you would know that we're transgender people. not transgenders and it would be a mistake that you would simply not make.
•do not attack donald trump for having any perceived mental illnesses or neurodivergent traits. there are plenty of angles at which to attack him, we do not need to attack him in a way that further marginalises people with mental illnesses or neurodivergent people.
•i've said it before and i'll keep saying it, 'love trumps hate' is some real inane rubbish. i will not love my enemy, i will not love my oppressor, i will not love those who would take away my humanity. i will not reserve love and kindness for those who do not deserve it.
•this is also a general comment that i always mean to make: instead of saying brothers and sisters, say siblings. instead of saying sons and daughters say children. instead of saying mothers and fathers say parents. please, let us use language that is not so darn binary.
•re:my last point. thanks cynthia nixon for actually saying 'siblings' and recognising people who are non-binary.
•ok cynthia, and then you went and fucked up by saying that the anarchists are counterproductive and discredited the power of property violence. sorry but fuck you.
•gay boys are really fucking entitled to space.
•thank you to the queer muslim woman from tunisia, for calling out the fact that there are no black muslim speakers here and that there are no palestinian speakers here.
•"trans women, particularly trans women of colour, are the mothers of our lgbtq movement." yesssss!!
•it took about two hours, but someone on the stage finally said that black lives matter.
•the very last speaker was a white man. well isn't that fuckin' peachy; the white man gets the last word yet again. 🤦♀️
•and then there were plenty of things that were never spoken of: sex workers, intersex people, indigenous people, survivors of sexual violence. no one spoke out against capitalism, no one spoke out about prisons, no one spoke out again never ending war.
there were a couple of good things said and i'm happy that multiple trans women were given the podium, but by and large this was an incredibly lacklustre event. if this is the calibre of people we've got fighting this battle then we've got our work cut out for us. last thing, way too many politicians and elected officials spoke. y'all are working within the system that is oppressing us. we cannot turn to our oppressors for our liberation, even if our oppressors happen to be gay.
3 february 2017
yesterday i had an analysis seminar in music since 2000 and IT WAS THE COOLEST CLASS EVAR. being the first class it was somewhat of a twentieth century review. we looked at carter, boulez, mamlok, ligeti, and babbitt and went over concepts such as contour theory, boulezian multiplicity, all-interval sets, and integral serialisation. i cannot get over how cool this stuff is and for next week's class i'm preparing a short presentation on a work by sofia gubaidulina. wahoo!! 🎼🎹
JANUARY STATUS UPDATES:
30 january 2017
as someone who has curated her news feed to show almost exclusively text-only fb posts i'm very happy to see so many people sharing really great points of view on things. however, it seems like it could be getting dangerously close to some weird thing where no one is creating or producing any new and meaningful dialogue. explicitly, what i'm talking about is the fact the a lot of people are simply copying and pasting all of these verbose status updates with anonymous authorship. on the one hand i'm going "yes! share that shit loud and proud!" but on the other hand i'm starting to think "now wait a minute, i just scrolled through five posts in a row that were all copypasta jobs. is no one writing original content and adding their own unique voice to the conversation?" perhaps i'm totally off base with this observation, but mebbe i'm onto something.
26 january 2017
so this is mebbe along the lines of my coffee dates, but rachel and i already had our coffee date last month and i don't wanna double up people on that project, but i still really wanna write about our dinner friend date tonite cuz it was so darn magical and the love and excitement i felt after our coffee date was exponentially amplified tonite. i am so fucking elated!!! i can't even begin writing on this cuz i don't know where to start! oh! okay, i'll start with the peak of tonite, which led to us getting out of our seats to go find some open space in which to hug.
if you recall from my coffee date story with rachel, i talked about how magical it was to hear her self-id as a #SoftFemme because that was exactly what i self-id as, but i'd never heard anyone else use that term so i didn't really vocalise that identity cuz i didn't realise that it was a legit thing. so yah, we're both soft femmes and bonded over that.
tonite we were talking about extroversion and rachel said that she considers herself a #ShyExtrovert and i was just like "WHOA. THAT ME." and this is a very recent revelation for me, but one that has been incredibly illuminating. it came about when i was at #Babetown two weekends ago for the first time and i was keeping close to alex cuz she was the one person i knew and felt safe around. at one point, she introduced me to a friend of hers and was basically like "this is my friend katie, you should talk to her because she's really shy." FULL STOP.
i'm sure that any of you who really know me would never in a million years describe me as shy, but i actually am very often! i absolutely love being around people and they give me so much energy, but yah, often i'm very quiet and reserved, especially with new people. so yah, shy extrovert and that so perfectly describes me. twenty eight years i've been alive and have been a shy extrovert, but it was only two weeks ago that i put those words together to describe myself and then BOOM. tonite comes and rachel once again says that she has this exact same super niche social identity as me. like, what're the odds?! ngl, i did have what appeared to be a mild freak out but it actually wasn't and it was truly a feeling of lottery-winning elation. i laughed and smiled so hard and that's when rachel was like "hey, can we hug right now?"
also, i told this to her and i'll state it here cuz i think it's so awesome, one of the reasons why rachel is such a rad human being is because she so thoughtfully engages with really difficult and complex social conditions that are really no fun to deal with, but she is also more bubbly than all of the champagne imbibed throughout the world on new year's eve. seriously, this femme is like the apogee of empathy and experiences the full range of human emotions so gracefully.
oh, and for dinner we each had a basket of un-chicken fingers and a side of veggies cuz fuck yeah we eat like we're twelve. 😎
oh! and also also, i decree that the following emoji is the essence of rachel:
final note: these pictures are of us rubbing our cheeks after we hugged and giggled because we were both smiling so much that it began to hurt.
24 january 2017
do me and all of your trans friends a favour and go through your address book on your phone and make sure that you have everyone's current and correct names saved. go ahead, i'll wait. 🙂
20 january 2017
today marks the beginning of a new chapter of the story of This American Hell. for many, it is a first realisation of how this country operates. for many more, it is a continuation of the failed experiment of capitalism and american imperialism. and i would be lying if i told myself that there weren't some enemies reading this, those of you for whom this is a gleeful occasion or simply another day in paradise.
i want to take pause now to send my love to people. i love you, femmes. i love you, youth. i love you, trans siblings. i love you, queers. i love you, friends of colour. i love you, queens. i love you, friends with disabilities. i love you, non-binary siblings. i love you, muslim and jewish friends. i love you, survivors of violence and abuse. i love you, friends in america without american citizenship. i love you, friend who will get fucked over by this regime. i love you, everyone who is sad right now.
in the course of me writing this he has surely been sworn in. i hope that that will sink it to those of you who have had your heads buried in the sand. and for the rest of you who are acutely aware of the gravity of this travesty, let's get to work; whether that work be self-care, loving those around you, disrupting the system, or creating a new paradigm. personally, i am reminded to love more and to fight more. i want to tell more people that i love them. i want to hug more people. i want to listen to more people. i want to disrupt more oppression. i want to actively participate in improving my communities with my music. i want to share more. let's do what we can do.
in solidarity and resistance and with love,
16 january 2017
content: my thoughts on calling out and oppression
marginalised people can still perpetrate and carry out systems of oppression, even if they themselves are oppressed. however, that does not give you license to call them out. you must still stay in your own lane!
what this means is that me being trans does not preclude me from proliferating anti-transness. secondly, if i witness a non-black poc proliferating anti-blackness, i have no right to step in and call that person out. and lastly, if i see a white person engaging in racism then i have an obligation to call it out. not only because one ought to, but because it should not be the burden of poc to call out racism. this is also to say that cis people need to work to shield trans people from anti-transness because we fight hard enough to defend ourselves as is.
addendum to my last point: yes cis people, do call out other cis people on their anti-transness, but do not do it in a way that overpowers the voice of actual trans people. no performative allyship!
15 january 2017
content: pronouns, gender, my own antagonistic opinions
pronouns: they're not something that i "prefer", they're something that is integral to me and whatever i say that my pronouns are is what they are, period. i have a *preference* for vanilla soft serve over chocolate, my pronouns *are* she/her.
i write this because i'm gettin' real tired of cisboys trying to be woke by asking me my pronouns. when you come up to me at an event completely out of the blue feigning innocence when you ask me that question i want to slap you. first off, you're basically low-key saying "i know you're trans and i'm cool with that, and ima single you out cuz you're trans (which i'm cool with) and show you how cool i am with trans people (who i'm cool with) cuz in my gender 101 class at cracker college someone said that you should, like, ask trans people their pronouns. see, i know how to ally!" second, like, congratulations fucko, you clocked me as trans. are ya happy? thanks for putting me in the awkward spotlight. third, context clues! pay attention to how i present, listen to how other people refer to me if you don't know me, look at the basic info on my facebook profile (and yes, even on private profiles it's possible to see a pronoun!); asking about pronouns unannounced should be the last resort—hell, just don't do that. i say all of this because when i'm in these situations i feel very othered and i'm caught off guard to the point that i can't address it in the moment so out of anger for the ignorance of other people and out of anger at myself for not having a quick enough wit i am left with writing snarky status updates.
yes, i realise that these thoughts are probably flying in the face of what you've been taught about pronouns from me and other people over the last couple of years, but after much consideration and some life experience, my thoughts have changed. that's allowed to happen. and also note that these are my thoughts and my thoughts alone. in my original post i came off as sounding like i was speaking on behalf of others, but i want to be clear that these are *my* opinions.
practical note: i think that one idea for a good practise is to first volunteer your name and pronouns when making introductions and do it with EVERYONE. otherwise you're targeting people that you judge to be different and it's obvious. so for example, when i introduce myself to someone new i ought to say "hi, i'm katie, she/her" or "hi i'm katie and i use she/her pronouns." and now that i think of it, i'm gonna make sure i do this from now on.
on this post, i will welcome discussion and disagreement from anybody who's not cis. cis people, this isn't your discussion to have. please only ask questions if you've exhausted your own research or are legitimately confused, otherwise just step back and observe.
they're not something that we prefer, they're something that is immutable fact, so please stop calling them "preferred gender pronouns."
also, i'm gettin' real tired of cisboys trying to be woke by asking me my pronouns. when you come up to me at an event completely out of the blue feigning innocence when you ask me that question i want to slap you. first off, you're basically low-key saying "i know you're trans and i'm cool with that, and ima single you out cuz you're trans (which i'm cool with) and show you how cool i am with trans people (who i'm cool with) cuz in my gender 101 class at cracker college someone said that you should, like, ask trans people their pronouns. see, i know how to ally!" second, like, congratulations fucko, you clocked me as trans. are ya happy? thanks for putting me in the awkward spotlight. third, context clues! pay attention to how someone presents, listen to how other people refer to someone if you aren't familiar with them, look at their basic info on their facebook profile (yes, even on private profiles it's possible to see a pronoun!); asking someone unannounced should be the last resort—hell, just don't do that.
yes, i realise that these thoughts are probably flying in the face of what you've been taught about pronouns from me and other people over the last couple of years, but after much consideration and some life experience, my thoughts have changed. that's allowed to happen. on this post, i will welcome discussion and disagreement from anybody who's not cis. cis people, this isn't your discussion to have. please only ask questions if you've exhausted your own research or are legitimately confused, otherwise just step back and observe.
13 january 2017
i went to this really great panel discussion last nite called ungendering fashion and it was a really insightful and often hilarious look into the queer fashion world. my experience was really really great save for one aspect, and that's what is inspiring me to write this. i wanna first say that i'm hella torn about writing this because the object of my scorn is a fellow trans woman, but i also think that it is exactly because i'm angered by another trans woman that i ought to write this. i'm angry because of poor representation.
i was really pleased by the array of individuals on stage at this event. there was a cis gay latino man who has been hiv+ longer than i've been alive, a black trans man, a cis lesbian black woman, and a trans woman from thailand who runs the first all-trans woman modelling agency in nyc and created a trans-centric dating app that's been on the market about a year. the first three panelists were goddamned rockstars and i loved them all, however this trans woman made me embarrassed to be trans, to be quite frank.
first off, not once did she speak up on anything substantial and the only three times she said a thing were when she was asked to introduce herself in the beginning (her introduction was about as unremarkable as a losing lottery ticket), when she chimed in about gendered clothing and talked about how everything she was wearing was based on or made from men's clothing (good job centring the discussion on men, sister!), and then at the end she was directly asked a question about why she started her modelling agency, to which her response was about as inspiring and political as a framed quote from Things Remembered ("i want to give all of these wonderful flowers in the world a place to bloom and be their most beautiful self!" was about exactly what she said). i take offence to this because she's on stage as a representative of the community of trans women and she was as useful as a talking head. after hearing her, i feel like i have to fight like hell to prove that i'm not a vapid dingbat.
my second point of contention is her actual modelling agency. if you haven't heard of Trans Models, i'll save you the trouble and tell you what their roster looks like: a clique of tall, skinny, mostly fair-skinned, conventionally-attractive women straight off the runways of milan. "that sounds just like all of the models in every issue of vogue, what's so bad about that?" once again, i'll tell you the issue—representation. not all trans women look like this. hell, *most* trans women don't look like this. but this is the face of my community that gets presented to the masses and lauded as revolutionary. let me break it to you—assimilation is not revolutionary. in fact, i would posit that it's counterproductive. and another thing, this modelling platform hawks the tired before-and-after narrative of trans experiences and, while this is a totally valid narrative, that is certainly not the narrative of all trans women, despite how it is often presented.
my last gripe is about Teadate, her fetishising and regressive dating app using trans women. i don't even want to say that it's a dating app for trans women because it does not at all feel like a place for me. i used that app for all of five minutes until i realised that it's for chasers (for those of you who don't know, chasers–in this instance–are transmisogynistic men who are into using trans women to fulfil some deranged sexual fantasy burrowed in their head) and that shit is straight up gross. i want my dating world to acknowledge and respect my trans experience, but not put it at the fore and make it the centre of attention.
i'm quite angry and embarrassed in response to this event, but i'm also scared to share these views for fear of being antagonistic. the queer community is riddled with infighting and i hate to be contributing to it, but i also can't keep quiet about this particular issue because it's so close to home. and who knows, i could be entirely wrong here and my limited understanding of this woman and what she stands for could be grossly misinformed, but i'm sure there's at least some nugget of validity in my righteous indignation.
13 january 2017
anyone that knows me knows that i crush hard, frequently, and easily. it's, like, part of my charm. 😅 usually, i crush on someone and then learn that she's straight and it's like womp womp. but i'm used to that and it's totally cool, whatever. but then there are other times when i find out that someone i crush on is gay or queer and then i'm just like uhhhhhhhhh
actually, this remind me of a story. i was young, mebbe ten. as one does when you're a ten year old tater tot, i was chasing after pigeons in the park. on this particular day i managed to catch in my hands a pigeon and i was in complete shock and disbelief and then was infinitely confused because that's just not what happens in that situation. i think that feeling of confusion and disbelief is much the same feeling i experience when i find out a crush is actually queer. i'm kinda dumbfounded cuz that just doesn't happen.
and then the story that i'm reminded of reminds me of a little-known fact about me: i love pigeons.
10 january 2017
first off, my appointment today was scheduled at 1130 but when i made the appointment last month i put it in my phone at 1030 kinda just to see how i would react now. i got my reminder voicemail yesterday saying that i had an appointment at 1130 and i got real confused cuz i thought it was 1030 and also cuz when i get voicemails from the va they occasionally screw up the appointment details. aaaaaanyways, i split the difference and got here a few minutes past eleven and woohoo i was early for once! a step in the right direction.
the second step in the right direction was getting the nurse that recognises me and when i told her to NOT tell me my weight before getting on the scale she was like "oh yes, i remember that you don't ever want to know." so that was cool. #HealthyAtEveryWeight
and third step in the right direction, my dose of #GenderAlchemy is now at max (according to the endocrinology society, which is what the va follows)! that means that i'm taking 200mg/day of #spironolactone and 6mg/day of #estradiol. yippee! i've been pondering it for some time now, but now i'll ponder out loud that i'm seriously considering various surgeries. i'll post more thoughts on that in a separate post, especially since i like the input of my local fb hive mind and writing things is great for my personal information processing. more on that later!
and then, of course, my entire visit was riddled with excessive waits (all total i spent about three hours at the hospital), but whatever. ya win some ya lose some.
8 january 2017
i think that without being entirely aware of it i've spent the nearly thirty year of my life up until now searching for this femme identity and now that i've finally found it it's as though i have finally arrived at the kingdom and now i have the rest of my life to get the lay of the land and explore this place and i am so ecstatically happy!
5 january 2017
femme is a special kind of femininity.
femme is a special kind of queer.
it is subversive. it is unapologetic.
it is unexpected. it is empowering.
femme is radical and political.
femme does not exist for the male gave,
but instead exists
in spite of the male gaze.
femme is not straight, not hetero.
femme is not woman.
2 january 2017
very few words here
femme seeking validation
i feel so sexy
4 january 2017
when reading articles about trans people, keep the following substitutions in mind:
when an article says something like "he was born a girl," what really should be said is "he was given an incorrect gender designation by the delivery doctor."
when an article says something like "her name is christina, but up until a year ago her name was christopher" what really should be said is "her name is christina" or, for more details "her name is christina and her birth name is irrelevant. her name is christina."
DECEMBER STATUS UPDATES:
31 december 2016
reflections on the last year:
pretty good things
•changed my name and all of my gender markers everywhere and found nothing but glowing support from my friends
•found an identity that fully and truly resonates with me (femme)
•took the plunge and finally purchased my own bassoon
•judged magic events in four different regions and received exemplar recognitions every quarter of the year
•went on a lot of awesome dates
less good things
•concluded both of the long-term long-distance partnerships that i was in (but lyndsey and i are such close friends again and i'm so happy that we will [hopefully] be in each other's lives for a very long time to come)
•dealt with more romantic rejections this year than probably in the rest of my life combined
•felt very alone very frequently
things i want from the following year
•be of better use and utility to friends, my communities, and society
•do hook suspension
•get into a doctoral program, hopefully in the city
•get a new tattoo
•delve further into what it means to be fem(me)
•get into a relationship (or two or three) that is both romantic and intimate
•continue to learn how to be a better communicator
30 december 2016
what was i doing throughout the day yesterday, you ask? well, i watched every. single. video. on this list. i prolly consumed more pop music yesterday than in the rest of my life. i think the moral of that story is that if i am to consume pop music, it ought to be in music video form. my take on the videos is: 2 had a great yet kinda sad narrative arc and was nonetheless great to watch. 3 was the longest and probably the coolest of the bunch and felt so cinematic. 12 has ALL of the adorable puppers. 16 was probably the only remotely satisfying as a piece of music, it also happened to be quite visually stunning and i want that hair SO BAD. 20 is real awesome and gets props for being the only rock video. and i would totally steal that look. and also i found myself really, really, really liking both teagan & sara videos. i've never listened to them before. should i, as a queer, be liking them? cuz i think regardless i really, really liked that sampling i got and now i'll go download some of their albums. 😎
28 december 2016
this was really quite a magical trip and for once i felt like i didn't get to spend enough time back home in prescott. i am glad to have left this place, but i realise now that i am fortunate to have spent nearly a decade of my life growing up here. this town is perfectly small in all of the right ways.
in life in general my current feelings are mostly confused, scared, and anxious, but my time in prescott was mostly filled with feeling of contentedness, pleasure, and joy. i didn't get to see all of the people that i would have hoped to have seen, but the people that i did see were so wonderful to catch up with and i'm really inspired by how well everyone is doing. my intent is to have less than three years pass between now and my next visit.
14 december 2016
i've got some updated opinions on concert music to share:
•on clapping between movements in multi-movement works: yes! awesome! i love it! this is a radical departure from my thoughts of a few years ago. i used to be a snob about clapping, but no more. it's great to hear an audience get excited about the end of each movement and i think it's really wonderful that the clapping happens. i'd love even more of it.
•on repeat signs in classical- and romantic-era music: no! just no. when an audience sat down to hear a symphony in 1816 it was entirely possible that that would be the one time in their entire life that they heard that piece. repeats made sense then because it gave the audience one more chance to hear that cool part. in 2016, however, audiences have both more access to music and less of an attention span. most people will likely get bored with an extra twenty minutes of the same music hurled at them and if they wanna hear the symphony again it's gonna be easily accessible online.
•on all-black concert attire: no! it's so boring and overdone and part of seeing live music is the visual element, so why deprive the audience of something cool to look at by making everyone on stage look exactly the same??
10 december 2016
i performed in a concert recently in which the dress code was typical concert black and there was the caveat of 'we don't want someone to come to the concert and make a comment about how someone was dressed. they're here to hear music, not look at your clothes." so of course i, every the contrarian, was like "well that sounds dumb, i should do something different." now of course, i played nice and did what i was told for that concert, but for now on when i put on my own concerts i'm gonna tell the performers that the dress code is "i wanna hear people saying that you looked as awesome as you sounded" which i guess is kinda along the lines of what i already suggest to my performers, which is "be fabulous and look the way you want people to see you."
10 december 2016
this is a fairly standard representation of a classical music performer dress code. it may seem fairly innocuous, but when i look at it through a critical queer eye all i can see is the enforcement of binary sexism. i would ask, what is the point of having separate dress codes for men and women? how should someone dress if they do not identify as a man or a woman? can you reproduce a similar dress code without enforcing binary sexism? a couple of fixes to this that i can think of off the top of my head are the following:
•if you want to wear a tuxedo or similar garment, follow these guidelines: _____. if you want to wear a dress or similar garment, follow these guidelines: _____.
•wear all black and ensure that your knees, ankles, and elbows are covered by clothing.
see? was is that hard to detail a not-sexist dress code? i may be a binary trans person, but i'm still trans and the enforcement of gender norms still unnerves me. plus, as just a decent human being the enforcement of gender norms offends me. am i being too fussy about this? i can imagine that many people would answer that question with a resounding 'yes,' and to you i would ask, can i change your mind somehow? and to the people that would answer that inquiry with a resounding 'no,' i commend you and thank you for entertaining my grievances.
i won't be participating in any large ensembles at school next term so i feel like airing my concerns to the powers that be are too little too late at this point, but moving forward i think that i need to remind myself to make a ruckus immediately whenever i come across such blatant institutional sexism and i would encourage all of you to do the same (especially all of you cis people and especially all of you cis people that pat yourself on the back for being an ally).
7 december 2016
nyc friends, i need a tailor recommendation (i think). i have this winter coat that i really really love, but the hood is ridiculously large, so i either wanted it altered to be smaller or simply removed completely. first off, are any of you skilled enough with clothing alterations to do this for me (and i will of course pay you or otherwise compensate you fairly)? or secondly, can you recommend someone/somewhere to go to do this? or is this something that i even need a special recommendation for or could i just go to any random tailor and have them do it for me? halp i have no idea wat do 😩
NOVEMBER STATUE UPDATES:
28 november 2016
the gre is such a crock of shit. i think that it's straight up rude that so many schools require it. the test is $205 to sign up for and you get to send your results to up to four schools for free, but you must do that at the end of the test otherwise you pay. and then for additional report you have to wait until your scores are posted online and it's something like $30 per report that gets sent to a school. not only that, but i think that a full third of the test is completely asinine, considering that i'm a musician in the liberal arts and i have never, nor do i think i ever will need to do any of the silly math in that test (like graphs, my gawd i haven't had to use one of those since high school homework over a decade ago!). and then they make you sign all sorts of forms basically saying that you won't share the content of the tests and that you won't steal any of their testing material and that if you do steal any of their stuff it's intellectual property copyright infringement, but then lol they make you put everything you own in a flimsy locker with signs plastered everywhere saying that they're not responsible for your stolen stuff (ha! if you take their stuff in their facilities they'll persecute you to the fullest extent of the law but if your stuff gets stolen in their facilities they're all like ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ not our pro'lem!). and they make you go through a metal detector before going into the testing room and they inspect your glasses and make you take everything that's not clothing off and keep all of your pockets empty...fuuuuuuuck. like i said to begin with - a total crock of shit. and it's all private shit so all of the money i'm blowing is just lining some corporate goons pockets and isn't even doing anything to improve anyone's quality of education.
24 november 2016
a personal reflection on thanksgiving:
my relationship with thanksgiving, like that of most family-centric holidays, is an unusual and sometimes strained one. i don't fully remember most of my early thanksgivings, probably around age ten is as far back as the memories go. my first few thanksgiving in prescott i remember spending with my mom and step dad and they would host at our home some regulars at the restaurants where they worked. not much to write home about, really. then at age fifteen i was old enough to work so my stepdad invited me to come work a shift as a busser at the restaurant where he worked. it was fun and i ended up getting hired and i worked there for the rest of my three years of high school. it was a great place to work with wonderful coworkers and the owner always told me that as long as she had that restaurant i would never have to go hungry (the restaurant is now out of business). i even took her up on that offer a few times cuz my mom didn't have enough food at home or i simply wanted a departure from her drunken antics.
during my years in the military in georgia i disliked most of the people i worked with so i always declined offers to spend thanksgiving with marine families. instead, my friend/roommate of the time and i would go see what kinda of food we could get from a fast food place on that day. i remember getting pizza hut and taco bell at various years. those were fun times, driving around the barren and empty streets of albany with my close friend.
my first year in portland was my last thanksgiving with my mom (she's not dead, as it may seem by my word choice, but after that year i stopped speaking to her) and i was joined by my then-partner and some of my friends from school. it felt really good to have my own home to invite strangers into and feed them food. that was a pretty good evening.
the next few years were spent with lyndsey and those were basically the zenith of my years celebrating the holiday. i was invited into that family and have never felt more accepted as family by anyone else. and we always had a completely vegan feast which was stellar. those were the best of times.
last year was my first thanksgiving in nyc, but i was still partnered with both of my partners in portland so i felt a sense of connection there and i spent the holiday with a friend who i felt really welcomed with. that was a pretty good holiday, especially for being a stranger in a strange land.
and today has been largely uneventful and i think that my anger for the events around the country has overshadowed my loneliness. i slept in, woke up peacefully, took myself down the street to get a bagel and coffee and did some homework, stopped at the grocery store on the way back home, and for the rest of the day i've been loafing around my apartment, mostly telling myself that i would do work that i haven't. i wrote a bit of music and now i've made my thanksgiving dinner for one of roasted brussels sprouts and my best homemade mac'n'cheeze and a cup of coffee (i forget to get something more interesting at the store to accompany my glass of water). i looked for a really depressing movie to watch and remembered about a film by one of my fav directors that i haven't seen yet so i'm gonna loaf some more and eat my food and watch a movie in solitude.
i suppose that i can close by saying that this day has largely triggered a lot of memories, and all of those memories are of people, places, and relationships in my life that have expired. this is my first thanksgiving a woman, my first thanksgiving single, and my first thanksgiving alone.
14 december 2016
i saw a new run of nyc department of health psas in the. subway today pertaining hiv and i wanna say that they're awesome not only because they're very well designed and non-judgemental and informative, but also because they display such a huuuuuge variety of people, and even more so cuz one of the psas has a trans woman and a cis woman holding each other and that was the first time that i've ever seen someone like me in the public eye.
9 november 2016
i regrettably tap out of the battle for today. every part of me is depleted right now and this is gonna be a long, uphill battle. i'm gonna do this for the long run but i gotta figure out strategy and sustainability first. there are still thousands of active protesters and a good half dozen blocks of midtown are out of commission so things seem in good hands for the first day.
7 november 2016
i'm super in love with this "i support trans rights" profile frame and i just went through my friends list again and catalogued everyone who's employed this profile frame. of the 27 people using it, i've counted the demographics to be as follows:
by location - pdx (10), nyc (6), albany, ga (3), prescott, az (2), boston (2)
by school - portland state (6), queens college (0)
by gender - cis woman (13), trans woman (6), cis man (5), trans man (2), gnc (1)
by other groups - queer (10), magic judge (2), usmc (0), biological family (0)
not surprisingly, portlanders, queers, and women all hit double digits. also not surprisingly, none of my military friends or bio family are using this profile frame. the biggest bummer is that queens college is probably my biggest social network, yet not a single classmate of mine from copland is using this profile frame.
OCTOBER STATUS UPDATES
31 october 2017
UGH. fuckin' racist-ass white mf. POC CULTURES ARE NOT HALLOWEEN COSTUMES. for fuck's sake, we should not need to still be having this conversation in 2016. stay in your own lane. don't pilfer cultures that are not your own. stop perpetuating racist stereotypes. do us a favour and go crawl back into the wet jock strap from whence you came.
25 october 2016
"the third of a tone has been knocking at our door for some time and we refuse to listen."
astute observation, ferruccio, i would concur, although luckily since your time a few people have answered the door. and i will say that i am going to answer the door next.
23 october 2016
my news roundup for sunday 23 october
1️⃣democracy now! news anchor amy goodman, green party presidential candidate jill stein, and 81 other people were all arrested in the last day in north dakota on charges of riot and trespassing during a protest of the dakota access pipeline. remember a few weeks ago how everyone was rejoicing on social media that construction was temporarily halted? well, perhaps that was just to get everyone to shut up and go focus on the general elections or something else inane.
2️⃣did you know that the largest prison strike in american history is underway and has been for nearly a month now? if you don't read a large variety of news outlets you may not have known, since it has been wildly underreported. this strike come on the 41st anniversary of the attica prison riots and, depending on who's estimates you use, there are anywhere from 24-74k inmates participating, but even those numbers could be dubious since prisons are largely unmonitored and out of the public eye.
3️⃣at a high school football game in north carolina a referee took a knee for injustice during the national anthem. not surprisingly, of the five refs, the only one that took a knee was the single black referee. throughout high school sports, youth of many races have taken a knee, but in professions nfl football not a single white person has taken a knee.
after a day of processing and a good nite's rest i can say that i am still completely and utterly confused as to what happened with my date person. date one was amazing, date two was picture perfect, date three was wildly romantic and we stayed up late talking about our intimate and familial pasts, shared our thoughts on intimacy, had a sweet and cuddly sleepover, and we had even discussed what days of the week we could start spending with each other (cuz work and poly and her other relationships) and planned out a few special dates for the next couple of weeks and talked about me meeting her other local partner. then the next day (yesterday) she texts about how amazing our time was but that she can't be simultaneously emotionally and physically intimate and that we should just be friends. i let her know that i feel too strongly for her to just be friends because it would hurt me and i express my sadness and that i'm curious to know what switched from one day to the next with her, and she responds with a pleasant text saying that she understands and that she liked me things were indeed romantic and was sad for things to end but that i could contact her whenever i like for friendship. i feel so bamboozled and perplexed and i don't even know what to do (i know that it's over and as much as i would like to talk to her and hope that she changes her mind i'm not going to cross that boundary and talk to her but i don't know how to further process this and the confusion is indeed unsettling; i know that i'll have to live with it and time will fix things but i don't know what else will do).
it would probably do me well to take a break from dating because dealing with these exact situations every time is painful and exhausting and i don't feel ready to put myself through this again so soon but i also feel lonely due in large part to having no partners and having no pets and the vastness and quick pace of this city makes it so hard for people to find time and space for me on a regular basis. but at least there's facebook, a place for me to write through my feelings and have some degree of cyber intimacy with my friends.
a step-by-step guide (or a short story, i haven’t yet settled into a narrative that i want this post to follow) to my dating life in 2016:
ch.1 - courting
begin courting on dating apps because it’s not quite safe or appropriate to seek dates irl. when you crush on someone irl they turn out to be straight or monogamous so you give up on that front. but the courting goes well and you exchange phone numbers.
ch. 2 - scheduling
now to navigate the comically treacherous waters of scheduling. i suppose that it’s not unsurprising that everyone in this city is filled to the brim with other commitments and it is thus hard to find time with new people. but hey, you found each other mutually interesting enough to peruse profiles, send messages, give out a phone number, and through some lovely miracle you make time for each other to meet.
ch. 3 - the date(s)
you’ve made it this far so there’s obviously a few common threads of interest and perhaps even attraction here. dinner or coffee is great, all of the stories are wonderful, you two had such a high match percentage on okcupid so it’s no wonder than things are going so swimmingly. probably have a date or two and start to really, really like the person, mebbe even get in a great kiss or two. no matter what, you crush and you crush hard.
ch. 4 - the text
but of course, what would a single or series of magically beautiful dates be without being topped off with The Text? with each new interest you think that it won’t happen again, but just give it time, two or three dates will do, and then you’ll inevitably wake up one morning to a verbose and thoughtful text that will basically say (and often even explicitly say verbatim) “i had a really great time with you and i think that you’re a great girl, but i’m not romantically/physically attracted to you. your company is so great, though, can we still be friends?”
your very nature is to be optimistic and happy go lucky. each new date is a fresh and exciting adventure and, because i’m me, i’m gonna crush pretty easily, which means that my heart will be crushed repeatedly, but whatever, love is indeed infinite and that flame will never die. i really wish that i could be bitter and jaded and just give up on love and fully dedicate myself to music, but that saltiness usually only lasts a week or two tops. i’ll swear off dating for now, but then the loneliness will set in and my search for a companion will commence once again and i’ll be reading this story to myself again next month. i really wish i could figure out what it is about me that is so physically off-putting. i probably won’t change myself, but i could at least try to change the people that i pursue since I’m apparently falling into this rut of only pursuing people that will ultimately have no interest in me. like, fuck, i know that I’m a masochist, but i question whether or not i truly want or enjoy all of this emotional anguish that i put myself through.
saying "let's be friends"
is her nice way of saying
"i don't fuck trans girls"
Hey Lady! Thank you soooooo much for taking such good care of me! You're impossibly sweet and lovely! I feel so refreshed/rejuvenated! I think I needed tlc more than I knew!
So, I think you're so so rad. I'm feeling though that what I want is to be friends with you rather than a sex-relationship. I don't know how you'd feel about that? Are you looking for friends?
I think I've hinted at this a bit, but I'm a little screwed up with sex. I have a lot of trouble being simultaneously emotionally intimate and sexually intimate. Part of why poly is important to me is it gives me the space to prioritize friendships which tend to be where I put most of my big feels.
I really would like to keep you in my life and get super close with you and chat and cuddle and make you cute gifts and appreciate how incredibly hot/stylish you are!
I feel sad to disappoint you in anyway and bummed that I have such issues around having sex with ppl I'm emotionally intimate with. I'm still working through how to deal with that.
TBH, I'm a better friend than sexy-time partner anyway and if you wanna keep me around I hope to do all sorts of things to make you happy (just wait to see how I treat my friends on Valentine's Day!)
I'd be very into chatting more IRL about this! I just wanted to say the things as soon as I figure them out.
I hope you have a great day! And thank you again!
19 october 2016
on one hand, when i'm in a class/rehearsal/workshop where the person in charge knows everyone's name and addresses each person by name i feel compelled to love that leader so much and i find such people wildly inspirational. on the other hand, when i'm in a similar place and the person in charge simply points to people or addresses them in any sort of impersonal manner i quickly become disinterested in the space and frankly lose some respect for the leader. legit, remembering names is hard and not everyone can simply memorise so much information, but what everyone indeed can do is try. try to remember names; learn some strategies that help you remember names. and if you don't know a names ask. and if you don't wanna ask then guess, cuz when you guess wrong the person will [hopefully] correct you and lemme tell ya, when you guess a name wrong and then get corrected i guarantee you that you'll never forget that name again.
19 october 2016
if you had to name the ten most important musical groups/personalities of american culture of the last century, who/what would they be? this would be completely regardless of whether or not you personally like them, simply the list of ten that you think everyone should at least be aware of.
my working list would be (in no particular order):
-[igor stravinsky/arnold schönberg]
-[the kinks/elvis presley]
-[the beatles/the rolling stones]
-[miles davis/louis armstrong]
madonna, black sabbath, john williams, duke ellington
thank you for being so up front and concise with your message, appreciate your honesty. i really like you and have been growing more and more fond of you and it would be for that reason that being friends wouldn’t feel right for me. i am quite smitten with you and i think that i would feel some amount of anguish knowing that i am a romantic and sexual being and that you are a romantic and sexual being and that [i thought] that we had great chemistry but then to be friends knowing that we wouldn’t be romantic or sexual together…that just makes me sad. i absolutely loved our time together and those were hands down some of the most magical and wonderful dates that i’ve ever experienced.
part of me is curious to know what happened between last nite and today; i felt like we were talking about future dates and plans together and sharing a lot of intimacy and now it's so abruptly over. i feel bummed out, but mebbe it's best that my curiosity not be sated.
in a roundup of today news:
1️⃣the new york times (just days after i was lauding them!) published an editorial supposedly presenting the two sides of the transgender-people-simply-existing-in-public-places debate just in time for upcoming news as to whether or not the supreme court will hear cases regarding title ix and the definition of sex and gender. except that the editorial was wrought with misinformation, bias, missing facts and backgrounds, and oh yah, the PERPETUATION OF TRANSMISOGYNY.
2️⃣a man who fired at gun at george zimmerman was sentenced to two decades in prison. george zimmerman, ya know, the guy that murdered trayvon martin and then was acquitted? allegedly the man that fired the gun at zimmerman only did so because zimmerman waved a gun at him first.
3️⃣democrats are loudly patting themselves on the back for raising thousands of dollars for repairs and reconstruction of the gop building in north carolina that was firebombed earlier this month. ya know, the gop...in nc...the political party that cares only about the interests of rich white men in the state that passed some of the most sweeping anti-trans and anti-workers rights legislation in the country. and the democrats, ya know, the supposedly progressive and liberal party that cares about the people. fuck your shortsighted and self-service white liberalism. i don't want it. i want revolution and i want liberation.
here's a situation that i've noticed happen often throughout my years in large ensembles:
player in ensembles screws up something then laughs about it. conductor gets flippant and says something like "that's not funny." original player cowers and the overall mood of the ensemble becomes tense.
what i think that these conductors would do well to know is that laughing, especially in this instance, is a defence mechanism. the person who made a mistake isn't laughing because what the did was funny, they're laughing because they're probably scared and/or embarrassed about their mistake; drawing attention to this and shaming them for it is only adding insult to injury. all that is to say that, frankly, i find it rude when a conductor acts in such a manner.
i love classical music, it's probably my favourite music more often than anything else. however, i also think that classical music has a stick up its ass and needs to lighten the fuck up. i want music that's classical with an ethos that punk rock.
i'm pretty sure 11 october is now gonna be my fav day each year cuz seeing all of you babes tell various coming out stories for #NationalComingOutDay was the most beautiful thing ever and i absolutely love all of you trans/gay/queer/poly/lesbian/agender/bi/alien/pan humans. 😍😍
today is #NationalComingOutDay and, well, duh i've got a lot of out to be about so i shall! but first, it should be known that many people, for an array of reasons, are not able to, comfortable with, or ready to come out and that is OKAY. no one is under any obligation to come out, many people are in fact ostracised, harmed, and killed for coming out, and lastly don't you dare out anyone who has not given full and ecstatic consent for you to out them!
here's what i am unapologetically out about:
•i'm a TRANS WOMAN (for better or for worse this one should come as no surprise, but hopefully mostly because i'm so vocally out about it).
•i use queer as a descriptor for my identity because it is such an open-ended term but at the root of it is not-straightness. cuz fuck i am really NOT straight. back in high school i thought that i was straight for like a hot minute but nope.
•i'm femme. this one is, like i've mentioned, still under construction for me, but i know in my heart of hearts that it's right. what i can say about it is that to me it means that i identify as feminine of centre and that feminine aesthetics are important to me. more on this as my thoughts develop.
•my current attraction identity is femme4femme, aka gay i suppose cuz i'm into people not unlike me. and the great thing with femmes is that we're all over the gender spectrum and i love them all! i crush on nb femmes, trans femmes, cis femmes, alien femmes, all of the beautiful femmes!
•but, and this is where i'm in a confused state with myself, i can potentially enjoy have sex with all sorts of people and bodies. i'm generally appalled by cis men, especially in the realms of gender and sexuality, but i also really love hooking up with men and using their bodies. if anyone has experience with these weird feels please talk to me cuz i would love to share thoughts and help each other figure shit out!
•i'm HIV+ and have been for over four years now. sexual health is such an unnecessarily difficult topic in american society and if i can blame my poz status on anything i would blame it on the abstinence education i was coerced into in public education. we need to have way more frank and explicit conversations around sex always. please, i am always happy to engage in conversation about anything pertaining to sex because i have a lot to learn and a lot to share.
if you made it this far i applaud you, this turned into a lot of thoughts and it's only the tip of the iceberg. if i can leave anyone with any takeaway here it would be to have more discussions about more things and be more candid and also be kind and nonjudgmental around these sensitive topics. thank you and i love you all.
columbus day is a gross wad of boogered up toilet paper. the guy was a conqueror, a rapist, a thief, and an all around not swell dude. plus we all know that he was an imbecile and couldn't even find his way out of a wet paper bag.
yesterday was still a cause for celebration cuz it was my birthday and damn was it an awesome birthday! i got so many messages and posts and comments and so many of my babes came out to dinner with me to celebrate and i got some fucking awesome presents (which i'll of course post photos of later!) and a special unique birthday shake at champs. and because new york is still not with the times i had the day off which made the day even cooler! so thank you all of my loves you're great and i'm so happy to have y'all in my life.
p.s. cities should still give a day off for the second monday in october cuz days off are awesome but let's all make a push to do like oregon and washington and other states do and celebrate INDIGENOUS PEOPLE'S DAY instead of that other holiday. cuz i know that for damn sure the vast majority of us are occupying stolen land and i don't see white america giving back the land or paying fair reparations anytime soon.
ohshitohshitohshit!!! date two was...
hooooooly cow i am so fucking elated right now!! we met at season vegan, a really awesome soul food restaurant up in harlem, and had a really tasty dinner and some really excellent conversation. then once we paid i said "so...you wanna go on a walk through central par–"
"yes! that sounds wonderful!" she interjects.
we continue the killer conversation through about a mile of the park and then get to the big reservoir in the middle of the park and stop to take in the view of the glorious bright lights of lower manhattan. i take a minute to talk about how great the view is and how beautiful the city is blah blah blah and then i turn to her and see her looking at me and then after a brief moment of silence she says "can i kiss you?" and like whoa wow it was so gorgeous and passionate and i died of happiness kinda and then after a minute or so we take a pause and continue walking and then we burst out into laughter and giggles because we were both so happy and it was so stupidly romantic!
we continue on and walk by one of the gothic looking water treatment stations and i try to walk in but the door is locked but i heard a sound and want to investigate. she thinks that i'm trying to scare her and wants to press on but i hear a sound again but louder and then stand by the door and listen. it's not a very loud sound that seems like a scream. it happens, and the is quiet, and then another sound, and this continues. it's too high and consistent be a human, but what it was i couldn't say. we only concluded that it might have been a raccoon or other sizeable animal and walk away kinda uneasy like. so that was odd.
and then we keep on walking and start holding hands and then go sit in the grass and make out and it's marvellous. the time comes for her to get home cuz work in the morning so we start walking out of the park and this ratty old dude on a bike slowly rolls by and is like "damn ladies! i got what you two ain't got and i'm sure you want it!" which was gross af but also secretly validating cuz we were holding hands and omg i'm being seen as a lesbian finally.
the conversation stays wonderful with an occasional hug and a kiss and hand holding and then as were a few blocks away from being done a guy on the street walks past and is like "whoa. where are you two going? i want to go with you, let's have a threesome!" and again ew blah blah blah.
she ask what i'm doing over my five-day weekend and i say "homework, reading, rehearsals, and...seeing you again?? 😬" to which she gleefully agrees then she walks me to the subway and then we have a great goodbye kiss and i come home floating on cloud nine.
ever since beginning to date as a trans woman all of my romantic advances have been met with disinterest or a request to be platonic and i can't help but feeling quite defeated and ponder about how likely it is that i'll be alone for a long time and yah this couple-centric world that we live in is compulsive and oppressive but i just want someone to hold hands with and cuddles with and ugh i am really really terrible at being single halp.
on the elections:
a sustained trump presidency would be an atrocity exhibition and that is exactly why he needs to become president. notice that i say sustained. what i mean by that is that if trump becomes president, the longer he is in office the more of a hellish circus this country will become.
a trump presidency is a ticking time bomb that will get people active and will cause communities to organise. we need this community organisation. in an ideal world (which i think is possible) communities will band together and incite an uprising. i hope that with a trump presidency we will not make america great again, but instead we will make america again. we will dismantle this current bedlam and rebuild from the ground up. i think that trump is disgusting enough to make this all happen.
clinton, on the other hand, is a conniving politician and people will be content enough with her to allow the status quo to be maintained. we will continue mass deportations, excessive incarceration, militaristic drone strikes, and police brutality. nothing will get better and nothing will break the threshold of complete unacceptability.
we are at a boiling point. a trump presidency is what we need to spin out of control and start over. a clinton presidency will only maintain the boiling point for another four years.
i'm becoming aware of the fact that some of my fb friends are quite unaware of my political ideals, therefore i'll share them explicitly now.
i'm not a democrat. i'm not a liberal. i'm sure as fuck not a conservative or libertarian. i'll also happily admit that i grew out of my short-lived anarchist phase. my politics are those of radical liberation and anti-establishment revolution. i detest capitalism and neoliberalism. i absolutely loathe the police state that we live in and do not trust nor feel safe in the presence of cops. i'm a veteran who is staunchly anti-military and anti-state-sponsored violence. i despise the fact that poc are always targets and never innocent. america is a country of, for, and controlled by white supremacists (not all white supremacists wear hoods).
much of this informs my thoughts on this presidential election and i'll be sharing those with you very soon, stay tuned.
that first date was AMAZING, let me tell ya! we have such compatible personalities, we're at the same places in our lives, conversation was smooth and easy, it was all so great! i'm absolutely the girl who crushes suuuuuuper easily (i've got, like, two dozen active crushes) and i like and adore at least 92% of people who i interact with, but even so this date was really somethin' else! we started with super yummy gourmet pizza that we shared and then went to a great feminist book club at bluestockings and out of twenty people there we were the only two wearing dresses and it was like fuck year femme visibility! gonna stop rambling now, but golly was that spectacular. also, this date absolutely affirms my near unfaltering faith in the okcupid algorithms (we have a 99% match).
SEPTEMBER STATUS UPDATES
being an ally is like being knighted. you can't decide that you are one, it is something that must be bestowed upon you by others. therefore, instead of saying that you're an ally, it would be better for all involved for you to instead do things that allies do. what is it that allies do? i'll speak right now as a trans person and give you a suggestion from that perspective: correct other people when they deadnamr or misgender someone. trust me, we do that shit all the time and it gets real exhausting constantly defending and validating ourselves. it would make life oodles easier for us if we had some backup support. thanks.
dating as a poly queer trans woman is hard, let alone factoring in any of my other interests, needs, and desires. i won't dare date classmates or other people in day to day life cuz i'm just gonna start assuming that everyone in academia and the normal world is straight and monogamous, it's impossible to meet people on the queer cruising group cuz that place is just a repository for selfies and shameless validation (which i'm all for, but i'm bummed that a cruising place isn't actually used for cruising), of the people that i match with on tinder they're either incompetent about trans issues, unresponsive, or only looking for friends, grindr isn't even good for fucking and you'd be outside of your mind to try to find dates on there, and okcupid profiles are either the size of a tweet or the size of moby dick and also comes with all of the same problems as tinder. UGH. romance is hard and i'm learning that i'm terrible at being a functioning single person. 😫
isn't it ironic how white people used (and continue to use) violence against poc for centuries and expected them to remain silent and docile yet now when poc do so much as lift a finger to stand up for themselves white people go ape shit like "i can't take BLM seriously because they're too violent and that's not how to get your message across!" fuck you you fucking white american fucks.
walking down the street just now I heard someone blasting some Linkin Park and it got me wondering about how long it will be until the nostalgia-driven millennials start obsessing over Linkin Park and Limp Biscuit and Chevelle and Mudvain...🤔
cw: white person talking about race
life in a society is largely dictated by social contracts of varying degrees of agreeability. for instance, i am bound to the social contract of abiding by the laws of new york and the united states. no matter how much i dis/agree with these laws, and even though i never actively consented to them (an entirely different topic that i may get into later), i am still bound to that social contract. however, there are many social contracts that we knowingly and fully agree to, and that is what this post will begin to address.
with that being said, a social contract that i agree to is one in which conversations about race in america should have very little or no space given to white people. white people are 100% the root cause of systemic racism in this country and account for the vast majority of actions that perpetuate racism in this country. i say that in order to address fellow white people and to make a few pleas to you:
•do not deny racism
•do not say that you're not a racism (spoiler alert: everyone, especially white people, participates in racism)
•for fuck's sake please don't say anything about being colourblind. it is your whiteness that gives you the privilege to be colourblind. check that shit
•don't ever rely on people of colour to explain racism to you. you have tools, use them and educate yourself
•don't use your voice to speak for or over poc, instead use your voice to amplify the words of poc
•LISTEN. don't speak. listen.
AUGUST STATUS UPDATES
a story of how NOT to talk to a trans person:
there's this person who frequently ends up in ensembles with me and to be completely frank I CANNOT FUCKING STAND THIS PERSON. just throwing that out there and perhaps by the time you get to the end of this you will share my frustration.
I'm at an orchestra concert performing and having a generally okay time. things are going well and then we hit intermission. during intermission the person besides me leans over to start some conversation. "great, what is it this time?" I think to myself, but this is how it actually went:
"I have this trans friend," she says to me
"okay..." I respond
"and he's been talking about starting to transition. what can I do to be supportive?"
"okay, read you say? oh and oops, haha, well I guess I should say she. but, like, I've always known him as he, so it's hard for me to get used to saying she. anyways, he's going to be having The Surgery sometime next year and she's really excited about it."
"actually, there are lots of surgeries..."
[looking at me like I'm an idiot] "okay, sure, I guess that I didn't ask, but you know"
at which point the tuning note of the oboe sounded, like music to my ears ushering in the second half of the concert and more importantly putting an end to this bountifully agitating interaction.
with all of that being said, there are quite a few lessons to take away from this that I will share with you:
•DON'T EXPECT MARGINALISED PEOPLE TO DO YOUR EMOTIONAL AND INTELLECTUAL LABOUR FOR YOU. do some goddamned work for yourself, because trust me, we've been doing this sort of labour for ourselves PLENTY. don't expect a trans person to teach you about trans issues. don't expect a poc to teach you about poc issues. don't expect a disable person to teach you about disability issues. learn to google, mf.
•if you're going to ask a trans person about trans issues, first and foremost stop and think about it before opening your goddamned mouth. here are some starter questions to ask yourself: do I know this person well enough to ask them personal questions? is this a good time and a place to ask these questions? has this person shown me that they're okay with having these discussions? could I find the answer to my questions online or in a book somewhere? for the record, if you're reading this then chances are you're an actual friend of mine and you know me well enough to know whether or not you can talk so personally to me. furthermore, yes, I do enjoy having these conversations with people that I know and I don't mind you talking to me and asking me things. the issue with this instance that I'm writing about is that this person is just a step above a total fucking stranger to me. I don't like her. I don't engage in conversation with her of my own premonition. I never gave her any indication that I was open to her asking me these things.
EARLY 2016 STATUS UPDATES
everyone does activism in their own way. for me, my activism currently consists of composing and performing music with a political bent to it, social media activism, and simply living my life authentically. being a target of hate with social media activism is nothing unfamiliar to me, but never has it come to a boiling point such as this.
you may have noticed that I was quite silent for the last 24 hours. here's [what I assume to be] the reason why: I posted an honest yet incendiary comment telling cis straight white men to mind their own business. I got told by a straight cis white man that if everything that I had said were to be reversed that it would be a hate crime*. I unfriended and blocked this man and then posted a screenshot of his comments to me with more of my own commentary. then, that post attracted some MRAs and they proceeded to berate and insult me with sexist, ableist, and transphobic remarks. I didn't get to see the conclusion of that thread because a few hours later when I logged onto Facebook again I had a message from Facebook saying that my post violated the Facebook Community Standards** and was removed. I took a screenshot of that and had managed to snap a few screenshots of the MRA comments and then made a third post compiling all of those images. then within the hour I got back on Facebook and was notified that I had again violated the Community Standards and this time I was being put in Facebook time out. what that mean was that I was banned from doing anything other than look at stuff on the Facebook app and I am also banned from sending any messages on Messenger for 72 hours. so, I have now made everything on my profile visible only to my friends and I will be purging my friends list of many useless straight cis white male friends and I will be starting a public figure page which will be my main platform for posts relating to trans politics.
*reverse race/class/sex/et cetera-ism doesn't exist.
**a dubious and intentionally vague set of rules that are enforced, from what I understand, by a staff of Facebook employees that are largely -you guessed it - straight cis white men.
today marks 19 weeks on HRT and my third medication update* and doctor's visit, so now is as good a time as any for a #TransTuesday update (I guess it's neatly convenient that I started HRT on a Tuesday). I still haven't noticed much of a change in my hair growth anywhere (I hope to eventually have an even softer mane and then less fuzz everywhere else), my voice apparently sounds the same (although in my throat it feels kinda scratchier), sometimes I feel hornier** yet at other times I feel less horny, morning wood** is a thing of the past, boners** don't last long, I've felt ever so slightly more emotional (although that could also simply be circumstance changing), and I'm starting to grow little tiny boopies and they've been perpetually tender for about two months now. if anyone has noticed anything else, I'd be interested to hear your observations and if anyone wants to ask questions I'm totally an open book and want to share this journey.
*for those who are interested in such things, when I first started HRT I was taking 25mg of Spironolactone once a day and 2mg of Estradiol once a day. then after my first follow up my prescription was 25mg of Spiro twice a day and still 2mg of Estradiol once a day, and now my prescription is 25mg of Spiro once a day, 50mg of Spiro once a day, and 3mg of Estradiol once a day.
**I'm generally not a fan of euphemistic language, but I dislike clinical language even more, so for now these are the terms and words I'm stuck with.
I've voted in two presidential elections so far and neither time did I vote for an establishment candidate. I was skeptical and nervous of Bernie at first because he was running as a democrat, but I grew to cautiously like and support him. however, as it's becoming apparent that he will not win the nomination I will return to my subversive ways and not vote for the lesser of two evils. as it stands, I will give my vote to either the Green Party or some radical leftist anti-capitalist party. a vote for the lesser of two evils is still a vote for politics, for capitalism, and for the status quo, and I can't allow myself to vote for such things. you will never convince me to vote for Hillary, however I will listen to you thoughts as to which third party candidate should get my meagre vote.
I just had an interesting little gender realisation while reading an article about social justice in gaming. As far as trans narratives go, I've never identified with the "I'm a woman trapped in a man's body" narrative*, but within the world of geekery I have always cast myself as a woman and looked up to the idea of woman. My first D&D character in elementary school was a girl, every other RPG I've played I've chosen the role of a girl, my WoW main was a girl, my first favourite Magic card art was Ethereal Champion, and my favourite comic book characters have been Lara Croft, Sara Pezzini, and Aspen Matthews. I realise that at any point in my life when I have been given a choice about my gender I have always chosen woman, and now I've learned that in life as a whole I have and have opted for the choice of woman (although woman itself is also awkward and at times hard to decipher, and as such I choose to be femme, because for me that identity carries everything I love about womanhood and denies everything that I dislike about womanhood).
*not to besmirch this narrative itself as it is completely valid, but it's unfortunately the narrative that most often gets told and I think that's because it's a palatable story for cis people to latch onto, so I take issue with the sensationalist telling of the narrative, not the narrative itself
Part of me likes it when cis people post on Facebook taking a stand for trans rights because the sad truth is that cis people take other cis people more seriously than they take trans people, but then almost invariably they end up saying some ridiculously out of line or preposterous shit and I can't help but think "okay cis person, step out of the ring right now and let us handle this fight ourselves."
I think that if cis people wanna help trans people out then they should give us a platform to speak and amplify our words, not try to speak on behalf of or over us.
tl;dr - it's almost time for a new name!
Long form - Years ago I started pondering about different names that I could have, like pen names or aliases. My mom's surname is Bishop and my dad's is Michael. My dad's birth surname was Roberts, which is my gramma's surname. A few year back I found out that his bio father's name was Maxwell Theobold. On my mom's side, Bishop comes from her dad, but Bishop is an adopted name; Clay Bishop was my grandad's step dad. His bio father's name was Taylor Trantham. And my grandmama's birth surname was Winterringer. So, for short periods over the years I've toyed with using a different surname. When I tried using Trantham or Theobold as a surname I realised that my initials would be KT, and that led me to think that if I ever wanted a feminine pen name that it would be KT (initials that if quickly said sound like Katie). Lately, as you're aware, I've been going by KB. I like it because I have some choice in it, it's an androgynous name, and it's also a name that my mom went by for much of her pre-me life. I've had some trepidation with it, mostly because when I say it aloud to new people they're almost always confused as to what I said (B/D/T all sound quite similar no matter how well I enunciate the B), also I've been wanting to move from androgyny to femininity, and most recently, after my mom's snarky comment about her being KB, too (see my post earlier today for more details on that), that name now has a bad taste in my mouth. Also, pondering in the shower last week I realised that Katie and Keith are one letter away from being anagrams of each other, which is pretty cool.
I say all of that to say that I want to start using Katie (or Kate, I like them both equally) as my chosen first name starting sometime in the near future. I'll probably start shifting to it at different rates in different places and I won't expect everyone to catch on right away. For now I'm still fine with KB (and likely will be fine with it for quite some time since it will still be my initials), but feel free to start calling me Katie or Kate if you feel so inclined.
And as a reiteration, I use she/her and they/them pronouns, both are equally appropriate and fitting for me.
Thanks for bearing with me on this ramble, I love you!