Dec. 6th, 2011

gallinggalla: (Default)
[NB: I originally wrote this on October 7th, shortly after Occupy Philadelphia began.  I had kept it private for a while.]

the suit that i bought to impress the employers that had no intention of hiring me hangs lifeless in my closet

these are desperate times you know, and desperate times call for forgetting the desperate

"we've a need for a sales pitch by a swinging dick, we've no need for a trans aspie chick"

the clothes that i wore exactly once, in the store, lie in a heap on the floor

i cannot fit into your mold

the price of your luxury condo is more than the budget of a small non-profit trying to save lives

with your precious tax abatement you could save a thousand poor people from dying of hiv

with your orchestra tickets you could feed a thousand hungry people as you ponder why no one plays classical music at occupy philly

you could buy books for a thousand public-school students for the cost of one of your power suits

social workers struggle to survive as you buy caviar with their money

you feed on our blood as you do your best to break us

well you broke me today

and i hope your happy.
gallinggalla: (Default)
[NB: I originally wrote this on October 7th, shortly after Occupy Philadelphia began.  I had kept it private for a while.]

i did not know that

being beaten and spit on by cishetero bullies

egged on by cishetero adults in power suits

and somehow managing to claw my way

to some level of financial security

at the cost of my sanity

sacrificed to those same cishetero adults in power suits

then deciding to stop lying to my self

and come out

and watching my income drop by 60%

then being unemployed for 30 months

and losing my home

and losing my health insurance

and losing my sanity

and losing my health

then getting a glimmer of hope

(wow, i can buy food and gas this month

without dipping into my dwindling savings)

and having that hope dashed

by people wearing power suits

as my body hurts:

nerves in my leg freaking out

muscles in my back freaking out

(they don't deal well with a spine bent to one side)

shoulders freezing up

thyroid burnt out

mind patched up with drugs

that i cannot afford:

i did not know that being all that

and daring to be angry at those with the power suits

and daring to give public voice

to my anger

together with thousands of other people

daring to give public voice

to our anger

makes me a hipster

but if so

then so be it.
 
gallinggalla: (Default)
FYI, the un[en]titled posts do not constitute my uncritical endorsement of Occupy Philadelphia or the Occupy movement in general.  I have not participated meaningfully in Occupy Philadelphia since late October, for a number of reasons that can generally be summed up as "too many parts of my body are hurting for me to sit on concrete in the cold and the rain for hours; being disabled and visibly trans, I cannot afford to be arrested and subject to abuse from a highly transphobic police force; and Occupy doesn't truly represent even a fraction of this city's 99% as long as Occupiers fail to address the movement's own racism, homophobia, transphobia, ableism, and other supremacisms".
gallinggalla: (Default)
[NB: This is originally a private rant from several months ago, when I was still trying to salvage the friendship.  Within the past two weeks, I have had to end the friendship; please see the update below.]

This is a frakkin' rant.
  • Here, have a list of my disabilities:
    • Chronic Regional Pain Syndrome — and be aware that managing this disorder requires me to do a constant balancing act between how much pain I can tolerate vs. how much medication-induced sedation I can tolerate
    • Gout
    • All sorts of joint problems, including frozen shoulder (technically, adhesive capsulitis) in both shoulders, which requires me to do very painful exercises to keep my shoulders from freezing completely; chronic back pain due to kyphoscoliosis, which in the last year has become relentless and appears to be radiating into my left foot; carpal-tunnel syndrome; numerous other joint problems, including joints (knees, fingers especially) that just go out at the drop of a hat
    • Fibromyalgia
    • Asperger's syndrome
    • Attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)
    • Life-long, severe depression intractable to medications and therapy
    • Anxiety disorder
    • Dissociation, including derealization, depersonalization, and at least borderline / atypical DID (dissociative identity disorder)
    • Just sheer exhaustion from having to deal with transphobia, transphobic-misogyny, and binarism, as someone who is transgender, transsexual, genderqueer, and female (yes, it is possible to be all of those at once)
       
    So, when you go on about how "there wasn't air conditioning until after WWII, so quit bitching about the heat", how do you think that makes me feel? Keep in mind that before A/C, a lot of people frakkin' died from the heat, especially elderly people and people with disabilities. When I so-called "bitch" about the heat, it's because I don't have A/C and dealing with the heat is hard and exhausting. That "there wasn't A/C 100 years ago" is just victim-blaming. It's like, three hundred years ago, (colonial / European) medicine consisted of bleeding, so all those people without health insurance, quit yer bitchin'? Just because you can handle the heat (or what have you), doesn't give you the right to expect everybody else to handle the heat as well as you.
     
  • Loudly referring to the two women immediately in front of us on the sidewalk as "men" because they're wearing loose-fitting (and damned comfortable-looking, maybe I'll get some for myself) shorts is all kinds of fucked up. It's misogynistic, it's transphobic (even if the women in question are cis — which neither of us knew one way or the other), it's gender-essentialist, it's frakkin' wrong. The fact that you yourself are trans makes it worse. You ought to know better than to join cissupremacist society in policing gender and its expression. Stop it.
     
  • We are both trans women. (The fact that I am also genderqueer doesn't invalidate me as being a trans woman.) We have both suffered from cissupremacist society's often violent policing of our genders and how we express it. Therefore: Do not publicly — on the subway or anywhere else — tell me that I should paint my toenails. Do not take me to a sidewalk stall and hold up a frilly dress against me and tell me how good it'd look on me. Do not police my gender or its expression, and do not frakkin' ever, EVER, out me to anybody, stranger or no, without my permission!.

    For your edification, just like cis women, trans women can be femme, butch, androgynous, etc. I happen to be androgynous; I present more femme on some days and more butch on others. But one thing's for sure: I hate using makeup or painting my nails; I don't like dresses or most other feminine clothing; and I have a right to modify my manner of dress to keep myself safe on the streets, and don't you DARE imply otherwise.
     
  • Your suggestion that I counter a cis gay man telling me that his conversation with a trans woman is "bizarre" by telling him that my conversations with gay men are "bizarre" is busted and wrong. Countering transphobia with homophobia is an oppressive act. If someone is being transphobic to me, I need to address their transphobia, not further an oppression that they experience (and don't tell me that cis gay men aren't oppressed).
     
  • Stop calling gay men "she", unless you know they are ok with it. See the above point: Misgendering a gay man because he misgenders you, ain't cool.
     
  • Finally, although it hasn't really come up yet, I am warning you: If you question or invalidate my gender because I haven't had and probably won't have surgery, or because of any other aspect of my transition-related history, or because you don't "believe in" genderqueer identities, our friendship will be over.
/rant

Ok, now the question is how do I actually address these points with my sort-of friend? I'm pretty meek in person (though I did call her out on calling those two women "men"), and really, really afraid of anger, including my own.

UPDATE 6-Dec 2011:

Ok, I give up.

I've already told you that I'm Jewish*, and so is my whole family.  Yet, you think it's ok to go on a two-minute rant about how Jews think we're a special club and how we think we're better than everybody else.  When I remind you that I'm Jewish, you then have the temerity to tell me "Oh, that's ok, some of my best friends are Jewish**" and then complain that "I didn't know you were so sensitive about that".

You know what that means?

Friendship over, sweetheart.

* I believe it's possible to be Jewish (by upbringing, culture, and heritage) and Christian at the same time.  I did not abandon my Judaism by becoming Christian.

** She literally used those words; I did not paraphrase her.

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