I am often asked by my members and friends, ‘what can I do right now to stop the spread of hate that is so pervasive in American politics today?’. While it’s great to march or protest, the fact remains many of us don’t wish to out ourselves in that way.
Yet, we also want to do what we can to support trans rights, and simply prevent the relentless onslaught on gender issues that seems to be a part of life in America today. My response is usually the same. Vote.
However, there’s only the opportunity to vote every couple of years and for some people it can seem a pointless exercise, particularly if you live in a state that is overwhelmingly controlled by the Republican party. Today I have a simple recipe for people wanting to make a difference. Here are three simple things that you can do that will help. In suggesting these initiatives I would remind my friends that this is a long game. It took a long time to win the freedoms we have achieved so far, and it may take a long time to protect them.
“Swallow, Fiona!” said Sebastian, pushing me onward.
“But…” I protested, my mouth almost overflowing.
Rainbow, Sebastian’s sister, added, “Go on, Fiona. You’ve taken more than a couple of mouthfuls already.”
She gave me a knowing look and whispered, “I know you love it really!” Then she lay back on her yoga mat in my garden, the soft fragrance of lavender wafting over us.
I should explain, Rainbow and Sebastian are at my place this morning and brought some healthy kale and ginger smoothies with them. I know how good it is for me, so even though I may gag a little, I manage to force it down. I don’t mind Sebastian and Rainbow coming over for breakfast and we enjoy it in the comfort of my garden.
“It tastes very,” I searched for words, “…healthy.”
It tasted so healthy I wondered if I was going to throw up. It’s not the first time I’ve been exposed to this recipe. To be fair, one does feel wonderful when one stops drinking it.
Sebastian is a very diligent personal trainer. He and his sister come over to my place every two or three days for morning yoga, which helps me keep nice and trim and I feel glad of their presence. I get to dress in a beautiful leotard and tights as we do our yoga class and all the while Max (my next door neighbor’s young son) surreptitiously watches us through his binoculars from his bedroom window. I think he’s furthering his knowledge of human anatomy. He should be careful doing too much of that, he could go blind.
“You know,” said Sebastian, “your body is the sum total of all that you put into it. It’s best to choose things that are wholesome.”
I briefly thought back, remembering a long and and enjoyable youth, and smiled.
“See,” cut in Sebastian, “the thought has brought a smile back to your face.”
“No, you misunderstand,” I replied. “I was just thinking about a little encounter I had last fall. Very wholesome.”
Enjoy the beautiful song by Marvin Gaye. Be sure to let me know how you’re getting along.
I usually enjoy my morning tea after a short yoga work out, while I read the headlines on my tablet. Yet this week all I seem to be inundated with in my news feed is the news that some US states are legislating against drag shows and emulating such countries as Uganda in their headlong run toward transphobia. It seems an odd choice for a country claiming to be forward thinking.
“Honestly,” I said as Sebastian poured another cup, “these cucks will stop at nothing!”
“What’s that?” asked Sebastian.
“Well, that ridiculous man DeSantis claims he’s going to save our kids from raging queens. But I’ve never heard of any drag performers ever doing anything to a child?”
“That would be because they don’t do anything to children. It’s the old trick, invent a problem and then offer a solution and claim you’re the only person that can fix it,” said Sebastian.
“So, how many drag queens do abuse children?” I asked. “I usually attend drag shows that are charity events raising money for good causes. I can’t remember ever seeing anything that has anything to do with abusing children. You’d think I’d notice.”
“That would be because it’s nonsense. Fortunately here in Canada we don’t get sucked into that sort of thing. I’d be very curious to know just how many drag shows Ron Desantis has been to, as a point of interest,” said Sebastian.
“Well, he does look like a boyfriend I had at university. An odd chap. Ate my panties,” I said remembering an incident unsuitable to repeated here. My memory is a little hazy, but I do remember him being quite embarrassed at the Emergency Department in the hospital. It was a wild time.
“What an odd thing to do,” commented Sebastian.
“It takes all sorts,” I replied. “Nearly choked on them, as I remember.”
I poured more tea.
“But even so, how does this have anything to do with the transgender community? Don’t these people realise drag and transgenderism are two entirely different things?” I persisted.
“Fiona,” replied Sebastian, “you can’t expect these people to think about these things rationally. It’s quite literally beyond them. They have no experience of what they’re talking about, and it’s just about getting cheap votes. Of course, it’s easy to say ‘We’re going to save all these children!’ when in fact none are in any way under threat. And if you’re against their ridiculous legislation you look like you don’t care about children.”
“But look at my members,” I responded. “Most of them have children. You couldn’t find a nicer and more caring group of people.”
“I know,” said Sebastian. “These people appeal to the most frightened and weak members of society. They look for people who are easily influenced. IF they can convince them there’s a problem, then they can set themselves up as the solution. It appeals to many weak minded people. There’s no point trying to argue with them. There’s nothing you can possibly suggest that will make them turn around and say, “Oh yes, you’re right, Fiona!” No, they’re just frightened little people living very sad lives. And that is exactly who a fascist like DeSantis is reaching out to.”
“It seems very sad. And they will end up with blood on their hands, because good people won’t get the gender affirming care they need. But, I guess they don’t care about the kids who die because they’re denied gender affirming care. I guess they’re the wrong kind of kids, right?”
“That’s about the size of it,” said Sebastian.
What a world we live in. Fortunately there is such a thing as a vote. If you live in the southern US be sure to see you are properly registered so that when the time comes we can vote these fascist ding dongs out. Of course, Canadians like myself watch the likes of DeSantis with a sense of bemused amazement. He simply couldn’t even get elected to a school board in this country. At least these idiots make us look good.
“So, what are you up to this weekend,” I asked Sebastian feeling the need to change the subject.
“Bernard is taking Rainbow and I sailing,” he replied. “Poor Rainbow. She’s a struggling student now. She had to sell the watch she got off our grand father on his death bed. She needs cash to get through this month.”
“Oh dear,” I replied.
“Yes,” sighed Sebastian. “Apparently he put up a hell of a struggle but she got it in the end.”
I felt this was an awkward subject but continued, “She always said he was a bit of a tight wad. Though he did have a soft spot for her, as I understand it.”
“Oh yes. Rainbow told me that if she buttered him up, he’d always end up splashing out.”
“Good grief,” I replied.
But that’s not the main reason I’m writing. I just thought I’d let you k now I have a wonderful offer running on Patreon at present. If you become a Unicorn member through my Patreon membership and stay on for three months you get a delightful cup. Something to press to your lips every morning, to remind you of me. I know you’ll love it.
Today we’re discussing the proposed change to the UK Equality Act and how absurd and unworkable it is, as well as the unignorable link between gender critical activism and white nationalism.
Please consider making a donation to Gendered Intelligence, a trans-led and trans involved grassroots UK organisation with three key departments. One provides education and training for professionals, organisations, schools, colleges and other educational settings. Another department runs a number of youth and community services where young gender variant people can meet, socialise and learn as well as get 1 to 1 support from a trans youth worker.
Regardless of your political stance, it is up to us to support our sisters who achieve public office, as they are our voice in the corridors of power. If you’re a US resident and can help Zooey she is one of several emerging voices that can help us. It’s a great way to help all your sisters.
My support for Zooey is not only a salute to her courage, it is also a reminder that rights are not given. They are won. Zooey is out there winning battles daily and it’s a never ending task. She deserves our support.
So, if you have a spare dollar be smart, make a difference and let’s give Zooey one.
“If you are forcing a trans child to go through puberty when they are trans, that is tantamount to torture, and this body should be ashamed,” Zephyr said during her speech on the amendments on Tuesday. “The only thing I will say is if you vote yes on this bill and yes on these amendments I hope the next time there’s an invocation when you bow your heads in prayer, you see the blood on your hands.”
And when some douche says, “Oh, I think that might be a good idea…”
We say, “Actually, I think the idea of a drag club on Davie Street is a way better idea!”
You’re going to love this video from Contrapoints. If you have doubts about post modern neo-marxism, or maybe just need time to adjust your klan hood, you’re going to have fun with this. Now, get your corn dog out and watch this.
While this kind of discrimination is both unchristian and indefensible one shouldn’t allow one’s anger to cloud vision. We are trans, and we are not reactionary. As such we should use the existing avenues of reporting to overcome these hurdles. It would be wrong not to work through the processes of registering our complaint. I will detail the process below to help, if you want a little help to take a stand on this issue.
Ellen M said a few words at Brianna’s vigil in Newcastle, in the UK. Her words are wise, powerful and moving. If you’re as upset as I am about this, then don’t be backwards in coming forward and supporting Trans youth with BE: Trans Support. Here’s a transcript of her words. If you’re on Mastodon you can follow her at EllenM@email@example.com
Tonight I spoke at the Newcastle vigil for #BriannaGhey as a spokesperson for Be:Trans Support. It was emotional and there was an excellent turnout of both trans people and cis allies. There were some excellent speeches from a wide variety of people – some angry and political, others talking about their feelings. I spoke to some people who were around the same age as Brianna and it filled my heart with joy to see such kind, caring and loving young people. It really gives me hope for the future. This is what I said:
The death of Brianna Ghey has struck to the very heart of the trans community in the UK. From all reports, she was a strong young woman, who was loved and supported by a family proud of her transness. She was caring and loving to those around her, helping other young trans people with their transition even while fighting for her own right to live her life.
We are upset. We are scared. We are angry. Feelings which are legitimate and understandable.
That it appears that she was killed by two of her contemporaries carries its own horror. It is said that children are our hope for the future but that cannot be taken for granted. Cycles of bigotry fuel themselves – but so does love.
What we need now is to channel our fear and anger into positivity. Let it make us stronger and tell those who oppose us, those who belittle us and those who would legislate us out of existence that they will never stop us.
We need to follow Brianna’s example and reach out to others, to come together and care for and support each other. To take the anger, loss, confusion and fear we feel now and turn it into fuel for the engine of love.
What I would like you to do now is to turn to a stranger next to you and – with their consent – hug them and then tell them that you love them and you stand with them.
For years people have used coded messages to convey hidden meanings. They do so to garner support from others who can read those messages. It signals that we are stronger together, and that we are not alone.
I lived in South Africa during the apartheid years. Seeing many different ways in which an authoritarian was resisted opened my eyes to the importance of daily conscious energy to progressively move the margins of society in the direction needed. It’s rarely a cataclysmic shift that makes a difference. Revolutions are, by definition, out of the ordinary. To shift the zeitgeist one has to do so a fraction of an inch at a time. Everyday. Never giving up.
As distasteful as it sounds we see alliance displays very clearly when watching MAGA crowds. Yes, I know – just try to hold onto your lunch. Whether it’s the red ball cap, the simple letter ‘Q’ or a single finger raised in a one arm salute, you can witness non-verbal messaging at play. Now, I don’t counsel watching any MAGA rallies. If I want to watch a bunch of losers displaying their failed understanding of politics I need only look at some January 6th footage from the Capitol. I try to avoid doing so within half an hour of eating. But hyperbole aside, these methods of unifying support are often very effective. In the case of large crowds it’s all rather moronic, a little like believing a message gets better by shouting it louder. Natalie Wynn describes this very well in one of her videos HERE.
For a smaller group, a minority for example such as trans people, being able to identify our own supporters and allies is important. Imagine being lost in a crowd, possibly hostile, and having no idea who one’s allies are. Perhaps it’s everyone around you – or perhaps none. For this reason I am a strong proponent of carrying symbols that convey support for trans, bi and LGBTQ values. I show my colors, as it were. I also know that while not everyone will recognise my message, many people who are aligned with me will recognise the symbols and take some comfort from them.
The idea of this is not to provoke. It’s to signal to allies, ‘Yes, I am here.’ Not everyone needs to be a Valkyrie or social justice warrior. My intention is not to create a combative atmosphere – something that does nothing o appeal to the feminine side of my personality. I’d rather bring change through quietly reasoned self awareness of what is morally right. Gently assuring our sisters and friends, these are my choices and I am unashamed of them is important.
With that in mind, especially as we move toward election cycles I do suggest members actively ‘flag’ themselves. This can take the form of a simple button, a tee shirt or even the simple color choice in an outfit. It’s true that some people may see such signals and take them to be provocative, however if that’s the case you’ve just forced a bigot to reveal themselves, which is better than not knowing who the bigot in a party is.
Here’s a quick flashback to when Trump was doing his campaigning and participating in his debates with Hilary Clinton, before he got too scared of being shown up by a woman. You may enjoy this retrospective. Read the story from October 2016 HERE.
Just a quick reminder – Trump’s policies toward the trans community set us back decades. As we approach another electoral landmark it’s important to make sure you are registered and prepared to vote your conscience. For most trans brothers and sisters this is for a more liberal option than that offered by the Republican Party. With a Senate that is prepared to impose morally reprehensible limits on the rights of women, we know very well who they will turn on next. At a time when trans rights are being rolled back at local, state and federal levels it’s more important than ever to be properly prepared to vote and make your voice heard. We need this for ourselves and our LGBTQ friends. Don’t forget to register and make sure your vote is going to count.
What a tragic shame that author J.K.Rowling once again sees fit to attack trans rights. As much as some of her writing is wonderful, we love her for that, not her ill-found opinions on gender.
Rowling is once more in the headlines for her views about gender. It’s very curious, by the way, that she also uses a male pen name, when it suits her. Either way, she’s likely raising her profile to sell a few more books – and I can’t blame her for that. But the her target, once again is transgendered people. The above video from Natalie Wynn, Contrapoints, is the best analysis of Rowling’s position I’ve found to date. Instead of just a knee jerk reaction, it’s a deeper examination of her views. As ever, Natalie does an excellent job of blowing away the smoke and finding the kernel of truth that is otherwise obscured by the noise of social media.
It’s a little like finding out Eric Clapton is an anti-vaxxer. We feel betrayed, though we never really imagined we’d look to these talented icons for their human rights or healthcare ‘wisdom’. It just sits badly knowing that we’d offered them our trust and come away disappointed.
OK – so, that’s the last cent these people get from me. They relegate themselves to the role of off-stage court jester – just someone in a funny outfit changing to get home at the end of the night. Just another face in a crowd. How sad that they should consider our trust so disposable.
I grew up in the UK, at a time when television presenter Jimmy Savile was very popular. For those who don’t know who he is, he presented Top Of The Pops, a popular television show, as well as a host of other shows, including some ‘Make A Wish’ style shows for children that were terminally ill. He was a character somewhat beloved (I cringe even writing that now) by his substantial audience. He was knighted and died before the truth about his reprehensible true nature emerged. He turned out to be a serial pedophile with victims going back decades.
It does make me think that perhaps we offer our trust to readily. Taking a step back and asking ourselves if some celebrity huckster on a soap box really is the best person to offer our trust to might be wise now and then. American voters can hardly be surprised at the appalling state of their country when they vote failed TV show celebrities into office. With a president who suggested 15 cases of Covid would just ‘vanish’, and not only weakened NATO but actively undermined a strategic ally, this might be something to think about. These choices have lasting consequences beyond our shores. Just ask anyone in Bucha, in Ukraine.
Yes, the opportunist may have a nice catch phrase, but does that qualify them to lead a modern economy in a complex international situation? Perhaps they should climb back in their box and only emerge when we toss out a few coins to see them dance for us. An amusing performance is all very well, but it ends when the curtain comes down. Then the talent goes back to the dressing room, they take off their costumes and make up and leave the theater by the rear exit and wait at the bus stop with a late night coffee from McDonalds. We can offer them the ticket price, but we don’t need to offer them our hearts.
Those of us in the trans world should guard our feelings particularly in such things, and hold our expectations in check. The erosion of hard won trans rights under right wing pressure is not only a step backward in U.S. society, it’s one that is diametrically out of step with other modern cultures. It’s no exaggeration to think that right after women’s abortion rights are eroded we should expect that we’re next. Historically that’s how this one has played. Trans rights are currently in the cross hairs.
I try to avoid being political on here, however we are who we are. Like it or not, our people are the trannies, the queers and, yes, sometimes the freaks. Our trans sisters and brothers are people we may not ever have met, but they are the only people who really know what it is to be ‘like us’. As such when we see people like J.K. Rowling undermining our ‘family’ they are undermining each of us.
Without needing to go into left/right politics we should ask ourselves sincerely who we do choose to offer our trust. If it is someone who is a celebrity clown, or a celebrated author or musician, then let’s choose to give them a few coins to perform on a stage. We don’t need to vote for them or listen to their views on subjects they are painfully ill qualified to weigh in on.
I don’t really advocate confrontation. I believe we can hold our silence and exercise our view in the privacy of a voting booth. These days it seems everyone needs to vent their opinion on social media, likely in the search for allies. Trans people have learned through the ages that sometimes silence is a wiser course. However facing the onslaught of voices on the right, people bend to pressure and question their own positions, sometimes compromise, and hold their noses and vote. We can’t do that. We have to vote our values.
Our trust is a valuable commodity. Let’s not give it away too easily.