Friday, August 29, 2014

What I have been working on today...

It isn't all news feeds, advocacy and activism in my day.

Here is a chapter of a novel I am attempting to write for the young adult type reader of High Fantasy:

Chapter 4 
Calandra had chased Thistle into a small copse of fruit trees. The young man was nowhere to be found.
She was about to start yelling for the elf when she spotted a small alder tree.
She walked up to the tree and spoke “I know that is you Thistle, there are no alders in this grove of fruit trees. Also, I have helped harvest these trees the last 4 harvests and I have never seen this tree here before.”
The tree started to shift and morph. Calandra could feel a powerful surge in the veil. The power of the elf’s magic was extremely potent. Thistles ability to shape shift was his ‘clatcha’; a clatcha being a type of magic that an elf may have an especial affinity for. An elf who had a clatcha for a specific spell type typically would master the magic at a young age and then as they grew into their adulthood their level of control of said magic would rival the powers of greatest Sorcerers.  Not all elves had a clatcha, and those who did were afforded a special status and desirability as a mate in the tribe. A clatcha also altered an Elf. Instead of a simple red, brown or green hair an elf with a clatcha would grow blond or rarely bluish green hair. Thistles soft blond hair was a badge that he was ‘special’. 
This was part of Thistles problem. As a result of being well born and having a clatcha ,every female in the tribe excepting his mother and sisters were courting him. Even his cousin had made it apparent that she wanted to mate with him. “For the tribe” was her reasoning. She also had a clatcha and she reasoned they would make superior children. Thistle felt like a simple commodity to be bought and sold on the open market. One woman had actually approached his family and offered to pay thousands of Sovereign to form a political union. Thistles other major problem was the fact that he was head over heels in love with Calandra. Forbidden love. Love for a woman not an Elf. Forbidden. Gruentar. Calandra was the only woman he knew who didn’t see him as an end to a means. Granted she was the only human female he had ever had any dealings with. But there was that magnetism that arises between destined lovers between him and the human. It was palpable to him the affection he developed for him. The two shared secrets, goals and aspirations. He had grown into a state of love for the woman that was undeniable. He allowed himself to cross the line of taboo. It might be tolerable if not for the fact that he had told Calandra he loved her two nights ago in a drunken state. Then she responded back that she knew and she also loved him.
The two crossed that line of the forbidden that night. Thistle was torn between what he had been taught all his life and what his heart was screaming.
The alder tree had completely returned to Thistles normal form and the elf was in tears and sobbing in fetal position.
Calandra sat on the ground next to Thistle and put his head in her lap. She held the elf and stroked his face gently. Wiping away tears of his only to notice her tears were falling on his face and mingling with his tears. How fitting and apt she thought. The two had met earlier in the year at the Mage School in West Mailon. The small classroom and limited number of students at her level provided just the proximity the two needed to form a close friendship. Soon after meeting the young elf she found herself constantly intrigued by him. He was a strong wizard, a wise man and rather attractive as far as an elf male goes she mused. The two became lab partners and were expected to spend allot of time together, so few eyebrows had been raised. Of course she was spending allot of time with Thistle, they were working on creating a spell for their final. The rigors of the research demanded the two spend many hours together. But the time spent together soon devolved from discussions of the arcane to discussions of their lives, their desires and passions. Then there was a breakthrough in the research a full two months before the project was due. The two had created a spell to speak with any animal that was unique and not reliant on any of the known patterns of spell invocation. They kept this to themselves and continued to spend time together.
The two were celebrating their graduation. Their project had finally come due and the two were spending an evening partying at a friend’s house; after most of the people who had attended the party the two had confessed their love to each other. One thing led to another and soon enough Calandra and Thistle were ripping each others clothes off. It was literally magic. She could still remember the dancing energy and lights that formed between them as they loved each other.

Calandra whispered into her lovers’ ear past her own sobs, “We can leave this place. In a week I will be quested. As soon as I earn my status I will be eligible to attend the Academe of Enchanting in Namdak. Mother has promised me an attainable task. If, no…when I complete my task I will go to Namdak. You have had a standing invitation for a year. In Namdak we can be ourselves, few people care who loves who there. We can be safer in Namdak.” Thistle was lost in a world of wretched sorrow and angst, Calandra’s voice was the only thing that made sense in a world turned against him. He tried to croak out a response but was incapable of getting anything but noise past his sobbing. He just nodded in agreement with Calandra. He wanted to go and live in peace with his lover; a place where a gang of Troggers didn’t gang up on him and his love, for loving each other. It was wrong for society to make such rules. It wasn’t his fault he fell in love with Calandra. It just happened. Life made no sense to him. How could the world outlaw the feelings he had for Calandra. Calandra was a bright light in a dim world. He was in that stunned state where numbness sets in and the world seems grey.
After a few minutes Thistle was able to stand and compose himself.
As he stood up he spotted a small wild flower next to the pear tree they were under. He picked it and handed it to Calandra.
“We have to be careful. People are talking. If we get caught ….” His sentence trailed off.
“I know. They kill people like us.” Calandra responded. Her red raw cheeks were wet from tears. Stress and worry covered her face.

A Call for Peace

This is an open letter to the trans* community members who have become embroiled in the Parker and Kelsie situation.

It is time for the hostilities to cease. We are turning a learning moment into a battle that should not be fought. We are now into the realm of lateral hostilities.
Parker messed up. The trans* community of advocates, writers and activists reacted and issued a reprimand. I signed it myself as I feel we must hold our own to higher standards.
Parker issued a mea culpa, admitted fault and imposed on herself a penalty of refraining from advocacy writing for a time and that she will seek professional help.

This should have been the end of it. But we all know how we tend to form teams and entrench. Entrenching is part and parcel of how we as TS women survived to transition. ;)

Every one of us who stay embroiled in this mess are distracting ourselves from the work we need to be doing. We can not let this sidetrack us from our higher calling.
We have all said our piece and some us more than once. {insert eye roll here} :P

I like Parker. I read what she writes and support her desires to be a professional writer. In fact I envy the writing skills she has.
I like Kelsie. I read what she writes and support her desire to be an advocate. I also envy her skills as a writer.

Every single person who reads this post has something in their past they regret and have paid for in one way or another. Parker is in that moment now and it is even worse for her. The shame is public.

Please let peace reign in the social justice arena. We have hearts and minds to win. We can not do that if we are busying ourselves with an internal affair.

For the readers who have no idea what this is all about:
Sorry for the distraction.  

Monday, August 25, 2014

You can not have a perfect society if you walk away from it.

Sometimes hurt people lash out.

Recently we had a kerfuffle in the TS community. A prominent TS woman and another semi prominent TS woman had a go at each other.
This devolved into a camps forming matter.

But this is not what I wanted to talk about. A comment I saw in one of the posts about this fight prompted this post.

I want to talk about the people who decide that because the TS community is fractured and doesn’t get along that they will not help anymore.

Well excuse me!

This is a community that is in allot of pain, and has suffered trauma after trauma. We are incapable of functioning as a cohesive unit. I saw one TS person make the comment this morning “I too have left the trans community to wither and die on its own ... the community is a creature that will surely consume itself, tail first.

This last sentiment was the most privileged and bullshit thing I have read in a month of Sundays!
If you want to fix a community you do not do it by blowing it off; the idea that only functional people deserve respect and to be worked with is anathema to the cause of equal rights. The idea that you are only willing to work with people who get along perfectly is a self defeating idea that is more poisonous than the evil the perpetrator of inequality gives out.

You take the community as is. If it is not up to your personal standards you do not walk away shaking your head and decrying how they will never get it. Of course they won’t! The people who could help walk away out of some idea that life needs to be perfect.

You do not get a perfect world. You do not get perfect people. You get to work with the same bag of dysfunction as the rest of us. I am sorry we are not perfect and up to the standards some of you may hold as dear.


We are a dysfunctional lot. There is no way in hell that yelling at us how ‘screwed up we are’ is going to fix it. You fix it by rolling up your sleeves and accepting that your work is cut out for you. If you truly want to heal the community you accept that there are some seriously hurt and dysfunctional people in the community and you trudge on.  

Friday, August 22, 2014

Fallon Fox: A Woman at War

I will be honest and lay it out there:
If Fallon Fox was not a transgender woman, I wouldn’t be a fan. I only know about her because she came out of the closet as a TS woman who is involved in mixed martial arts. She pretty much was forced out as there were members of the press ready to go public with her private information.  As I pay attention to all things trans* I paid attention to Fallon. It certainly isn’t the fights; I do not watch the fights.

When she first came out it was a little obvious she had no desire to be a poster girl. But it seems society had different plans for Ms. Fox and the role of advocate and TS role model was thrust on her.

In the time since she was forced out by unscrupulous members of the press, she has represented and really come up to task in the capacity of a role model for TS rights advocates.
She has written articles, made public appearances and been active on social media all for transgender rights. All while maintaining her training and participating in the fighting world, she has been a stalwart social warrior.

Well, as fighters are prone, she has a fight upcoming soon. She will be fighting Tamikka “Boom Boom” Brent’s on September 13th in Illinois.

Well cool, so big deal, she is fighting…it is what fighters do.
Ah but see there is a bit of a rub to all this:
Tamikka said some shit. {I know, that is part of the game…fighters talk smack about each other, but this time it is different.}
This is a quote from Ms. Brents
“I am tired of Fox getting all this publicity just for being a transgender fighter rather than having great skills. I think it’s unfair anyway but as long as the opponent knows and accepts the fight then go ahead… I mean Allana took her to the third and she’s not even a 145er; she’s a more of a 135er who can probably go even lower to 125 pounds. She’s using all that attention as a good publicity tactic – go ahead and ride that free publicity train as long as you can. I’ll gladly derail that s#*t quickly so the world can go back to giving the publicity and notice to the female fighters who earn it. It just pisses me off that Women’s MMA has fought to get away from being seen as a side show. She’s using that to further her career while setting Women’s MMA back in the process.”

I know, pretty petty and downright disrespectful of Fallon and all transsexual women. But wait….
It gets even better:
Ms. Brents is known for walking into the ring with an LGBT rainbow PRIDE flag draped about her proud shoulders as a cape, and she is a lesbian.

So yet again we have a lesbian woman playing the trans-women are not real women card. This is a bugaboo that pokes its biased head up allot and it really needs to be retired.  

Had Tamikka not said the transphobic stuff and just kept her smack talk in the realm of normal fighter trash talk I might not find myself automatically rooting for Fallon. I would have been very invested into the fight on both sides. I have a lesbian mother and identify as lesbian myself. I might have leaned to Fallon. She is well known and well loved in the circle of TS advocates and activists I like to consider friends. Fallon has been a public face of TS women and a good advocate, whereas Tamikka has only walked into the ring with a flag on her shoulders a couple times.

With all that in mind, I hope Fallon Fox wins by a first round KO. Oh and Ms. Brents needs to leave the PRIDE flag in her locker for this fight. She is not the champion for LGBT rights. That distinction belongs to Fallon.  



Tuesday, August 12, 2014

RIP Robin Williams

The passing of this great legend has the world in mourning.

I have nothing to add.

RIP you were an inspiration to us all.

Thursday, August 7, 2014

The backlash religion faces is just.

We seem to be at a turning point in our culture where we are starting to somewhat recover from the trauma that institutions of religious power over the millennia inflicted on the world. Many people have suffered historical and personal injuries greatly at the hands of the religious institutions.
It is only normal and human for people to lash out against that which has harmed them. It often goes into the realm of the vicious and the absurd; and those who once were the victims can very easily become the oppressor. Again this is a human nature thing to desire to give as good as you got.
Now I think we do a great disservice to the original victims to cast them as the villain. It perpetuates the cycle. We need to unpack the issues and reveal all the old ugly stuff that oppressed for so long. It is unfortunate for the current followers of these religions to admit the harm their elders perpetuated on the world. But we have to address these issues if we as a culture will grow beyond them.

Saturday, August 2, 2014

The TERF and TRANS* War Continues

Recently the war between transgender exclusionary radical feminists and transgender women has ratcheted up.

There have been doxxings and verbal violence flying around from both sides.

At heart of the battle is that TERF activists refuse to accept that TS women are indeed women and TS women asserting that they are indeed women.
Now one would think that such a disagreement would remain academic and reserved for the halls of philosophers but at the insistence of certain feminist voices {Trans* and TERF} this issue is worth going to war over.

TERF activists want spaces for women born women to remain transgender free. Now that seems a sticky subject. Ok, fine I wasn’t socialized as a female during my male days, but I sure as hell wasn’t treated like one of the boys. Sure go ahead and have your bonding experiences with other like minded women. Go to the Michigan Women’s Music Fest and your private group, get together activities. Not exactly very welcoming to all women…
But it isn’t that simple. TERF voices are calling trans* women men. That trans* women should not be allowed into any woman only space, like public restrooms and locker-rooms. They maintain that transgender females are somehow intrinsically dangerous to natal women and children. Some go as far as to say we rape women virtually; using our transformed bodies as a ticket into women’s spaces. The entire premise of their argument is very fear of rape mongering.

See now I have a problem. Trans* women are women. Period. Transgender females are much more likely to be attacked in a restroom. When we ask TERF Henie Penny’s to cite the evidence for the alleged dangers TS women pose, we are treated to a new round of circular logic and argument. No real evidence is presented.

I ask:
Would you really send me and my trans* sisters to the men’s facilities?!
Not only is it dangerous for trans* women to go to the men’s facilities, it also would be disruptive to society at large.

Let me say this loud and clear to any TERF reading this: Your ‘discomfort’ at seeing a TS woman does not trump a TS woman’s right to pee in peace. Your misplaced fears are not justification to send her into the men’s spaces. Transsexuals have the medical and psychological community’s on our side in these matters. The science is on the side of the trans* community. We are the gender we say we are.