Making the rounds on your Facebook feed, Tumblr dash, or Twitter moment are hundreds of Kickstarter and Indiegogo campaigns asking for cash to fund art projects. I’m hard pressed to think of any that are nearly as exciting and groundbreaking as Reina Gossett and…
Thanks to Morgan for doing this great interview with me!
Sex change change change
Man is woman woman is man
Even your brain is not your brain
Your heart is a plastic thing which can be bought
There are no more diseases which can be caught -- Wedding wedding wedding wedding
No a wedding ain't the thing
Don't want no preacher
Don't want no preacher man preachin
Give me your hand and take my hand
This is better than anybody's preacher man
-Nina Simone 22nd Century
Nina Simone on gender self determination and moving beyond marriage!
We are writing to let you know of a community member who needs support after going through a major health crisis. Many of you know Egyptt, a long time activist and advocate for low income, trans communities of color.
reblogging this in light of Janet Mock’s brilliant insights on crowdfunding for trans women of color and in hopes that more and more people share this alongside KOKUMO's and Ja’briel Walthour's fundraisers. Please support all three by all the means you can!
We got to chat about our work as “communicators,” our online lives and the legacy of Sylvia, whose work lives on with SRLP10. If you haven’t gotten your tickets yet, please do so, and if you can’t make it to this legendary bash, be sure to contribute whatever you can to their fundraising drive.
happy may! here in new york city we’re having the first warm day of the month (by our count anyway). to celebrate we decided to post what will probably be our last entry to this blog. thank you for reading and offering great feedback & questions. thank you for your emails and for being interviewed! it has been deeply meaningful for both of us.
this post deals with three issues that were incredibly important to my lenten process and my everyday life: exile, isolation and reconciliation. last month, Cole of the brown boi project, Pooja Gehi, Gabriel Foster and i did a workshop at the New Leadership Networking Initiative (NLNI) that preceded the Civil Liberties Public Policy Reproductive Justice Conference. We presented about a lot of issues, including exile and isolation of trans people, particularly trans women, from reproductive justice movements. We did this with the aim of reconciliation and renewed partnership. i say “renewed partnership” rather than new partnership because too often in social justice movements we imagine that trans lives have just started to exist and that there is no legacy of trans people engaging social justice, specifically reproductive justice. our historical forgetfulness silences these important stories and supports more mainstream movements in consolidating power. exile and isolation have long been tools mainstream movements have used in order make themselves more attractive to institutional power to win minor concessions like Don’t Ask Don’t Tell or hate crimes legislation. this is exactly what Sylvia Rivera (who would have turned 60 this July) had to navigate with the burgeoning gay and lesbian movements, a movement she helped create. to ground that conversation at NLNI and to bring Sylvia Rivera into the room, we played clips from two different films about Sylvia Rivera challenging isolation and exile within a 20 year span. the first clip is from “Sylvia Rivera: a Tribute” a film by Tara Mateik, a beautiful tribute to Sylvia Rivera that includes footage of Sylvia at the 4th anniversary pride march being beaten up on stage when ”drag queens were no longer needed in the movement.” Activist Bob Kohler describes the effect of Sylvia being pushed out of a movement she helped start.
the second is from Randy Wicker’s interview with Sylvia back in 1992. Randy Wicker, a trans aged filmmaker was a close friend of Marsha P Johnson and later a friend and employer of Sylvia. In this film Randy interviews Sylvia when she was homeless and living on the Christopher Street pier. Sylvia invokes Marsha P Johnson and the Hudson River as inspiration to keep living.
These clips are particularly hard to watch for many reasons, including self harm, poverty, substance use, and the many violences intertwined with isolation, exile, racism, ableism, misogyny and transphobia. But they are also incredibly powerful as Sylvia points the way towards meaningful reconciliation.
so i’ve been asking myself a lot about what it means to work around isolation & exile with an aim of reconciliation. part of it means recognizing the depths of anger & grief accompanying violence. and understanding how violence shapes unraveling circles of care & affects not just our material condition but our spirit and our psyches. reconciliation means having those hard conversations about power and histories of violence. it means partnership rather than inclusion. and to me it means being mindful not to resort to uncritical nostalgia to fill the gaps in my lineage are stories have been suppressed & marginalized. reconciliation starts with a fuller scope of our social history that extends beyond when we were simply only oppressed or acted incredibly exceptional and aims to challenge the hierarchy of intelligible social justice history that keeps our stories as trans and gender non conforming people from ever surfacing in the first place. it means reading our blog (jk! jk!) and writing this blog (actually, yes!). importantly, we learned that reconciliation can also be a lot of fun. thank you dear readers! forty day
Without community there is no liberation, only the most vulnerable and temporary armistice between an individual and her oppression.But community must not mean a shedding of our differences, nor the pathetic pretense that these differences do not exist. -audre lorde
the end is reconciliation; the end is redepemtion; the end is the creation of beloved community.It is this type of spirit and this type of love that can transform oppressors into friends.It is this type of understanding good will that will transform the deep gloom of old age into the exuberant gladness of the new age. -a “real” martin luther king quote
Lent is a holy season observed annually in many Christian traditions. Beginning with Ash Wednesday and lasting 40 days and 6 Sabbaths (that’s actually 46 days in all) it is a period of serious reflection; for many this happens through fasting and prayer. It is also traditionally a time for people to re-examine their relationships in and with the world. Lent ends on Easter Sunday, which is the day that people celebrate the resurrection of Christ and/or that dying eggs is great.
If you think you don’t know anything about Lent you might still know that it has something to do with Jesus. That’s true! Lent is the period during which Jesus went into the desert to pray for forty days before he was crucified. While in the desert, he refused the temptations of the devil. You might also know that Lent is about giving something up! This is kind of true. Many Christ-following traditions do “give up” vices or pleasures for Lent. This is particularly true in Orthodox, Catholic, and Episcopal traditions. But the reasons and affect behind those sacrifices vary between denomination, congregation, community, and individual. Across the denominations, however, this sacrifice is supposed to be a somewhat private event. The liturgy of Ash Wednesday is really into reminding followers that they should not be proud of their piety, that they should rend their hearts and not their clothes (Joel 2), that they should not distort their faces in order to show that they are fasting (Matthew 6).
What is Reina and Rebecca:
Reina and Rebecca are friends who have many differences and many similarities. For example, they have different religious beliefs and practices and they have different faith-histories. They also have excitingly different styles when it comes to documenting things. Some similarities include upbringings in Christian traditions and a lot of uncertainty about spirituality, formal religion, and how to be. So for these forty days (plus six) they have decided to bring all of these differences and uncertainties into one place and to see what emerges. You might like it—especially if you like us, or if you like disliking us, because that’s how the Internet works. We’re not sure where this project will go. But we’re excited about it.
You might wonder if there’s going to be a party at the end of this project and the answer is: probably.