Taylor Swift says something Great!!

And I am sharing it here, putting it to service for Transgender Remembrance Day.

Sisters, brothers, who have paid in death with life and blood:

I do so solemnly swear this day to live full and free, not solely for myself but also as my weak pathetic effort to add value to your priceless selves…selves that still do shine on regardless.

May you rest in peace, and may I never rest til that last breath or all we free to find our voice and dance.


Worthless…on Transgender Remembrance Day

Constance, here is the sad truth:  if I was murdered for being trans, I would be blamed, othered, misgendered in my death, and then forgotten as a sad cautionary tale of someone who went cray-cray…and once again the epidemic of hateful absolutely vile demonic murder would continue unchecked by my death any more than the tsunamis are checked by lil old seawalls along the oceanfront.

It is not a joke.  It is not just me being shrill.

It is pure unadulterated evil.  Killing someone because they do not conform to societal norms.

The post below is my contribution to Transgender Remembrance Day…the blunt and brutal fact that I am worth about as much to towns, communities and society as the dog crap in the street that needs to be cleaned up and disposed of with laws discussed to control the dogs.

Keep on fiddling, Nero…keep on fiddling.  You are sawing your own neck in two.


Excerpted from a larger article:

Remembering Us When We’re Gone, Ignoring Us While We’re Here: Trans Women Deserve More

There’s an interesting phenomenon that I’ve witnessed over the past few years. The names of trans women of color will be in the mouths of the queer community after they’ve been murdered, but support for us while we are still alive is sporadic at best. Trans women are pushed out of queer spaces by cis people, dfab genderqueers, and trans men, just to name a few. Women’s spaces are frequently hostile to us because we aren’t “real women” but trans men almost always get a free pass. And I’ve seen more than one cis queer say that trans women are “appropriating” the gay rights movement, totally ignorant of the fact that we started the damn thing. I have seen more than one cis queer say that we have nothing in common with them, that our issues are completely unrelated. We have a hard time finding dates, finding support, finding community. And when we dare to call people out for their transmisogyny, we are labeled crazy, hysterical, divisive. I have been called Austin “queer scene’s” number one enemy. All for daring to share my thoughts on the world around me.

image via http://www.gazettenet.com

Trans Day of Remembrance is filled to the brim with the names of murdered Black and brown trans women, but is a single evening of remembering enough? And what does it mean that TDoR doesn’t explicitly talk about race and is often dominated by white people? Here in Austin there’s this tradition of calling the names of the dead and then having an audience member sit in a chair that represents where the dead trans woman would sit. The seats are always filled with white people and non-trans women. What do our deaths mean when our bodies, our lives, the physical space we take up, is appropriated by white folks? How can I mourn for my sisters when the space set up for that mourning is so thoroughly colonized? And how can I even see hope of living a full life when I don’t see myself reflected in what is supposed to be my community?

Don’t get me wrong, it’s important to honor those women who came before us, those women murdered by colonial patriarchy. But it seems like more often than not, the queer community at large is content with just remembering. We only hear about trans women after their deaths. And even our deaths are not our own. A week doesn’t go by without a white queer citing the deaths of trans women of color as the evidence of how oppressed they are. These stats are often used in service of their own assimilation; meanwhile, they’re happy to leave us out in the cold. We don’t even have dignity in death, nor the ability to decide what it will mean for us.

 via http://giveout.razoo.com

Support for trans women dwindles when we are still alive. Nowhere is this clearer than in fundraisers run by and for trans women. There have been some success stories, but they always seem to be few and far between. More often than not, a trans woman’s fundraiser will get a few signal boosts, maybe a couple of dollars and then languish. Meanwhile, trans men’s fundraisers for transition related care often get fully funded. This funding disparity is also clear institutionally, where organizations that focus on the concerns and issues of trans women of color get a miniscule amount of all the money from LGBTQ foundations. This is especially true in the South, where LGBT organizations only get 3-4% of domestic LGBT funding. Again, cis, white, rich institutions are quick to use our murders in their statistics then turn around and spend their money on organizations that look like them: cis, white, and rich. Organizations that push for assimilation.

Via americanprogress.org

Obviously financial support isn’t the be all end all action to support trans women of color, but it certainly doesn’t hurt. And the fact that it’s a struggle for trans women to acquire financial assistance is symptomatic of our society’s priorities. It points to who is valuable and who is disposable. At the bottom of this article is a list of fundraisers and organizations for trans women that I would strongly encourage you to support. If you’re not a trans woman and you’re reading this, think long and hard about the ways that you’re supporting trans women in your community. Do you see trans women in public community spaces? How are your actions pushing them out? Don’t think that just giving money nullifies your collusion in transmisogyny. Financial support is important but it is not the only step. As we honor the memory of those girls who have been murdered, ask how you’re helping the living.

Bleeding Light and Memory: On Transgender Remembrance Day

Here is my first poem written regarding this thing called Transgender Remembrance Day.  I wrote it last year on this day.  It is located here:

Bleeding Light and Memory (Without Images for Structure)

I present it to you again today…and it has grown, shrunk, matured and gained its presence a bit.

In other words I edited it.
Please…read it and let the reality of it hit your heart with the tattoo needle and not the jester’s feather.  Please be changed…how can we  live if you won’t unbend, unfold and become?  I am right there with you Constance, wings straining for every weft of breeze, sails hoisted and praying for that puff divine and transformative…

Love, Charissa

*****     *****     *****     *****     *****

Bleeding Light and Memory (2014 version)

When light struck my soul I blazed fierce and exultant!
Into awareness, I bled joy so radiant just like the horizon
bleeds sunlight at dawn.  I gazed in the gawky glass of exultation
(and I in my youth seeing darkly thru that glass)
I knew myself and was gaudiloquent and I was so glad and full,
I was so wonder-full.tumblr_musnzoGltW1ss5om1o1_500Til it rained, titters fell tinkling down on heart-tin, then rebukes raging,
lashing at my roof and thrumming and drumming til I saw no more thru that
bright young glass darkly, but dull thru a lonely storm dimly and starkly
and everything eerie and glowing in green, and radioactive remarks so redactive
and careless cerulean comment, alas! I came to know what I was
and was not and I melted misshapen and crippled.

Then came the days long and same and repetitive,
passing by people of 2 kinds that easily pass, they belong
but they never see beyond, they never see inside the rose.
So I plucked throbbing buds, thorn blood price cheap and held them out
from my side of that dark glass wet with stormy tears, washy with rivers
of arrogant vain assumed presence attributing value and worth.
Life ground me down as it moved without mercy, a glacier inexorable
grinding in glances so cold and so frozen, that flow moving over
the dark silent boulders of being…I saw bones strewn round me
like gruesome pick-up sticks, cast-offs from careless hands,
players who tired of children’s games, children’s cruel nicknames,
grown weary they tore out their hearts with bare hands mad with grief
but the world grinding by didn’t care.tumblr_mv21x4W9Lk1rk1cbbo1_1280Until at last long from those dizzy heights brilliant awareness burst over me,
bleeding in fullness and in terror tinklings, thrumming and cold and that
startling certain blue clarity…I finally remembered who I am, and know
finally what I am, that I am, and my long lament “alas” nevermore uttered!
For I am become me…at last, me…a lass.

That’s me in a nutshell, my story and journey transgender…but what about you?
Will you take time to think and remember? Will you find mercy today?
Will you find the care? Will you go gently with us into our long night,
will you rage, rage with us gentle and bless now the living of the light
that’s straining to dawn bright and final in blazing clear beauty?
You too are dual natured, corrupt and dying and incorrupt rising!
We share one grim struggle, together the dead and together alive
in one deadly bold dual to live.  You….are US. and we are you…
but you without arms, without eyes, without mouths
we scream loud and cry for release!  We cry out
for the midwives of mercy to meet us and make us
so beautiful for situation at last and delivered of our awful charge.

OPEN YOUR EYES AND EARS FOR US.tumblr_mv2wk5jIW71spa6l5o1_500See us…and hear us…don’t fear us, don’t fear to see yourself,
come stare down your own stormy floods, sit and listen!
Don’t be afraid to hear us, we’re the voice of the echoes you hear
in your own fearful nightmares of being, oh Daughters of Pharaoh!
Reach down and lift us up out of the reeds and mud! Because of you
a whole nation was freed, and we too are Eve’s sons and the daughters of Adam,
but trapped and acutely aware we are helpless!  Too often we’ve fallen
to dread hands and dead eyes of no grace and no mercy
and no compassionate symmetry!

Light strikes in blacksmith blows,
soul sparks chip off and away on this day…
I intention…remember
my own radiant flood
bleeding light and day’s promise,
remember the resonant thunder,
remember the frowning floods
the gushing gouts
and the othering stares
and the brutal don’t cares
of long years I walked
in the country of lost men
and longing despair…

I remember the pangs and the waves and the lurching
of labor as I, pregnant with my own measureless mystery
and full of such knowing began to emerge and break forth
deep-touched forever warded by Grace, and kept safe
from that pit which has tripped far too many and eaten them,
chewed them like Goya’s devourer,
Zeus eating every last child in his madness and horror…
incarnate in this patriarchy that rounds us up
into its abattoir death camps like cattle
and herds us into chutes and charnal house horrors
of slaughter and blood-spattered baptism.Francisco_de_Goya,_Saturno_devorando_a_su_hijo_(1819-1823)(let their fate haunt you
and give you holy hush
and give you sacred silence).

Dare. Look. Feel.
I will too, and somewhere
we will fight off those demons
compelling and fell
that haunt us and cause us
to rave and destroy…
Then we shall be set free to fly again
all together in one flock of birds
of all feathers and all calls
become One Glad Song!
We will dare to fly off
to the sun and beyond
where our song will bleed joy
and rain down on the earth
to bring healing and hope
home in Love…



Okay, Okay…too cryptic by half and a mistake

Okay, Constance…I wrote a poem yesterday called Elegeía Paidikí̱ i̱likía.

I figured you all would just copy the title and go to Google translate and find out what the title meant?  And then have the key to interpret the poem.  A lil fun before a somber day (today, where over 1500 names will be read, everyone of them the name of a transgender person who has been murdered, committed suicide, or died of inflicted injury)…

…Well, inquiry revealed that Google did not do a good job of translation back to English!

So to remedy that, I will just tell you that the poem is called “Childhood Elegy” or “Elegy to Childhood”.

In Greek it looks like this:

Ελεγεία της παιδικής ηλικίας

Also, as I wrote I flowed with the sounds and syllables of “Coronado”, associating the name with the image that I had and wanted to evoke, that of the fountain of youth.

The fountain of youth was sought of course by Ponce de Leon, not Coronado, who rambled about looking for the lost city Cibola and the 7 cities of Gold…

(which is a post all in itself:  Constance, remember when people explored stuff thinking they would actually find spiritual meanings or things that answered deep existential questions?  No?  Me neither.  It has never been thus in my lifetime.  Instead, we have sought to explore so we could “know”…and we define “knowing” as deconstructing whatever it is we stumble over, dissecting it, defining it, and never once realizing that we end up chasing life right out of the thing along with wonder…hmm…gotta post on this sometime, and how we do this with people too).

So, there you are, Constance.  Title revealed and mistake corrected and Charissa chastened…(not really!  giggle)

Image 009

Remembering What Never Was (Transgender Remembrance Day 2014)

Constance…I got fed up this year…well meaning cis-gendered people who yesterday and today started talking about remembering “all the poor dead transgendered people”…not because I do not think we should!  God no!  But I got fed up, because since my first one, last year, it seems to me that things have gotten worse and not better in terms of violent assaults, rapes and murders of transgender people.

This poem is my blunt confrontation of that fact, attitude, bent of being.  It is me speaking in the voice of the dead.


*** *** *** *** ***

my face was bashed in,
smooth creamy skin
(lasered free of wiry black blunt hair)
only to be turned
purple ugly and pug,
battered blue
and then torn,
just a rug
yanked out from
under my life
and I
flailing, then
dying there
on the dark brown
hardwood oak floor.

But that’s not good enough
(actually, not bad enough),

There are penalties
for assuming the right to be,
for breathing while transgender…
so you grabbed that
red rusty fire extinguisher
from the dull chrome bracket
over my old pale green and white
deluxe Glenwood gas stove

(the one I used when
I made your favorite
red gravy and mushrooms
over pasta with cheese
and you smiled and said
I was a good woman,
but that was before
you ate your fill
and got bored).

and then you broke
my face against it,
pulped my nose and
broke my dead jaws
as you jammed the blunt end
down my slack throat
and I already
dead and already
flown away

but that’s not good enough
(actually, not bad enough),

To let a transgirl
have a face
in her transgressive act
of saying I Am, well,
as the Dude says
(regal in all his privileged glory)
This aggression will not stand, man!”

cus me, well
I am aggressive,
I am transgressive,
I dared to live,
I dared to cry
I dared to feel and
I dared to fly
I dared…

and died.

my face…bashed
my body…slashed
torn, stabbed and then
raped to make sure
I never rise from the grave,
my flesh thrown in the dumpster
with the rest of the trash
dead or alive,

and then set on fire.

I don’t want you to worry though!
Because everything is AOK,
because Remembrance Day…
because remembrance day,
but how do you re-member me
after I am chopped to pieces
for the heresy of seeking

My name,
recited solemnly,
a legerdemain of modern time and place
masquerading as elegy and tribute to
trans-trouble, torches smoking,
choking and dead.
This mummery murmers
name by name
to appease the lurking beast inside
(such civilized animals)
and I see sage cis-heads
nod slow and I think
of bobble-heads bought
with gender currency and guilt,
bought with blood money
from gory grisly gruesome chests
passed down father to son
since Cain.

you’ll breathe deep,
sigh and toss salt
over your left shoulder
while forking off the evil eye
with your left hand
stabbing like a striking snake
against trans-mystery and tragedy.
And then you will fix your gaze
high on horizons, not even
glancing in gutters where we lay,
still and bleeding in our becoming
and desperate to re-member,
every day, especially those
days where you just
want to forget.