The Cruelty Of The Ordinary

I am at an end of some kind
an end of expecting pink
when the sun arrives and departs
an end of hoping someone
somewhere would get it.
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I am at an end of expecting anyone to
actually understand shooting stars
streaking thru the night and
my words piercing pulsing
pricks of light thru dull
dark and choking
indifference…
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or any yearning
to pay attention
to urgent and plaintive
cries.

I who am
healed in words
am at last wounded
by words and endless
accusations and slander
and the opaque screens of untruth

I have been broken
I have been violated
I shall never
be clean again
I don’t think I will
ever be whole again
or fit for any service
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the light thru the window merely
heightens that separation and
the scraggly fingers waiting
to claw my heart to ribbons
and lick the talons clean

in the moments between
sunrise and sunset
in the cruelty
of the ordinary
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I Am Double

I am double
I am here and somewhere else
I am in caves of coming futures
staring out at fires casting shadows
of the past that flicker, flounder
and then disappear.
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I am winter and I’m summer
I am autumn with some spring
thrown into my yellow gold veins
surging and pulsing with everlife
straining to throw off apples and pears
and some of that fruit

without a proper name.
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I am true blue trueheart covered in shit-words
I am singing never silent song chained by silence.
you can call me whatever you want to call me
it doesn’t change who I am.
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I am double.
I am here and somewhere else.

Pain-t-pot

Terse words…Words muddy
and swirling and steaming
like cream in cold-coffee
like death in soft-nectar
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words lumbering lead-footed
fat flat and hard hulking
fear-shadows are lurking
in other death-words
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words rain down like brain bombs
explode in uncertainty
pregnant with confusion
communion of judas-kiss
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they use words like bullets
to shatter my skull
and blast my brain bloody
and turn my head into
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an urn full of red
a paint-pot of death
that they can drink deep of
and spit on their canvases
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in words and in brush strokes
dipped into the paint-pot
that my brain has become
from traumatic words
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the top of my skull
ripped open by shrapnel
and now just a pain-t-pot
now just a pain-t-pot
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On Ghomeshi, Memory and Trauma

I simply have to press this…I am the victim of stories that intimate people tell about me that are lies.

Flat out.  They lie, because of many reasons, and I think all of the reasons are understandable:  my transition, their own cognitive dissonance, it’s easier to scapegoat me than accept that their life is the way it is as a consequence of their choices…it doesn’t matter why they lie.

I still love them, because I cannot do otherwise.  I am incapable of not loving them.  But the consequences of that lie are stunningly strong and toxic.

My only hope is that they come to their senses in a way similar to what happened here in this article.

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

Have you ever had a moment when you suddenly realize that your memory of an event is not actually what happened? A few years ago I was talking to someone about a pretty life-altering event that happened…

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Source: On Ghomeshi, Memory and Trauma

The Place Where All Horizons Meet

“bring me
the horizon”
you said…

as if horizons
were singular,
just some
pearl, some
place to
go.
tumblr_n2rlthrgkx1qb30dwo1_500you show what
you don’t know
when you asked,
you don’t
know
me.
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“I am horizons” I said
and rose my sun over
my mountains, casting
crimson crowns in
delicate dewdrops,
hanging pearls on
silk-stranded soft edges
soft, all my edges, all my
vast untrammeled lands
met together, met together
on my skin translucent.

(or, is it in?
in my skin,
transparent,

opalescent, white,
unmarked,

untrammeled?)
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translucent skin
trammeled skin
tattooed skin
my skin
(my skins)
unstained and stained
all at once and only
by the shadows of the past
marking me indelible
in shadows playing
hide and seek with shades
tumblr_o4q9jrKTyG1trdezwo1_500(on my hide,
in my hide
so pure and
so unblemished
but only on
the outside)

shades that
lurk and lurch and loom,
arising from some world of
yesterday revolving ever in
my mind, in my
imagination, in
my tears that run
everlasting down my cheeks
in waterfall kisses
of grief…
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and that horizon where past
and present and future
meet in shadows,
in kabuki dancers
dancing ever on my skin
(tattooing)
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and I feel its pressure deep inside,
the coming presence of a moment,
a moment sacred, a pregnant moment,

it feels so light,
it feels so heavy,
it sets me free
and paralyzes
with crippling fear
and aching purpose

in me,
the place
where all
horizons meet.

 

Post Script To “The Aggregate”

I just read a blog post of a new friend…oh, I have known her for quite some time, but recent events have birthed a friendship, I sense…

Her blog post broke my heart for her and her loved ones, as I intimately know the road that she is venturing down…I survived it.  It rose up in me so fiercely, so thoroughly that she not walk alone on this road…

…and I know that I have a reason to persist against the aggregate.  Maybe by pushing back and pushing back hard I can make a space, make a place for the ones who are coming behind me to walk in peace and liberty, and not have to every learn the equations of the aggregate.

Take heart, Sparkle Mom…I love you guys!!  ❤
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The Aggregate

There are blows in life.  Some of them are soft, lil love taps from beyond and they leave a red mark but you know it is gonna fade.  Others…well, they will leave bruises, and yet those mottled tattooes of violence and hurt are temporary too.

Some of them are so bad that they break parts of us off completely, and we have to heal and go on.

But the things I wanna talk about here are the ones that are so small, so tiny by comparison, and so constant.

I am talking about the aggregate effect of blows that come to people who are unable to heal from the last one by the time the next blow lands.
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And in general, this aggregation is not the same for a cis-het person as it is for a transgender person…dysphoria has a tendency to make the blows extra sticky.  In fact, I would say that the slings and arrows and attacks that we face as transgender people more closely resemble concussion syndrome than anything else:

…….each…..

….blow magnifies…..

…..EXPONENTIALLY….

and gets WORSE and WORSE…
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So you can end up pushed absolutely into the red zone, completely pegged out at your absolute capacity to endure the words and looks and spurnings of the majority of people you meet…and one small word lands and shakes things exponentially yet again…and poof…….

you are falling, having been pushed too far and you are over the edge.
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And that is when the desperation sets in…when you literally do not feel like going on anymore…when it doesn’t matter if you go on because no matter what there are always gonna be the ones poised to pounce and hurt…ready to throw your past into your face…ready to out you for their own purposes and without your permission.  And then they reason that “Hey, you are an out trans-woman so what is the big deal?”  Never recognizing that they have robbed you of your voice and your words to tell your own story in your own way.

I will confess that I choke on words when I reach out to someone in desperation, needing to talk with someone who would listen and understand and accept…and then hear their “counsel” back is “Charissa you shouldn’t talk about it so much.”

So…hold it in and die in the aggregated crush of burdens…or talk about it and be rebuked.

In times like these?  It is tough to see any good reason to keep ontumblr_nylx6zqH7U1usjcy3o1_1280

Such A Beautiful Disruptive Moment

the dam finally broke, and
I just kept smiling, smiling,
smiling like Aphrodite.
and why wouldn’t I?

tornados run across this fruited plain
fires race around these redwood trunks
each one natural, powerful, hungry,
and THOSE things, well…
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I think I would run
I know I would

but a dam? well, pshaw!
a man made that, thinking
to choke out a river?  HAH!
stupid dolt, we just kept pushing

Aphrodite and I.
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I kept smiling because She
gives me Her Nod, Her
quick chin lift and dancing
bright flashing eyes that tell me

every hour is Holy
every sensual second
is Sacred in its quick
butterfly rise and its

sad sinking sunset.
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and that pile of patriarchy
eminent in threat and rattley-death
hard and straight and deaf and dumb
(fee fie foe fum!!)

jammed down Her fertile river-craw,
those dirty fingers down the throat of love
that choking violating deep and rough and raw
in turbine hums exploding in the cries of mourning doves
crosses
well it’s blown now…and on the run
in painful splintery disjointed strides
streaked with dirty water and rust
and ruined careful engineered remains.

and Aphrodite, that river, and me
lick at the bones with our eyes
and our waters and our ululating
triumphal throat-splitting ear-spitting

SCREAMS OF RELEASE!
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We suck, we clean, we set free and tear
the stench of man right out of marrow
and sow Sacred Communion, Holy Power
of Body and Blood anew across the waters,

alive again, alive
those waters once again
alive
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So…keep smiling and just yank
that unruly thread until it comes unfurled
and falls apart, all fall down
in one beautiful disruptive moment

such a beautiful disruptive moment.
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Me Moon

when you speak of me
you speak of weeds and brambles
thorns, nettles and stoney ground.

when you think of me
it’s craters and dark
and bare landscape stark
and lacking curves.
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I am gardens, moon, roses, sea.
I am me, in bowers and blooms
and labyrinth beds of unusual growth.
I am small trees and tall firs 
fragrance stirs, honey bees

I am Grace in the echo
of the moon’s deep wells
I am tides reaching and running
yearning and aching

I am reflected light
soft yet bright
sometimes yes often no
but always…always…
always aglow

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Please…think of what you know.

the endless ache of bones
the songs sung in your marrow
the shadow in your eyes
the light that holds your heart

think of who you know

vertigo
when gravity gives up
finally worn out
in my grave insistent
persistence at breathing.
tumblr_o46w3ckPYT1s93t2co1_540And why…yes, this is important
the why of me
dancing on desolation
rhyming in respiration
overthrowing tables of treason

and though it is dark,
it is not night, My Love,
no.
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it is the season of silence
that speaks, that sings
sings in me garden
sings in me moon
sings in me roses
sings in me sea
sings in me
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Crushed In Switzerland

that illusion is breaking up
like ice squeezed tight and crushed
in the fists of inevitability
and spring

there is no such thing as neutral
in a world pulled tight, pulled taut
between that endless winter
cold and bleak
and ravenous in black
consuming every weak
meek heart and undefended

and the coming
time of harvest
when all things
are marked
paid in full
and the ever-day
dawns without the sun
and sings unto the moon

“olly olly oxen free!!”

But you, like the ice
must be broken up
must choose to become
either water, or air
or forever frozen
in evil’s horrid grip

You must become
crushed in Switzerland
and thus set free forever

Your Tragic Tranny Chalice (dedicated to Costco)

I was feeling fine, my day was good, and the sun shone outside.
As I walked the aisles looking for the stuff deemed so necessary
(after all, it HAS to be the Costco brand…cus KIRKLAND)
people smiled and we were soft on one another…

until I got to you, Checker, you with your fear become repulsion
become anger become hatred become revulsion become revenge
and your decision that I was a fraud and committing fraud
you who have let 5 ft tall dark skinned dark haired women
use the card of a nearly 6 ft tall blond norwegian woman
you who let half a dozen people use this common card,
the Holy Grail:  the Sacred Costco Card

and yet me, who most coincidentally and closely resembles the card holder
but happens to be trans, me…you choose to police.
And loudly, and publically and angrily, and relentlessly.

whoever you are, you hard hearted shrew, I hope you never feel the way I do
I hope it never happens to you, for it is worse than the underside of dog-vomit
which is about what you thought I was made out of, based on your words and tone.
and then when you called over the henchman to loudly flat out dehumanize
and disappear me into what you want me to be in…boxed in your word SIR
(as if sirs walk with flowers in their hair and flowing jewelry and trinkets and flair)

and everything inside that I was began to melt
it was your western version of acid in the face

thank you, Costco zombie of horror and hate.
you don’t even remember anything but
the spectacle of tears and your own sweet wine
of derision that you drank from my heart become your tragic tranny chalice

but I will never be able to forget, because your acid burns my face yet and still

and I don’t even know if anyone cared enough to hold you accountable
and that diminishes me further, becoming even more of no account or worth

may the Lord restore my heart and give again to me an unscarred face

A Different End To The Story

All full of himself and stiff
gait wobbly, bopping up and down
walk waggly, blipping circley side-side
aggressive lean forward looking
for something to pierce, to rip

pent up all day inside the clothes of decency
but out now, unleashed now from the world of men
and striding like Colossus thru the realm
of women and children and all that rage
and self loathing his ticket to intoxication…
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just looking for a reason, a place
to vent…and vent that place, tear it
to shreds and bloody ruination plunging
his vicious teeth deep into soft innocent
flesh not yet on the planet 5 years.

He wore his privilege like porcupine quills.
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And then his tongue, bullwhip cracking
his pig eyes squinty and squealy and sweaty
and his anger was only surpassed
by his sanctimonious self righteousness
and utter unawareness of anything but himself.

And I?  Constrained by bonds of love and consternation
responsible for hearts and souls, and yes his own as well
I bit my fucking lip until it bled, and imagined
my nails raking his face to shreds
the way his words tore the heart

from my precious precious angels
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and here I sit, impotent work
with keyboard and words and tears
of sorrow, of ruination, of rage
and longing for the day when a man
won’t be such a dick.

I sit longing for a different end to the story.
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We must protect rights of society’s marginalized | The News Tribune

We all have a responsibility to end sexual assault. Denying transgender people their civil rights is not the way to do that.

Source: We must protect rights of society’s marginalized | The News Tribune

A truly stunning well reasoned defense of my right to be.

Do you know that in most places transgender people are not recognized as who they are unless they have surgery…and at the same time the surgery is classified as “elective” and thus not covered by insurance…AND is also denied unless the person who needs the surgery obtains the permission and affirmation of 2 separate psychiatrists and surgeons?

Can you see that double bind?

“You are not a person unless you are committed enough to have surgeries…but we are gonna make you pay for them with your own money and they cost in the mid to high 5 figures…AND we are gonna make you prove yourself to at least 4 separate people…only then are you allowed to be a real person.

“Oh…and before you can even start this process, or get hormones or anything else, we are gonna require that you live as your claimed gender identity at least 2 years, after which we MIGHT give you hormones…

“What’s that you say? By requiring you to live as your claimed gender while denying you the means by which you can physically fit in we are endangering your life from transphobic transmisogynistic men? Well, you are wrong. WE are not doing that…YOU are…with your damn stupid insistence upon being a person who is differently bodied than you are gendered.”

You see the double bind?

It reminds me of how amateurism was created in sports to try and keep POC out of the leagues, because only the rich and privileged can live and train full time and not need to be paid, because they already have their money.

In the gender area…only the gender-rich and privileged can make the rules that shut us out.

And then we are told that our life matters, that we have worth, etc…just not enough worth to be made whole. Just not enough

another way of saying not enough is

worthless

And that is why it is important to let us go peepee like any other human…that is why it is important to speak of us as subjects (you/I/we/she/her) and not objects (it/that/he-she).

Fungus

i tried to explain
the majesty of mushrooms
who grow best in darkness
and thrive in the damp
and flourish midst breakdown
and live in the bullshit

but he just laffed derisive
and opened his wolfmouth
and said you are still
just a fungus
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My True Name

the sun scurries from the rim
of the far horizon, hurries
up to its important stage above all
things beaming.
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it’s gonna have a helluva day
throwing shade at everyone
especially me, this moonchild
that sunshine passes thru.
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the sun forgets everything
but its self-important run
to heights to glare down from
imperious, impervious, and naming.
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I could look straight at it
but if I did, it would be quenched
in my knowing, darkling gaze,
my look that sees the backside
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so I look away as it names me
wrong, other, afterthought
aside, and that old flame would
just as soon burn my ass.
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but in just mere moments
when I lower my gaze, the sun
forgets I ever was, except maybe
to laugh and snicker at the moonchild
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but the moon remembers
and so do I
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the moon, soft, beautiful
receives me
knows my name

my true name
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Badass Women in Combat Gear, #5 ¾: Jessica Jones « buildingapoem

This is must reading.  Thank you, Susan!!  ❤

Source: Badass Women in Combat Gear, #5 ¾: Jessica Jones « buildingapoem

Feast Upon The Village Green

I am the nest from which the great blue heron springs.
I am the stones upon which stinging ice-churned runnel sings.
And there, those fires hot from which the Phoenix rare takes wings.
I am embers, scintillating coals, and living, giving hot and feeding.

They said I was a pale heretic and laid me down to rest,
outside the white-washed churchyard walls, outside the ruddy fold.
So I just let my hot blood flow, rich-red to feed their grass,
upon that emerald sward where they did murder me so cold.
And I do let my bones peek from beneath the curtain of my skin
and thus do I me nourish for every living thing herein
with my authentic self and my unconquerable song,
my passion unquenchable and my me a sacred throng

of birth from death and life lept up in winds, in rain and dew
I am nest, stone and embers singing always clear for you.
and thus it is unholy ground is clean, hallowed once more,
and every living thing eat, drink in ever opened door
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When Your Violin is Supposed to Be a Cello | Let’s Queer Things Up!

“In a single scale, I broke my own heart.”

Ohhh SAM!!!  This.

THIS!!

This article captures it so very well.  In a single article, he made me weep!

Source: When Your Violin is Supposed to Be a Cello | Let’s Queer Things Up!

Yes, clothes matter. | the girl inside

Source: Yes, clothes matter. | the girl inside

This is a well written article and I recommend it

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I Don’t Like It

When someone comes to me and implies that I am something I am not…when they are projecting their own judgment onto me, I don’t like it.

When someone has gone behind my back more than 5 times in a couple months, then denied that activity, and yet thinks they can speak something to me that is critical and based in their own personal prejudices, I don’t like it.

When someone else who sees what is flawed about the backstabber then tells me how I am supposed to have understanding for the other person because of all the burdens they have that drive them to do this wounding, I don’t like it.

I don’t like it.
I don’t like it.

I see your actions…I know the crap you talk behind my back.

And I think when you tell me things to my face like you did?  I think you do it to hurt me and tear me down because of your own insecurity and anxiety that drives you to try to feel better by destroying others.

And I Don’t Like It!
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To My Children, Thanksgiving 2015

I won’t take clothes that are hand me downs,
I won’t smile cus I wear a frown
Once I get going, you can’t hold me down
Cus once I get started I go to town.

I’m not like everybody else,
No I’m not like everybody else,
I’m not like everybody else,
No I’m not like everybody else.

Cus I don’t want to walk like everybody else,
And I don’t want to live my life like everybody else,
I don’t wanna sit and cry like everybody else
Cus I’m not like everybody else,
No I’m not like everybody else.

Darling, you know that I love you true,
Confess all my sins if you want me to,
But there’s one thing I wanna say to you,
If you want to love me my whole life thru

I’m not like everybody else,
No I’m not like everybody else.
I’m not like everybody else,
No I’m not like everybody else

I don’t want to walk like everybody else,
I don’t want to live my life like everybody else,
I don’t wanna sit and cry like everybody else
I’m not like everybody else,
I’m not like everybody else.

Like everybody else,
Like everybody else,
Like everybody else,
Like everybody else.

Darling, you know that I love you true,
Confess all my sins if you want me to,
But there’s one thing I wanna say to you,
If you want to love me my whole life thru

I’m not like everybody else,
I’m not like everybody else.
I’m not like everybody else,
No I’m not like everybody else

I SAY IT!!!!!
I don’t want to walk like everybody else,
I don’t want to live my life like everybody else,
I don’t wanna sit and cry like everybody else
I’m not like everybody else,
I’m not like everybody else.

Like everybody else (like everybody else),
Like everybody else (like everybody else),
Like everybody else (like everybody else),
Like everybody else (like everybody else).
Like everybody else (like everybody else),

LIKE EVERYBODY ELSEEEEEEEEEEE

I Am Burning

I’m on fire,
burning in words
burning in images
burning in thoughts
and torched again
by the why why why
why? Why do they say,
do, laugh, eye roll?

I honestly do not know

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Hear Me Screaming (Transgender Remembrance Day 2015)

I am a ghost wandering in the dark
and you don’t even know,
you don’t even see.

Wandering lost and in sorrowful shades
and you don’t even know,
you don’t even see.

I am a wailing voice keening in grief
and you don’t even know,
you don’t even see.

Wrapped in a funeral shroud black and white
and you don’t even know,
you don’t even see.

You walk into the nook, seeing me here
but you don’t even know,
you don’t even see

you don’t even hear me screaming.

My Peculiar Love, Arise!

JD, look up, arise
my Peculiar Love!

You tumble still
wracking rocks
wrenching ravines
clawing cliffs
and scratching
with nails broken
and bloodied in the plunge.

No…I have not left
your side, your side
(it’s only bruised, Love)
so vulnerable to that lance
and the stinky rough
warhands of that coward
masquerading as a shepherd
covering for a rapist

And on that note remember
He who lays by your side
He who took the lance
He who went all the way
coming to common terms
with loss
blind as wind…

But I float now…see?
You will too soon…

And this is waiting…
there…and so I lay these words of care
upon your lips like mountain blood
white and clear and clean and cold
to slake your thirst with sop
(not hyssop)
of beauty, healing, Promise…

Oh my Love…my Love Peculiar
the day will come to
Arise

and join me in the Liberty
you prophesied when you spied
your baby’s heart eternal.
The Last View of Yoshino-Baigo

I Don’t Need To Go To Paris

I can stay right here,
no passport, no visa
no access to that fairytale
land of opportunity and liberty

I don’t need to go to Paris
to find those willing
to gun me down, blow me up,
kill me in the name
of their bloodthirsty god
called gender.

Those terrorists
walk the streets
of my world behind
white faces, middle class manners
and smirks to rival the Riddler’s.

Paris comes to me
everyday.

The Truth About Transgender Suicide | Brynn Tannehill

“Suicidal behaviors in LGBT populations appear to be related to “minority stress”, which stems from the cultural and social prejudice attached to minority sexual orientation and gender identity.

“This stress includes individual experiences of prejudice or discrimination, such as family rejection, harassment, bullying, violence, and victimization. Increasingly recognized as an aspect of minority stress is “institutional discrimination” resulting from laws and public policies that create inequities or omit LGBT people from benefits and protections afforded others.

“Individual and institutional discrimination have been found to be associated with social isolation, low self-esteem, negative sexual/gender identity, and depression, anxiety, and other mental disorders.

“These negative outcomes, rather than minority sexual orientation or gender identity per se, appear to be the key risk factors for LGBT suicidal ideation and behavior.”

Source: The Truth About Transgender Suicide | Brynn Tannehill

This.

I am sharing this truly scintillating essay, and the pull quote above is the core for me.

I just wanna say that I was raised white, though thru my father there is a truly multi-cultural heritage biologically and racially…but I was…raised white. Fortunately for me, I was never inculcated with racist bull shit, to the point that in college in the 80s I had a dear friend literally shock me when he told me I was the least racist person he had ever met…and yes, I did hear and note his use of the word “least”…which said volumes to me but in a language that I could not decipher or understand.

Well…since coming to terms with myself and understanding my gender journey, my life has changed in shattering ways, stunning and transcendent ways…but most importantly of all I was delivered from the ocean at last…

and became aware of so much that I never knew, could never see, even as a fish in the sea has no clue that it is in the sea.

I understand the comment of my friend now…”least racist”.

I wish I had the words and ways to let my friends, acquaintances and loved ones who are subject to that which they are subject to for the absolute worst and most insignificant of reasons KNOW that I get it now…

Oh, I will NEVER get it for the reason that they are made subject, anymore than any cis-gender person will ever “get it” in any way other than developing a deep and sincere sympathy and resolute commitment to love and live that love…

But I do get it now, the persecution, the othering, the abuse, the hatred and the fucking demonic unreasoning irrational stupidity of those besotted and drunk on the luck of the draw and the fate of biology.

My friends, and you know who you are…this post is for you…may I always find the joy I have found in solidarity with you and the love of your deep suns of being that shine undefeated and undefeatable! May I always have the heart, the eyes to see and to be inspired time and again with your indomitable spirit, will, but most of all your LOVE which just fucking never quits, CAN never quit.

You have no idea, the moments you have dragged me thru…you bearing the hate directed at you due to skin and me bearing the hate directed at me due to a variation on skin but essentially a common thing we walk in…times I was on the way out, and I would read sumfin, hear sumfin, think of sumfin…and be inspired and lifted up in your heart of hearts.

Now? I can at least have the means to find the remaining privilege I have and divest myself of it intentionally…it doesn’t always go, it is stuck to my skin color…but at last it is not stuck to me.

I regret only that it took as long as it did for my understanding and seeing eyes to catch up to what my heart must have known for my friend to tell me what he told me. We intersect…and for the rest of my days on earth I am expanding that intersection with every ounce of love, faith, hope, grace and mercy that is mine.

To the rest of my friends: please take it in faith that your privilege is there, is stuck to you, and is a legacy that you can use if you will but set your heart in a frame of humility and ask that your eyes be opened…hopefully you will gain insight without experiencing it being ripped away…but if that is what it takes, it is better that this occur rather than go thru your life blind while thinking you see.tumblr_lh6nzks1YS1qgnixvo1_1280

Why Twitter’s Dying (And What You Can Learn From It) — Bad Words — Medium

But the issue of abuse is more subtle — more invisible — and more than all the above.

Abuse does not arise in a vacuum. A healthy mind does not (need to) abuse. Abuse is created of trauma, and it is the traumatized mind which abuses. Whether to externalize, bury, escape its anger and frustration — the abused mind must purge it’s hurt in some manner, or risk being broken, split apart by it entirely.

But the troubling fact is this.

We have created an abusive society. We have normalized, regularized, and routinized abuse. We are abused at work, by the very rules, norms, and expectations of our jobs, at which we are merely “human resources”, to be utilized, allocated, depleted. We are abused at play, by industries that seek to prey on our innocence and literally “target” our human weaknesses.

And now we are abused at arm’s length, through the lightwaves, by people we will never meet, for things we have barely even said. We live in a society where school shootings are the rule, not the exception, where more people will have taken antidepressants than not…and now one where nearly everyone will have been abused on the web…for a random, off-hand, throwaway comment, an idle thought, something trivial, unremarkable, meaningless.

Source: Why Twitter’s Dying (And What You Can Learn From It) — Bad Words — Medium

I wanted to press that quote, pulled from a longer article that is fantastic in describing what happens on social media…

…and online in general.

The web is one gigantic megaphone, and one person with a point of view and a platform can do incredible damage to any number of other people with what they write and how they write it.

I myself have experienced this…where an article was written about me, about the most private and personal and painful things in my life and placed on display in the service of a personal point of view.

I didn’t recognize the person that appeared in the article, even while I remembered the things alluded to…and remembered the rich tapestry that surrounded them all…a tapestry comprised of the things that happened and the things I remember and the interpretation that is placed on them by so many players in the tableau…

I was horrified as I read the comments on the article by complete and utter strangers who had now decided that I was a certain way or a certain thing, simply based on these words made public, and while those words are utterly authentic as a representation of the thoughts and judgements of the writer they were abysmally inadequate in giving any genuine insight into the gestalt of the history that had been lived.

I was despairing…thinking of how the place of publication did Zero due diligence in fact checking or vetting or even giving me the common courtesy of a warning that they were going to take a small facet, one side of a terribly complicated issue and wave it in the air like a besotted banner of click-bait and titillation.

I couldn’t help but imagine the consequences should this have happened to any other number of people I know in my situation, and the yawn and blind eye turned to just another transgender suicide…

And more than anything else?  I knew that deep down inside I would have done nothing to stop the writing from happening because of the writer’s need to tell the story and tell it the way those eyes, that heart and brain lived it.

The issue is not the telling of the story…the issue is the megaphone and how it is choking itself on its own abusive streams. 

Contemplate the things this author points out, and consider your own interactions with social media…and know that there is a better way.

Do Justice.  Love Mercy.  Walk Humbly.
Charissatumblr_nsonrvhzRA1qesboko1_1280

No

that moment when I am walking
no, floating, no…that moment
when I am flowing down
no, up, no…along the river
no, stream, no…torrent of
life and you decide

that you can just touch me
without permission or permission
no, consent, no…yes permission
and I stiffen in horror, in fear
no, terror, no…in anger because
you make me into nothing with your touch

but i mask it with my smile
no, grin, no…with my grimace
that you miss, you absolute oaf
because you think I am an otter
sleek and preening when I am
actually a hedgehog all quilly

no, thistly, no…all covered with razors
and shattered glass and broken promises
and splintered insults and shredded judgements

no, no, no…no, notumblr_nv0y4oL2iQ1qllucco3_1280

The Rustling of Those Wings

I always thought vultures
slept at night, devil-red heads
bulbous on scrawny leather necks
tucked under fetid wing and pinion.

I was wrong.

They never sleep
but circle
endlessly
always

gliding around the dying
the rotten and discarded
waiting for that last quick breath
and then they land nearby
and hop like feather frogs
to their last supper never ending

I stick my head
out in the night
and cannot see them
but I know they are there
by the way
the rustling of those wings
echoes in my hearttumblr_nulpidcDV91utvlmvo1_500

Othered Once Again

it’s like the instantaneous arrival
the spontaneous appearance
the epiphanous eventuality
in one thunderous moment
of dull leaden light that clashes
and smothers and chokes out
everything else…

that moment when fear
puts on its mask of hate
and joins the ritual circle of death,
eyes wide shut,
and I am othered
once againtumblr_ndypq0jxEy1r7aeyoo1_1280

Posting A Very Sobering Reflection

All…this is a post from a tumblr blog I follow, not my own writing, but her concluding question echoes many things I have written about, namely that all the “Remember the Dead Trans-girls” rallies change absolutely nothing.

We don’t want to be remembered.
We want to live…be fruitful and share life.

I don’t want you to say my name when I am killed…I want to say my own name in the zest of life!  Without fear of attack, policing, othering or rejection simply for being born.

I echo Jen’s question:  since last weekend’s events, what has changed?

PS:  Language alert!  If you are offended or defiled by scatalogical language, proceed with caution!  F-bombs and other such things are in evidence!

Maybe if…

smartassjen:

Maybe….maybe if every man who has ever hired a trans escort, if every boy who has ever beat off to trans porn, if all the guys I and thousands of others have hooked up with via Craig’s List, if the millions who fetishize our bodies, who enjoy us on our knees in bathrooms, who press us against hotel windows, who lay with us in our beds, if the men who adore me and my sisters, but only behind closed doors, would STAND THE FUCK UP AND SPEAK OUT…maybe 21 year old women just enjoying an evening out with friends wouldn’t be beat to death.

Maybe if all of you who read this, our allies and friends and colleagues and family, would call out when others make jokes at our expense, even when we’re not around, if you’d tell advertisers and producers and journalists and writers and comics that you’re not okay with them making trans women nothing but the punchline of jokes or tragic tossaways, that you know us, that we’re not disposable….maybe groups of people would stop feeling so free to harass me and my sisters, maybe crowds wouldn’t just laugh when a man spits at me, or just watch when two young men chase me down the street yelling “shemale”…maybe if you ALL stood up and said enough, maybe a young woman just being herself wouldn’t be beat to death in the streets of the supposedly best place on earth to just be yourself.
Maybe if all the gay men who act as if equality means marriage, if all the white feminists who only serve those that look like them, if all the queers who drop “TWOC” like a shibboleth but don’t know or talk to or walk beside any actual trans women of color…maybe if all of you saw what was happening here and how your actions allow it, how every moment of silence, of waiting for people of color to start the conversation about race …maybe this child could have enjoyed a few more years of being beautiful among us.

A 21 year old was beat to death in our streets. It happened because she is a woman, and of color, and transgender. It happened because our men won’t admit they love us, because our friends aren’t speaking out against the thousand little dehumanizing actions of others, because our own “LGBT” community isn’t comfortable talking about race and class.

This has to change. Now.

http://www.dnainfo.com/new-york/20130822/central-harlem/transgender-woman-dies-after-savage-beating-cops-say#video_modal_13772731841756

I wrote this two years ago.

What’s changed?

Death Don’t Have No Mercy In This Land

I want to say something to you, cis-gender friends. Please PLEASE hear this heart, and not a strident voice. Do not mistake my intensity for blathery emotional anger-slinging.
Do you know that the number of murders of transwomen has already surpassed the TOTAL for 2014?
I am talking about people…just like me.10888800_860222750703458_5712320641834860244_n
For the last few years every time there is another murder of a transwoman the news gets pushed around in trans-circles with sorrow and shock and outrage accompanied by cries of “this HAS to stop!!”
And yet here we are…in mid-August and already surpassing the totals for last year…and this is just murders, by the way…the numbers are even higher if you throw in suicide.
My dear friends: this is not ever going to stop until YOU decide it must. It is on YOU.tumblr_n1l8erJ0Tc1rlcnpko1_1280
Because what power do we trans-women have? What standing do I have? When I am spit at for simply walking in public? When I am hated on with eyes for holding my head high and forgetting about gender for a moment and just flowing in being like any other person can?
And then there is the intersection of race and gender variance, and ohhhh the absolute tragedy of how the blind become even more the blinder…
…because it is the same with race too…the stink of that zombie that lurches freely thru our society eating hearts like rotten apples and screaming for more, that stench is even greater than the sheer indifference shown to the plight of transwomen, so if you are a transwoman AND a woman of color?tumblr_ndcafcJAat1qdrgtco1_1280
Well, to know just how that is, simply read of the condition of the remains in some of these cases…faces bashed into a bloody mash…dismemberment…stabbed with an ice pick repeatedly…dumped in the trash…lit on fire…
Cis-friends, until this is no longer okay with you, we shall continue to be harvested by death with impunity.  Our blood cries out and will never stop, never cease.  Until you choose to use your privilege for someone “less than”, then the wolves will continue to hunt and the transwomen die.  And the rest of us will continue to flap our gums about what “has to”, knowing full well that stop is not a choice a ravenous beast makes.

How many is it gonna take to push you to the place where you yourselves will step up?  One a day?  Would that do it?An Indian worker removes the petiole from red chilies at Shertha village, near Ahmadabad, India, Wednesday, Feb. 15, 2012. A worker earns around ten Rupees ( 0.20 USD) for removing the petiole of 20 kilograms (4.4 Pounds) of red chili. (AP Photo/Ajit Solanki)

How about a hundred a day?  One Hundred Women a day…marched to the town square and shot dead at dawn.
Will that do it?  And if so, then what is the difference between a hundred a day and one a day?
What is the difference between one a day and one a week?
What is the value of a transgender life?tumblr_nnlmpdE8Q91sthjo3o1_1280

oh america

oh america, alas for me
once blind but now, alas!
I see…what I could not see before
safely ensconced behind my placid doortumblr_nlzzm3QWBV1sq9drqo1_1280of hallels, proverbs, judgements
assumed and (not) asked and answered
while Perry Mason spoke for me
Paul Drake got me off
Della Street hid me safe.

oh america, you hid from me
your bloody dungeons, grisly gore
your carrion teeth hungry for more
I weep in agony, I never saw that side
of you, rapacious, avarice-infected, ravenous

alas for you
alas for metumblr_ns93u6y7WJ1qllucco1_500oh america, alas for me
once deaf but now, alas!
I hear…not pop songs, jingles
and bubble gum ditties
but klaxxons and outrage
and death-dirges arising in cities

writhing in flaming hatred and strife
sirens screaming and bullconner bullhorns
in the tramping of jackboots and protests for freedom
I hear the desperate pleading for life and liberty
their chains rattle like thunder
but america, you hear only dice
rolling on your green table
of gambling and greed and
just be oh so nicetumblr_miy2lmQQy11qb5cdqo1_500I wish I could just rip myself
straight outta me, tear that
born and bred into ease
from my arteries, and my
narcissistic “I’m so vain”
from my veins and be fresh

be free…oh america…alas for you and me
as I watch our best, our brightest
still chained in our simpering
lobs of “be nice, calm down, be polite”
lobotomized and safe in facebook internments
prisoners in consumer kraalstumblr_noeogvQoQI1qas1mto5_1280and poetic deftness flees me
abandons me in this hour of my need
oh grace deliver me from selfish greed!
oh Mama let me run to truth so clean with godspeed
I lose mastery in the horror of this hour

alas, oh america, I lament for me
alas…I lament for thee
and do not know if you will find the courage
to face yourself in the mirror of your victims
the ones you killed and ate and burped
and called it good.

oh america, oh america
God have mercy on thee
and trip you up and toss you down
and take from you that gory crown
of racism, racism racism racism
from sea to shining sea and in betweentumblr_npxxyrZeCO1r38hk2o1_1280may God remove that hood that blinds
you to brotherhood, to good, to kind
give you eyes to see (oh god let me see)
give you ears to hear (oh god let me hear)
give you a heart at last and courage
to look at what you’ve done and left undone

oh america
oh america
oh america
oh america
oh america528483-Depression-1364630455-842-640x480

“I am torn in two but
I will conquer myself.
I will dig up the pride…I will take a crowbar
and pry out the broken
pieces…”
Anne Sexton – from The Civil War

We Are Come At Last

Marshal your forces, you protectors of the crown,
send your dogs running, your dogs of dreams,
your dogs howling, full noses of my fur, my pelt!

Bring on your hunt, your horses in full gallop
and chase for all you’re worth, your lust and fear
of free blood running red, and full, liberty’s blood!

Your coats, scarlet!  Your smirks, affixed with tax,
and become terrible twisted rictus in your sweaty efforts
to hunt this free fox leaping, yipping, dancing on the dawn!

They shall come to me, your dogs, and wriggle ‘neath my touch!
They shall hear my dog-whistle words, too high for your dull ears
but so keenly attuned and pitched to their own straining hearts!

And they shall call to their comrades, your horses, who will alert and thrill
and leap into the air to gallop freely there…and you unhorsed…you laying there
upon the blood-stained grass of yesteryear…

Your time is up, for we are come to hunt you down
and tear that red coat straight away right off your back
and tossed into the sky, our banner free unfurled and our war cry…

No Longer!  Not Anymore!

Feather and Fur

It’s puzzling…
the sheer effrontery
of those raucous rooks,
those rapacious ravens…

they flock around
(why?  I couldn’t say)
and act all furry and red
and soft and they think
their beady close set eyes
are so foxy…

I act bored and disinterested
but I watch them carefully
with slitted eyes
and coiled muscles
ready to jump away from
blood-thirsty beaks

and harsh cries
that tear the air apart
and leave feather and fur
in their wake.

It’s An Artform

To practise this quote, and to also be one who extends Grace…it’s an artform.

But I get this now, in ways I never did before, and I have been walking in it…early and often.

It has been a wise move, and I have grown well in it.

Don’t let someone get comfortable with disrespecting you.
tumblr_nop2whGn1p1qc3hxxo1_540

The Triune Choice of Transgender Humans in a Binary World

I wanted to press this because I admire the courage of this person, and I wanted to call attention (again) to the plight of transgender people.  Sadly, we are limited to just a couple of options:

1.  Be true to ourselves, and get harassed, bullied, and very likely even assaulted and/or killed.

2.  Hide, and be subject to awful harassment, bullying and assault from ourselves from inside our own being.

Of course there is the 3rd option, the one I took:

You can always just rip yourself in two…dissociate, so you don’t “know” about yourself (and neither does anyone else), and you can simply study the prison that you have been given and called life and learn how to perform.

Perform well, and get rewarded with praise, affection, what is termed “love” (and from the perspective of the givers surely is love, but from the perspective of the dissociated person it’s never really known for sure if they’re loved), and all the privileges accorded to one who conforms to their prescribed role.

But the fallout from this…the gender role half life, if you will…is terrible.  Stress, dysphoria, depression, and ultimately despair.  The ripples of that rending of the soul in twain go forth from that moment…

…but they don’t diminish with time, they magnify, grow larger and have increasingly more destructive results in the lives of all who intersect with that person.

I know.  This is what I did…and I’ve been informed by those who had the grave misfortune to exist in those waves and troughs that I ruined them forever in my cowardly and hypocritical choice to dissociate rather than displease (or worse) my parents.

Hey, I was 6 years old…I shoulda known better…I did know worse…eventually.

So there you have it, folks…the 3 fold option for prisoners of the gender binary back in the mid 60s.  If you know a family with a gender variant member, and they are seeking to grapple with it now in a world that is slowly growing more flexible as attitudes and superstitions change…reach out and give them love.

They will certainly need it.

Do Justice.  Love Mercy.  Walk Humbly
Charissatumblr_npuxgzCrCq1qg4kx9o1_1280

riverheadlocal.com

Transgender youth skip school rather than face discrimination, humiliation from educators and peers

The N.Y. Civil Liberties Union is calling on the State Education Department to provide detailed guidance to public school districts on preventing transgender youths’ discrimination and harassment by students and teachers.

Many trans* youth don’t get the education they deserve due to undue harassment and discrimination from both educations and peers.

This is why EVERY school should have a fully inclusive non-discrimination AND anti-bullying policy which protects youth and educators alike on the basis of sexual orientation, gender identity and gender presentation.

Neighborhood Bully (Apologies to Bob Dylan for the Adjustments)

Well, the neighborhood bully, she’s a woman
Her enemies say she’s on their land
They got her outnumbered about a million to one
She got no place to escape to, no place to run
She’s the neighborhood bully

The neighborhood bully just lives to survive
She’s criticized and condemned for being alive
She’s not supposed to fight back, she’s supposed to have thick skin
She’s supposed to lay down and die when her door is kicked in
She’s the neighborhood bully

The neighborhood bully been driven out of every land
She’s wandered the earth an exiled man
Seen her family scattered, her people hounded and torn
She’s always on trial for just being born
She’s the neighborhood bully

Well, she knocked out a lynch mob, she was criticized
Old women condemned her, said she should apologize.
Then she destroyed a bomb factory, nobody was glad
The bombs were meant for her. She was supposed to feel bad
She’s the neighborhood bully

Well, the chances are against it and the odds are slim
That she’ll live by the rules that the world makes for her
’Cause there’s a noose at her neck and a gun at her back
And a license to kill her is given out to every maniac
She’s the neighborhood bully

She got no allies to really speak of
What she gets she must pay for, she don’t get it out of love
She buys obsolete weapons and she won’t be denied
But no one sends flesh and blood to fight by her side
She’s the neighborhood bully

Well, she’s surrounded by pacifists who all want peace
They pray for it nightly that the bloodshed must cease
Now, they wouldn’t hurt a fly. To hurt one they would weep
They lay and they wait for this bully to fall asleep
She’s the neighborhood bully

Every empire that’s enslaved her is gone
Egypt and Rome, even the great Babylon
She’s made a garden of paradise in the desert sand
In bed with nobody, under no one’s command
She’s the neighborhood bully

Now her holiest books have been trampled upon
No contract she signed was worth what it was written on
She took the crumbs of the world and she turned it into wealth
Took sickness and disease and she turned it into health
She’s the neighborhood bully

What’s anybody indebted to her for?
Nothin’, they say. She just likes to cause war
Pride and prejudice and superstition indeed
They wait for this bully like a dog waits to feed
She’s the neighborhood bully

What has she done to wear so many scars?
Does she change the course of rivers? Does she pollute the moon and stars?
Neighborhood bully, standing on the hill
Running out the clock, time standing still
Neighborhood bully
tumblr_nnse5t19Z71qat5pio1_500

Copyright © 1983 by Special Rider Music
Lyrical adaptations by Charissa, in honor of courageous women everywhere, especially transwomen

The Triune Choice of Transgender People In a Binary World

I wanted to press this because I admire the courage of this person, and I wanted to call attention (again) to the plight of transgender people.  Sadly, we are limited to just a couple of options:

1.  Be true to ourselves, and get harassed, bullied, and very likely even assaulted and/or killed.

2.  Hide, and be subject to awful harassment, bullying and assault from ourselves from inside our own being.

Of course there is the 3rd option, the one I took:

You can always just rip yourself in two…dissociate, so you don’t “know” about yourself (and neither does anyone else), and you can simply study the prison that you have been given and called life and learn how to perform.

Perform well, and get rewarded with praise, affection, what is termed “love” (and from the perspective of the givers surely is love, but from the perspective of the dissociated person it’s never really known for sure if they’re loved), and all the privileges accorded to one who conforms to their prescribed role.

But the fallout from this…the gender role half life, if you will…is terrible.  Stress, dysphoria, depression, and ultimately despair.  The ripples of that rending of the soul in twain go forth from that moment…

…but they don’t diminish with time, they magnify, grow larger and have increasingly more destructive results in the lives of all who intersect with that person.

I know.  This is what I did…and I’ve been informed by those who had the grave misfortune to exist in those waves and troughs that I ruined them forever in my cowardly and hypocritical choice to dissociate rather than displease (or worse) my parents.

Hey, I was 6 years old…I shoulda known better…I did know worse…eventually.

So there you have it, folks…the 3 fold option for prisoners of the gender binary back in the mid 60s.  If you know a family with a gender variant member, and they are seeking to grapple with it now in a world that is slowly growing more flexible as attitudes and superstitions change…reach out and give them love.

They will certainly need it.

Do Justice.  Love Mercy.  Walk Humbly
Charissa

riverheadlocal.com

Transgender youth skip school rather than face discrimination, humiliation from educators and peers

The N.Y. Civil Liberties Union is calling on the State Education Department to provide detailed guidance to public school districts on preventing transgender youths’ discrimination and harassment by students and teachers.

Many trans* youth don’t get the education they deserve due to undue harassment and discrimination from both educations and peers.

This is why EVERY school should have a fully inclusive non-discrimination AND anti-bullying policy which protects youth and educators alike on the basis of sexual orientation, gender identity and gender presentation.

40 questions for Christians who oppose marriage equality (GUEST COMMENTARY) – Corner of Church and State

40 questions for Christians who oppose marriage equality (GUEST COMMENTARY) – Corner of Church and State.

A VERY interesting and thought provoking article and series of questions…Reader, this is posted more for you than anyone else.  See if you can hold your need to “binary-ize” things into your “either-or” world view…just for a second or two.

I am less interested in answering the question of right and wrong at this point, and more interested in asking what kind of heart are you showing, advocating, and modeling by your current approaches to relationship with LGTBQ people?

I mean…33 plus years of relationship was over in the flick of a heartswitch and the drop of an envelope in a mail-slot…

Boom.

My life has gone on.  No…more accurately, my life has finally begun and I have been blooming and growing spiritually and emotionally and growing more healthy physically.  The loss of relationship has in my case been a very healthy pruning in that so many new people have come into my life bringing messages to me like I have rarely experienced in my past years done in the dungeons of christendom.

But I do think about you, Reader…and the life you live of inspection and constant lifting of yourself and others into scales that are not even accurate…

…and I encourage you to read these questions and ponder them…

because to answer them and be challenged by them will require you to change your lifestyle, spend your time differently, and draw your boundaries very different!

You never know…you just may find that the river you say I have crossed that you won’t be crossing is the River of Life and that what matters is the water, and not the bank you stand on…as if that matters…as if you could really make that claim, that your bank is “the bank”…as if that pleases God who left heaven and took on the form of a bondslave…

…and as if that River of Life doesn’t have twists and turns to the human eye that could end up with us actually still “on the same side” (cus that’s a thing in this divisive binary world, being on the same side is far more important than belonging to Jesus *SARCASM*) and you not even realize it.

Just let go.

The list is getting sooo long, and the burden is getting sooo ponderous, all the things you must inspect and check and ascertain…how bout just letting all that go, and simply doing this:  Loving the Lord your God with all your heart, and loving your neighbor as yourself with something more than a letter that slashed and burned and then preened like Little Jack Horner…
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Here Are the Real Reasons Why We White People Struggle to Admit That Racism Still Exists — Everyday Feminism

Constance:  there is a lot of this sort of talk running around these days…WASP types complaining about racism.  This article addresses that sort of thinking and does it very well.

If you think that anyone can be a racist, you are likely missing the point being driven at regarding a system in which racism is endemic and deeply rooted so badly as to be like a cancer riddling an entire body.

But what troubles me most in all of this is that we are so invested in proving that people of Color are “more racist” than we are or that we’re not racist, we are more upset by allegations that we might be racist than about the very real ways that racism plays out in the society around us.

I see my fellow White people so wrapped up in defending the idea that systemic racism doesn’t exist that we are unable to empathize with the real pain caused to people of Color by racism, both interpersonal and systemic.

For goodness sake, even the McKinney police admitted Eric Casebolt was out of line in assaulting a young Black girl for legally observing his actions, yet White people in my life were trying so hard to explain how the officer was in the right and how this “isn’t racial.”

All of this leaves me wondering about the roots of our defensiveness to admitting that racism is alive and well.

Why are we so resistant to acknowledging the countless examples of our racial privilege?

via Here Are the Real Reasons Why We White People Struggle to Admit That Racism Still Exists — Everyday Feminism.

Affirmation


Deconstructing Masculinity & Manhood with Michael Kimmel @ Dartmouth College

YAAAAEEESSSSSSS

You know what I like, and feel is so important? That he doesn’t say “Men thinks those are THEIR positions”. He says “We think those are OUR positions.”

As a male feminist, he still doesn’t exclude himself from the group of men.

Here’s What’s Okay (And Not Okay) to Say to a Trans Person – Once and For All — Everyday Feminism

Here’s What’s Okay (And Not Okay) to Say to a Trans Person – Once and For All — Everyday Feminism. Dear Constance, this article will be good review for some, and a great beginning for those who are interested but don’t know protocol.

The one that is most crucial to me?  The one that says my story is mine and not yours…and you have no right to out me to anyone…even though people have done this to me. It’s sorta weird to meet someone I knew then and hear that there is all kinds of gossip about me happening…that means that the paragons of virtue who told me I was beyond a river they refused to cross and that I was demonized?

They started the rumors and passed them along…and likely think they served Jesus in doing it. The trouble they caused me…I weep still at times over things that I could have shared in my own way and time that got shared and soo distorted… …but that’s the way it goes when you deal with the privileged…whatever they say is God’s will becomes God’s will…

because they say so (which makes them God, I guess).
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My New Friend Pastor Finn

I am sharing this sermon because we are at a similar tipping point with the original sin of racism as we are in less crucial but just as acute ways about gender issues.

I really and truly believe that dealing with this national, historic sin is the task of our generation.

I also think that even as it took the death of One who was innocent of all crime, so too it will take our “death”, being “innocent” of the crime of slavery, but guilty guilty guilty of benefitting from it and from the blood and breath of so many who perished in pain and sorrow, murdered at the hands of our ancestors and yes our neighbors and thus at our own hands too…

…our hands are bloody, and that blood cries out to God.

It is incumbent on us to give up our power and position on behalf of these, our neighbors and sisters and brothers who are so dearly beloved of God.