the letter z

Posted in Uncategorized by z on 2010-10-04

While I don’t want to diminish the outrage and expressions of grief and regret for the recent suicides of young gay men in the US, I find it utterly telling to contrast the public response to these events amongst trans deaths occurring on a much more frequent basis.

Posted in Uncategorized by z on 2010-08-11

After the minor apoplexy subsided after reading one response to the previous post elsewhere, I was able to form two observations:

  1. I was angry because one trans person ridiculing another trans person’s expression of anger and frustration at our shared oppression, and implicitly, trans activism, is a pretty shitty thing to do, and
  2. I pity this person if they think that walking to cis people bowl in hands, trembling, asking “Please sir, I want some more”, is a efficient way of getting a proper meal.

That is all that will need to be said regarding the matter, I think.

Straw breaking

Posted in Uncategorized by z on 2010-07-27

Whereas those factions of cisgender people by sanction of state or sanction of religion, either by explicit or implicit means, or by inaction:

  • have trivialized and ridiculed transgender people for the satisfaction of cisgender people,
  • have majority and systematic control over our transgender narratives,
  • have committed crimes of casual abuse against transgender people,
  • have committed crimes of psychological warfare against transgender people,
  • have sought to censure transgender people for expressing the desire to be treated with the same respect afforded cisgender people
  • have sought to inspire and incite violence and maltreatment against transgender people
  • have committed crimes of deprivation of liberty and crimes against humanity against transgender people
  • have committed crimes of murder against transgender people, and
  • have the desire of eradicating transgender people as a whole

Whereas those factions of cisgender people, nation states, organized religions, and religiously motivated groups have refused to address the above and take action to rememdy the above in a serious and timely fashion

Therefore, be it resolved that signatories or adherents to this document do solemnly declare war against those factions above and those States and organizations sanctioning and/or harboring them, and that signatories or adherents take any means necessary or desired (that would not be in themselves criminal acts) against those factions, States, and organizations with an end to the cessation of the crimes listed.

Can I just say

Posted in Uncategorized by z on 2010-07-16

Cislesbianism annoys me for its tendency to focus a lot on the trans male aspect of things.

So, I’ve always liked the attitude that you don’t give up the words you identify with (eg., feminism; you might have heard people giving up identifying with it because some aspects of its nature has changed by some people), you keep your terminology and rename the movements that stray. Lesbianism, by its very definition, must center and respect the interests of trans dykes as well as cis dykes. Sadly, it feels like cislesbianism is the dominant faction.

Posted in Uncategorized by z on 2010-04-19

There are several analogies for being trans, but I’ve been mulling over one in particular.

Being trans is like swallowing a bit of poison, every day. You are spoon fed this poison by society, and I’m sure you’re all aware how it’s delivered to you: living as a trans person in a predominantly cis society is fraught with danger. But we are also fed the poison by hearing how other trans people are experiencing the poison in their lives as well, we are fed the poison by hearing about others’ struggles, we are fed the poison by the stupidity and casual transphobia rampant in the world.

We ingest a lot of this toxicity over our lifetime.Luckily, from what I imagine, we’ve grown quite tolerant to it.

For me, at least, I can swallow that poison, but up to a point. It becomes too much every now and then, and I need to detoxify. There is an allure to the poison, however; it feeds the anger that has been developing recently, the outrage, the fire. But it’s unhealthy, and I need to avoid it, at least until I feel ready to ingest the poison again.

Except you can’t escape it completely, unless you shut yourself off from the world entirely. You can’t zone out and watch television without the mainstream media deciding to sensationalize some minor fact because someone involved tangentially or not were trans, or watch a movie unless you’ve seen it before and are aware that there’s no references to trans people that are going to make you feel like slamming your fist through a hard object. The poison makes its way to you one way or another. It will be fed to you one way or another, and all you can do is delay the next dose.

Posted in Uncategorized by z on 2010-04-16

I’ve been feeling rather uninvested in critical thought recently, though there have been some things on slow boil in the back of my mind. Mainly I’ve been trying, unsuccessfully, to avoid the internet and all the things that have recently been setting anger aflame inside me: I take that as a signal to disconnect somewhat for a while.

Posted in Uncategorized by z on 2010-03-24

I really hate my life, do you understand? It is filled with enough heartache, stress, frustration, and futility as it is already.

Boundaries, lines, boxes, and labels

Posted in Uncategorized by z on 2010-03-17

So something seemed to blow up on QT, namely, that a post regarding appropriation of genderqueer identites. I haven’t looked into the full two-hundred comments, partly because the discussion seemed to devolve into determining who was legitimately genderqueer or not, but partly because I’m unfamiliar with the subject matter as well as I would not necessarily consider myself genderqueer.

But this brings up an interesting side question. Normally, I find that a reasonably prudent way to define membership in a social group (for example, who is gay/lesbian, or who is trans) is by respecting a person’s self-identification. Most of the time, most people who self identify with a given identity are genuine, and everything works. But from an external perspective, someone may claim to identify one way or another for a joke, or for example, in the genderqueer case as described in the above linked post, “when someone decides that they are totally down with smashing the gender binary, and that they’ll show it by taking on a genderqueer identity”. This seems at odds with respecting self-identification, but it seems justified enough.

I am also reminded of the totally bizarre case from The L Word, where a “male lesbian” character was introduced — a man who identified with a “lesbian lifestyle” … er, or something. I imagine, as absurd as this might be, that a certain number of people identify this way. Again, while the notion of a cis man identifying as a lesbian is fairly absurd, this seems at odds with respecting self-identification.

What about intersections of identifications? How would one classify a trans butch lesbian? Is she trans, or genderqueer? What about a cis butch lesbian? What about a cis man who enjoys drag every now and then?

I’m at a loss. I’m sure that the number of these cases where self-identifications seem absurd are miniscule. I’m also sure that having hang-ups on labels is perhaps problematic in itself, but labels are actually important to LGBT people as well, as a rallying point and to distinguish who is part of our communities and who is not, but that leads to the problems described above.

Posted in Uncategorized by z on 2010-03-09

The natural corollary to my previous post necessitates a reexamination of nihilism, I believe; a philosophy of existence that, as Wikipedia puts it, “negates one or more meaningful aspects of life”.

I do reject the notion that life is absent of meaning: we have meaningful relationships, meaningful interests, etc. Let me however introduce a neologism, that an action is pointful, or has a point where performing the action leads to a new state or condition of existence. Reading a textbook or going to a class is meaningful and pointful, because after the action is performed, one is more educated and knowledgeable about the topic.

I submit that life, while comprised of meaningful and pointful enterprises, is itself pointless. I suppose it is open to say whether it makes sense to ascribe pointfulness to existence, but life and existence has no point in and of itself. We do the things we do to prolong our existence, to entertain it, to experience novelty in some form or another, but existence has no real goal, no consequence. We exist because it is, possibly, more interesting to do so rather than to not exist, and existence carries with it associated requirements that necessitate meaningful actions that further it, but we do not exist because we have some outcome in mind, that we exist because we are furthering some goal or purpose.

On the meaning of life

Posted in Uncategorized by z on 2010-02-17

It is a question that is pondered on occasion: what is the meaning of our pitiful existences, our lifespans, our creation? I think it is staring at us in the face. It is compliance.

We obey, even though, for example, it is in our best interests not to. We obey because we have no other choice to, we comply because the choice boils down to living in a house or living on the streets. We obey because we are being paid to obey. We obey because loved ones ask us to obey.

We mock up choices to make up for our lack of autonomy. We tell ourselves that we have free speech, we have freedom to do what we please in our society, we have freedom to find another job, we have freedom to do this, or that; and while some of those lies we entertain ourselves with are mere propaganda we would like to believe, some of those things are true. And yet we do not act on them. Our individuality, our dignity, our autonomy, gets bartered for much in life.

This is not to say that autonomy is a bad thing, nor is compliance. We are free to sell our autonomy wholly or partially if we so wish. We even do so without thinking in some situations. But autonomy is rarely acted upon, and even rarely so does it even benefit the one who acts upon it. It is the dream, it is the fantasy that we cling to. We like to think that it is closer to us than it actually is. Compliance is the real currency, however. We are continually invested in appeasing something other than ourselves for gain.

I suppose the answer is recognition and detachment. I’m trying to care less about things every day. Why do we care when we are given a hard assignment — a request that you’d rather not do in a relationship, a shit job at work? We do it anyway, for whatever reasons. It is futile to try and resist it. We comply in ignorance, and so we will continue to comply in knowledge of it.