Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Happy New Years

2008 hasn't been that great and I doubt 2009 will be much of a change.

An Austalian woman has been constantly attacked and harassed for the past 18 months. Her, her 13 year old daughter, and a friend have been moving around constantly after "Alice" (not her real name) was first attacked.

...when she was walking along the esplanade at Golden Beach with her daughter last week she was verbally abused by a young man aged 18-21 who yelled abuse such as, “You fucking AIDS-carrying tranny fag”.

Alice said when she held her phone up to record the abuse the young man proceeded to attack her.

“I ran across the road leaving my daughter unprotected, he chased me into a playground threatening to get me,” she said.

“I screamed to units above to call the police, I screamed at the families in the park to help me. Several men who are strangers to me came to my assistance, they tried to hold the offender back.

“Then a car pulled up and two blokes jumped out of the car, one with a metal baseball bat who then started to chase me. A family in a four-wheel-drive let me in and drove me to the police station.”

Helen has the full article up.

Eclexia has up an update about the trans* woman shot in the face (she's still in critical condition). And a new murder.

It looks like Angie may get justice; the prosecution plans to add habitual criminal charges (which would multiply the sentences of other charges by 4) if he is not convicted of 1st degree murder.

As I said in my last post, Gaza is covered in blood (and Israel says this is just the beginning).

This summer, my grandpa was diagnosed with lung cancer. He went on chemo (I stayed with him and my grandma a lot because the chemo was really hard on him), the chemo did nothing but make him feel worse and weaken him. A week before he was diagnosed, he was at his "farm" (an old farm he bought a long time ago that is now a lake and a lot of forest and swamp) chopping wood; he can barely walk now.
He'll be going into hospice now.
He taught me how to fish, how to make maple syrup, how to drive (automatic and stick)... We made applesauce and apple pies during Autumn (as a kid, I'd get in the bucket of his tractor and he'd raise me up with some buckets and I'd pick apples off the top of the big apple tree). Until a few years ago, he and my grandma would drive down to Arizona to go rock-hounding and camping with their relatives there. When I was a kid, we'd sometimes go with them--one winter, we visited Mexico and it snowed.
I am not close to any of my relatives. I left for all of last year and never called--and I didn't care.
But I've always liked my grandpa; I think its impossible not to like him.
He served in WW2, was a police officer and a detective, drove a bus... He visited nearly every state over the years; usually to search for rocks. He's got everything from Herkimer diamonds to Mozarkite, to Star Garnets. He learned how to cut and polish these stones; my family all have jewelry he had made out of his stones. When I learned how to make wire-wrapped jewelry, he gave me my first stones (the very first was rainbow obsidian).


Tuesday, December 30, 2008


I'll admit I don't know a whole lot about the history between Israel and Palestine.
But fucking hell, airstrikes against a mostly unarmed populace that can't get out or get food/supplies?
(btw, Galling Galla, I miss you! <3) some of those comments are just so bigoted/racist...and just failures)
Also, little light has an incredibly moving post up.
Here is a bit of it:

I just want to say, to all the people demonizing Palestinians right now, saying that this was all a sinister plan to get a bunch of their children killed to make Israel look bad, that this would all just stop if they'd put down the rocks and handmade mortars and listen to reason, they're all terrorists anyhow, they'll push every Jew into the sea--how? How? What is all this "self-defense" defending against?

How could they manage? Gazans live in an open-air prison. They are literally walled-in to one of the most densely populated places in the world. Walled in. No food coming in, no medicine, no fuel, unless they break an unjust law. No leaving, not without humiliation, harassment, assault, and death. There is nobody in there who hasn't lost someone. How many of those women have not been raped? How many of those children have parents? How many Gazans had a meal this week?
They are mostly fighting with old rifles, handmade short-range explosives, rocks and slings, against one of the best-equipped militaries in the world. Don't put that fact aside. Are people in Gaza committing acts of violence that have killed innocent people? Yes. They're hurling a handful of rickety rockets over the wall. In response, they're up against fighter jets, tanks, a navy, and a well-outfitted corps of the best-trained soldiers in the world, well-fed and sharp and with access to nuclear weapons. And this military they're fighting already has them walled in and starving, their neighborhoods smoking rubble, too many of them missing limbs. Tell me this is just an eye for an eye, what a shame. It's not an eye for an eye. It's a fingernail for a torso, at best. Tell me which Gazans have fighter jets. Tell me who in Hamas, even, has a nuclear-capable military unit that could wipe out their enemy at the press of a button. Show me one Palestinian tank.

Knock it off, you kids. Just put down the weapons, no, I don't care who started it. Ahmad, put down your slingshot. Avi, put down your F-15. You're both equally responsible here.

What the hell is this? How are we saying these things? An eye for an eye?


Thursday, December 25, 2008

If you saw something; say something

Another Memphis Trans* Woman Shot:
Here we go again in Memphis, TN. A transwoman was shot in the face and is in critical condition.

Memphis police say the shooting happened sometime around 5:00 a.m. Tuesday, December 23, 2008 in the 3100 block of Boxtown Road in south Memphis near T.O. Fuller State Park. Leeneshia Edwards was last seen about an hour earlier at the “C.K.’s Coffee Shop” on Union Avenue in midtown Memphis.

Edwards' cousin reports that Lenneshia was shot in the jaw, side and back and is undergoing multiple surgeries.

So peeps in the Memphis area, if you saw anything that night, do us and the family of Leeneshia Edwards a favor. Call Memphis Crime Stoppers if you have any information about either this case, Ebony Whitaker's or Duanna Johnson's at (901) 528-CASH that gets the po-po's one step closer to resolving these crimes. Remember, the peeps that did this could one day strike your family, so the sooner you get them off the streets and behind bars, the safer Memphis becomes for you as well.

For those of us who live in Memphis and beyond, keep Leeneshia in your prayers this holiday season.

When the 110th Congress opens for business,, as soon as an ENDA bill is filed, we need to demand that it not only include transgender people, but it be passed without delay.
(h/t Monica)


Sunday, December 21, 2008

Important News, Please Read These Links

If you're in the UK, please speak out against these proposed laws to your gov; they'll be very bad for sex workers and won't help prostituted folks. (h/t Ren)
Also, my bad, but I missed International Sex Workers' Rights Day. (in my defense, I was mostly freaking out about court that day)

ETA: from Debi Crow:

Please sign the petition here, organised by the English Collective of Prostitutes to decriminalise sex work and prioritise safety in the UK.

The petition reads:

* The tragic murders of five young women in Ipswich caused an unprecedented outcry. Each of us deserves to be safe regardless of gender, occupation, sexual preference, race, age, nationality, immigration status or lifestyle.

* Prostitution is a survival strategy to deal with poverty, debt, rape, low wages, homelessness, unemployment... Most sex workers are mothers or young people; often they are both. Many have been in care or have had their children taken from them.

* Criminalising consenting sex – targeting sex workers, clients or both – pushes prostitution underground. It deters women from reporting violence & exploitation. Fines & ASBOs force women into isolated, less well lit areas.

* When prostitute women are not safe, no woman is safe. Serial rapists & killers often have a history of attacks on partners & prostitutes. (The conviction rate for reported rape is a shocking 5.7%. Over 200 women are murdered each year.)

* Raids on premises increase street prostitution which is 10 times more dangerous.

* Criminal records prevent sex workers from getting other jobs.

* "Rehabilitation" for drugs or anything else doesn’t work if it is compulsory.

* New Zealand has successfully decriminalised prostitution, improving health & safety.


1. The decriminalisation of prostitution. Sex workers must have the same rights and protection as other workers.

2. An end to Community Rehabilitation Orders, Acceptable Behaviour Contracts and Anti Social Behaviour Orders which reintroduce prison for street offences through the back door.

3. The enforcement of laws against domestic violence, rape and other violence against women and children must be a priority.

4. An end to the use of anti-trafficking legislation to deport immigrant sex workers. Trafficked women must have the right to stay so they can report violence.

5. Viable economic alternatives to prostitution. Voluntary drug services, affordable housing, benefits, training, pay equity.

Sign here. Hat tip to Helen for the info about the petition, and make sure you check out the other links on her post too, if you haven't already.

Bush is a total fustilarian; I'd love to thank him in person for signing the order for doctors and everyone in the health industry to murder trans* folks, anyone with the ability to get pregnant, anyone with female-assigned reproductive organs, people with disabilities, sex workers, POC, actual or perceived illegal-drug users, and anyone else they see as less than human!

More police brutality, racism, sexism, etc. This time, they beat and attempted to kidnap a little twelve-year old girl because they thought she was a prostitute (obviously, if she had been a prostitute this would have been just peachy). Her and her father were both charged because she fought back (obviously, if someone attempts to kidnap you girls, you should just let them!) and her father tried to stop them as well.
Two years later and the little girl still has nightmares.
Galbeston Chief of Police, Charles Wiley, can be reached by phone at 409-765-3790, or by email at

And these next two are not quite so urgent:

Julia Serano is looking for quotes, anecdotes and insights from trans* women and other mtf-spectrum folks about ways you have been hyper-sexualized.
If you are a trans woman (i.e., someone who was assigned a male sex at birth, but who identifies and/or lives as female), I would be interested in possibly including your experiences in my web article. I am particularly interested in the following types of scenarios:
1) occasions where somebody sexualized you in an especially extreme or explicit manner specifically because they knew you were trans.
2) occasions where somebody assumed that you were motivated to transition to female for primarily sexual reasons (for example, to receive sexual attention from men, to engage in sex work, or to fulfill some kind of sexual fantasy or “perversion”).
3) occasions where medical or psychiatric professionals (particularly those fulfilling a “gatekeeper” role) made especially sexualizing remarks about your appearance, behaviors or motives/desire to transition, or were sexualizing in other ways.
4) occasions where someone sexualized your trans body, identity and/or motives for transitioning in order to dismiss your female identity or to insinuate that you are not a “real” woman.
More info at her journal.

And I should have included this in my last post, but I just remembered the post; Sylvia Rivera was a part of the Young Lords and her group, STAR, marched with them several times.
Btw, donating to SRLP would be a very nice thing to do this holiday season...


Friday, December 19, 2008

What's in a name?
To many of us trans* people, names are important. Unlike most cis* people, we have to choose our names because the names we were given (forced on us?) are not suitable. Very rarely do our parents give us a name we can keep; so that when we tell someone our legal name we are either misgendered or outed immediately.

It seems like there is always a post about names in the general trans* forums I read; recently, there is one asking for names that do not easily get “misheard” and transformed from masculine to feminine.
Many transition guides and trans* resources have posts with tips on choosing names. All sorts of advice is given; don't choose names that are currently trendy (Aiden/Ayden/etc), ask your parents to help, find meanings you like...

Names have power.
I've read a lot of fantasy where magic can be performed by knowing a person or object's true name; where people or demons can be controlled or destroyed by those with their true name.
Here, names have the power to out, to get you extra “random security checks”, to color peoples' gendered perceptions of you, etc.

I'll be changing my name later this week.
To Kristopher [current middle name]-Rivera [lastname].
I didn't exactly choose Kristopher; my friends sometimes called me Ristopher after I started going by my nickname Riss. I'm not Christian, but I liked the name and I felt like Kristopher...suited me somehow. Even friendly acquaintances who didn't know I was questioning said that Kristopher suited me.
Both of my grandmas have the same middle name, so my parents gave it to me—and I chose to keep it because I like it.
Rivera is for Sylvia Rivera, an amazing woman and one of the first trans* people I ever learned about.
With my real name legally recognized I'll be able to apply for college, jobs, etc. without (much) anxiety. I'll be able to attend classes without emailing the teachers to begask to be referred to by my nickname.
There'll be less anxiety around my name, but now when I apply for a job I'll be more worried about my legal sex. Hopefully, they won't notice it or realize it's a mistake.

[I wrote the above last week. I went to court just the other day.]

I was extremely anxious about court; not everyone's name change is granted after all.
Luckily, it went without a hitch.
After going through security in my nice clothes and tie, I spent more time waiting (and listening to half a dozen divorces—and they say queer and trans* people will ruin marriage...) than actually in front of the judge. Seriously, he asked me why I wanted to change my name (personal preference and common usage) and if I was changing it for fraudulent reasons (err, no) then granted it.
Though according to my friend who drove me, whispers did break out in the seats when my case was called; I admit I wasn't paying much attention to them at the time...
And next I get to change my name on my BC and state ID and whatnot.


Sunday, December 14, 2008

shortpacked saw a vanity license plate reading "GOPCKS".

Mmmm, GOP Cocks. Tastes like Real America! We grow gooood people in our small towns!

Leaves me wondering what "Real America" tastes like, because I'm pretty sure the last place that the GOP Cocks were is up the asses of the union workers in Michigan.

If "Real America" tastes like the inside of a factory worker's colon, I think I'd prefer the fake stuff.
So, currently I am thinking on a post about names, as I will be getting mine changed later this week... I don't currently have anything written down for the post; right now its all jumbled up in my head and I'm not quite sure what to write and what to leave out...

So here is a gift while you wait; I'll be in my bunk writing that post...


Monday, December 8, 2008

Still have writers-block so here are some links:

Sarah has helped set up the Trans-Community Activist Network forums (T-CAN); they're for UK-based grass-root trans-activism.

Ginmar is asking folks to help out her friend T again; they really want to make sure the kids have a decent Christmas.

Renee has several great posts up, I really can't link to any specific one.

Racialicious is talking about how, yet again, white western feminists are universalizing and colonizing "the more traditional Third World" and the lives of the women there.

I really like Deb's post, Embracing Women's Sexuality.

Some folks have started a blog to put all of Julie Bindel's erroneous and/or transphobic statements in one place.

From comments in Metaquotes:

I had a roommate who celebrated Hannukkah while I celebrated Christmas, and we always played them both up just for the fun of it. One year we tried to figure out what holiday the cat celebrated, and he had the idea that cats actually don't celebrate either -- they have their own holiday called "Ribbon." Because no matter what holiday the humans celebrate, there's all sorts of nice shiny ribbon for them to play with.

If they've been good kitties, they get even more ribbon to play with on Ribbon. If they've been bad kitties, they get tape stuck to their paws.

Dear Obama, your speech writer needs to be fired.

Most of my aunts and uncles are UAW, so in solidarity(h/t BFP) ETA and now Illinois says it will refuse to deal with BoA until they give Republic credit (h/t Ginmar):

There is Power in a Union.

BFP gives us Gardening as a Site of Liberation; interesting post and comments that gave me a lot to think about.


Thursday, November 27, 2008

Happy celebrate genocide day!


Thursday, November 20, 2008


I have no idea what I want to write.
There are 29 people, mostly women of color, dead this year (that we know of). There are 412 people dead since we started TDoR ten years ago (412--thats only those we know of).
What do you say to that?
Any day now I could find out that one of my friends is dead. Any day now I could find out that one of my friends has been assaulted. I could be assaulted or killed too, but at least my white privilege protects me somewhat.
If anyone still thinks we transition because we think its sexy or to follow a fad...I think you need to put down the ideology and start thinking for yourself.
You can do your own research; we can't cater to you today.

Theres a part of me that wants to go and see if the dead are dancing on the lake again.
You see, when I was a child, in the early morning the bus went past the lake and in November you could see the mist rising off the water.
November is the month the dead come out and dance.
Since its getting towards the end of the month, they will be dancing all night and well into the morning.

"Perhaps they are not the stars, but rather openings in Heaven where the love of our lost ones pours through and shines down upon us to let us know they are happy." ~Author Unknown

I hope they are happy. I hope there were enough merry memories in this life. I hope they find even more joy in their next lives.

(lyrics for Tears in Heaven; unable to find them for Dream Journey)


Monday, November 17, 2008

Another one

So soon after Duanna another trans* woman of color has been killed.
Teish Cannon (Also known as Lateisha Green) was murdered on Friday.

And guess what, you guessed it, none of the articles have respected her gender. Her family did, but the newspapers would rather make fun of her.
"Cannon's family accepted his sexual orientation. Pictures of Cannon in women's clothing were on display in the family's living room, and the family selected one for The Post-Standard to publish. Often when family members spoke of Cannon, they used 'she' to refer to him."
How fucking kind of them to put that in there.

Oh hey, guess who else is disrespecting her identity and calling her a gay dude?
But hey, at least the cis*gay blogs are talking about her, unlike Duanna!!!
Fuck them all with a hatchet.


First of all, a big thank you to all of those out there who contributed to the funeral fund for Ms. Johnson's family. Hopefully we will not have to do anything like that again, but should that happen it is good to know that people DO care. TTPC reported donations from as far away as Japan and that the bulk of the sum came from small-dollar contributions. It just goes to show that all of us can make a difference if we work together. Sounds hokey, but it's true.

However, now we must remember why Duanna Johnson was so important. She stood up and said she wasn't going to take abuse and brutality by the MPD anymore. She shone a light into the darkness that is the MPD's practice of profiling trans women of color as prostitutes as well as their treatment of trans women in their custody. In the wake of that, the local progressive organizations have been trying to have a responsive dialogue with the Memphis City Council, the MPD, and the Shelby County Sheriffs Department, largely to no avail.

This is what we demand:

* An LGB and T liaison within the MPD and Sheriff's department.

* An end to police profiling and harassment of trans women of color.

* A TBI (TN Bureau of Investigation) investigation of the MPD and Duanna's murder. The FBI was already investigating the MPD when Duanna was killed; she had signed the paperwork to go ahead with the lawsuit against MPD shortly before being killed. While I am not suggesting that the MPD or anyone associated with the department killed her, it is a gross conflict of interest for the MPD to be investigating her death. The DA, Bill Gibbons, has not yet requested an investigation and until he does, the TBI does not have jurisdiction.

* An actual investigation of Ebony Whitaker's murder.

What you can do:

* Call DA Gibbons at (901) 545-5900 to ask why his office is not pursuing a TBI investigation of the MPD given the fact that Duanna was suing them and the glaring conflict of interest that an investigation by them into her death would be. Also remind him of the murders of Tiffany Berry and Ebony Whitaker and let him know that though he may want to forget, we have not forgotten.

* Call Police Director Larry Godwin at (901) 545-5700 to ask why, given the problems Memphis has had recently with transphobic hate crimes, there is no LGBT liaison within the MPD. Mention that many, if not most, major cities have one. And ask whether or not Bridges McRae and James Swain will face any criminal charges, or will Director Godwin will continue his witch hunt for who leaked the video. Ask why it took over 4 months and some bad publicity (after trying to recruit at Mid-South Pride, of all places) for them to be fired. Ask what kind of training in dealing with TS/TG people in custody are officers given? And while you're at it, remind him of Tiffany Berry and Ebony Whitaker, too.

* Call Sheriff Mark Luttrell at (901) 545-5500 and ask why there is no LGBT liaison. Ask what kind of training in dealing with TG/TS people in custody is done.

* Finally, email and write mainstream publications that purport to serve the LGBT community and strongly encourage them to give this story more exposure. While The Advocate did post a short news piece on its website, a publication with this much clout that claims to represent LGB and T people can do better. Same for Southern Voice and others.

Email and IM this to all your friends! Link back here if you want, I don't care how the information is disseminated as long as it is done respectfully. Remember, Duanna was a sister, daughter, cousin, and friend to many. She was loved and she will be missed, even by those who did not know her personally but who knew what she did. She stood up and said 'no more' and was cut down while literally trying to get away from all of this madness..

ETA2: And not only were Duanna and Lateisha murdered this month, but so was Aimee Wilcoxson and Dilek Ince was killed in Turkey on the 11th.
According to the TDoR website, 27 names will be added to the list as well as two unknown Iraqi women who were killed with Ali (that post is super-problematic, but its the one I could find with a lot of info).


Sunday, November 16, 2008

Heres the story I just finished for Nanowrimo, For Duanna.


Thursday, November 13, 2008


Back from my grandparents house. OMG, I really dislike my grandma. I have to fight her to do any cleaning beyond dishes! I had to dust the walls/ceilings in secret because she got mad at me for doing it. o.0
I wanted to tackle a bit of the mess they call an attic, but noooo.... I can't be moving her precious shit around and actually putting it into boxes and stacking it neatly and getting rid of the obvious trash! GRRR.....

And there is way too much shit to process going on in the world:

Apparently Minnesota is all "yay forced electroshock-[torture]!!!"
And Duanna Johnson was murdered. Most likely by ex-officers Bridges McRae, James Swain, and/or their buddies on the force.
And the fucking [police]** don't have any leads. Because its not like she was beaten by two police officers a few months ago--which led to their being fired. Its not like she went public and was suing the city or anything (though the lawsuit will be going forward!). Its not like she was being harassed by the police for "prostitution" (aka: existing while black and trans* and a woman. and even if she was a sex worker, she may not even have been working at that moment).
**Does anyone know of a slur for the police other than "pigs"? I'm not a fan of pigs because of the fatphobic associations with the word pig.
Despite having a relative who was an officer (who does still have my respect), I have lost all respect for the institution and all members unless the individual proves they are not a power-hungry, abusive, rapist, bigot.

ETA: A paypal account has been set up to help Duanna's mom pay for her funeral.

Folks who think that prop 8 passed because of t3h 3vil POC can go DIAF. Seriously, blame the mostly white mormons and catholics for funding the bigoted/lying campaigns. Or maybe your own organizations' racism and FAIL.Yes, I am in a bad and violent mood.
Uppity Brown Woman is also angry about several things; like Duanna's murder, "honor" killings, and lesbians being beaten for daring to pick their kids up from school.

Who'd have thunk that preaching racist anti-immigrant hatred all over the USA government/media would result in folks going out "beaner hunting"?
In other news, bears do, in fact, shit in the woods.

And I am totally failing at Nanowrimo; I have practically nothing written because of being at grandparents house and various apathy/depression things leading to writers block. But after I (eventually) get some sleep I'll post some of what I have in my lj (needs m0ar editing...). Theres also a story for Duanna; as she is unlikely to get justice.

But here is a killer bunneh and some pretty guys (yep, all three are guys) because I need some smiles and pwetty.


Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Obama Won!!!



I voted! (Did you?)
Barack Obama, though I certainly thought about voting Cynthia McKinney--but all the McCain signs in my area of MI scared me off.
I did vote Green for Senator and a few other local/state elections.
I am very, very irritated with my bf; he couldn't get off his ass and register. At least he is in NY, not a battle-ground. Its one thing if you choose not to vote, its another to just be too fucking lazy/not care.

So, comments will be moderated because I'm off again to my grandparents tomorrow.
At least I conquered the evil fridge-monster last time I was there. (did you know that pickles and pickle juice can mold? well, a jar of pickles and pickle juice can get a cm-thick layer of mold)
This time I need to get my grandma to go through their clothes and choose what to get rid of.


(The Last Unicorn is a great movie and book.)

(Pirates vs Ninja? Ninja totally win.)

(Quote from Shawshank Redemption--a totally awesome movie)

(If anyone has decent Ferngully slashy art/fic I will love you forver)

(Yes I totally do)

(Gaming + comic books = two great things, now go great together!)

[picture redacted]
(Guess who plays with GIMP?)