Category: Uncategorized

3+ weeks out, and frequently asked questions

By , January 2, 2014 8:12 pm

I’m a bit more than three weeks out from V-Day (December 10), so thought I would share some updates. The healing is no longer so day-by-day dramatic, but that’s probably a good thing. By “day-by-day dramatic” I mean that, initially, I could see substantial changes every day: it was easier to get out of bed, easier to sleep, easier to bathe, etc. Now, I’m in what is sure to be a long, slow recovery; a recovery where I can definitely see changes over time, but there’s not such a big shift every single day.

I’m back at my apartment in Lincoln Square, which is lovely. Staying with my mom was absolutely the right thing do to, and she took awesome care of me, but it’s good to be back in my own bed and in my own space.

My time is mostly filled with Netflix, downloaded shows, video games, and reading. I’m almost halfway through Friends, just restarted watching Breaking Bad (which I never finished, so don’t ruin it for me!), just finished playing The Last of Us on PS3 (which is AMAZING!), and am rereading Lord of the Rings for the first time since college. All good ways to occupy my time, particularly when the weather is so miserable and my stamina is so low.

Continue reading '3+ weeks out, and frequently asked questions'»

Reddit AMA!

By , December 26, 2013 12:08 pm

I’m doing an AMA (ask me anything) on Reddit about my recent surgery. Come over and check it out!

Unacknowledged privilege and more thoughts on Zimmerman

By , July 24, 2013 2:39 pm

A few weeks ago, I shared some thoughts on the Zimmerman verdict. Since then, I’ve continued to think about both the verdict and what I wrote, and have had some very interesting and very difficult conversations with friends about Zimmerman and Trayvon Martin, as well as institutional and interpersonal racism, and more. Specifically, it made me think about my unacknowledged privilege, and how much that played into my claims that the verdict wasn’t flawed.

As part of that, I’ve been considering how I’d feel if the situation were about a cis adult killing a trans youth. How the media would portray it. How I’d feel about the verdict. I still think the verdict of not guilty would be legally justifiable in that situation. But reframing the situation to one closer to my personal experience has made me realize how silly it is to focus solely on the legal part of the case, as if that verdict happened in a vacuum.

Lets use a metaphor. Say I’m trying to follow a recipe. But I don’t particularly care if the recipe comes out well. I use bad ingredients. My oven doesn’t display temperatures accurately. I get distracted throughout the process, and generally do a poor job. Even if the recipe is perfect, the end result is going to be pretty shitty.

So pretend that the ‘stand your ground’ laws are just. (I don’t think they are, but bear with me.) Lets also say that threshold for finding someone guilty of murder or manslaughter, when they claim a defense of self-defense, is set appropriately high. But everything leading up to the trial – Zimmerman’s initial attitude, the 911 call and his refusal to back off, the way the police handled things after Trayvon’s death, the way the media has talked about the case, the delay in going to trial, the makeup of the jury (which even Fox News thinks is problematic) – all that adds up to a situation where the verdict can’t be just. Even if the verdict – absent of all of that other stuff – is still the legally correct one.

In my previous post I said that the verdict is not one of the many flaws that happened in this sequence of events. I still sorta-kinda believe that, if the verdict could be viewed as somehow isolated from the whole chain of events which led up to it. But that’s silly; it can’t be viewed in isolation. It needs to be viewed as both part of the larger Zimmerman/Martin narrative, and as part of a larger (racist) system. So I understand why my post frustrated some friends of mine: it viewed The System as somehow separate from lived reality. I am grateful my friends called me out. I hope being honest and open about my thought process will be useful to others, and that folks will chime in if they see more places they agree or disagree with what I’ve said.

Some thoughts on the Zimmerman verdict

By , July 14, 2013 12:38 pm

EDIT: I have since rethought this post.

None of us were in the courtroom. None of us heard the evidence presented. Beyond that, none of the people in the courtroom were actually there the night that Trayvon Martin was shot. And in criminal cases, there is the intentionally high standard of “beyond a reasonable doubt” for determining guilt.

This case brings out a flaw (or maybe an intentional design quirk) that someone can be morally corrupt, have committed unethical and unjustifiable actions, without the system being able to prove – beyond a reasonable doubt – their guilt in breaking any laws.

Zimmerman was absolutely and reprehensibly overzealous in his persona as ‘neighborhood watchman.’ And yet, that is not against the law.

He absolutely should not have followed Trayvon in the first place, particularly after 911 told him to back off. And yet, doing so was not against the law.

He absolutely should not have engaged Trayvon in ANY way, shape, or manner. And yet, doing so – simply talking to him – was not against the law.

So the facts we can all agree on paint an idiot, an unjustifiable vigilante who holds his sense of right and wrong – and his views on another based on their skin – above whatever any of us might believe. Again, none of that is not against the law.

Do I think – taken as a whole – those facts MORALLY add up to manslaughter? Yes, I do. Even if Trayvon attacked Zimmerman, Zimmerman went far out of his way to engage. Had his head not been full of delusions of vigilante grandeur, none of this would have happened. Likewise, the delay it took for Zimmerman to be arrested, coupled with the delay in holding his trial, point to huge and systemic issues of racism within the criminal justice system.

But, at the end of the day, all of those horrible things – the actions we agree Zimmerman took, the racism of the system, the endless delays – the don’t add up to the legal threshold to find someone guilty of a crime.

This case became a symbol. I don’t even think that’s a bad thing; as I said, this case brought up a huge number of legitimately problematic and racist flaws in our culture and in our criminal justice system. But I’m not convinced that the verdict itself was one of those flaws.

Hope to see you at the Philadelphia Trans Health Conference!

By , June 11, 2013 10:32 am

I’m gonna be at PTHC this weekend. Hope to see you there!

Everyone wants to talk about MichFest

By , May 2, 2013 4:08 pm

TheMichfest PosterMichigan Women’s Music Festival (often called Michfest) describes itself thusly:

Have you ever wondered what it would be like if women ran the world? We think about it, but how often do we get to experience it? Imagine a town conceived, planned, structured and operated entirely by womyn.

First conceived in the hot feminist politics of the mid-70s, consciously developed through four decades of female ingenuity, feminist process, queer sensibility and dyke vision, the Festival has become an enduring and beloved incarnation of women’s imagination and spirit.

Michfest is known throughout queer, feminist, and women-empowered spaces as THE women’s-only cultural event. It’s almost 40 years old (founded in 1976 by Lisa Vogel, who still runs it today) and the Fest comes out of a culture of feminism, anti-racism, diversity, collectivism, and community experience. It’s certainly not an exclusively lesbian space, but (not surprisingly) it has a large lesbian culture and is often seen as part and parcel of the larger US lesbian experience or community. Sounds awesome, right? I’m a huge fan of intentional communities, and of coming together for artistic expression.

Oh, they also specifically forbid trans women from attending. Continue reading 'Everyone wants to talk about MichFest'»

Quick Walgreens update

By , November 6, 2012 12:15 pm did, in fact, change my name on their site. Still cranky about the whole thing, but relieved the name change went through.

A note on my car

By , August 9, 2012 6:08 pm

Still in Minneapolis, having a blast. On Monday I drive back to Chicago, where I’ll be for three days before heading to Indianapolis. PHEW! Fringe is going well, though. Audiences are good, I’m getting good audience reviews, and I’m having a fun time. This morning, however, I came out fro my billet to find a note tucked under my window

First, some back story. My car has a lot of bumper stickers – probably three or four dozen, with more being added as I travel. Some of them are from locations, some of them are political, and – taken as a whole – they give a pretty good picture of my politics. A few are from the fabulous Phil van Hest, a comedian from Indianapolis who I met Fringing last year. One of those says “Real men find Jesus sexually attractive.”

Here’s the note (transcription below, since it’s not a great photo):

Continue reading 'A note on my car'»

sidewalk art

By , July 19, 2012 9:29 am

Taken in Boystown
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Dogs at the beach

By , March 7, 2012 11:27 am


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