Author Archive

If you love your kids, let them know that being trans is ok and that they can talk to you about it. They won’t know unless you tell them. Don’t assume that kids know your love extends to this, they are absorbing message after message from our culture that trans people of all flavors are disturbed and disgusting.

Trans children need the explicit knowledge that they are loved to counteract the sea of hate and the truth is that you most likely won’t know they needed you until they work up the courage to tell you… if they ever do. Some, like myself, spend their teenage years buried in depression and self hate.

Some aren’t even that lucky.

Talk to your kids. Let them know that you love them. Period. Full stop. Not “regardless of if you’re trans”, not “would love you anyway”… to people who are hurting, both of these imply that being trans is bad. Just that you love them, love all of who they are.

Thank you for your time.

The following is a Press release from the Tennessee Transgender Political Coalition. I felt it was important enough to make sure everyone saw this.

For Immediate Release: Dated December 10, 2010

Transphobic Politician Appointed to New Governor’s Cabinet

The Tennessee Transgender Political Coalition (TTPC) is extremely disappointed with the announcement this week that Governor-Elect Bill Haslam is appointing Shelby County District Attorney Bill Gibbons as the new Commissioner of Safety and Homeland Security.

Mr. Gibbons has repeatedly demonstrated a lack of concern over the safety of transgender people, especially African American transgender women, in Memphis.

After the February 2006 arrest of D’Andre Blake for second degree murder in killing Tiffany Berry, a 21 year old pre-operative transsexual, Blake remained free for two and a half years on a mere $20,000 bond even after he admitted to friends that he had killed Berry because she had “touched” him. On July 28, 2008, Blake was arrested again on the charges of first degree murder and aggravated child abuse in the death of his two year old daughter, Dre-Ona Blake, over “potty training.”

In an even more highly publicized case in June 2008, Gibbons’ office refused to file criminal charges against two Memphis Police Department officers who insulted and brutally beat Duanna Johnson, an African American transgender woman on February 12, 2008. The U.S. Department of Justice eventually filed criminal charges in Federal District Court of West Tennessee against Officer Bridges McRae, but Gibbons’ Office has still refused to take any criminal action in the case on behalf of the state.

Mr. Gibbons’ indifference to the safety of transgender people in Memphis has contributed to the perception that Memphis may be the most dangerous city in the country for transgender people.

Now, he will be responsible for the safety of all transgender people across the entire state.

Unfortunately, there is no legislative confirmation process in Tennessee for Cabinet officers, so this means that Mr. Gibbons will automatically assume his new position on January 15, but we do feel that Mr. Gibbons is totally inapprorpriate for this positon given his anti-transgender record. The continued refusal of his current office to stand against anti-transgender police brutality, and the lack of action in bringing D’Andre Blake to trial for the murder of Tiffany Berry nearly five years after the initial arrest and confession, is all the more appalling as anti-trans violence continues to plague the state, as the recent beating of Akasha Adonis in Jackson illustrates so vividly.

The Tennessee Transgender Political Coalition (TTPC) will have its bill back next year before the Tennessee General Assembly to add “gender identity or expression” to the state’s own hate crimes law. It is time for the State of Tennessee to go on record and state that violence against trans people has no place in the Volunteer State.

The 107th Tennessee General Assembly convenes on Tuesday, January 11. We urge all Tennesseans to contact your state legislators immediately and tell them it is time to take a stand against anti-trans violence in Tennessee, especially now that one of the key officials responsible is indifferent to the safety of transgender people.

Marisa Richmond

Inspired by the TERF’s posting and commenting at The Magazine Project.

You insult us.
You claim we are ruining everything.
You sourly say “Well I’m glad YOU are happy but everyone else is mistaken.”
You describe us as the scum of the Earth…

Then cry foul when we dare argue back against your cissplaining.

Sorry, it doesn’t work like that.

I’m not oppressing you, I’ve got no power to do so. As much as it may hurt you to hear this, what you are doing is classic oppression. You are ganging up with the forces of social conservatism to deny us medical care, to attempt to legislate us out of existence, and to attempt to shame and frighten us back into the closet.

You load us up with all these false circular arguments, you shift goalposts, you consistently work to waste our time and energy, our love, and our caring.

We reach out time after time to show you we are not the monsters you assume, we try to respond to your concerns, only to find time and again you ignore what we have to say and just respond with the same script.

You say that my existence reinforces the gender binary, is anti-feminist, and that I’m just a pervert who’s wearing a woman suit.

You say that my life helps kill women by reinforcing a culture of a oppression against them, and yet you fail to see how your words and actions kill trans women by helping to support a culture that oppresses trans people.

You assert that you really trying to make life better for everyone, that you really care, and yet the words you use are full of hate and fear.

So you know what? It’s your turn.

Prove to me that I’m wrong. Prove to me that I’m hurting feminism, lesbian culture, or women in general by my continued existence on this planet. Because I say it’s YOU who is doing that. I’ve done my proving, thread after thread, interaction after interaction, and simply by living my life.

Your hate.
Your fear.
Your unreasoned flailing and logical fallacies.
Your telling my wife that she’s a waste of a perfectly good lesbian.
Your telling me that my happiness and rights mean nothing.
Your willingness to put aside your own theory in order to better hate me.

Your Turn.

I’m watching a cop walk free after yelled racial slurs and then MURDERING a black father who he was kneeling on. 73 day sentence for murder.

A seventy three day sentance for murder.
A 73 day sentence for murder.
73 days. 73 days for ripping Oscar Grant from his family.

I’m watching the tea party take over with hate and fear.

I’m listening to a woman I trust and respect tell me that her grandmother says the things that are happening in broad daylight are the things that are the things that happened under the cover of night 40 years ago. That it is worse now then it was then.

I’m listening to the same woman tell me how conference organizers told her that they didn’t want to pull in racial or ethnic minority sponsors for their conference because they didn’t want to piss off the local media powerhouse who is sponsoring them.

Then say it again in writing.

I’m watching the media cover it up. Worse, I’m watching them uniformly paint people who are hurt, afraid, and speaking up as dangerous and needing the full force of the state to put down.

I see the media play up the fear of anyone who isn’t white, straight, cis, christian, conservative, able bodied, or any number of vectors of oppression. I watch them generate a cloud of hate and let it murder people over, and over, and OVER.

I watch the Conservative elite ally itself with a hateful, violent mass, who the media portrays simply as citizens fighting for their rights.

I am watching America take the steps from a racist nation that murders it’s citizens, into a full-on fascist state.

I watch, I scream at the top of my lungs, I talk to people, but I am just one voice. Others scream, plead, talk, argue, and are arrested, silenced, and killed.

I wonder where we will be in 5 years, and I tremble in fear. Please prove me wrong. Please, Please, Please, Please prove me wrong.

But even you do, Oscar Grant (and so many others I have never heard) of will still be dead, and their killers will have gotten off with a slap on the wrist, AT MOST. Other times they’ll have been promoted for their murderous actions.

Johannes Mehserle, you are a murderer and should rot in jail.

So, a post by transfinite about deviant art being transphobic reminded me of something I don’t think I’ve put in blog form.

I left deviant art because of the absolutely failed moderation scheme they have in place. The question of whether they should moderate or not is one for another post, but I do think that if they choose to do so, they are obliged to actually follow through when something is reported to them.

About a year ago I was browsing around desktops looking for something interesting, and stumbled across an actual Nazi who was doing all kinds of art promoting National Socialism, and white power in general. I reported the art and about two weeks later got a canned response back saying the wall paper “White Power Babe” did not qualify as hate speech under their rules.

So I responded:

Hate art report marked as invalid

Jun 18 03:00 pm

I submitted a report about
This was marked as invalid with what appeared to be a canned response, saying the deviation did not “The staff reserves the right to remove immediately and without warning any submission which advocates or promotes the genocide, killing, or destruction of an identifiable individual, race, religion, nationality, ethnic origin, sexual orientation, gender or disability or which promotes inflicting on the group conditions of life calculated to bring about its physical destruction.”

The stated goals and methods of the White Power movement are to do all of the above. This is true for virtually every white power group out there. This background is clearly meant as a promotion of White Power movement, and as such is a direct promotion of Racism and a whole slew of other hatreds. Per your own FAQ, “Submissions which incite or willfully promote hatred against an identifiable group or individual will be removed in a similar fashion without warning.”

As a promotion of a movement that engages in hate crimes, this deviation clearly falls under the definition of hate art.

Another two weeks later their response was the same exact pasted response that I got the first time.

Thank you for contacting deviantART, I will be assisting you with your support ticket. Our apologies for the long wait!

I have reviewed the deviations in question and I have concluded that the themes used do not violate any current deviantART policy

It is important to remember that you could find various deviations to be personally offensive for one or more reasons but you should try to keep in mind that your personal feelings of what is offensive and official deviantART policy could differ on several points and things which you find to be personally offensive could be tolerated and allowed by deviantART.

Please let me know if you have any questions or if you require additional assistance.

Sorry. Two moderation fails that blatant is TOO much. Goodbye DA, and Good Riddance.

H/T s.e. smith, TheSilverParty, and solidad.

I have a couple ideas brewing and some interesting stuff to relate, however I’m really sorta mindblown right now.  Will think outloud more later, but for now, some pictures.  Also to come later, fixing the photo posts so thumbnails aren’t cropped. **stabbity**

A view of the Radison hotel in Nashville, from a parking garage.

Concrete scored for traction in a parking garage, with marks radiating out from the viewer like sunbeams

An elderly couple walks quickly across the view on a Nashville street.

Late afternoon in Nashville, the Sun shining softly on Church street.

Columns inside of a parking garage, one marked "ELEVATOR" with no elevator in sight.

I want to take more photos of people, but I’m not sure how to get over the “Why are you pointing a camera at me you wierdo?!” factor, which I think is way worse with a point and shoot vs. a larger (and hence more “professional” looking) camera.

Erin in a purple fedora, on a plane, her mom in the background.

My fabulous new hat. Not the best picture of me, but y’know what? I don’t have to be perfect ;P

Lissa with a silly smile, on the plane, book in hand.

I finally caught Lissa being silly, which she is with great regularity but always keeps me from photographing.

Our flight from Nashville to Dallas was delayed due to severe weather. Once we finally got off of the ground we lifted into a sea of grey, and emerged into this.

Because of the delay in the first leg of the trip, we didn’t have time to take any pictures of the DFW airport. Once we touched down in Colorado Springs I snapped a couple shots, annoying Lissa and my mom who both wanted to just get on with the drive.

Scrub land streaches up to jagged hills, with a mountain in the background.

Speaking of which, for someone used to driving through Tennessee’s constantly changing landscape, the drive was rather boring. Colorado’s mountains are very pretty, but the land is flat enough that the interstate
isn’t forced to pass through them and has very few curves, so all we saw was ridge lines lost in the distance.

A dirt road runs from the bottom of the image off to the right side, and fluffy white clouds float over a distant mountain.

Another landscape shot from the drive, my favorite. I’m no landscape photographer, but not bad from a moving car if I must say so myself.

To tired to finish captioning the rest of these, but they are all from today :)

Lissa sitting at a table smoking, mountains in the background.

Lissa and Erin hugging under a tree.  Close shot

An interstate sign reading "Trinidad" with an arrow

A tall mesa that sits just outside of Trinidad, CO

This is something I really encourage white people to do, I really don’t think I need to tell PoC that they generally aren’t represented well in media. Though I haven’t done it in awhile, the I used to pick up The City Paper and count the people represented in photographs or drawings, and think about how they were depicted. It didn’t surprise me when I had several days where out of the fifty to sixty people pictured less than five were PoC. I also count people depicted in advertisements due to the generally positive depiction in them. Please note that this is not me singling out The City Paper, if you pick up most mainstream publications you’ll likely find the same thing.

So just as a snapshot, here’s the count from the June 26-28 2010 edition, with some notes.

Total people: 93
White : 68
Poc : 18
Indeterminate: 7 (silhouettes or very small depiction)

This is actually far better than normal, but when you look at the breakdowns something else emerges:


  • Atheletes – 6
  • Prison – 4
  • Family – 7
  • Professional – 0
  • Misc – 1


  • Athletes – 0
  • Prison – 4
  • Family – 19
  • Professional – 32
  • Misc – 13

Just a note about the numbers above, not everyone marked as Prison related were prisoners. The numbers came from one photo for a story about rehabilitation in prisons, and I marked everyone depicted in the Prison category, as it was not indicated who were there as part of the staff or as participants in the program. Given Attire It is likely that both PoC and white people were professionals participating in the program. All of the depictions of PoC being part of a family were from one advertisement for Movies in the Park, and I have to really give them credit for that. There are any number of good breakdowns of why media representations matter, but unfortunately I’m in the process of moving so can’t track any down. If you know of some, please post them in the comments and I’ll revise this post to include them.

I’ll be posting up more counts over time, but I do encourage you to look at the depictions of all types of people in the media surrounding you. Not just PoC, but LGBT people, people with disabilities (none depicted by the way), and any other group you can think of. From an equality and attitude standpoint it’s depressing.

This is not news. This is not how it should be. We can and must do better than this.

I’m still fiddling with it, but this is based off of the Connections Reloaded default wordpress theme. Thoughts anyone?

Someone broke into our apartment this morning. They stole three laptops, the xbox, my phone, a friend’s camera, and some other stuff. I’m blessed to have been able to have those things, many in the world don’t even have one… but it obviously still hurts. I’m angry with the person who did it, the cop didn’t help (he was all “What you were home and you didn’t wake up?” ), and I feel naked without my phone. Even with all of this, my prevailing feeling is more general sadness that someone was in a state of mind where they felt this was the what they needed to do. I wish them a good life, though I’d be hard pressed not to at least yell at them if I ever met them… but I’m sad that people get to that point.

It’s not just economics… even during this downturn crime has still been on the decline. It’s not just our societies lack of seeing other people as human and worthy of respect. Some people just steal, hurt others, and do bad things. And all I can do is feel sorry for them. But I can’t really see why people do these things, I can’t really understand the mindset behind this… And it’s the same mindset that I think is messing up the world.. that the self is more important than everything else. Or perhaps they just needed a fix. I donno.