Tobi Hill-Meyer
Cis Researchers Get Rich While Their Trans Subjects Starve

odofemi:

Some group of researchers just sent me mail on here to invite me to participate in their study about trans peoples’ Marginalization, Mental Health, and Empowerment — offering a “1 in 25 chance to win a $25 Amazon gift card.”

I sent them quite the response.

Let me put this out there: I have been working in social services, including working on multiple provincial and national research projects, for six years, and I can tell you that this project is pure exploitation.  Trans people are massively overstudied, and always for things that are not actually useful to trans people obtaining access to healthcare, employment opportunities, stable housing, or decarceration (which I would argue are the four most pressing issues facing marginalized trans people). Instead, these studies pad the CVs of the mostly cis people doing the research, make one round of people oo-ing and ah-ing at the results, and then are relegated to cyber dust.

So, if these people are going to exploit our mental and emotional labour by making us take their studies, the very least they can do is offer decent compensation. Not a “chance” to “win” compensation. That’s just exploitation.

Do not do studies for a chance to win something, because the only people who actually win are the cis researchers.

And cis researchers: why don’t you try researching something that will actually have an impact in organizations gaining access to funds for crucial work around access to healthcare, HIV-related health care for trans people, decriminalization of sex work, decarceration of trans people in prisons, access to trans-positive housing, and the creation of employment opportunities? You know, things that will actually make a difference in our lives.

doingitonline:

Here’s a short video I tossed together about trying to makeout in a heavily fragranced bathroom with MCS. Enjoy!

Tobi and Bryn meet up in a bathroom to makeout but suddenly need to compensate for the overwhelming fragrance at health-threatening levels.

See our other short free videos at http://queerporntube.com/user_videos.php?user=Handbasket%20Productions

A lot of folks have been asking about MCS stuff, so I decided to post this short video of making out while wearing my mask.

Hi. Can you suggest resources for body issues and health issues for trans womyn? I was pretty happy with my body a few years ago, but I have had nasty health issues, and I haven't been able to see my old endo or my old electrologist because of accessibility problems, although I have found a new obgyn and resumed hormones, and I am deeply unhappy with my body right now. I was butch-of-center, but I am just too ashamed of my body for any butch or femme or anything but cover as much as possible as
Anonymous

pt 2. baggily as possible. I get torn up about facial hair, of course, but also body hair. I get torn up about all the weight I’ve gained. I am also dealing with constant pain, which doesn’t help.

I’m guessing you mean resources for dealing with body shame since it sounds like you’re moving forward with medical/transition health stuff. I’d be hard pressed to come up with anything trans or trans women specific - maybe some blog posts somewhere but those get lost and forgotten so quickly. Do any of my followers know of anything?

The main suggestion I’d have is to go for resources that aren’t trans specific. It’s true they may say stuff that doesn’t apply to you or even triggers pangs of shame now and then, but they will often still be quite useful.

Getting specific I’ve heard great things about Fat!So? by Marilyn Wann, I also really like Big Big Love by Hanne Blank. For disiability issues, Eli Clare has written a  bunch of great things. For general body acceptance there’s apparently a lot of activity going on write now if you try googling “Body Acceptance Movement.”

And while a bit outdated, there’s a ton of resources from the second/third wave that give some good insight in them, for example the Killing Us Softly series. For a more modern take on the relationship between media representation that leads to body shame there’s Miss Representation. While those last two speak more to highlighting the causes of body shame rather than how to heal from it, I’ve found that kind of awareness to be a powerful and empowering part of how I’ve dealt with my own body shame over the years.

Also if she was transphobic why would she agree to direct the movie that you and chelsea were both going to be in not to mention that for this project of yours she also made a video with you to help you get funding. It is on your offbeatr funding page. To be honest, you don't make sense most of the time.
Anonymous

tobitastic:

chelseapoe:

thelma-sleaze:

Maybe instead of hounding me you should ask Lily why she decided to do the project.I am not a mind reader, obviously she was not doing it for the same reasons as me.

And also on the offbeatr page is an update where I explain what happened.

You can work for someone and still be transphobic, or racist, or sexist, right? If you saw what happened, that she is not an ally, is mean spirited and lacks empathy… you would see that there is cognative cissonance going on.

I am also unable to take down the video, or edit it in any way because two people purchased it. Offbeatr’s rules.  I have another option for fans to buy photos instead. I even ask them to buy the photos instead of the video.

"I don’t make sense most of the time."

Well then stop following or watching what I do.

If I bother you that much leave me the fuck alone.

when you are getting paid a good amount politics go out the window. Like I have no doubt Lily Cade would shoot with a trans woman for the right amount. Porn is a business like basically everyone has their price where they say fuck my politics.

It also makes me wonder what these people’s idea of someone who “is transphobic” is.  Do they really believe that someone who is truly transphobic would never smile at a trans person? Never offer help to a trans person? Never hire a trans person? Never have date or have sex with a trans person? Does a real transphobe have such strong feelings of hate that they can’t hide and are uncontrollably put into a rage and attack trans people on sight? 

There are plenty of sexist men who still date and fuck women. There are plenty of racist people who put on a polite front when in the public eye. Even Rick Santorum has a gay friend who he hired as his chief of staff. Is the idea of a person who behaves transphobically yet has coworkers who are trans so perplexing?

Also if she was transphobic why would she agree to direct the movie that you and chelsea were both going to be in not to mention that for this project of yours she also made a video with you to help you get funding. It is on your offbeatr funding page. To be honest, you don't make sense most of the time.
Anonymous

chelseapoe:

thelma-sleaze:

Maybe instead of hounding me you should ask Lily why she decided to do the project.I am not a mind reader, obviously she was not doing it for the same reasons as me.

And also on the offbeatr page is an update where I explain what happened.

You can work for someone and still be transphobic, or racist, or sexist, right? If you saw what happened, that she is not an ally, is mean spirited and lacks empathy… you would see that there is cognative cissonance going on.

I am also unable to take down the video, or edit it in any way because two people purchased it. Offbeatr’s rules.  I have another option for fans to buy photos instead. I even ask them to buy the photos instead of the video.

"I don’t make sense most of the time."

Well then stop following or watching what I do.

If I bother you that much leave me the fuck alone.

when you are getting paid a good amount politics go out the window. Like I have no doubt Lily Cade would shoot with a trans woman for the right amount. Porn is a business like basically everyone has their price where they say fuck my politics.

When people try to frame the discussion as whether someone is or is not transphobic, accepting that framing is a losing proposition to begin with. Transphobia is not a kind of person, it is a system of oppression can be used to describe behavior that denigrates trans people.  This is important for two reasons.

First, people can be complex. It’s possible to march in solidarity with a group and then use a derogatory slur against one member of that group who you mad at. It’s possible to support someone who you think is cool, but still hold onto bigoted beliefs about the group they belong to. Most folks who do transphobic things are also nice to some trans people some times.  Most allies - hell even most trans people - will say or do something transphobic at some point.

Second, when the debate is about whether a person is or is not transphobic, it suddenly becomes all about them, all about who they are as a person, whether they are nice or not, whether they believe they are transphobic, etc. It frames them as irredeemable and encourages defensiveness.  If you instead focus on the impact of their behavior (with intent or personal feelings as irrelevant) it is easier to encourage empathy, responsibility, and what can be done to make amends. 

I’m sure Lily has done all kinds of nice things for people, some of whom are trans, and I can’t assume what her motivation is. But she’s also said some very hurtful and transphobic things that she still hasn’t apologized for or even shown an understanding of what about those statements were transphobic. Neither thing erases the other. One doesn’t absolve her from all guilt, neither does the other condemn her as pure evil.

Anti Sex Work Logic is Painfully Inhumane

The more commonplace jail and criminalization is, the easier it is to forget how inherently violent it is. To have men with guns grab you and threaten you with violence unless you go with them. To be locked up in a cage with little to no privacy. To be given a police record that makes it incredibly difficult to find other employment. That’s the baseline, even if the police are on their best behavior. For many people the experience may include unnecessary strip searches, sexual harassment, derogatory slurs, assault, and/or rape.

These statistics and letter sent to Melissa Gira Grant where the police tell us they see this treatment as the “humane” choice is very upsetting. Keep in mind we’re not talking about trafficking victims. We’re talking about individuals struggling to pay the rent, with friends and lovers who care about them, who might have children to take care of.

They say that they cannot “in good conscience” allow them to continue to provide for themselves in the way they have chosen and must instead use force, violence, and the threat of further harm in order to coerce them into giving up their income source.  They continue to rely on this tactic even though admit themselves that this is ineffective for many. 

The police are following the strategy set forth by anti sex work activists who intend to make the job an increasingly “hostile environment.” I can’t help but gawk at that phrase. In so much else of my life it is something to be avoided. Labor rights will rally against hostile work environments and call for better labor conditions. Employers are quick to respond to or defend against such claims because they know they could be held legally responsible. Yet here it is the desired outcome.

They know that those consensually engaging in sex work are typically doing so because it is the best option available to them. Some will tell you they honestly enjoy the job, or that it accommodates their life or their accessibility needs in ways that other jobs don’t. Others will tell you they don’t like it but it’s better than the alternative. Anti sex work activists want to see more harassment and violence until people choose to give it up.

In truth, that is the motivation behind criminalization models that focus on clients. Reduce demand to reduce the industry. But think for a moment about every other labor circumstance where the number of employers are cut in half but there are the same number of people seeking work. Supply and demand will drive wages down and employers will know they have the upper hand and make more and more outrageous demands. In sex work that means agreeing to unsafe working situations and not being able to screen clients, demand the use of protection, or report crimes.

This is the desired outcome people are talking about when they say “reduce demand.” Make the working conditions so dangerous and hostile that people move to other lines of work.

The major problem here is that other work is not always an option. Many of the sex workers I know enjoy the freedom that independant sex work can bring. They would hate to have it taken away, but they probably do have other options. I also know plenty of people who have chosen sex work because they were chronically unemployable due to anti-trans discrimination, accessibility needs incompatible with traditional workplaces, or other reasons. They won’t be able to find work elsewhere and will have to continue working in sex work no matter how “hostile” it becomes. 

That is the end result of this approach - some happy independent sex workers disgruntled dislocated workers forced into careers they dislike. Others will play the odds hoping not to be struck by violence. But desperate sex workers with no other choice will continue doing sex work, simply in more and more dangerous circumstances experience violence as a part of the job regardless of whether it comes from clients or cops. Safe houses or free hotel rooms won’t help pay the rent and utilities or feed you when you’re hungry.

It reminds me of a section from the book The Truth About Me: A Hijra Life Story when the author describes being arrested for sex work and being beaten and raped by police, then she ends up getting arrested again. The officer asks her “Do you chaps have no other work? Why do you walk the streets? What’re we supposed to do with you guys? We beat you, arrest you, and yet you return to the streets.”

It’s a dramatic failure of the imagination to only see violence as a possible solution to the situation. If arresting someone doesn’t work, they try beatings. If beatings don’t work, they have no other ideas left. So they just keep on arresting and beating and wondering why things aren’t getting better.

Why are you such a babe? :)

insectaffection replied to your post:Why are you such a babe? :)

yes but why

solointhesand replied to your post:Why are you such a babe? :)

tobitastic:

Thanks darling!

You didn’t answer the question! Is it the rakish grin? The all-too-clever glint in your eye? The coquettish way you stand in contrapposto with your hip jutting out? All of the above? Why?!

The world may never know, but I encourage philosophers like yourself to continue the search for answers.

Why are you such a babe? :)

Thanks darling!

what's mcs?

Multiple Chemical Sensitivity. The easiest way to describe it is that it’s like an “allergy” to chemical fragrances and perfumes and can also extend to highly concentrated “natural” scents as well. Although the response my body has is less like an allergen and more like a poison. In smaller exposures I get light headed, headaches, difficulty breathing, dizziness. In larger or extended exposures I get throat irritation, laryngitis, non-stop coughing when I try to talk, and various other cold/flu symptoms that can last for days. I once had a professor with MCS who kept a air purifier in her classroom and warned that significant 

The biggest culprits are perfumes, scented laundry products especially dryer sheets (they advertise that they are chemically designed to stick around for months!), car air fresheners, bathroom fragrance dispensers, scented candles, incense, and cigarette smoke. Essential oils can be a problem too, but it’s a kind of roulette that affects folks with MCS differently. For me, most essential oils are okay as long as I don’t apply them to my face — unless I’m already having an attack and then they can worsen it. 

For more information, look a couple posts back to the resources I posted.

One more thing: I'm on my own, and I can't meet anyone given my disabilities, but if I could meet anyone, what would be good ways to find latex-free fragrance-free safe sex supplies?

In my experience most safe sex supplies are fragrance free, except for some fancy lubes but they almost always have a basic version without fragrance. Just stay away from the “sexy” body lotion or “love oils.”

Latex-free supplies are rare to be found in free give-aways but can be found at most places that sell safe sex supplies in general. Most sex shops or local drug stores should have them. Patronize feminist sex shops if you can. To get specific, nitrile gloves are pretty common place these days and often come in an array of sexy colors. Receptive condoms or “Female condoms” are always latex free. Stay away from lamb or other animal product condoms, since they have larger pores and while they are decent at stopping sperm they carry higher risk of STI transmission.

For lubes there’s a wide array of minimalist and/or organic lubes, that’s what you’ll probably want to look for. Sliquid is great, but be careful, while the basic sliquid recipe should be fine, their organic line includes ocean or desert themed natural scents that might be a problem. Good Clean Love is a xantham gum based lube that similarly has both a scent-free and “naturally scented” varieties.  

If you’re playing with yourself, a fluid bonded partner, or having a type of sex that doesn’t require barriers, you might try a coconut oil based lube like Elbow Grease, or just straight coconut oil, but keep in mind that oil based lubes like these degrade barriers and will increase risk of breakage.

A lot of folks with MCS are less likely to react to essential oils and things like cinnamon or rose than they are to chemical fragrances and perfumes. I actually rather cherish my spearmint shampoo and conditioner because it’s one of the rare scents that I can stand, so some of those “naturally scented” lubes might event be something you can stand. Just be sure to test them in the store and make sure before buying. Personally, though, I find the smell of sweat, cum, and basic lube to be an enticing enough aroma without any need for cinnamon