Okay, everybody, I have an idea. If you’re into it, please do it and promote it to others. If you’re not into, that’s cool. You don’t have to participate and no one will judge you for it.
I’ve decided that today, August 18th, is "International Say Something Nice to Another Trans Woman Day" (Snappier title to come, maybe)
Here’s what you do and it’s really simple: if you’re a trans woman, pick at least one other trans woman (you can do this for as many ladies as you like) and say at least one sincerely nice thing to her (you can say as many nice things as you like, though it will probably get really awkward at some point.) It’s that easy!
Try to avoid the obvious recipients, ie. trans “celebrities” and “icons.” Hero worship has its place and those folks generally deserve some praise, but they also tend to get it. A lot. So try to keep it to people in your community or folks you might know online and stuff. This isn’t about looking for scene points, so try to be conscious about sucking up to the “cool kids.”
Avoid compliments that focus on physical appearance!
1. That sort of thing just reinforces the idea that a woman’s only redeeming qualities can be found in her flesh. 2. Some trans women have a really hard time with that kind of attention being paid to their bodies. A lot of us immediately take those compliments as insincere, patronizing, or even sarcastic, regardless of whether or not they actually are. We can get our feelings hurt or our defenses raised even when that’s not what you’re trying to do. So stick to praise that describes a trans woman as a person, not just as a physical being. Avoid tropes and cliches like “you’re so kind!” or “you’re a great baker!” Dig deep, be creative. Try to think of something real and meaningful, something specific to them that couldn’t just come out of a Hallmark card.
You don’t just have to do this once or to one person or even just today. There’s always time and space for trans women to say nice things to each other! Maybe, if you’re feeling really into it, go beyond your own click or community. Think of a trans woman that runs with a different crowd or operates in a different circle, reach out to her and say “hey, I know we don’t know each other, but I’ve noticed all the great stuff you do and I wanted to tell you I admire you!” If you really wanna take it to the next level, maybe think of a trans woman you don’t particularly like, try to come up with something she is or does that you think is positive and let her know you appreciate that part of who she is.
Why just trans women? You know that episode from pretty much every television show set in school where it’s Valentine’s Day and everyone gets a bunch of paper hearts, except for that one kid that doesn’t get any and just sits at their desk feeling sorry for themself? I can’t help but feel like that would be trans women if we were to make it a “just say something nice to whoever you want” day. I see a need among trans women for some kindness, so, while I’m pro-kindness in general, I wanted a day that focused specifically on trans women hearing something nice about themselves. What’s more, I chose to make it specifically trans woman-on-trans woman niceness because I think there’s a specific need for more of that among us. The last few years have seen an incredible upswing in pro-trans woman attitudes among trans women. It wasn’t that long ago that we didn’t have We Happy Trans or Janet Mock or Laverne Cox. It wasn’t that long ago that Whipping Girl hadn’t been written and transmisogyny was something we could all kinda see going on, but hadn’t yet named. We’ve come a long way, but we can keep going.
The bare minimum for participating is just turning to another trans woman and saying, “hey. I like you. You’re my friend and I’m glad you’re around.” But you can also be more creative! Write songs for each other or paint pictures. Put together care packages, make clothes, help clean someone’s house, take someone out to dinner. Write elaborate sci/fi that stars the two of you kicking ass across the galaxy. Whatever! The point is trans woman on trans woman kindness, so take that and go wild with it.
If you’re like, no, seriously, what about everyone else? Listen. There is no governing body that’s going to stop you from saying something nice to someone you think needs to hear it. If you’re not a trans woman and you still wanna take today to say something nice to one, fine. I promise, you won’t get caught. Just don’t do it with an attitude like you’re participating in the holiday. If you know a cis straight woman or a gay trans dude or a bi genderqueer or anyone else that you think deserves to hear something nice, fine! Lay it on ‘em! Just don’t think it means you get a “I participated in International Say Something Nice to Another Trans Woman Day!” button.
So that’s it. This idea is brought to you by no organization or overseeing body whatsoever. It is not meant to distract from, usurp, or overshadow any concurrent or ongoing efforts among trans women. It has no financial support and is, essentially, as powerful as we choose to make it. I know it can be awkward and I don’t think it’ll be perfect, but I think it’s cool, so I’m going to do it and I’m encouraging you to do it to.
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We had organized this tour and we had gotten a letter telling us that when we got to Seattle that there was a separatist paramilitary group called the Gorgons. The Gorgons was a group of women who wore cammo gear, shaved their heads and carried live weapons. We were told that when we got to town, they were going to kill me.
We did, in fact, go to Seattle, but we went as probably the only women’s music tour that was ever done with serious muscle security. They were very alert for weapons and, in fact, Gorgons did come and they did have guns taken away from them.
I talked to Robin Tyler and she told me about how TERFs physically attacked her for standing between them and a trans women they wanted to beat at the 1973 Lesbian Conference. These radical feminist institutions – the 73 Conference, Olivia Records – they were trans-inclusive. Each time TERFs turned to harassment and violence to insert themselves into feminist spaces. Thus far, TERFs like Raymond have gotten away with creating this false narrative about how their Radical Feminist spaces were being invaded by violent trans women and it’s just not the case.
But TWEF’s just theoretically disagree with the existence of trans women and have never risen to threaten, much less enact, violence against us.
I just want to do a quick recap of this: Sandy has people say terrible things about her and what they imagine to be her psychotic state. She says “That’s bullshit!” which sparks outrage over her “male energy” and how she is acting out her “male entitlement.”
Out of that outrage a paramilitary group begins sending her death threats if she and the collective she is a part of don’t give in to their demands. It is verified that they are serious threats with the intent and ability to carry off the assassination. They show up to an event she is a part of at with loaded guns, presumably to kill her. No one calls this behavior “male energy” or “male entitlement.”
(Additional commentary: Tobitastic)
Many of you have seen some of my work over the years, but have you seen my first two films? A lot of folks know about my 2010 film focusing on trans-positive depictions of trans women’s sexuality, but did you know that I also made a 2011 sci-fi porn parody musical about trans men and TERFs that has an entire commentary track dedicated to queer/trans political issues?
Well now is your chance to get them at a price that might be a bit easier to handle. In celebration of my first release through a mainstream distributor, I’m dropping the price on these older films down to $20 — but even better I’m giving out a coupon code for all my friends, fans, and community that will also get you $5 off on top of that, meaning you can get them for $15 each. Feel free to share this coupon code with whoever else you think would appreciate it!
You can find them on Handbasketproductions.com/store or use the links below, and use the coupon code: classics
Most dust masks are HEPA (High-Efficiency Particulate Air) Filters, which move air through holes small enough to block most particulates such as dust, pollen, etc. But chemical scents are barely slowed down by them. You need to be sure you are getting one with a carbon filter in order to have an effect. For a cheap, small, and portable carbon filter breathe mask, I recommend I Can Breathe Honeycombe Mask, it even comes in a variety of colors including lace patterns. I typically use my more heavy duty Respro Techno Mask, which has both a carbon filter, and a HEPA filter, and air valves for easier exhaling (I Can Breathe has a sport version with air valves, too).
A word of warning, though, both masks rely on a flexible metal nose piece to hold it firmly onto your face and frequently folding it shut in order to fit into a pocket will eventually wear it down and break it. In fact, regularly shoving either mask into a pocket is going to drastically increase wear. If that’s what you need it for, though, that’s okay. I even now keep one mask with a broken nosepiece for portability and one newer mask for other instances.
If you’re dealing with really strong chemicals, you can turn to something even more serious, like the 3M Organic Vapor Filter, which is designed for working in paint fumes, pesticides, industrial solvents, and other strong chemicals that may overwhelm a simply carbon filter. Keep in mind the link is only to the replacement filters, you still need to buy the mask piece as well, and it comes with pink HEPA Filters.
Finally, since you can buy as much gear as possible and still have an exposure, here’s a few tips I’ve found personally helpful for dealing with an exposure:
1- Get out of the area.
2- Wash up. Wash your face, wash your hands, wash your arms, or any other exposed skin. It can be good to keep a small container of unscented soap or a few unscented moist toilette on hand for this.
3- When you get a chance you can change your clothes or wash your hair if need be. Showers can be useful in general.
4- Get rest. Sometimes after a major exposure I get sick for a few days. I’m not sure if this is a result of the exposure or if it’s lowering my immune system so I catch whatever bug is around. Either way, some rest now can reduce the chance of being forced out of action for days.
5- Drink tea. Okay, maybe this is my solution for everything, but steam and hot water seem to be pretty effective. I like to choose herbs that are good for detoxing, but I’ve found any hot clear liquid (even hot cider) to has similar effects.
hey so i run this site called forest ambassador
it posts three games a week that are free, short, and easy to get into
(it’s videogames for people who don’t like videogames)
the games i post are about stuff like: false police confessions, feeding ducks, urban zoning policy, being a pregnant mermaid, shaving your legs, capitalism, hugging cats
(things games aren’t usually about)
they’re also often by marginalized authors
oh, and you can browse all 150+ games i’ve posted so far by mood, too
it would mean a lot to me if you would reblog this post and check out the site!
oh, and one last thing: the site is currently my only steady source of income. so if you like the kind of things i’m doing with it and can afford to, consider subscribing, which gets you a monthly ezine called woodland secrets (you can learn more about that here)
Ah, that’s an entirely different set of information. Let me first say I’m available and looking for work as a media consultant (and as an organizational consultant, a campus speaker, a trainer, a writer, a filmmaker, a model - let’s just say I’m looking for work). I’d be happy to work with you and your story one on one and can work out some reasonable rates. I have a very sharp eye for wider implications or how a specific part of a story might be received by the trans community and can help your work feel real, but more importantly feel meaningful and resonate with people who don’t get to see themselves represented in media very often.
Drop me a line if you’re interested, but for now let me give you a couple freebies and cover some really basic parts.
1 - Linguistics: Use ‘trans’ as an adjective, not a prefix. That means putting a space between it and a word rather than creating a new compound word. You don’t say queerwoman, tallman, blueshirt. When you write ‘translesbian’ it sounds like you’re creating an entirely new (and confusingly unclear) sexual orientation. When you say ‘trans lesbian,’ it sounds like a lesbian who happens to be trans.
2 - Linguistics: You don’t always have to specify ‘trans’ when referring to someone, but if you do you should mirror referring to others as cis. When you specify a “trans lesbian/lesbian couple” you’re only marking the status of one of them and letting the other remain in the norm. That sets up a power differential between them and what is considered normal. Instead you could say “trans lesbian / cis lesbian couple” or “trans/cis lesbian couple” or “lesbian couple where one of the two women are trans.” At other times when trans/cis status isn’t important, you could just call them a lesbian couple.
For example, “Going to the local dyke bar was supposed to be fun, supposed to be a place to find community and support. But when they went they often wondered if they were going to be singled out from all the other lesbian couples. Even if no one would tell them they didn’t belong there, they knew to expect a cold reception. The one exception being the roller derby girls, who always treated them like family. Like it should be.”
3 - Representation: Don’t try and figure out what the perfect trans/cis lesbian couple should look like and write that. Instead figure out what your characters look like. Learn enough to know what will be realistic and not to sound like you have no idea what you’re writing about, and double check things at the end for any problematic representation. But don’t trap yourself into thinking there’s only one way that they should be represented or that you need to figure out what’s the one way they should have sex.
Maybe you’ve got a cis character who’s dated trans women before and is has done activism around trans issues.Maybe you’re trans character has been burned by cis partners before and started to date only other trans people but is making an exception because this cis woman is amazing. When it comes to sex, maybe the trans woman is a stone butch and doesn’t want to be touched but is able to get off by bringing her partner to orgasm again and again and will use a strap on for that. Or maybe she’s tired of messages about what kind of sex she should or shouldn’t have and is pushing herself to do all the things she’d normally be afraid of doing? Maybe the cis character has her own body shame and doesn’t want to be naked in front of her partner? Maybe she’s intensely curious about sex with a trans partner and doesn’t know what to expect?
4 - Representation: Real people have issues. Even if you created the perfect representation of a trans/cis lesbian couple, it might come off as plastic. Let them speak to their anxieties. What are their fears? Will they end up triggering each other? How do they deal with that? Don’t be afraid to have your characters engage in problem behavior, as long as the overall narrative makes clear that behavior is problematic. You don’t have to model perfect behavior, sometimes modeling how to handle it when you screw up is even more valuable. Real life is messy. Will someone’s boundaries be crossed? Will the cis character accidentally say something hurtful? How do they resolve stuff like that? Maybe they take a break, talk about it, comfort each other, then go back to having sex. Maybe it’s a big deal, maybe it’s a small deal. Maybe it’s easily resolved, maybe it takes the whole story for it to come to resolution. Really engage with these options as you are deciding what kind of story you want to tell.
The short answer is: Any way they want. There’s no special rules for it. A trans woman might not use the word “penis,” might not want to have it touched in ways that feel male, then again she might not care about that. It’s always best to ask, to check in about how things work for each individual partner.
Whether for a trans person or a cis person, I find it very useful to have a language check in: what words do you like? Is cunt hot or upsetting? Is vagina direct or too clinical? Do you say clit, phallus, cock, girlcock, strapless, hen, “that”, etc?
And to have a body check in: Is there anywhere on your body that certain kinds of touch might be triggering? What about places or kinds of touch that are especially hot?
For more information, I co-wrote the sexuality chapter in Trans Bodies, Trans Selves, which is full of this kind of information. Or I also wrote a part of Girl Sex 101 which I highly recommend, but unfortunately won’t be ready for release until February 2015.
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.
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.
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.