Friday, October 30, 2009

"No person is your friend (or kin) who demands your silence, or denies your right to grow and be perceived as fully blossomed as you were intended. Or who belittles in any fashion the gifts you labor so to bring into the world."
-Alice Walker

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

How to be a Trans Ally!

This list was given to GqC by a friend. The original author is unknown, but the text is intended for wide distribution.

Some dos and dont's created by trans folks for our fabulous trans allies! Please help us spread the love.

Use the pronoun I want you to use. If you make a mistake, quickly correct yourself.

Don’t ask if I’ve had surgery or if I take hormones. It’s not your business.

Politely correct others if they use the wrong pronoun.

Treat me like you would any other person.

Actively defend my rights.

Offer me an escort to the bathroom if I’m getting problems.

Don’t put the “T” in your group’s name unless you’ve done something to earn it.

Do your own research. Don’t ask me to explain it all to you.

Don’t tell me how cool being trans makes me. I’m not trans to be cool.

Don’t tell jokes that that might offend trans individuals or allow others to do so.

Don’t assume that trans always refers to an MTF or FTM person.

Don’t assume you can guess my sexual orientation because I’m trans.

Include me. I’ve got plenty to offer.

Don’t call me by my old name.

Be honest about what you know and what you don’t.

Support trans activism.

Don’t judge my ability to pass.

Support me when I need you don’t pity me.

Actively seek out materials created by trans people.

Don’t concern yourself with my genitalia.

Don’t fetishize or tokenize me based on your assumptions or generalizations.

When somebody who hasn’t been exposed to trans issues makes a rude comment, correct them in the nicest way possible.

Don’t pretend to understand terms that you really don’t.

Don’t support those who you know that marginalize trans people.

If I tell you I or someone else is trans, don’t go around telling everyone.

If you’re with me somewhere that you’re not sure is a safe space, don’t bring up trans issues.

If you hear or see something transphobic, do something about it.

Realize that challenging binary gender systems isn’t always the same thing as being trans.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Gratitude

By K. Switch

I’m on my way home too late at night, driving pass the blur of a sleepy 1am Chicago. It rained hours ago, but the lights still echo off of wet pavement. The air from the car window, cold and fast, rushes in and near chokes the song lyrics from my breath. But I sing over the rush and out towards the right autumn sky. It’s one of those "I am alive" kind of moments. You know, the ones that spray your spiral notebook pages for years. It’s the kind of awkward poetry you can’t quite scribble now, no matter your focus or resolve.

I drive and drive, slow in my haze, and only half observant of the anxious headlights stringing past and into the skyline.

I have actually lived. I am a form reflected in the windshield, a figure without critiqued features. No cars to the left, and none to right. No one to hear me scream off-key odes to the eighth-grader hiding in my heart. No eyes available to scrutinize the curves or flatness of my torso and chest.

I am the genderless, a warrior of the road, spitting out across the skyline on a late-night stumble home. I am still the songs I sang in high school, and the ones I will write at the end of my minutes.

I am finally, finally honest.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Showdown in Chicago to Kick Off Tomorrow


Thousands of activists, including members of Gender JUST and Blocks Together, are calling on Chicagoans to protest the American Bankers Association Convention October 25-27. To learn more, check out: Showdown in Chicago.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Book Reports! This Wednesday


Come out this Wednesday for our weekly safe space meeting!

Theme this week is book reports.

Have you ever read a book that rocked your entire gendered world? Or maybe just your world in general?
Well, come share.

Bring your favorite book. Or...don't.

But join us as we share safe space and support.

Weds at 7:00pm
The Gerber/ Hart Library- 1127 w. Granville

Sunday, October 18, 2009

All-Male College Enforces Transphobic Dress Code

Morehouse College in Atlanta, Georgia is calling its new rule the "Appropriate Attire Policy."

Independence

By A. Broad

I'm not much of a patriot in the traditional sense of the word, but I'm a strong believer in independence. I believe in strength and freedom and self-love and beauty, in self-actualization and figuring out how to be whole instead of fragmented. In an ideal world, I'd be able to apply all of these hopes and dreams to the country as a whole, but for now I take my independence in the forms I can get it and those are generally personal.

As my day job I work as a florist in Andersonville; this past summer I was in the shop a few days before the Fourth of July, very near to closing time after a long tiring seven hours, when a regular customer walked in. I went to greet her; she's a very sweet person, always has a smile for me, but she also usually takes forever to pick something out so I was both happy and full of dread when I saw her. Sad but true: no matter how nice you are, sometimes I wish you'd just pick a flower out already and call it a day. She was getting three flowers for her girlfriend; I believe it was their anniversary. My co-worker and I helped her pick out her blooms, wrapped them in paper, and walked back towards the door with her as we chatted.

Abruptly she turned around and, with a preface I can't recall, told us that she had just come out to her mother. I realized suddenly that she was practically glowing, so happy and excited and relieved that she was finally no longer living with the threat of this moment of self-actualization that the vast majority of queer people go through eventually. She had told her mother, and her mother had been gracious and happy for her, and so we rejoiced with her. My gay male co-worker told his story (his mother broke out in hives) and I did not because I wasn't asked (another side effect of not looking queer) and because there was no opening for me to speak. But we celebrated with her for a minute or two, this stranger who had just revealed a deeply personal moment to us standing in the door of the shop.

My own coming out was both less and more dramatic than I had anticipated. I was twenty-three, and it was the day before I moved to Chicago for grad school. My girlfriend and I had been dating for about eight months at that point, but I had been chickening out of telling my parents; my mom grew up Mormon and is also prone to random bouts of freak-out-edness when I least expect it, so I wasn't sure what kind of reaction she would have. But on this day, the day before I left for nobody knew how long, we were standing in the kitchen crying and yelling at each other for some reason that I can't remember in the slightest now when she suddenly turned to me and said "Your friend A is really nice." It was such a complete non-sequitor that it stopped me in my tracks and left me with no idea how to respond. I stopped crying, and after a moment said that she was not my friend, she was my girlfriend, and my mother looked at me scornfully to let me know that of course she knew that. We hugged, and the fight wound down into a rare moment of intimacy between us.

The next day, I moved to Chicago. I told my father immediately before getting out of the car at the airport (because how awkward would a two-hour car ride be after a revelation like that?) and he told me he just wanted me to be happy. I flew away on wings, relieved that things had gone as relatively well as they had, and we rarely spoke of it until a much more traumatic fight a few years later. But that plane ride, heading towards a new place and a new life where I could start over and be who I really was, felt like freedom.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Show and Tell- This Wednesday


This Wednesday, we'll be hosting our regular safe space meeting with a twist.

It's show and tell.

Remember those awkward Friday mornings in grade school where you'd hold up your favorite toy/picture/disgusting thing you found outdoors for the class?

Yeah. It's like that.

Bring something important to you. Anything. Maybe it has to do with a gendered moment. Maybe it's a picture of your Aunt Eunice with a 20-foot fish. Whatever it is, come share it.

(Also, please don't ask me how this image is relevant to anything. I googled for something appropriate until my eyes went blurry).

Wednesday, October 21
7:00PM
The Gerber/Hart Library (1127 W. Granville)

Questions? Inquiries? genderqueerchicago@gmail.com

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

"My advice for anyone coming out, for anything, is to think of the worst possible thing that could happen. If you can deal with that, you're probably good to come out."
-Aidan Tharp

Up and Coming Events!

For more details on the following events click to the side panel calendar link!

Weds, October 14, 7pm – 9pm COME OUT, COME OUT, WHEREVER YOU ARE! Themed GqC meeting @ Gerber/ Hart Library, 1127 W. Granville (Red Line Granville stop)

In honor of national coming out day, we’re turning our usual weekly discussion meeting into a coming out extravaganza! Whether it’s coming out as gender-variant for the first time, coming to Genderqueer Chicago for the first time, coming out as a Jimmy Buffet fan, or coming out as pumpkin pie addict, you’re invited to join us as we come together to share all that is appalling, appealing, painful, and hilarious.

Thu Oct 15 7pm – 9:30pm “T” Mic @ the Center on Halsted

Sat Oct 17 7pm – 11pm Annual Matthew Shephard March - Halsted & Roscoe/3407 N Halsted

Tue Oct 20 7:30pm – 10:30pm Homolatte: Brian Kirst / DALLAS/MARIE - Big Chicks

Wed Oct 21 7pm – 9pm SHOW AND TELL!
Themed GqC meeting @ Gerber/ Hart Library, 1127 W. Granville (Red Line Granville stop)
  • Meetings are free & open to all people looking for a safe space to deal with personal gender issues and questions. Genderqueer Chicago is an inclusive community, and everyone wishing to take part is considered family.
  • We want to hear from you! E-mail submissions/questions to genderqueerchicago@gmail.com

Monday, October 12, 2009

being bound as the beginning...

by Wry

i didn't used to think that binding my chest made that much of a difference. when i looked down from my vantage point, the tits were still there as prominent as ever. even

when bound. and binding didn't change my high alto voice. my chubby cheeks. my peach fuzz. my capable-of child bearing hips.

every time i pushed the door to the men's designated bathrooms open, i felt like i was the deceiver. like i was sneaking in and didn't want to get caught. but if someone in the library had just 'sir'd' me, i sure as hell wasn't gonna use the women's designated bathrooms, lest that same person who sir'd me saw my transgression and rescinded my masculine-read, ambiguous gender exemption.

biologically more masculine than feminine, without the help of medical transition, i still see my visceral reflection in more women than men. and it's not entirely the pain of all i've experienced from being read as a woman that makes me resent the resemblance. there's something, someone innate inside me that makes me hurt less, pressing. someone who balances on the sidewalk curbs and as he's about to fall, tells me that we can survive--he has my eyes, but a deeper voice and hips that are gonna bare lots and lots of poems.

when i deconstruct my personal boxed up gender and always find something infinitely more queer than dichotomized, it makes me realize, that the only section i'm ever gonna really fit into is the camp of play. you see-- i wanna hit the town in stolen latex and pumps sometimes, dirty baggy jeans and t-shirts and knit caps most of the time, glitter and faery wings at special times, and flowing skirts when the air is just right. but the catch is, i'm still more masculine than feminine, and my tits--i still don't connect in any way with. my voice is still supposed to be several octaves lower, and my should-be junk is just an entirely different ballgame. my gender and my should-be body aren't from the same mechanism, you see.

so i didn't used to think that binding my chest made that much of a difference. and i guess it didn't, until i learned "that much" about something called confidence. after a friend told me that most guys don't care who else is in the bathroom, i learned that he's sort-of, most of the time right. and though it's pretty shitty that of all people--the people working in the doctor's office were the ones who questioned my id didn't believe that i was at least eighteen, and even though they saw me through yet another fake screen of adolescent identity, at least my trans version was picked-up on in some capacity.

and when i don't look down on myself and catch a side-glance of my reflection instead, the masculine inside of me is able to swell up with much more pride. i'm not sure whether my sex was supposed to be boy, or man, or just some version of male, or something else entirely in between. but something about me, about this, also makes me now feel like more of a lie, when i'm sneaking into the women's designated bathroom, it feels awry. every time i push open the door, i'm afraid to get caught there too. and because the medical community feels the need to police my identity, i have to stress out about where i can empty my keeper in congenial neutrality.

so as i'm being psychologically evaluated, i don't separate my should-be sex and gender, or use the term genderqueer like it’s not a contradiction to transsexual, or tell the therapist of my affinity towards glitter and voguing and flexibility. and it almost works. until the therapist comes to money, and i explain that i know exactly what i want to spend my life doing, but that has nothing to do with a traditionally titled 'job' or 'career' or industry and i'm not worried about making money. and the therapist interprets my unwillingness to exploit as a source of uncertainty. my propensity for a radical sense of equality and feminism as a female femininity. and my unorthodox upbringing as a Freudian peculiarity…. and it's about Now that i realize that i just lost gender points for opinionated, unwilling to capitulate, non-gender related diversity. and thereafter i became conscious that being a class and race traitor loses you points with the Patriarchy.

i didn't used to think that binding my chest made that much of a difference. and it doesn't make "that much" of a difference. but binding has transitioned my entire means of arriving at everything.

-end story

Sunday, October 11, 2009

How the Gay Community Might Be Complicit in Trans Violence

In this second installment of his series on violence against Trans people, Chicago-based reporter, Joe Erbentraut explores trans hate within the LGB community.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

COME OUT, COME OUT, WHEREVER YOU ARE!




So you know how sometimes groups get started and then you think “hey, I want to get in on that but it’s too late now!”

Well, it was never too late in this instance, BUT we’re inviting you to COME OUT anyways.

This Wednesday at 7:00pm at the Gerber/ Hart Library (1127 W. Granville)

In honor of national coming out day, we’re turning our usual weekly discussion meeting into a coming out extravaganza!

That’s right.

So you secretly identify as a pirate? You have a crush on Michael Crawford? You eat that sugar goo they sell in the Walgreens candy aisle?

Bring it!

Whether it’s coming out as gender-variant for the first time, coming to Genderqueer Chicago for the first time, coming out as a Jimmy Buffet fan, or coming out as pumpkin pie addict, you’re invited to join us as we come together to share all that is appalling, appealing, painful, and hilarious.

Wednesday, October 14 at 7:00PM
Gerber/ Hart Library (off the Red Line Granville stop)

Meetings are free (unless you want to donate some pocket change to the library that offers us a free space) and open to all people looking for a safe space to deal with personal gender issues and questions. Genderqueer Chicago is an inclusive community, and everyone wishing to take part is considered family.


Also, as part of coming out week, we're asking you to submit your own coming out stories to our blog! You can submit these to genderqueerchicago@gmail.com. Please include a title and a publishing name! We reserve the right to deny publishing anything deemed offensive or inappropriate, but we'll always get back to you about all submissions.

Questions? genderqueerchicago@gmail.com

Friday, October 9, 2009

QUE(E)RY - a radical/queer/arts convergence

Genderqueer Chicago will be present. Come hang out!

oct. 10th - THIS SATURDAY
10:30 a.m. to midnight
ida noyes hall, 1212 e 59th st.

a FREE one-day convergence of artists, activists, students, kinksters, queers, and awesome kids to discuss, dress up, explore intersectionality, make art, share skills, and dance hard.

there will be FREE vegan-friendly lunch & dinner for participants!

Choose among 20 workshops led by students, faculty, kinksters, artists, and more. Some titles include:

Trans Inclusion within Gay/Lesbian/Feminist communities
Do Cylons Have Rights?
Criminal (In)Justice and the Prison System
Radical Collaboration: Photography, Political Resistance, and Genderplay
BDSM As Bio-Political Resistance
Erotica Writing

+ zinemaking, an interactive exhibit by the Leather Archives & Museum, free queer-friendly safe sex kits, a film screening, glitter, art by Nessie Ruiz, and much much more.

Find the full schedule at:
http://queery2009.wordpress.com/workshop-descriptions/


AT 7.30pm MUSIC AND OPEN MIC PERFORMANCES BEGIN!
We have the great honor of hosting
Cristy Road (http://www.croadcore.org/)
and
Bad Heart Bull (http://www.myspace.com/clitorectomyandthemutilators)

Followed by an awesome loud powerful Open Mic for all! We'll keep it going until Ida Noyes kicks us out. BRING YOUR INSTRUMENT, your voice, and/or your excitement!

Come for a minute or a day to check out a workshop, perform a poem,
meet a friend, try on a crazy wig, brainstorm out loud, lead a workshop,
make a zine, appreciate some art, learn some kink, or spontaneously jam.
WE WELCOME IMPROMPTU WORKSHOPS AND PERFORMANCES.

This conference is a student-conceptualized and organized, never before,
never again-type thing. You should come check it out.

THANK YOU to the following collaborating organizations!
Yah's Vegan Cuisine
Backstory Cafe
Lesbian Community Care Project
Transformative Justice Law Project (TJLP)
Lichen Spiritual Archives/Zine Library
UChicago RACK
UChicago SDS
Platypus
Genderqueer Chicago
Chicago Radical Cheerleaders
....& more.

See you there! more info at -- queery2009.wordpress.com

We'll make a man out of you yet

I have never written about this moment.
And this may be harder to read than most of our blogs.

Ive been racking my brain, trying to rationalize my need to write this down. Whether it would be a selfish act to subject the general public to such a harrowing tale?
I have decided it would be selfish not to.

I was eleven years old the day I learned what makes a man.
I was playing in the woods with my "lost boys"
j,m,b,t,and b. We had been up to our usual tricks, climbing trees and rooftops
We collected treasures from the dumpster behind my apartment and we carried them to our secret place.

I remember j and m were bickering over some bauble

I felt excluded from this adventure.
I was having a hard time keeping up.
And j was looking at me like i was some kind of alien.

Someone flipped over a wading pool and i made a move to climb under it with them.

"No girls allowed"

i am not a girl
i wanted to scream

"not again? Come on. I..."
"my dad asked if you were my girlfriend."
"yuck"
"He says theres something weird about you..."
"youre weird" it was true
"He says girls shouldnt wear boys clothes."
"I like my clothes"
I look down at my ninja turtles t-shirt and jeans.

"Have you ever kissed a boy before?"
"Have you?"
The hit came fast.
I had broken the unspoken rule. Never question a pre adolescents sexuality. He may only feel inclined to prove you wrong.

"Come here"
my best friend beckoned from under the pool. m and j were crouched in their fort. b,t, and b wandered over slowly sensing that something was happening.

"Why?"
"I want to show you something"

trust.
broken.

They each took a turn
proving to me, that I was, indeed different.
I went away.
I told myself, over and over that it was just a dream.

My swollen lip, and the sting n my cheek brought me back.
Choking back tears, and choking on his proof.
my hand held fast above my head.
I didnt cry out.
boys dont cry.
the weight over me.
I did cry out.


go home little girl.

It was some time before I understood the complete truth of that afternoon.

An attempt by five little shits to prove to me that I was different.
Well done. I am more man than you will ever be.
It doesnt take a man to rape. Being fucked doesnt make you a woman.

I have felt some element of that afternoon in every day of my life.
And I have overcome it.

I have trusted. I have loved. I have been loved.
I will trust. I will love. I will be loved.

Here I am, fifteen years later.
I have not forgotten that lesson.
Every time I feel fear I swallow it and think of them.
I will not ever forget.
Fuck your proof.
I am what I am, more than whats between my legs, more than whats put there.
It is they who are trapped by these bounds.

We are so much more than these little boxes.
I am so much more than that afternoon.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Gender Notes from the Hospital Waiting Room

By K. Switch

“Is this when you were heterosexual?” Chris laughs beneath his breath. His tired hands thumb through the old photos, the days of formalwear and acne.

“Love,” I say. “I was never heterosexual.” I laugh, too. Chris is joking and laughter is rare relief these days.

The past week has been a little like high school for me- a tortured love song, the kind that feels too dangerous to sing aloud. Dare you hope too hard, dare you get too optimistic, dare you prepare yourself at all. We do not speak in “what if” terms here.

The small round waiting room table is covered in everything from baby food to doughnuts to old newspapers, a week’s worth of stress piled like dirty dishes in giant sink. The TV chatters from a dark corner above. Outside, a Thursday morning rain crawls down the windows. No matter the angle you look out, the backdrop is the same: dirty yellow buildings and empty windows. Hospitaland- the place without hours or minutes where we tick on without realizing it.

In this hospital waiting room, my teenage history slumps against sturdy patterned chairs in new versions of the same Chuck Taylors it wore seven years ago. Some of us have kids now. Some of us have fancy jobs. Some of us still have bands and credit card debt. Me? I have half a job, an enchanting faggot love, and queer family in constant gender crisis. It’s a good life, but it’s not always easy to reconcile with the one I left for college, the one that fidgets nervously in the waiting waiting waiting room, the one hooked up to a breathing machine through the sliding glass doors.

We’re a Midwestern bunch, as evidenced by a wide selection of junk food and fleece jackets. We’re supposed to grow up to inhabit the houses and heartaches our parents inherited. But I’ve floated too far from that self to ever fulfill that promise.

Every time I come back home, I wonder if and how there will be room for me. There are new faces here now, important faces I don’t know. And I have to ask if I haven’t fallen out of good grace. I’m going to get ordained and marry Chris to my high school best friend when she wakes up. But I don’t believe in marriage. I’m really really really queer. Even people from my ultra-liberal alternative college say so. Can I return to my small Midwestern town and find community?

Chris looks me up and down and then turns back to the photo. In the picture, I’m happily swept up in the arms of my high school boyfriend, the sequins of my turquoise dress reflecting a spring sunset.

Today, I’m in my usual uniform of baggy pants, Doc Martens, a button-up, and a tie. I flip through the faces of my high school best friends. I’ve looked at the pictures so many times since going away to college and then coming back. But this is the first time Chris is seeing them. His fiancĂ©, my best friend who now lies comatose, giggles through the images.

“Look at her,” Chris shakes his head. “Look at how hot she is here.”

I nod. She’s strikingly beautiful. She always has been.

Chris squints at the pile of pictures. I can see him re-mapping all of our histories through these images. I know he’s wondering if I consciously lied about who I was all those years, if I pretended to be straight even though I knew better.

“When did you realize?” He asks. “When did you know?”

I sigh. I explain that I always liked the guys I dated, but it wasn’t until his fiancĂ© told me she was “bi” that I realized it was possible to like more than one sex or gender.

Chris beams. “I like you better now.” He nods at my outfit. “This is you. I mean, you’ve always been a sweetheart, but this, this is you.”

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Education Series Workshops at the Center on Halsted this month

Oct. 7 - Art as Activism: How drag performance can be used as a therapeutic tool for social change

Oct. 14 - Increasing Visibility: Recognizing the Impact of Bias & Violence in the Lives LGBTQ

Oct. 28 - Trans 101

Click on title/link or calendar event for more details!

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

XX Boys

Check out this collection of photos of boi genderpirates who are capsizing gender binaries all over the world.

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Retired Iron: From Ex-Straight to Kinky Curls

By M. Rich

I'm quite comfortable here. I switch layers for bare skin, with the blank hanger I exchange the shirt in hand for empty space. The shirt goes on the rack, I go for the cap. It reads "newyork." In one word the city represents a vague stitch in red thread lettering and I simply cannot regret the name.

Inside my apartment I can revel in the ambiguity of this genderfuck, safely tucking away memories of my former selves. "Non-conforming for no one now. This is no performance," I think. I know barely a thing outside this body and even this is lately foreign territory. All around I walk this city - side streets, ally ways, and all these questions, I am let down at the same dead end with all but one choice word to choose. By default I am paralyzed in between the binary this and amidst my train of thought- that I find discomforting. And now, with privilege I rush the streets like angry rain, I storm through the front doors and embrace this information. I take advantage of this knowledge, employ a greater sense of self. Charge complete, I run from everything.

I rush quickly, frantic I glide easy onto the wood floor board of my bedroom from the tiny bathroom. I plug in my pink hair iron and sit. I jump up remembering at once those dishes I promised I'd wash before. When I finally return to the computer I remember this tool - the act of straightening my hair, the therapeutic treatment, the ability I have now to live without every day necessitating it. Yet, I can't disregard the fact that I wanted to sit with that tool and make my hair flat all the while contemplating how this pastime ritual once defined me.

Likewise how such an act in those days remains to me a symbol of how identity was ingrained in me from later days. As classified "high-femme" and outspoken, this is how I survived, a social butterfly talked her way through high school, plays a role that can no longer be forged, nor blamed for. My life was straightened out, I had some help of course. There's the news and gossip reports and all those ridiculous thoughts that formed me into facts. So I filled in the blanks about what I imagined to be true - I took on an identity, an image of the ultimate me. Taking control simultaneously controlled by what I would achieve, a boyfriend, a group of besties, a job to afford all the necessities that came with a high maintenance profile. If I got all the parts missing (which I did) well then, my life would be complete- right?

If homophobia murmured through halls of my high school I didn't notice. I was already locked in and notably uncomfortable. I would have climbed walls in the advent that I noticed those two queers in the corner being affectionate. Taking off from anxiety, I continued forward locking away a skeleton to let out at a later date, if ever. For most of my life I've kept secret feelings locked up in emotions forcefully denying myself the right to live and experience myself. Giving little thought to my reactions gave way for belittling what I honestly felt. When I saw girls kissing girls I'd ignorantly declare (fearful of learning otherwise) that these girls were just drunks making out to turn them boys on. I not only projected my personal girl on girl experiences onto the LGBT students at large but my voice symbolized the silencing of the self in order to protect that who I am. I learned to become her, taught myself to navigate "straight," assuming it safer to survive the horror scenes now played out over as myself in my memory. The point of destruction was where she spoke I was not and when I spoke she had no voice. Let me deconstruct.

These walls are safe, they're built on ruins and envy and fear and I am no taller than that. This structure supposes me, this idea holds me in place. It is the idea of love that invades me as I prepare myself to come out and tell you. It is the idea of love that prepares me to continue falling and this is how I continue loving you and everybody else. I can't help wonder the harbor of resentment I am digging in my life, the deeper she will fall into the swallowed words of days passed. With only hollow echoes, she is faint lines and common creatures to be captured inside my body. I find refuge in dressing these wounds of hers, so that I am always escaping from nothing and blind to no one. She presents to me old and worn monuments of the past.

Those moments were made to mold me unto words that stung and stuck us into categories that never fit. But how I must, I have, I hope, only to give onto time and history the secrets I've buried and no longer resent. One day I will see my body as the representation of how far we have NOT yet come, how I am a production of fear and how I can fight back. I will look at my reflection and rather than the marks that your words chose for me I will look only to see the scars of my body. I will have fought for my life and I will have won the security of faith for not assumption but alteration. My sincerity is not dishonest, nor my honesty brave. I am good at making waves in my mind and I am not sure of the power in all of this but I know the ending of a sentence creates a rift in the stanza. I must if I will break the silence.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Chicago reporter, Joe Erbentraut, says violence against trans people is escalating

Chicago-based LGBTQ reporter, Joe Erbentraut, examines violence against trans people in this first report of a series on trans issues.

Website graphics and design by Andre Perez