We Interrupt This Program

Jamie, demonstrating outside Trump's hotel

Jamie, demonstrating outside Trump’s hotel.

After writing once a week for four years. I’ve finally decided is time to switch things up and stop posting on schedule and only post when I feel like it. I like blogging. I like the community and the intimacy. I like reading about other people’s lives, especially people who are trying to figure out how to live authentically without blowing the rest of their lives to smithereens. But blogging takes a lot of time, and at this moment in history I want to focus on political activism and building community. I don’t want to resent how much time I’m spending writing.

Four years ago, when I started this blog, I had just legally changed my name and accepted that I was trans. I was struggling to hold onto my relationship with Donna. I had read enough books to practically get a master’s degree in queer and transgender studies, but I couldn’t figure out what I wanted to do about my gender identity and gender expression. I set it up as a false dichotomy; stay butch or transition to trans man. It took me a while to see that although I always wanted to be a boy, I didn’t necessarily want to be a man. That there was a lot of space, and a lot of room for experimentation, in between butch and trans man. I am still exploring that space.

I haven’t run out of ideas for blog posts. Today, I was thinking about letting go of the self-imposed pressure to decide about testosterone (not making a decision is still making a decision) and my fear that not going on testosterone means that I’m not really trans. Another post I want to write is about setting high expectations for myself and dealing with my disappointment when I can’t live up to them. I also want to write about what it is like to do political work with LGBTQ folk I know from ACT UP 25 years ago (and anti-war work 15 years ago) and their difficulty accepting that I am in a different place now than I was then (including getting my name right!).

Donna protesting outside Trump's hotel.

Donna protesting outside Trump’s hotel.

Donna and I are also working together this time, along with our friend Alexis. It is great to be protesting with friends. The political group we are working with is Rise & Resist. It is so new that the website isn’t up, and you don’t get anything when you Google it. The Facebook page for Rise & Resist is here. It isn’t an LGBTQ group, but there are a lot of LGBTQ activists in it (the B and the T part of the acronym have been pretty quiet). There are a handful of people who look like they are trans (I know, I shouldn’t judge based on how people look) and at least two other people who introduced themselves with they pronouns. I’m hoping to chat them up so we can support each other.

It is hard to know what to do to fight Trump/Pence and the Republican agenda. It is easy to get frustrated and sink into despair. It is easy for us to turn on each other. I’ve been in groups that have self-imploded, and I’m hoping that Rise & Resist can work through those problems. Stay tuned.

11 thoughts on “We Interrupt This Program

  1. Tam

    Great post. The decision not to transition has been much more of an action for me then inaction. It’s also an act that has not brought me much resolve and I’ve struggled with constantly trying to wrap up my identity with a neat little bow tie. Finding community and people I can relate to has often felt like a lonely path. I’ve yet to hold my head high and announce my label with clarity. Sometimes I just want some props for living in between. I want that validation that come with choosing a side.

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  2. writerspilecki

    Tam: “Sometimes I just want some props for living in between.” The liminal spaces, in folklore, are where magic happens–dawn and dusk, doorways, the places between worlds, the moment of birth and the moment of death. Our society is profoundly uncomfortable with folks who inhabit the liminal spaces. They want a label like a railroad spike to pin us down with. It is often an act of profound courage to reject the spikes and the labels and the need to choose one side or another. Jamie: Don’t know if this means anything or not, but that is a very cute picture of you.

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  3. Lesboi

    Good luck with all of this. I’d like to find a group like Rise and Resist that is doing good work locally in order to help our causes. I hope it can stay focused on the goal and not implode in the coming months and years. I also hope that we don’t need to rise and resist too much, but unfortunately, I think that’s too much to ask.

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  4. anexactinglife

    I am struggling to find ways to resist that are in my comfort zone. I figure if I start small, eventually I should be able to push past comfort. I know some people would take big actions immediately and get over that hump, but I don’t think I’m one of them. So as an activist, I am in between.

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  5. janitorqueer

    You have been my blogging rock! And it’s bizarre to think I won’t see your post every Tuesday night or Wednesday morning. But, yeah, I think it’s great that you’re getting more involved and planning on blogging when the mood strikes.

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  6. Fredrication

    You’re doing the right thing!
    I also struggle to blog when the world crumbles around. There are a lot of talk about the situation I USA here, but I feel that our own political state is just as bad and need a lot more attention at the moment (from us swedes). One of the major right-wing parties just opened up to the far-right-party to govern together. Suddenly the language has changed from “coming from extremist, xenophobic and neo-nazi movements” to “coming from authoritarian movements”.
    This shift in language is really scary, it feels like it’s the beginning of the end. Or the beginning of a very unsafe and unhealthy nationalistic time.
    The Sweden democrats (neo-nazists) hold 20% of the votes in the country. 25% where I live. Both locally and nationally the social democrats ruled by minority after the election. Locally they’ve been set aside in favor of a minority ruling by the right-wing parties and now nationally they’re plotting to take over the power just because they can.
    The Sweden democrats are politically the closest to Trump and they were pleased with the American election result…
    Let’s just say that a lot of swedes have their escape plan ready! They really want to make “non-swedes” and people with “non-Swedish values” loose their citizenship! That includes the LGBTQ+ community and people who stand up for or socialize with “non-swedes”. Most people who vote for this party are using the same rhetoric as the trump-voters. “Just because it’s (number three) on their party-program doesn’t mean that they’ll actually do it…
    Sorry for the rant.
    I really think you’re doing the right thing and I admire your commitment! Keep the fighting spirit going!
    Hugs.

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