I have recently come to the conclusion that I want to write a book. I was flipping through a library book on the 7th of August, M. J. Ryan’s This Year I Will, and it suggested that I quickly write down every goal I have for the next twenty years. Wow. I do not generally think that far ahead — five years is pretty much the maximum for right now (I’m currently working with more of a one year/18-months plan). The one surprise was that I want to write a book. Continue reading
Go buy Michelle Alexander‘s The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness. Or check it out from the library, or borrow it from a friend — I don’t really care how you obtain it, but you absolutely should read it. I know I recommend a lot of books, but of all the books I own — of all the books I’ve ever read — if I could only suggest one book, it would be The New Jim Crow. Continue reading
While I was in Chicago, I started getting interested in astrology: for the first time, I had friends who really believed in astrological signs. I couldn’t help but get caught up in the feeling that the signs really mean something about people. The only problem was that I didn’t know anything about what the signs meant. I picked up little things here and there — mostly that Pisces are generally very caretaker-y — and my friend gave me a chart of the planetary alignments from when I was born. I’ve always known that I’m a Pisces, although I didn’t know what it meant, but now I know that I have a Pisces moon and a Taurus rising.
When I was at the library this week, I picked up a book on astrology (Joanna Martine Woolfolk’s The Only Astrology Book You’ll Ever Need), although I was a little wary because I don’t know how well it’ll mesh with what my friends think about astrology, and I’m more inclined to go with what they say than any random book. I ended up exploring the book today with my mom and a friend, and it was kind of ridiculous to see how accurate it was. Continue reading
GenderQueer: Voices From Beyond the Sexual Binary
(Edited by Joan Nestle, Clare Howell, and Riki Wilchins)
I refer to this book, and the collection of essays in the front by Riki Wilchins, constantly. It’s a wonderful anthology, and it shows — in real people’s voices, not just academic theory — that there’s so much more to gender than merely “man” and “woman.” It’s one of the first trans-related books I ever read; I bought it, Wilchins’ Queer Theory, Gender Theory, and Leslie Feinberg’s Trans Liberation at the 2009 MN Trans Health and Wellness Conference.
Perhaps one of my favorite quotes about gender is in Wilchins’ essay “A Continuous Nonverbal Communication:” “In fact, throughout our entire waking lives we are carrying out a continuous nonverbal dialogue with the world, saying, ‘This is who I am, this is how I feel about myself, this is how I want you to see me‘” (12). To me, that statement sums up why it is so important to allow people to identify and express their gender as they will — to do otherwise would be to render them invisible and deny who they are. Continue reading
Until recently, I’ve had a big problem with the word “gratitude.” I didn’t like it; I didn’t want to use it; and I certainly wasn’t going to say that I’m grateful to my parents for feeding me, housing me, clothing me, and basically doing what parents should. Continue reading
Leslie Feinberg: While a hostile relative re-writes my life: ‘Who is, and is not, my family’
by Leslie Feinberg on Friday, January 14, 2011 at 12:46pm, and reposted by Ryan.
In autumn 2010, Knopf published a “transgender” themed young adult novel. The author, Catherine Ryan Hyde, is an estranged relative of mine.
The analysis of the strengths and weaknesses of Hyde’s young adult fiction novel will come from those who are living the identities, and oppressions to which she has applied her imagination.
However, as part of the media coverage and publicity tour for the release of the young adult novel, Hyde claims much of her expertise and authority for writing her “transgender”-themed young adult novel as based on my life and identity. Continue reading