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Since my entire high school class has friend-requested me on Facebook in the last week, I was inspired to thumb through the 1990 MAHISCAN (i.e. yearbook, for which I was the layout editor). 

It was at this time that I revisted my senior quote.  Carefully calculated over the final months of senior year, these quotes sum up your personal philosophy for all eternity.  Mine?  "So much poison in power, the principles get left out" - Rush.  "The Pentagon - four walls and a spare - a tribute to Murphy's Law" - Col. Potter.  "I can't drive 55" (not credited).

So yes, I was THAT guy who quoted Rush and M*A*S*H*, and also made an automotive quote which smacked of irreverence and disregard for authority, and thankfully I still had enough taste back then, even in the context of a Rush quote, to not credit Sammy Hagar for this wonderful mantra of libertarianism.

Current Location: 1990
Current Mood: nostalgic nostalgic
Current Music: Petra Haden & Bill Frisell

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Well, I am having a tough time winding down from last night's shift here in the mean City of Angels.  Some guy flipped out because he was tired of waiting, threw a phone at the other doctor and was immediately tackled by our rather stocky and sporty female unit clerk.  Ultimately we got him under control, but not before she put him in a half nelson, four or five other people were on top of him, and I was standing over him with a steel oxygen tank in my hand fully cocked and ready for battle.

Add to that a couple of asshole male doctors that I had to deal with, including one who not once, but twice place a chart in front of me and told (not asked) me to finish this particular chart before the patient went upstairs.  Mind you this doctor has no authority over me (in fact it's my ER, I am the boss), he is just the doctor admitting the patient to the hospital and has a (probably small) penis, which makes him feel as if he does have a certain authority.  The first time I just handed it back to him, but the second time I flung it back at him and in my most passive-aggressive, sweet-but-don't-fuck-with-me voice said, "I appreciate you pointing out that this chart needs to be completed.  However I am busy with a number of other important tasks and am in the middle of something right now.  However I'll be happy to complete the chart as soon as I have a free moment."  I did not hear another peep out of him.   Fuck all if I am going to take that kind of crap 7+ years out of med school.

The heterosexual male, especially those who are profoundly intoxicated, is a curious creature indeed.  I should know, I sewed up the faces of about 10 of them last night after a variety of fights, melees and other altercations typically involving liquor, pride, and/or a disputed female.

Overall last night?  Ladies - 2, Assholes - 0.

Current Location: Bed
Current Mood: exhausted exhausted
Current Music: Suck My Left One - Bikini Kill

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Biked over to Chinatown tonight to hop the Gold Line up to Pasadena for dinner with firepieand Talia.  Wow, was that train packed.  Thank god for high fuel prices.  People are really getting into mass transit out here, even if the high gas prices are scoring ExxonMobil record breaking profits.  The ride to the 'Dena is such a joy, and the huge picture windows on those train cars make all the better.

Sitting on the sidewalk seating at the decidedly DudeBroMan Barney's Beanery we watched the straight world go by.  We remarked that we were like the straight meatheads who go to WeHo to gawk at the queers, but when we realized that all those meatheads are closet fags, we then worried that our straight-gawking meant we were closet heteros, so we dropped the subject.

Next we walked over to H&M where I scored a couple of tasty button downs and 2 vests.  firepiehad never heard of H&M and was in search of a wedding getup.  When we walked in she let out an exasperated "Wait, this place only sells WOMEN'S clothes? UGH!"  She wound up buying a semi-girl top, apparently something she has done once before recently.  I'll know we're in trouble if she decides to double her shoe collection by buying one other pair.

after some pretentious frozen goodies at a place where you order in 100 gram increments I hopped back on Goldie, took her down to Union Station and then took the Red Line up to Hollywood, biked over to the Normandie Room in WeHo to meet hannahtheweirdo, bumped into lucyindeeskye, put down a couple of rounds and hopped my bike back towards Hollywood and Highland to hop on the last Red Line home.

At Santa Monica and Highland I felt inspired and decided to cut the dogleg and meet the train at Santa Monica and Vermont.  Convinced that the last train arrived at H&H at 1:22, I was 5 minutes ahead of the train and just minding my own business when a car blasts towards me off of a stop sign while I go along the main drag, I am probably going about 15 mph.

I made the snap decision to 1) hope she sees me and stops short, and in the mean time slam on my brakes as hard as possible without losing control 2) Prepare to jump and bail at the last minute, sacrificing a collarbone for a brain but I am 3) worried that she will see me and swerve into my escape path so I decide to 4) just bail and hope she DOESN'T see me and just hits the bike and not me, who will simply be on the ground with her collarbone sticking out.

Instead, I 5) unintentionally endo but manage to rock an endo-stand that would befit Team Haro in 1985, wrestle the bike back down without having a cross-bar incident, land back on the rear wheel and look to see her fully stopped short.  Disaster averted.  Wow.  When I was up on that front wheel, I turned to see her stop at the very last minute - I was about to let myself go flying forward onto two soon-broken hands and out of the car path, but thank god she stopped.

I literally just stood there for a minute, and she was dazed too.  We just looked at eachother, she said sorry, I said it was okay, and we moved on.  In all reality my front headlight was out due to technical difficulties tonight, and this incident may have bene avoided if I was properly lit.  At least I was helmeted.

So I truck a couple of more blocks to the metro station, sashay down to the platform and wait.  And wait.  And there ain't no damn train.  And the cleaning crew comes by, looks at me puzzled, tells me the station is closed, loads me into the elevator and sends me up to the streets.

By this point, I've given up.  I am hungry, I go toward the 7-11 at Virgil and Santa Monica, caddie corner from that horrific Little Temple Bar which used to be the amazing punk shithole the Garage, but before I can get in, a skinhead drunk douchebag propositions me, then informs me (in case i didn't notice) that he is white, so of course he must be a good, safe catch... at this point, I just decide to ride all the way home.

I almost stopped at Circus of Books in Silverlake to grab some tranny porn, but Ifigured there'd been enough fun for one night.

My route.

Current Location: Home sweet home
Current Mood: indescribable
Current Music: The Yes Album

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Had a tough night at work last night - not that the workload was that bad, but I was exposed to alot of people in the medical profession behaving in a less than altruistic way towards eachother and towards patients.  Thank god I was completely outside of this drama, but the bad vibes spill over everywhere in the pressure cooker I work in and it still brings me down when people show their true colors and where their priorities are.  I do not trust the medical establishment in this country. 

At least now I can bike to work. The 5 miles back and forth are quite therapeutic.  And when else would I ever get to see what goes on in Silverlake at 8am on a Saturday?

On another note... regarding the protest in SF tonight against the HRC for their bonehead exclusion of the "T"...


Boss: "Your fired.  We don't like rugmunchers/fudgepackers here.  And the way you dress, with those men's suits/flamboyant flowey tops, that just proves to me that you are a dyke/fag - I don't like it, other employees don't like it, our clients don't like it.  We do not support your homosexual lifestyle or agenda".

(Allegedly) Non-trans queer:  "Now you wait one hot minute!  The ENDA bill passed in 2014 clearly states that I can not be fired based on whom I chose to munch/pack.  You can not fire me."

Boss:  "Well, you look like a man/fairy, and your non-conformative gender presentation is what is causing most of the fuss.  Why, I know we've got other homos seeded in this company, but they are good at hiding it... can't you wear a skirt/blue men's suit like everyone else?  Aren't you people good at hiding in closets and stiffling your personal expression?  Sure I know you are bombarded every day by coworkers with heterosexist, cissexist remarks and conversation topics such as boring hetero weddings and droning accounts of after-school playgroups, not to mention detailed discussions of last week's company outing/party at a rediculously heteronormative dance club, but c'mon, get real!  We are the majority, so deal with it!"

(Allegedly) Non-trans queer:  "Under no circumstances will I wear a skirt/dark blue suit.  And my protection under ENDA confirms that!"

Boss: "Ahem!  Actually, ENDA only protects you if I fire you based on your extracurricular munching/packing.  You still have to LOOK like (my definition of) a woman/man if you want to work here!  Honestly, I'd like to shitcan a couple of the straight women around here who could stand to put on some makeup every once in a while, and what's with that guy in Graphic Design who is married to a hot babe but still leaves on his lunchbreak every other Wednesday for a mani-pedi?  Your appearance as gender variant is NOT protected under ENDA and YOU ARE FIRED!"

(Allegedly) Non-trans queer: Wow - I guess all of that hate I have towards shemales on Santa Monica and those FTM 'trendists' who are stealing all of our butches is a bit misguided..."

Buncha Queers camped out near Hart, MI: "You said that right, zeester!"

Current Location: Sadly not at the protest in SF
Current Mood: annoyed annoyed
Current Music: DNA - DNA on DNA

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Elaine and I saw the movie "Wackness" tonight.  It was a rather cliche treatment of the whole lonely midle aged schmuck/lonely and lost recent high school graduate/screw up of an immasculate dad thing .... but done over the backdrop of 1994-ish early-Guiliani era NYC.  I have to say, I am a sucker for these period-piece type films where the underlying era/geographical location/sociopolitical climate serves as metaphor for the film itself.

The protagonist, an 18 year old Jewish kid who deals pot and rocks his painted boombox to the Brand New Heavies had alot in common with some high school friends of mine.  In late '94 I was fresh out of undergrad, bouncing between my parents' house in the 'burbs and my girlfriend's house on 33rd st.  in Astoria, and trying desperately to get into med school by taking  premed classes at SUNY-Purchase (which by some serendipity was primarily a performing arts school swarming with queers, and by early '96 I was breaking up with said girlfriend, coming out as trans, and involved in a dyke drama triangle with a woman in my O-chem class and her cohabitating, codependent partner whom she'd met in her therapist's waiting room).  The city was right on the Dinkins/Guiliani cusp, Times Sq. was on the decline (or in Disney's opinion, on the "comeback"), St. Mark's Pl. was still legitimately punk rock, Astoria was still for Croatians and Brooklyn was a foreign country in the early stages of hipster colonization.

It was a really, really good time.  It was a tough time, but a time of rebirth and re-evaluation, a purgatorial waystation between parts 1 and 2 of my life.

But holy shit was that a bad time for fashion or what?

Today I had one of those fun errands-and-bike-adventure days on a rather hilly route that took me to the rad army/navy store (purchased a black surplus shoulder bag, a green t-shirt with a biohazard emblem, and a sun-shower for Camp Trans), the sadly small Babeland display case on exile in the back of Pull My Daisy, a quick stop-in to Rough Trade on a fruitless search for a good harness (what was I thinking looking for a harness in a gay leather emporium), a visit to Michelle at Luxe Salon for clarification of some hair-gel use instructions, dropped off the new backing vocal tracks from the in-progress Sounds of Asteroth EP at Jim's house, then off to Trader Joe's for a vitamin run before taking the scenic route home via the Silverlake reservoir.

I'm feeling pretty good right now.

Tags: , ,
Current Location: Terra Firma
Current Mood: content content
Current Music: Rush - Permanent Waves (cut me some slack - I am feeling high school nostalgic)

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Still reeling from the unbelieveable "She's a Boy I Knew" (www.artflick.com) by Gwen Haworth which screened at Outfest last week - finally, a non-sexualized, non-tragic tale of a queer 30-something transwoman and her family made BY A TRANSWOMAN.  Blunt, honest, innocent, and not a single montage of those stupid images of putting on lipstick or nylons - the only thing we see Gwen putting on is a pair of Doc Marten's boots.  What a fucking breath of fresh air.  As we say in snowsports, "Fresh Tracks".

But it didn't last long.  I'm already in a pissy mood because my homeowner's association sent out a mass mailing to everyone in my building using an old roster, and now every unit in my building got to be reminded of my old name.  On top of that, I got hoarse as shit today and I guess that's why some bitch of a cashier at a cafe in Santa Monica called me "sir" - something I really can't understand at this point based on my physical appearance.

On an aside, I don't know why the sir thing upset me so much, especially because I had a very curious experience yesterday.  I've given up telling people I am trans in non-queer spaces because it's just too annoying to deal with their questions.  I've seen this punk rock hairstylist in Silverlake a few times and she's always on me to wear a pretty dress or some such BS after she makes my hair look so nice.  I always have internalized this and thought, "What, because I am a tranny you think I'd want to wear a dress? Do you SEE my T-shirts and jeans?"

Anyway, a true lesson in hypersensitivity of the oppressed occured yesterday when I mentioned in passing something about being trans and she put down her hair dryer and said, "Huh?"  I explained it to her using everything but drawing a picture, and she erupted in burst of "Wow - good job! I had no idea! I can always tell these things!" etc...  I tried to tell her I was not trying to fool or deceive anyone - I'm just being me, but she was just all wrapped up in how well I "pulled it off" so I paid and left.  Time for me to stop getting pissy about such things I guess.

Anyway, the real buzzkill to which I eluded above is discussed in the below letter I mailed to Logo Network.  If you YouTube "Waiting for Yvette" you can see at least the trailer if not the whole film.  Argh. {Boil Boil Simmer}...

July 20, 2008

Logo Networks
"The Click List"

To Whom It May Concern,

            I've just finished watching "Waiting for Yvette", directed by Justin Ross. I am a proudly queer transgender woman and dedicated Logo viewer and appreciate the positive exposure your network offers our community. However, the film "Waiting for Yvette" crosses the line of sensitivity towards the transgender community and is both misinformative and offensive.

            The character's fears on the eve of her genital reassignment surgery are not inaccurate; As well anyone should be just hours prior to major surgery. However, the accuracy and sensitivity of the film ends there. To suggest that someone might attend an Alcoholic's Anonymous meeting for gay bachelors the night prior to surgery and begin to doubt her motives is just too far off mark to even be acceptable under comedic license. The entire premise that this woman (visibly and obviously female, and lamentably played by a non-transgender person) is only NOW to be kicked out of her group because her final "technicality" is being removed furthers the offensive stereotype (often most present in lesbian and gay communities) that one's genitals define one's gender as opposed to one's identified, lived, or visible gender. Every time I begin to think that the LGB world has finally come up to speed on the fact that genital surgery is a rather small piece in the larger puzzle of gender transition, I am sadly subjected to yet another glaring example of the ignorance from within what is supposedly our own ranks.

            Other offensive themes tightly packed into this fourteen minute "transploitation" film include Yvette's suggesting that it was Steve's alcoholism that drove him to transition to Yvette (and now that she is sober she must reconsider the whole process), the reference to Yvette's "Lolita" phase – a routine theme in such films which sexualize trans women, the suggestion that one's sexuality is immovably associated with one's genitals, and sexist comments about the effects of estrogen on one's stability of mind.

            The knife is turned in deeper when one read's the director's comments on the film. Specifically, "I discovered Waiting for Yvette at a writer's event sponsored by the Gay Writer's faction of the Writer's Guild of America. Presenting positive gay images has been a priority of mine both as an actor and as a director, and I wanted to be a part of the relatively new conversation regarding the different forms of human sexuality and gender. I was looking for an intimate, intelligent comedy to direct, and when I came upon Yvette, it was an immediate Yes, this is what I've been waiting for! No pun intended! I felt it in my gut." 

            Excuse me? What is a Gay Writer's Faction of the WGA doing with a Trans themed film? I assure you, no transperson (or at least a self-respecting transperson) was consulted in the making of this film. How does this film have anything to do with projecting positive gay images? It shows three gay men and a mischaracterized transwoman in an AA meeting, struggling with sexuality and living in the closet. I will tell you what this film does do. It plunders the transgender community for a vehicle to serve Mr. Ross' directorial aspirations. Furthermore, may I ask how Mr. Ross concludes that "the different forms of human sexuality and gender" is a "relatively new conversation"? Oh is it? It may be a relatively new conversation for white, upwardly mobile gay men or other LGB sub-demographics, but it certainly is not a new phenomenon in either the last 50 years in this culture, not to mention a great many cultures throughout human history. And I can state with first person authority that it is not at all new to me; I've been exploring these issues myself for at least 32 of my 35 years. The added pun fuels the offensive fire and further shows his insensitivity to these issues.

            Mr. Ross lists a number of influences such as Pedro Almodovar and Lypsinka's performance. Pedro Almodovar is one of my favorite directors; However his understanding of the difference between transgender persons with true gender dysphoria and other gender-non-normative people such as drag queens is less than complete. It would appear that Mr. Ross suffers the same knowledge deficit. I suggest that Mr. Ross or other directors in the future inform themselves or perhaps (gasp!) consult a real-live transgender person in the making of their films. I also suggest that Logo show more sensitivity on transgender issues and screen program material with greater sensitivity to these issues. This film has traumatized me and I will not be watching "The Click List" short film program in the future.

            There is great overlap in experiences between the LGB and T communities; Many non-trans identified gays and lesbians experience discrimination on the basis of their non-normative gender expression. Many transpeople (such as myself) identify as gay, lesbian, bisexual, or queer. However the transgender community does not exist to serve as a source of interesting subject matter, comedic foils, or otherwise to satisfy the curio of the general public or the want of a production company for a "good story line". We are real, live people and if we are not (yet) empowered and enfranchised enough to make our own films we certainly deserve to be treated with respect by informed non-trans filmmakers who chose to feature transgender storylines and characters.

Current Location: My combat boot up the ass of the gay white male film biz
Current Mood: pissed off pissed off
Current Music: The Waterboys: 1981 - 1990

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Took the Metro (Red Line to Vermont/Santa Monica, 720 Rapid to Santa Monica/La Cienega) to WeHo for some din-din... SO much fun to watch all of those suckers looking for parking for their SUV's. 

Sparing the details, I had a very awkward run in with a certain someone I did not at all expect to see while dining at a certain West Hollywood organic vegan restaurant.  She'd sent an e-mail just hours earlier which I chose not to read just yet.... how bizarre.  In a panic about how to handle the sitch since I did not know what the e-mail said, I read the e-mail on my friend's Blackberry.

Let's just say that we were THOSE people speaking with alot of hand gestures in the back hallway near the women's room of this certain gay-and-lesbian mecca of a WeHo organic vegan restaurant - the gayboy barback who passed through laden with a large tray cleared his throat loudly and said, "Pardon ME, ladies".

I have a feeling that I should not feel as awkward as I do about the whole thing, but hey, I'm from NY, it's not my fault.

And what is up with the Normandie Room these days?  How do they make any money?  The place is EMP-TY!  After I put the more sensable grown-up dykes to bed, I snuck in a nightcap at the decidedly straight Formosa with

hardrockgrrl before missing the last subway but immediately catching the Sunset bus home.



Current Music: Ben Folds Five - Whatever and Ever Amen

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Riding on my mini-jaunt this afternoon before heading over via subway to see the amazing "She's a Boy I Knew" at Outfest, I had a rather alarming incident.

Coming down a rather precarious stretch of Temple St. just west of Downtown I saw a wide-open sidewalk ahead down the hill and hopped onto it for a couple of blocks, to avoid some rather aggressive bus-piloting.  As I was coming toward an angled, mirrored storefront, I saw a bicyclist racing towards me.  I was going about a zillion miles an hour, I slammed on the brakes and jumped the curb into the street - only to realize I'd seen my own reflection.  Now I know I can scare some people sometimes, but this is rediculous - gotta lay off the coffee, sister.

My route - thanx teraflopsfor the pedometer idea!


Current Location: Gwen Haworth's bed - I wish!
Current Mood: awake
Current Music: Beatles - Rubber Soul

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Well, the new mega-Ralphs they opened here downtown always seems to be a gay mecca.  And by gay I mean men.  I mean, the place is dripping with fags - customers, employees, hell the guy who delivers all the Diet-Rite.  The deli guy always likes to bitch to me about the "queens" who come in a make a big fuss about how thin he slices their turkey.  Innuendo often?  Once a very queer friend of mine had to buy a couple of enemas for a certain someone who was recovering from an illness - and that REALLY gay guy who is always on register 6 had a field day with her, winking and telling her to "have lots of fun".  

Apparently, tonight herstory was being made as the place was literally crawling with dykes.  It was like someone had walked into the Eagle on a Wednesday, turned on all the lights and yelled "Margaret Cho is WHERE?"  The young earthy dyke couple, the hipster baby dyke butch-femme pair who left in an Acura SUV heading towards the USC campus, the countless stock-people in full back-harness unloading pallets of Fuji, and my grizzly self fresh from band practice with a less than ruly head of hair coaxed back into an alleged ponytail.

Sadly, all my cart full of edamame, cashew butter and organic apples & pears got me was alot of attention from the guy staffing the self-checkout aisle, who was really into making sure I understood how to punch in the UPC for my bartletts.

Okay, so the next step is to find out when all the SINGLE dykes are wandering around Ralph's. Oh wait, I forgot - the three single lesbians in LA are currently leaning over the bar at the Normandie Room trying to avoid the advances of that one overzealous bi-curious chick who's been a little to heavy on Coronas and gay boys tonight....  


Current Location: cat food aisle
Current Mood: amused amused
Current Music: bob dylan - bootleg series vol. 5

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So now I am back from a bike ride and have been thinking alot about my last post.  Bike rides do that to you: Make you think.  Especially when it is your first post-op bike ride and you were wishing that your sports bra was made out of iron.

I've made an edit to the beginning part of my last post which I though was cruial to my point.  And as a corollary....

I've never fit in anywhere, nor have I wanted to fit in.  Even in my hippie days, I hated hippies but I tried to fit in there because it was a place I found that a sensative "guy" with long hair and an obvious feminine expression could exist in peace in early 90's NYC - sort of like FTM's who hover in dyke/butch/etc.... spaces because it is a place where they are allowed to exist, even if it isn't right for them.

So why all of a sudden do (actually more did than do) I want to exist/be accepted in/join the mainstream of female space?  Status as a female is held quite highly - most so by other females.  Female power structure is all based on how (blank) you are.  That could be how pretty, how popular, how thin, how femme, how butch, how lesbian, how sporty, how smart, how nerdy, how feminist, how bald, how Ani, how successful executive powerbitch, how raw food vegan.  It is part and parcel with female socialization. It is the basis for societal, female-on-female and ulitmately individually internalized misogyny. It is rooted in male-defined standards of femininity, hegemonized and dished down through the ages in patriarchy after patriarchy.

Male socialization is all about the individual.  It's learning to not give a shit what others think/say, and if they disagree with you, well, fuck 'em (and maybe kill 'em).  Seriously, why do so many people worship "Cool Hand Luke"?  Why does everyone love a good western and idealize the protagonist?  They are all loners, fierce individualists who step outside the party lines, fight the power, sometimes win, sometimes lose, but always stay true to self.  They are punk fucking rock.

As a result of the patriarchy and it's strict definition of acceptable banchmarks of femininity, the women we have historically looked to as role models (and still do in alot of mainstream arenas) are "strong family types", models, actresses, entertainers, anorexics, body-negative disaster cases, and other less-than-positive influences on the development of the strength of individualism in young (and older) females.  Sigh.

So where does that leave us?  It leaves us with large swathes of puportedly feminist and queer-women-spaces which are still oscillating with the echoes of this misguided behavior mapping.  Spaces where you look around the room and realize that everyone is trying their hardest to look different, but the "right kind of different" - in effect we've just replaced one set of rules with another. 

Now in these feminist/lesbian spaces your value as a female is not measured in how many children you have, how big your suburban house is, how much your husband makes or how well you bake a lemon cake.  Instead it is now measured by where you bought that leather wrist band, weather or not your AC/DC 3/4 sleeve tour shirt is an original or an E-Bay copy, if your hair is too short to wear a dress or too long to wear that cowboy vest.  In the case of transwomen it's measured in some cases by how well you "pass", in other cases if you've had bottom surgery, and in some cases well, it's just not permitted to be measured.  Apparently in some cases it has nothing to do with who you are, your interests, your current lived and shared experiences as female.

Allow me to make an analogy.  Back in the PC early-90's, we changed "black" to "African-American".  But what did that mean?  What it meant was that we went into the societal vernacular with the text-replace tool and took out "Black", replacing each instance with "African-American".  Only we have a problem;  Not everyone with black skin is (or identifies as) African or American.  What about a black-skinned person with roots in the Dominican Republic who lives in Germany, is on vacation in the US and is the victim of racism, descrimination or even a racial hate-crime?  They will be called "African-American" by the news, by the person-on-the-street, by the ACLU lawyers.  But this is just incorrect and is a theft of identity.  What IS correct is that this BLACK person experienced racism, an experience SHARED by other BLACK people in this backwards society, regardless of where they are from or how they identify. 

So ya know what?  People who like to point out that my
"male socialization" would prevent me from ever understanding the female experience - you're really just out to lunch. I will, for the first time in my life admit that it does prevent me from understanding all this rule/code stuff.  And for the many female-born, female socialized persons (of whatever gender they may be now) who have gotten to this same "I don't give a shit" point, I really, REALLY respect you - having been socialized in that female-space where ideas like individualism were far less important than conformity.

Time to hit the showers.

Current Location: Mars
Current Mood: pensive pensive
Current Music: Luna - Close Cover Before Striking

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