Busy Busy Busy…

Since I am at a point where I have the chance to rest, lol, I thought I would instead pop on my favorite little blog here and explain why I haven’t posted of late.

I’ve been busy. This last week in particular — meetings every day, often multiple, plus I had to redo a few brochures and update a couple others for TIH, and *then* I also started work on my “most important project of the moment” (which is usually whatever I am working on): resetting the Phoenix Trans Resource Guide.

PTRG

The PTRG is not my brain child.  It was started by a close friend of mine named Sean Michael, who collected a small group of people together (mostly men) to get this started. The first iteration I believe was printed out of his own pocket.

At an open meeting of the group getting it together (which varies according to time and energy available), I made the offer for TIH to start printing it for them.  For the next few iterations, it was a brochure style deal, that listed some people and didn’t list others,because there simply wasn’t enough space to get everyone in at once.

The trans community, being very diverse, tends to rarely agree on anything.  And individual experiences do vary.  So getting everyone listed was kinda important to me, personally.  And, over the last three days, I started oing something I had wanted to do last year — I redesigned it into a booklet format.

At first, it was going to be a smaller size one — using legal paper folded in half. Since printing is is basically a one girl operation (me), and doing it that way was a nightmare, lol, I shifted it over late last night to a standard 81/2 by 11 booklet format, and so it is that I now have this awesome list of resources set up in a manner that will continue to grow.

It is 30 pages long. In laying it out, there were some glaring absences in support. Support for our Seniors, for example, that’s dedicated to them.  There’s only one group dedicated to persons of color. I just now realized I need to include the one Veteran’s listing that I know of.

I have, in the past, talked about how important it is to organize and I’ve talked about ways to do that.  One of the things I think I missed in all of that is the importance of creating ways to communicate and share that do not involve the internet.

Like this:

Phoenix Trans Resource Guide

And I think I should speak to that part of organizing, which I am almost certainly going to do in a post coming up soonish.

Tumblr-Brennan

In the middle of all of this work, I have taken a few spare moments out of my day each day to pester ms brennan. She’s trolling trans folk, and she says that she went on to tumblr in order to troll transfolk for making somene feel bad.

I went onto tumblr in order because of her. She started to write some incredibly nasty stuff, and I got emails and messages and little notes, and so poof, there I was.

But she’s pretty boring, really.  Her latest thing is saying trans people can’t handle systems arguments, but all I’ve been tossing at her are systems arguments.

So once or twice a day I’ve trolled her. Not the mean kind of trolling, but the kind whee you are reasonable and somewhat polite and you point out the errors in her ways.  You know, pedantic trolling. The sort I am good at.

And she’s pointedly ignoring me.  In part because she gets the shivers whenever I do troll her. It freaks her out, affects her day, and today, of all things, she decided to ask herself if she was aware I am obsessed with her.

One thing she did right was she stopped saying “tony” — which always makes me scratch my head because it takes me a moment to see if she really is talking about me, another person, or saying something is pretty ritzy, glamorous, and fancy.

American Apparel – Isis King

Beyond that, there is the announcement that American Apparel reached an agreement with GLAAD and brought in Isis King to model their stuff.

None of which has any trans specific stuff at all.  Not that such isn’t to be expected — there is a deep and abiding dearth of stuff that can be used to recognize transness in the media and in fashions.

Take, for example shutterstock.  They are a large and major source of photos that are used by pretty much anyone who wants low cost and quick access to images for print and related campaigns, as well as simple stuff like blogs, news articles, and such.  In newspaper speak, they are “file photos”.

Shutterstock: Trans representations in stock photography

A while back, I was keyed into searching the stockpile of millions of images for those tagged with information pertaining to feminist. The article that did it was pretty interesting, because the photos that are tagged in that way on shutterstocks site are horrific.

The transgender possibilities are worse. And transsexual is even worse yet.  Total erasure and invisibility — although a large part of that was that I didn’t see anyone who represented either the bulk of the trans community I am familiar with, or even represented myself.

Gender rights and related tags pulled up marginally better stuff, but yeah, it’s really not all that fun.  And now that I have the ipad app, I can do it with a bit more ease, and literally sit there for half an hour wanting to scream in frustration and resentment.

Obviously, I don’t do that often.

Conversations

I had a conversation with someone behind the scenes on tumblr in the last couple of days.  Warning/reminder to people who converse with me through written formats *email, messages, tumblr, et al*: I am long winded and I write mostly SoC style. And I think in associations. So I can bounce between five different subjects in a single paragraph.

I really enjoyed the conversation.  The basics of it dealt with the issues around the radfem/trans fights on tumblr, and in particular the behavior of trans people on tumblr.

Let me make this simple: there is a small group of trans people on tumblr who are one or more of the following:

  • really poorly informed
  • subject to making assumption without all the facts
  • overly concerned with their persons
  • too narrowly focused on “injustice”
  • faking it to make trans people look bad
  • dealing with really high levels of internalized shame and stigma that they are not working on
  • spending too much time trying to deal with too many different issues
  • really damned idiotic

I’m not going to talk about specific people, because *who* isn’t important (and is self evident). I don’t care so much about the messenger as I do about the message.

And the message is about as typical of the internet as it gets. If it isn’t ugly and spiteful and mean and, well, trollish, then it doesn’t get any attention.

Gotta be angry, I guess, and that anger has to be directed in a manner that feels good, no matter if the action itself (or the intent) is harmful to the wider community.

Then again, I’m not one to talk too much — I’ve had my moments of really ugly words, and I’m known for smacking pretty much everyone a time or two, friend and foe.

Friends know that’s just me being me.

Capital Campaign

I’m gearing up hardcore for the new TIH capital Campaign, and paying close attention as I do to ways to make the most of the money we raise — not just for the Phoenix Metro area, but for the wider community in the US and even worldwide as well. It is going to mean a major pile of work on the website that’s already begun (design is done, plan is in place, just assembling the pieces here and there).

With that comes all the *other* fun stuff that goes along with it, and now I have to make some decisions I am not happy about but that make sense *right now*.

The campaign is going to be fairly simple this year: 1000 people donating 10 dollars a month for 12 months.

Yes, you heard right — ten bucks. Not a lot at all.

Also, only 1000 people doing it.

Some already are — and we are putting together packages to recognize their donations and to keep people informed of what we are doing and how we are doing it, and giving them a way to show that they support trans folk.

We are working on Tshirts, membership cards, odds and ends for giveaways. We are even taling about calendars.  But, mostly, we are thinking of a magazine that will be produced and will highlight trans stuff not just from phoenix but from all over.  We’re setting up our editorial guidelines still and doing the layout, but it will be more than just the usual “here’s what we do with your money, thanks, have a great day” blast.

Available in both digital and print editions. And, as with pretty much everythign else we do at TIH, we are looking at the most cost effective ways o doing this stuff over the long term.

It is probably jumping the gun, but I’m looking at both a conference next year, and getting a second physical house. In addition to all the other things we do.

No wonder I’m so busy, lol.

The retreat for TIH is this next weekend.  This is when the team that makes all this happen (because make no mistake, I am only a small part of the whole thing) gets together in a place that is free of distractions and is surrounded by beauty and nature and we have a little fun but mostly talk about what we did right, what we did wrong, and how we can make it better.

How we can do better, how we can be better, and how to make life better.

I cannot say just how important it is that trans people become involved in local efforts.  The internet is great and all — and I freely admit that I use it to burn off some of my frustration and resentment — but it doesn’t actually get most of the changes we need to make done.

Because those changes are always all about the infrastructure.

That guide up above? That’s part of an infrastructure system.  There will be more to accompany it in the future.

But it all starts with little steps, and not letting the ugly parts slow you down.