So some folks may know that generally once a month I go off on a ramble, a long post meant to stream my thoughts on a group of subjects.
What a lot of people don’t realize is that these often strange posts are the seeds from which other posts will emerge in the future, as I take the time, when available, to give things more thought.
I’ve had to make some changes to my life — I now have to balance my time a little more, but I still expect to make it here to toss something into the works on a fairly regular basis. The demands of my work have risen, especially with the election cycle in full swing and my stepping up in that realm.
Visitations and Old Ghosts
As I’ve noted previously, I found myself more or less picking up the TDoR for Phoenix, and I’m honored to have that, and despite my initial panic, things are working out fairly well overall. There is a great deal of support and help in the city, and the building of relationships is paying off, even though I’m actually pretty shitty at building relationships right now since I tend to put a lot of effort into not making things about me.
This blog, of course, is about me. That’s why it is named after me. It is a part of my home space, a sort of digital front yard. One could make all sorts of arguments about freedom of speech and so forth, but here’s the thing: this is mine. I own it. I pay for it, and I don’t have a lot of money with which to pay for things. The terms of service and the people you report stuff to are all basically me.
So I sorta like to keep it a place where people don’t make stupid cracks about my personal appearance. There are many, many other places they are free to make those cracks that I do not own. I learned a long time ago that there is a time and place for just about everything in this world. You can figure that out for yourself hopefully with a lot more ease than I by listening to the song “turn, turn, turn” or reading the part of the Bible that comes from.
Sometimes I’m willing to let stuff come in here that is critical. Most of the time I am, in fact. The key lies in what it is critical of. If it is going to be critical of me as a person, well, then, not so much. Especially if that’s the content of the post. I’m also not real likely to do so if the post contains a bunch of shit about things that have jack to do with what the post being commented is on.
I’m odd like that.
Now, if the comment is about the post — and it disagrees with me and makes that case in a reasonable and well argued fashion, then I’m probably going to allow it — even if it does get a couple digs in at me personally because zingers are damn near a requirement (and certainly traditional in debate).
But in no case am I going to take falsehoods as fact. I just don’t roll that way. And for those who scoff at my doing any of that, I’ll remind you that I am known for being a sharp tongued woman and I am also one of the least “banned” of the sharp tongued women in the area of online trans activism.
And the reason that’s the case is that I don’t break the rules that I set up above in most cases. Here, on my blog, I might say things that are catty and mean and all the rest, but seriously — that’s not all that common and what I do say is focused substantially on the words of the person and the ideas behind those words.
As a post I’ve started or written or something like that has explained.
And all of this is on my mind because I’ve noticed that with SAET’s site now invite only, the closing down of TS-SI, and the scattering of various groups to other places (I pity Suzan, since she will get a lion’s share of them), there’s not really as strongly grouped a set of loud voices to run around and spit venom at trans people as part of The Unending Argument.
But a couple have decided to revisit me here and they’ve not changed their focus or their anger at all, and so I’m getting a bit of the old style venom and I’m having a bit of a time with it, truly trying to figure out why it is that they seem to be stuck in the place where we last were having exchanges.
That doesn’t make sense to me, because I tend to expect people to grow and shit. Probably a fault of my own expectations, but still — it’s like seeing delayed release comments that rehash shit from well over a year ago.
The other major front in the “close to home” fight has also quieted down once more. The loudest mouths are focused on other issues and that means there is some space and time to think on more important shit instead of having to once more rehash arguments that have been going on for decades and are solved as far as the rest of the world is concerned.
I’m glad about that.
And all of that leads into the thing that is slowly swallowing the country. It is Presidential Election time, and this year there are two very, very different candidates. Been a long time since that’s been the case.
There are also as many as five other even more different candidates, depending on where you live. Republicans are likely to retain control of the House, Dems of the senate, and the amount of control and who is in the white house appears to be up fro grabs, although no matter how many times they cite polls or whatever, the truth is none of that really makes a damn bit of difference. Until the voting hits, the game belongs to anyone, at any time and all too often it is going to be about money.
So politics are in full swing and the world is watching as debates are held and questions are asked and binders full of women show up alongside mistakes made about the support of a certain law here in AZ.
Which is fascinating — one of the key architects of the SB1070 law (and the dozen or so other laws that were also passed relating to undocumented immigration here in AZ) is a guy who worked for a pretty obviously racist group calling itself FAIR, but currently serves as the Secretary of State for Kansas (where he tried to remove Obama from the ballot) and also seems to be in a vaguely odd unofficial but sorta official role as the Immigration advisor to Romney’s campaign.
Which means that Romney is going to have, in his support team, several of the people who have made Arizona the laughingstock of the nation it has been all too often since Obama promoted our former Governor.
And while that’s all nice and rambling, there is a point here.
Single Issue Voter?
The point is that I’ve been said to be a single issue voter. Personally, I find that to be rather insulting, and also incredibly false.
I do make my votes based on concerns I have relating to the Trans community primarily. It isn’t the only factor that applies, but it is a big one. Other factors that apply are things like a sociological outlook, a strong and compelling desire to see more women elected to office, and, of course, The Line.
SO to say that I’m a single issue voter annoys me just on those things alone.
But people focus on the trans aspect, for obvious reasons, and even there it isn’t a single issue.
Transness is simply the thing that rests under all the other stuff. And all that other stuff is what interests me.
To me, that means my issues are: poverty, homelessness, domestic violence, ex-offender re-entry, job skills development, education, children’s needs, parent’s needs, senior needs, preserving the ACA, ensuring that Social security is solvent, reducing gun violence (which, I will note, does not mean reducing the ability of people to buy arms), military service, veteran’s issues, medical care and access, contraception, women’s issues (including access to services), voter registration issues, the economy, foreign policy, job creation, racism, immigration, sexism, and about two dozen others that I’m not recalling off the top of my head since this isn’t a regular post where I have notes but a ramble.
That’s not single issue to me.
Toss in my own personal interests in ensuring that we properly fund discovery oriented efforts (both planetary and extra-planetary), and the need to check the system so that all of these things are done and well…
I just can’t see that making me a single issue voter by any stretch of the truth, but hey, I’ve noticed that belief and imagination are running rampant of late in more areas than just the barely touched on Arguments that seem to consume and distract a lot of the time.
All of those things affect and involve and deal with trans people. All of them. I know, because I spend my days dealing with as many of those things as I possibly can. Trans people come in all shapes and sizes — I know I have a huge number of readers who are Republicans. I feel fortunate in knowing that they aren’t insane asswipes like so many in the Republican party are today, and some of them have even written to me and suggested that maybe I should try to change the part from the inside just as I’ve suggested int he past.
ANd there, the question is pick your battles. In the social service arena and in the LGBT community at large, being a republican can make your work more difficult. Plus, with the most recent platform, and the election on us, I am in no way going to be directly and currently associated with a group of people who are doign their absolute best to make the outcome for all of those things I listed as negative for trans people as possible.
I’ve said it before and I will say it again, and it has jack to do with party affiliation or anything else: President Obama is better for trans people than any other president in history.
However, if we are going to make sure that the good things he’s done remain in place, we have to make sure that in this election people opposed to all of that stuff (which, by platform, is the GOP and a sizable number of Independents who are actually disgruntled tea partiers) do not get elected.
And trans people can’t do that by themselves.
IN a discussion on this stuff not too long ago, I noted that I’ve occasionally said it is too bad we can’t get like a hundred thousand people together to become nomads for a 16 year period, traveling from city to city, region to region, moving into a known bastion of hostility en masse, registering to vote, and then after changing the demographics in a given location, do it again to another place right after the election. That many people are a sizeable block of power, and the pnly problem is that it would take 16 years to effect a change significant enough to make a difference.
But even should such a thing be practical in terms of possibility, it would still be a mistake. In much the same way that trying to “break away” or become wholly separate is such a mistake. As was made clear (and challenged often) many many decades ago, when you are resisting oppression, you get allies and you stick together or you will fail.
I think that people often allow the myths about the birth of our nation to color and shift their views about things today, but the usually uncomfortable and often less sanitized truth is far more useful and of enduring value.
I think that may be why I turn to that period when speaking on many issues of transness. It certainly isn’t my favorite period of history, but it is one that informs and fills and frames the struggle that we find ourselves in as trans people –as oppressed peoples beyond merely transness, because the struggle in the end is the same.
People for the most part today don’t realize just how difficult it was, and how incredibly different a concept it was, even for most of the people who would, eventually, become citizens of a new nation, for there to be this thing called rights and this whole “godless” idea of equality.
Short ramble, but there is more coming later…