Category Archives: queer issues/culture

just some thoughts at a coffee shop

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Filed under queer issues/culture, woc, writing/poetry

angry beyond words

i’m angry. i’m resentful. i don’t know where to begin.

a best friend and i just had a really deep conversation about how private i am about my sex/relationship life. i am unable to allow anyone to get close to me in that way. learning about doctors as a for-profit industry [medical industrial complex] has equipped me with the tools to describe my anger in words.

i am ANGRY that i have never felt ownership of my body in the last 20 years.

i RESENT the fact that the only way i can own my body is to stay away from doctors and people. to stay away and never let anyone near. this has been very detrimental in my physical health and emotional relationships that require physical closeness.

i am forever SCARRED by movies, news stories, authorities, religion, and people who have told me that my existence as a disabled person, a woman of color, as a queer person, as a queer disabled woman of color is reprehensible [to be blamed] and ugly.

i am FRUSTERATED that a life of surgeries, biopsies [tests], physical therapy, and appointments with every specialist has left me feeling like i have lost parts of me for some unknown quest to be normal (that was not even wanted or requested by me).

i can’t believe that all these years later it is leaving such a real big imprint on my life and how i interact with people. i hate this. i hate them. and at this point, i don’t even have the energy to hate right now.

where the hell does this leave me? how do i claim my body as my own? does anyone know? Continue reading

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Filed under disability, queer issues/culture, sexuality, violence, woc

gaydar..

Gaydar—
When does this function begin to work?
Is there a help number
I can call?
Hi, Hello.
Yes, the gaydar you gave me just won’t turn on.
Yes, I read the instructions.
I have my queer proof of purchase right here,
Can I get a replacement?

Is immersing myself in queer culture required to getting this thing up and running?
After my sister graduates, she’s going to my aunt’s place in Seoul
There she’ll learn the gayageum and brush up on her Corean,
Maybe that’s what I need to do?
Assimilate myself in all-queer surroundings
Get the language down right…

If there is a password, just tell me
Maybe I can guess
“loveLorde”?
“heternomativity”?
“ENDAtransexclusiontheHRCdoesntspeakforme”?

Or is it that I’m so used to being stared at,
So used to everyone watching my every move,
That I’ve drowned all you out?
Ah yes maybe I’ve missed step one—

direct your eyes towards the subject.

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Filed under community, queer issues/culture, writing/poetry

recap on the weekend

I feel hopeless when I’m supposed to be speaking on sexual consciousness but am feeling disconnected from my own body because I don’t look white, skinny, or able-bodied like the masses of queer people there

I feel like I’m misleading people and betraying my own when I talk about disability in a cross-disability intersectional framework and the only visual image people are getting is that disability=mobility because the only disabled people presenting (including myself) are wheelchair users

I feel home when I fly into North Carolina and am surrounded by bodies of all sizes, shapes and colors— my, how one can miss this love/hate relationship with the South is surprising

Like this weekend, I sometimes feel invisible

Like this weekend, I sometimes feel like I talk about disability too much, but this is hard to balance when I feel like I am brought somewhere to only talk about disability

Like this weekend, I am unsure what the future holds or what community actually looks like for me

Here’s to friends that remind me why I am in this, the spirit of community, and those disabled people and allies who through all this, made the sessions and trip worthwhile.

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Filed under ableism, activism, community, disability, queer, queer issues/culture

sins invalid

For the last two years, performers and activists have been organizing a show on disability, invisibility, and sexuality in San Francisco, titled Sins Invalid [link isn’t work safe]. This past November, I watched the clips on youtube and pretended I was there. Must figure out a way to get there next year. : )

Here is an interview with one performer, Soledad Decosta who describes herself as “an uppity Portuguese woman who isn’t afraid to claim her black latina maternal ancestry”. In her interview, she describes her experience as a disabled intersex person.

“It’s not just like just let’s get it on. It’s like “…no, let’s have a discussion.”
It’s not everybody that always wants to have a discussion—people want to have sex, you know— and it’s not that simple when you’re in a position like mine and that’s true for a lot of pwds if not all all pwds, especially if you’re dealing with something that’s, you know, rendered as somehow visibly otherizing in the context of negotiating sex, having sex, and being a sexual human being. It’s not like there’s some guidebook. It’s not like you go to Barnes and Noble and there’s like a hundred books on hot crip sex with intersex person. There’s just not. It’s like I’m the book— hello, I’m the book— ask me, open me up.” —Soledad (this segment starts at 2:08 part of the clip)

What stood out to me were the two lines below, largely because although Soledad is a queer disabled person, both situations could easily apply to a disabled OR queer person, particularly those with bodies that aren’t considered the norm. The two communities have a lot of commonalities. (distrust for doctors or the medical industrial complex, body issues, defying labels, the list goes on and on…):

“For example, if I get into an accident, what’s going to happen to me? There are people whose bodies are similar to mine, you get in an accident and they don’t know how to categorize you. They may deny you treatment while you’re dying there on the sidewalk.”

“They—that is those doctors— they didn’t get things quite right. Instead of praising my birth, they cut. …They held me down and did things to me that no one should have to go through without their consent.”

You can find more Sins Invalid interviews by clicking here. And it’s HOT!! (oh and again not work safe). : D

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Filed under disability, links, queer issues/culture, sexuality

ableism & heterosexism

mia mingus accepting the creating change award:

“i want to honor those of us who know we can not separate heterosexism* from ableism* and allow disability issues to be seen as secondary issues; those of us push disability into the conversation even when it’s hard and unpopular, again and again; those of us who are not a part of the nonprofit industrial complex* and who do not work for an organization but whose activism and work is no less valuable; and especially, those of us who are living at the intersections of race, gender, sexuality, and disability and know that multi-issue politics are not just a winning strategy but indeed they are the only way that we will survive. we all need to bring disability into our work and confront ableism as a major system of oppression that works hand in hand with heterosexism to oppress queer people. we can not talk about bodies without talking about disability! it means something to be queer and disabled and we need to talk about that.” —mia

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Filed under activism, disability, homophobia/heterosexism, queer issues/culture, sexuality

another word on privilege

I ran across this article on privilege today, written by Peggy McIntosh, an anti-racist feminist. (Maybe I’m late to the table and you folks have already seen it?) Anyways, here were some of my favorite points that describe aspects of privilege:

  • If I should need to move, I can be pretty sure of renting or purchasing housing in an area which I can afford and in which I would want to live.
  • I can go shopping alone most of the time, fairly well assured that I will not be followed or harassed by store detectives.
  • I can turn on the television or open to the front page of the paper and see people of my race widely and positively represented.
  • When I am told about our national heritage or about “civilization,” I am shown that people of my color made it what it is.
  • I can swear, or dress in secondhand clothes, or not answer letters, without having people attribute these choices to the bad morals, the poverty, or the illiteracy of my race.
  • I can do well in a challenging situation without being called a credit to my race.
  • I can remain oblivious to the language and customs of persons of color who constitute the world’s majority without feeling in my culture any penalty for such oblivion.
  • I can go home from most meetings of organizations I belong to feeling somewhat tied in, rather than isolated, out of place, outnumbered, unheard, held at a distance, or feared.
  • I can take a job with an affirmative action employer without having my co­workers on the job suspect that I got it because of my race.
  • I can be sure that if I need legal or medical help, my race will not work against me.

While the list she created was specifically on white male privilege, what I found most interesting is how they could have easily been describing abled-bodied (nondisabled) privilege, heterosexual/cissexual privilege, and class privilege. She pointed out while society sometimes does talk about how racism and sexism disadvantages women and people of color, it doesn’t talk about how it gives others advantages (her words: “As a white person, I realized I had been taught about racism as something that puts others at a disadvantage, but had been taught not to see one of its corollary aspects, white privilege, which puts me at an advantage.”)

Although sometimes I think people who identify with an oppressed group of people think they have an automatic free pass from recognizing privilege (i.e. disabled men who are racist, feminists who are ableist, etc….) and it’s wrong to casually say all forms of privilege are the same, it still amazes/bothers/frusterates/surprises me how, as individuals or communities, it is still difficult to recognize that the struggle is one that is shared. 

But I guess that’s part of the oppression we face in the first place…

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Filed under community, disability, queer issues/culture, race, woc