Category Archives: violence

for teish cannon

last week we mourned the passing of duanna johnson. a few days later, another trans woman of color has been killed. this wednesday thursday is trangender day of remembrance, i hope you will remember our lost and speak out.

even after death
they stuff our bodies into boxes
ironing out the creases of our complexities
they use blades, fists
violence
institutions
and blood-tinged spit
to fold us into the faceless other
the soulless

even after death,
they refuse to recognize our names,
our genders, our loved ones.

even after death.
have you no respect?

no i don’t expect anything from you
i know better than that
but if not for who we are
if not for our communities
if not for the mourning families,
at least for the dead?

at least for the dead?
who, with your mocking
your open hatred
your silence,
have taken part in killing?

have you no damn respect?

6 Comments

Filed under queer, violence, woc, writing/poetry

an open letter

Dear Wheelchair Dancer,

Hey sister— thanks for your blog post on the elections, racism, prop 8. I’ve been in such a funny place lately after all of this and your writing really helped me in naming why.

Sylvia posted a tweet the other day about wanting to wrap Obama in bubble wrap, Teflon, a condom, Fort Knox— anything— to keep him safe until January 20th. That’s kind of how I feel about my emotions. And I hate to sound cliché here, but also my hope. My head knows what this election means and what this election does not mean but I still want scream Yes We Can!, rock my Obama shirt in classes full of Republicans, and, well, just bask in the symbolism of it. I want to believe in what everyone else believes in for more than one night, even if a lot of it is compartmentalizing what I know and not thinking about things folks like Moya and so many others are sayin’. So I close my door, download all the free mixtapes people are producing for Obama, and bullshit around happily.

But then it changes, right? At least it did for me, couldn’t even last a week. I read a message from VivirLatino about another mass ICE raid where over 100 people are rounded up in Florida and separated from their families. I hear white racist gay folks getting time on the tv and then blame Prop 8 on communities of color! I get an email from someone I really care about saying someone she knows was being beaten to death from what seems like a hate crime. With tears in my eyes I read of Duanna Johnson’s death and then see talk show radio hosts trying to leave comments on my blog saying they’re advocates while simultaneously disrespecting who she was. All these things tear me right from that cloudy good place. These things come at me like a million lightening bolts, reminding me of all the work that needs to be done and more importantly, who will be the ones doing this work.

It will be us. We will do it cause there isn’t anyone else but us, the people, la gente. So like our dear friend asks in her blog— as organizers, as artists, as community-builders, as dreamers, how can we learn from his campaign? How can we get the folks on the ground, many who weren’t believers in power of people before, to keep dreaming and ready to pick up other tools? How do we stay focused? Clear-headed? How do we build this bigger than non-profits, projects, campaigning?

And what about when the evil, the hate, the bondage is internal— How do we combat these things when they come in the form of our communities, people we love? I mean I didn’t truly understand what racism and white privilege really meant until I got involved in social movements, you know? Is it possible to take these conversations happening post-Prop 8 and turn them into something that lasts? Will there be room to sew close our open wounds, our mistrust? And is it even worth it, trying to work it out with gays and lesbians who will always choose marriage, gentrification, assimilation and capital building as priorities, when so many fellow queers are homeless, forgotten, oppressed, closeted, beaten, denied their humanity?

I’m really hoping you have some answers, that someone has answers. In the meantime, thanks for being who you are, for our gchats, for the love…

In solidarity and w/ love,
cripchick

4 Comments

Filed under activism, community, homophobia/heterosexism, internal change, organizing, queer, violence, woc

for duanna johnson

a picture of duanna johnson

sister, i am angry
furious at your death
upset with my own foolishness in celebrating him
while you die in the streets

with beatings, with violence left on your beautiful brown skin
with the names, the silence, the mainstream media lies
they refuse to let us ever forget that
guns penetrating our backs, we are always standing at the cliff of our own mortality

sister, i am in mourning
lighting a candle, i read this poem into the glimmering light
my poem is a prayer for you,
for the others i will never have the opportunity of knowing, and for the friends who mourn your death today
we will not forget. we will speak your name.

you said no!, you would not let police brutality and violence against transgender women of color fade into an invisible cloud of silence
you said no…
and now you are gone.

you are gone
but we will not forget.
the anger, the connection, the injustice just cuts too deep.
instead we will carry your name on our tongue
your bravery in our own ribcage
your memory in our work
we will wear red everyday
remembering you
and countless of others

we will not forget, sister.

6 Comments

Filed under queer, race, violence, woc

i am wearing red today

red image of two women screaming out when we speak we are afraid our words will not be heard or welcomed. but when we are silent, we are still afraid, so it is better to speak. (audre lorde)

click on the image above to learn more.

2 Comments

Filed under reproductive justice, violence, woc

some questions

for the candidates who use military families as a political stump speech:
Continue reading

1 Comment

Filed under violence, war

tropic thunder

Q:
What do you get when you put
blackface,
sizeism,
old racist jokes,
glorification of war
and outright ableism together?

A: Tropic Thunder

Tropic Thunder is a big-budget film to be released next week. The synopsis on the promotional website describes the film as

“an action comedy about a group of self-absorbed actors who set out to make the most expensive war film. After ballooning costs force the studio to cancel the movie, the frustrated director refuses to stop shooting, leading his cast into the jungles of Southeast Asia, where they encounter real bad guys.”

In the movie, Ben Stiller plays an actor who is upset for not winning an award for his [wretched, offensive] portrayal of a man with developmental disabilities in a movie titled Simple Jack. Robert Downey Jr. plays a white man in blackface. Jack Black plays another actor, one who wore a body suit and starred in a picture called The Fatties.

It upsets me when I hear people let things go in the name of humor. Movies, television, and all forms of media play a huge role in how people perceive things, even when the themes are less obvious. Two weeks ago, Angie Zapata, a young trans woman of color, was murdered (and called “it”) just for being a trans woman. Only a few months before Angie’s death, Dorothy Dixon, a disabled woman, was abused, beaten, and murdered in Illinois. The New Jersey 4 are still in jail for defending themselves against a homophobic attacker (in which the media called them things like a “wolf pack of lesbians”). There are so many more that we’ve lost. We cannot afford to let movies rooted— or quietly lined— in mischaracterization and dehumanization pass by. If it was just comedy, it wouldn’t cost us so much.

Patricia Bauer, a disability rights blogger who has been following the movie, wrote that disability organizations will be meeting with Dreamworks this Wednesday. Be prepared to take action.

Under the cut, you’ll find a R-rated preview and a dialogue between two of the characters that will show you why this is unacceptable. [trigger warning— many violent scenes, language, and all-out offensive stereotyping]

Continue reading

22 Comments

Filed under ableism, activism, disability, intersections, organizing, violence

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

42 Comments

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