Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Guess What I'm Doing Thursday!

HInt #1:

Hint #2:

Hint #3:

Still don't know? Here, no more teasing....

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Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Demon Blood

Note: This is a very dark and very personal post, and may be triggering for some readers. Please use your best discretion before reading.

I have no rational explanation for the paternal side of the family, to explain the darkness and brutality that we have faced for generations.

I call it "demon blood", because it seems like every last one of us is damned.

It cursed my paternal grandfather, who managed to kill my paternal grandmother with abuse and neglect, and who got away without answering to the law.

It cursed my sole paternal aunt, who I never knew, because of a certain "gun cleaning accident".

It cursed my oldest paternal uncle and his children, who tortured and abused me regularly.

It cursed my father, who ran away from home and joined the Navy, only to take on the guilt for his dead mother, as if there was anything he really could've done to save her. Frankly, he was half-way to being a casualty as well.

It cursed him to inflict violence on his own family--yes, milder than what his father did. He never struck my mother.

He did strike me, though, for standing up to him when he was yelling at her abusively.

He struck me for being bored in Left Field, in one of my vain attempts to appease him by feigning interest in sports.

He struck me for being late home from school.

He struck me for showing interest in the pornography he hoarded.

He struck me for playing with his razors--again, a vain attempt to appease him by feigning interest in the trappings of masculinity.

He struck me with a beer can, upside the head, for making some comment I can't even remember.

He struck me for telling a dirty joke that one of his friend's kids taught me.

And when he finally felt like he couldn't strike me anymore, the abuse kept on coming. Like calling me "faggot" when I scraped my knuckles bloody and complained of the pain. Like fashioning cat o' nine tails out of garden hose, as a threat.

Like terrorizing the fuck out of me when he discovered I liked to dress in a feminine fashion.

That demon blood was inherited in his children, too, although it seems to be turned almost entirely inward.

In my case, I can feel that demon blood surging every time I witness an outrage. And believe you me, there's ample outrages to be witnessed. And, quite frankly, I cause some of the outrages in question--and the demon blood is no more merciful to me than to anyone else.

I channel as much of that hellfire as I can into other venues, like black metal and BDSM, where it can be rendered relatively safe. But inevitably I find myself consumed by it.

It's a wonder I'm not dead by my own hand. To be honest, I have such a personal revulsion to suicide that I cannot imagine killing myself. I know full well that there are people in this world who, for some reason, care for me and therefore would be terribly hurt if I were to die. That doesn't stop the temptation.

This demon blood calls out for some sort of violence. I want to turn it towards justice, to keep it reined in and under my control, used for good, or at least kept from being used for evil. I've sought pills, therapy, religion--any means to keep the demon blood at bay. So far I have been somewhat successful. I've lived longer than my dead aunt, perhaps longer than my dead grandmother. But that's not to say that I have perfect faith that the demon blood will not prevail at the end.

If you think I worry too much about hurting my loved ones--you don't understand what I'm worrying about.

If you think I'm too good, too awesome, too whatever to allow my self-destruction--you don't understand what I am facing.

That demon blood HAUNTS me. And short of a miracle, it will until my last breath.

An Open Letter To The Philadelphia Daily News

To the editor, Philadelpha Daily News, and to the Internet in general:

Before I begin, I want to make clear that the Philadelphia Daily News is hardly exceptional in the way it treats trans folk. Nearly every news organization in the world does what you did. But that doesn't make it acceptable--it just means that you are all morally culpable.

What could I possibly be talking about? I'm talking about the way you reported the murder of Stacey Lee. Let me spell it out for you.

Citing the story, "Body of transsexual found in Point Breeze" (http://www.philly.com/dailynews/local/20101013_Body_of_transsexual_found_in_Point_Breeze.html) the very first problem is in the headline. "Transsexual" is not a noun, but an adjective. And this is hardly grammar policing--it matters, in a big way. The media treats "transsexual" as if it is a separate category from "man" and "woman", and thus encourages people to think of us as something exotic, alien, and threatening. I presume "trans woman" would be far more accurate here, and would at least remind people that they're dealing with a person and not a thing.

Then you get right to the police report. Know this: Police everywhere are notorious for transphobic behavior. It should be no surprise that the police insist on recording a male name and gender for the victim, even though her neighbors knew her as a trans woman. When you help strip a trans woman of her identity like this, you murder her again. It's not enough that Ms. Lee was killed, apparently; you have to make sure her life is erased by emphasizing the misgendering done by the police. If you wish to show respect to trans folk, you must respect this fact and push against it. Her name was Stacy; that's how she lived, and that is how she should be remembered.

And then there's the matter of focusing on Ms. Lee's appearance. What does it matter if the victim is beautiful or not? Who cares if the victim gave some non-trans woman a "complex"? She's dead! A moral outrage has been committed, and you spend four paragraphs--eighty-one words!--focusing on her attractiveness instead of the tragedy. Why is that? To what end? More othering, more exotification? You may as well call her attractiveness as a threat justifying her murder, explicitly, rather than implying it by discussing it needlessly.

And you just had to use that quote at the end:

"Whatever she was - transvestite, man, woman - she didn't deserve to die like that," one man said.

More exotification--treating "transvestite" (as if Ms. Lee were one!) as something separate from "man" and "woman"? It doesn't matter that it's someone else's words, since you allowed them to be quoted.

But there's something far uglier. "She didn't deserve to die like that"? No, she didn't deserve to die, period! Whoever you quoted might have been counted among the mourners, but the choice of phrase reveals that this person doesn't really care if Stacey Lee lived or died, as long as it wasn't a gruesome death so close to home.

In conclusion, this is a pattern seen time and time again when trans murders are reported. API guidelines, which state that a trans person's identity and name should be used and honored, are thrown out the window; the focus is on the victim's attractiveness instead of the horror of the situation; and interview quotes are selected not to shed light on the person who died but to emphasize the otherness of the victim.

You can do far, far better. For shame.

Friday, October 01, 2010

Radio Show Premiere FTW

Tonight, at 9 PM Pacific time, is the premier of my radio show, Hymns
To The Dead Goddess, on Sisters Of Damnation Radio.

Hymns To The Dead Goddess focuses on the women (trans and cis) of the
extreme music underground. Death, black, doom, thrash, sludge, grind,
crust--if a woman's making the pit go insane with moshing, you'll hear
it!

Episode One features the music of Derketa, Hekseri, Iskra, Damad,
Addaura, and more.

Visit http://www.sistersofdamnation.com/ to tune in! Podcast version
coming soon!