Vaginal Discourse

Dow Jones has just added UnitedHealth to the Dow Jones 500. In the 2010 fiscal year, the insurer had profits of $4.63 billion.

Last Thursday, Washington D.C. unveiled a new campaign in support of trans* people. Trans* people in D.C. frequently (even by US standards) suffer violence, often at the hands of local authorities.

I think the campaign walks something of a fine line– it attempts to show trans* people as “normal” residents of D.C. with typical interests, so there’s a bit of gender stereotyping. (I’m general not a fan of normalcy as a virtue.) There’s also the issue of the limits to which civil rights laws are the remedy from institutional discrimination (see Dean Spade’s latest book). So yeah, I’m a bitter, bitter queer.

That said, HOLY FUCK EVERYBODY HOLY FUCK, EVERYBODY. When I came out seven years ago, I had a hard time imaging an American government publicly supporting trans* people. Damn.

From the Washington D.C. Office of Human Rights:

The groundbreaking Transgender and Gender Identity Respect Campaign has been called by advocates the first government-funded campaign focused exclusively on the betterment of transgender and gender non-conforming people. Developed at the DC Office of Human Rights (OHR) in close consultation with transgender advocates and community members, the campaign aims to increase understanding and respect for the transgender and gender non-conforming communities, decrease incidents of discrimination and increase reporting of discrimination to OHR. The five campaign ads feature actual community members, and will appear citywide on bus shelters in the fall and winter of 2012.

Read the OHR’s full statement here.

For lack of anything better to do, here’s an overview of a new blog/project: We Happy Trans

In the words of Jen (its founding editor):

We Happy Trans was created so that trans people could share stories of positive experiences, so the wider world could see that, like any other community, we too thrive, struggle, and overcome; to give further evidence that we too have writers magically shaping words to reflect and elevate shared human experience, and eloquent speakers calling to the better angels of our nature; that we too have bold, visible heroes, as well as quiet warriors or ordinary life; that we too laugh, cry, gossip and occasionally engage in petty squabbles; that we are Christians, Jews, Muslims, atheists, pagans, Buddhists, Hindus, Theosophists, magical panty wearing Mormons, and seekers; we read Shakespeare and watch reality t.v.; occupy queer neighborhoods, small towns, dance halls, local pubs, schools, offices, theaters, prisons, NPOs, nursing homes, hunting parties and coffee klatches in every conceivable place on earth, and possibly beyond; that we are parents, friends, children, second-cousins once-removed, neighbors, strangers, lovers and mortal enemies; that we too are every possible variation of X-sexual; are freaks, utter bores, hysterically funny, plain odd, droll, absurdist and everything between; that we contain multitudes.

Anyone who follows my writing knows that I lean towards bitter and sarcastic. Certainly, I think there’s oh so much intersectional social justice activism that we need to be engaged in. Also, I like lolcatz. Showing that trans* people can lead happy lives (fuck productivity) is activism. Also, in my mind self-care is every bit as important as activism.

ZOMG I’m a bitter lady who gnashes her teeth when folks talk about how easy and fun transition is LET ME TELL YOU WHAT IT’S REALLY LIKE ETC., ETC. Positive portrayals of trans* people were crucial in giving me the courage to transition. They also keep me sane through the frequent periods of depression that plague my life.

Besides, as painful as many parts of transition are, getting to be yourself is pretty awesome.

Hey!

Look for more (where more equals some) posts in the coming weeks.

Physically and mentally, I’ve had a rough summer, but I’m finally getting the hang of things.

I’m continuing to write on-and-off at Shakesville. Additionally, I’m working on getting my two personal blogs back together. When I have the energy to write about trans activism, A Cunt of One’s Own is where it’ll happen. I’m also hoping to get semi-regular posts back up at Duck! Duck! Gay Duck! In the past several months, I’ve become very interested in food (I blame the lady hormones), notably the cuisine of my home turf (Wisconsin and Minnesota). Be on the lookout for essays on Jell-O salad and aquavit.

Eight months after leaving my teaching gig at SUNY, I’ve finally taken down my professional materials from kateforbes.net. For those who are interested (and those who are, best at indifference at best indifferent) I’ll be using the site to keep track of my comings and goings.


As far as my fundraising and my body goes, I’m looking for a new strategy. I’m pleased as punch to have raised $2000, but it’s nowhere near what I need to pay my medical bills. I think a long-term approach potentially including an intermediate surgery (a.k.a. an “orchi”) to keep me sane may make sense. In the next few months I’m hoping to set some monthly goals for personal savings and fundraising, where fundraising includes money from writing projects.

xox
Kate