Vaginal Discourse

[Content note: suicide and transphobia]

On December 28th, Leelah Alcorn, a 17-year-old transgender girl took her own life. On Tumblr, she left a suicide note that discussed being rejected by her parents.

From USA Today on December 30th*:

“The only way I will rest in peace is if one day transgender people aren’t treated the way I was, they’re treated like humans, with valid feelings and human rights,” Alcorn wrote in a post on Tumblr. [Tumblr has subsequently made the post private at her parent’s request.]

Her parents, she wrote, wanted her to be a “perfect little straight Christian boy.”

“My death needs to mean something,” she wrote in the post, which she scheduled to appear the day after her death.

Her final public words: “Fix society. Please.”

In the past week, Alcorn’s story has gone viral. Many trans and cis people have been mourning her death and calling for greater awareness of the crisis of suicide in the trans community.

Someone** on my Twitter feed mentioned that cis people need to respond to this suicide in a very different way than trans people do. That’s a very, very important point, and I want to take some time to spell out why. Read more…

You know how when the government treats trans* people like shit, it’s all our fault because we didn’t educate our would-be allies? That shtick works for pretty much any underclass.

Ben Smith at Politico, via Susie Madrak:

Tensions between the White House and its liberal allies came to a head last night at the weekly Common Purpose meeting, where progressive leaders and National Economic Council Director Gene Sperling had a tense exchange about the debt deal, two Democratic sources said.

The meeting is an off-the-record, regular gathering that some on the left credit both with keeping the White House aware of liberal concern and keeping liberal messaging coordinated with the White House. Critics deride it as a “veal pen” aimed at neutering the left.

Yesterday, Sperling faced a series of questions about the White House’s concessions on the debt ceiling fight and its inability to move in the direction of new taxes or revenues. Progressive consultant Mike Lux, the sources said, summed up the liberal concern, producing what a participant described as an “extremely defensive” response from Sperling.

Sperling, a person involved said, pointed his finger at liberal groups, which he said hadn’t done enough to highlight what he saw as the positive side of the debt package — a message that didn’t go over well with participants. [Emphasis mine.]

Susie goes on to point out that this isn’t the first time the White House has taken this tack on the economy.

I think a lot of progressives know that the White House is full of shit. They’re the ones with the power, they’ve certainly got the means to educate both themselves and the electorate. The truth is that they don’t want to sell an effective economic stimulus package to the public. Of course, the White House wants our votes, so it assures us that next time, if we work super hard to promote our masters, they might throw us a bone.

Why am I pointing this out on a blog about health care and marginalized bodies? It’s because I guarantee that lack of outreach on our part will be the exact excuse that power brokers give the next time they refuse to fight for our rights. If you want to continue to be my ally, I suggest you be prepared to call them on their lies.