UPDATE: Kate Bornstein isn’t perfect and I don’t agree with everything she says. AT the same time, she has done amazing work to help all sorts of people including a lot of trans women I know including me stay alive and understand our place in the world and I (and so…
Today, I am 30. I have figured out a few things in my life so far. I’m writing them down to share some of what I have learned.
I am queer; heterosexuality and normativity stopped even being an option for me years ago.
I am genderqueer; the gender binary system stopped being an option for me years ago.
I am trans, transgender, transsexual. They mean three separate things to me, and I am all three.
I am polyamorous; I do not work well trying to put my relationship expectations on just one person. I work very well with a large group of people, my lovers, their lovers, my ex-lovers, and our friends.
I like living in New York, with its piles of diversity on top of each other. I don’t like the militarism of my city, state, and federal governments.
My family is not just my biological relatives and my long term lovers. I have a large chosen family made up of members of my queer community. There are people I love, people I am there for as much as I am able. I will come whenever they call, and I am very very thankful for the love and support that my chosen family and community have given me.
The closest political ideology to my own that I have found so far is anarcho-feminism; succinctly, that hierarchy is bad, patriarchy particularly so. I like working in anarchistic collective groups, on the kind of projects that build a better world without anyone in charge. I have found, though, that I can also work in hierarchical groups, as long as there is good communication about expectations.
I have had mental health issues, mainly depression and anxiety. Most of the people I spend my life around have had some too. I have developed a toolbox of responses that have helped me, and I am glad to share them. I reject stigmatization, and I do my best to defend, without judgement, the autonomy of all individuals to choose the treatments they do or do not want.
There are many people who I have learned many of these lessons from. I consider them my mentors, regardless of their age, and in no uncertain terms I owe them my life. I would not have made it to 30 without them. I hope that in my 30’s I can be a mentor and share as widely what I have learned.❤
Laine and the lovely Ms Cleo
Heyyy, I know that Butch! :D
There is the Trans Day of Action:
Then the drag march:
I will be stage managing EVERYBOOTY TOO:
A bunch of queers are going to the queer beach:
There’s also the big corporate pride march:
What the Dragon Said: A Love Story
by Catherynne M. Valente
I cried. I couldn’t help myself, I just started crying. Someone who I look up to so much talking about how she deals with her cyclical depression.
Starts at 31:00 in the audio: http://www.npr.org/2012/03/27/148611615/rachel-maddow-the-fresh-air-interview?ft=1&f=1020
GROSS: …I’ve never thought of you as depressive.
MADDOW: Hmm. You know, I do – I love my job, and I love politics. I really – I felt like when I got my job at MSNBC, like I had won the job lottery, and three and a half years, whatever it is, later, I still feel like I have won the job lottery. And I think part of that is thinking, oh, it’s going to go away at any moment. People are going to realize that I’m a great fraud and it’ll end, so I better make sure this is a good show because it’ll be my last. Part of me feels that way every day.
But yeah, no, I’m – ever since – essentially ever since puberty, every since I was 11 or 12, I guess, I’ve had cyclical depression. That’s, you know, something that has been a defining feature of my life as an adult. And it’s manageable, but it’s real. And it doesn’t take away from my joy in my work or my energy, but coping with depression is something that is part of the everyday way that I live and have lived as long as I can remember.
GROSS: Does the focus that you need and the adrenaline surge that you get doing your show help with depression when you have it?
MADDOW: No. Depression for me is you can’t distract your way out of it, and I think people can understand the difference, if you’ve never been depressed, you can still understand the difference between sadness and depression. It’s like the opposite of love isn’t hate, it’s indifference. And the opposite of happiness isn’t necessarily sadness, it’s disconnection.
And you know, when you are depressed, it’s like the rest of the world is the mothership and you’re out there on a little pod and your line gets cut, and you just don’t connect with anything, you sort of – you sort of disappear. And so it’s not something you can, I think, talk therapy out of. I know some people approach it that way. For me it doesn’t work that way. It really is kind of a chemical thing. And yeah, you get some adrenaline from the work, but adrenaline isn’t a cure.
GROSS: Does it affect your performance when you’re depressed?
MADDOW: It affects my ability to focus and my preparation. So because I tend to know sort of – I can tell it’s coming – my depression isn’t all the time, so if I’m coming up on a bout of depression, a few things happen, so I can tell it’s happening. Like I just - I’m used to it. I lose my sense of smell and some other things like that happen. And…
GROSS: Sounds like a migraine.
(SOUNDBITE OF LAUGHTER)
MADDOW: It is. It’s a little – actually, that’s very – I have friends who have migraines. I’ve luckily never coped with that but it’s the same kind of thing. Like you know it’s coming; it has nothing to do with anything else in your life. It’s like a train and you just ride until it slows down enough that you can get off. And if I know it’s coming I will try to schedule my work life around not having to, for example, read a complete book.
So I’m going to do a book interview. Because it will be hard for me to – with my schedule I will often need to read a book, as I’m sure you know, in a day and getting a book read plus a show done on a day where I’m pretty low and I can’t focus is a hard row to hoe. And so I try to adjust my schedule around it to accommodate.
GROSS: Well, you would never know watching you.
MADDOW: Oh, good.
GROSS: Never. Never know.
MADDOW: I’m not embarrassed. I’m not embarrassed by it. You know, I mean, it’s no – I don’t see it as having any moral component. I’m not embarrassed by it and I know that a lot of people live with it and cope with and treat depression in different ways. And I’ve been able to be a high-functioning person with depression all my life. And I expect – I don’t expect it to ever go away.
It would be great if it did but in the meantime, I can make a life around it.
GROSS: Well, thank you for being willing to talk about that.
MADDOW: Oh, sure.
Putting aside the busted title , I have many thoughts about this article, too many for a tweet, most of them short.
I love my job, worker owned cooperatives rock!
We’re not fully where we want to be yet in terms of everyone in the company working the hours we want to work, but Palante Tech has priorities of sustainability of work, and making capacity concerns trump profit. We’ve been putting the lessons from this article into practice, without knowing it, and it’s been pretty good.
When unions lose, workers lose.
How is it that “eight for work, eight for sleep, and eight for what we will” has become such a radical idea? Have we lost ground on every fight for human dignity? The industries that Unions helped build have been dying in the US, and some of the new industries that have sprung up have been quietly or not so quietly blocking unions getting a foothold . I recognize that my feelings about unions and the labor movement come from my grandmother, whose father was a Jewish tailor in London, but still I firmly believe in both the idea and practice of unions.
How does this relate to the work of activism?
I know many passionate activists who work much more than 40 hours at their causes, some of them as employees at a non-profit, some of them as volunteers. I don’t think any of them should start replicating more of the patterns of the capitalist work structure, but I have to wonder if the lessons of this article might help us all be more effective at fighting the powers that be. Is the 40 hour week a tool of the master or is it a tool of the people? I know that I have often pushed myself well past 40 hours of “work” per week, and missed sleep, in service of a play or a festival or a campaign or a client or some other thing I cared a great deal about. Many folks have written about and worked on fighting burnout in activist communities, but thinking about this article, I wonder if pushing ourselves the way we do actually hurts the movements we hope to support.
 I refuse to buy in to capitalism’s definition of sanity.
Last night you made me cry.
Last night you told me I was beautiful and made me cry.
Last night you held my body close to yours, told me I was beautiful and made me cry.
Last night you kissed me, held my body close to yours, told me I was beautiful and made me cry.
Last night you left me speechless, kissed me, held my body close to yours, told me I was beautiful and made me cry.
Last night you made me scream, left me speechless, kissed me, held my body close to yours, told me I was beautiful and made me cry.
Last night you fucked me till I came three times, made me scream, left me speechless, kissed me, held my body close to yours, told me I was beautiful and made me cry.
Last night you looked at me.
You fucked me till I came three times, you made me scream, you left me speechless, you kissed me, you held my body close to yours, you told me I was beautiful, and you made me cry.
And this morning you are gone.