The Speech that got my friend arrested.

The following is from a friend of mine, in Indianapolis, Indiana – one of the epicenters of fascist violence in the US.

As some of you may have heard, I’ve recently been released from being locked up in the men’s processing center of the Marion County Jail. Which, as a non-binary trans person with gender non-conforming proclivities, would not have boded well had I not had the company of good comrades nearby, and the knowledge that people were still fighting for us on the outside. Also, there were neo-nazis. So there’s that. And to top it all off, I’ve been repeatedly deadnamed in the media. So, please, don’t read the names of the arrests, out of respect for me as your friend and as a person. But, in its full, uncut glory, I present to you the call-to-arms I issued last night:

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Black Lives Matter: A Reading List — Longreads Blog

This week’s reading list has three parts. Part One features Black authors writing explicitly about anti-Black police brutality. Part Two features Black authors writing about subjects other than police brutality, because maybe it’s in your best interest not to subject yourself to more mental anguish than is necessary, and because Black people deserve to write about […]

via Black Lives Matter: A Reading List — Longreads Blog

Beyond University

“Beyond The Mysterious Beyond” are repeated lyrics in the song of the same name from The Land Before Time 7, a delightful children’s movie that has kept coming to mind over the past several weeks, as I’ve graduated from University and moved to New York City.

Woah, back it up, Yes I did say I graduated, yes I’m fine, and no it doesn’t mean I exist on some new ethereal plane of existence, it just means -apparently- that I’ve completed what only 7% of the world has completed(that’s not a lot.) Supposedly this puts me amongst some of the world’s great achievers, yet I see only that it shows the immense privilege I’ve had growing up.

Do to my class in society there was always the unspoken assumption that I would one day graduate from University so I never expected it to be seen as an achievement. That is until I got there and met people who were the first in their family to graduate, or were working 2 jobs to help pay for school, and then I finally heard the statistic that only 7% of the world population has a college degree, and with all of this together I am left wondering – is it a privilege to have this degree, an achievement, or both?

Now possessing this degree, I sit on my bed in Astoria, New York wondering what the hell I’m supposed to do with it. Having this degree won’t make it easier to undermine capitalism or the patriarchy, aside from allowing access to certain spaces within these structures, the most uneducated person has as much potential to take down our oppressors as I do with my BA. Should a pursue a professional path as an actor, or let that go for a short time to focus on work that could really get in the way of capitalists making money – like union labor work?

Honestly I don’t know.

I AM

I am Christian
In that I believe in the transformation of the world through service to one another and seeking unity in Cosmic Love, which I call Christ.

I am Satanist
In that I challenge authority for authority’s sake, just because one may be the origin of something doesn’t mean they have the unquestioned right to control it and everything connected to it.

I am Pagan
In that I believe everything is sacred, that life is a cycle, and that we need to be spiritually and mythically connected to the land on which we live.

I am Progressive
In that I am open to new ideas and new ways of doing things and am optimistic that there is a progressive spiritual drive toward unity & diverse community in the Universe.

I am Radical
In that I believe in consistently challenging the status quo and getting to the root of our world’s problems.

I am Socialist
In that I believe the world needs to be reoriented towards a moral economy centered on individual and community self-determination and equal access to all resources.

I am Feminist
In that I believe in the complete equality of all people, regardless of ability, gender, sex, race, age, ancestry, etc…

I am Creationist
In that I believe in the power of creating things. Creating art is one of the most powerful things us human animals can do. Art, when done well imitates the process of creating life and bares all its mysteries. Art when done is pleasant, garish, beautiful, ugly, haunting, and shallow all at once. Art is eARTh. Art is necessary.

#TRANSformBU

TRANSform is a new student movement comprised of Trans* students and allies at Butler University. We formed in mid-march of 2016 in response to the lack of response and initiative from the University regarding the needs of Trans* students. Having spent months in fruitless conversations with administrators regarding gender-inclusive restrooms, pronouns, gender identity, names, and so forth it became apparent that unless action was taken, and a movement initiated, that there would be no meaningful change on Butler’s Campus- as it is whatever changes they are implementing are of low priority and will be implemented too late to benefit those of us who are graduating this coming may.

TRANSform exists to say enough is enough, we are planning a series of actions on campus that are intended to grab Butler’s attention and shake them out of their private cis-privilege worlds.

 

Why are Trans* Rights important? Because Trans* people are people too and too often we are assumed to not even exist. Everyday one will hear the phrase “men and women”, which even if the speaker intended to include binary trans folks, erases those of us like myself who either identify as Non-Binary, Third Gender, or Agender.

Simply waiting for a culture shift to take place is hugely problematic. There are real people being erased everyday. There are real people living in depression everyday. There are real people dying everyday. And while we at Butler do have it much better than many in America, we are all housed for one; the attitudes of people on campus who don’t believe we deserve to be considered human are not being challenged and they are going to leave this school with hostile attitudes towards their fellow earth-inhabitants. Not. Cool.

 

Why Now? Because this is often a matter of mental and physical health, with varying levels of severity. Because I have friends who won’t come out publicly as trans for fear of reprisals both personally and in the professional world. Because Trans Rights are Human Rights and a school like Butler University, famously founded by an abolitionist, one of the first three US universities to admit women, and to graduate both white women and black men and women, needs to get back to its roots as a radical institution that challenges systems of oppression and power.
~TRANSform Your Expectations
~TRANSformBU

TRANSform

 

It is time to BUST the B.U.B.B.L.E. 

This post is a link to the blog Double Consciousness, a blog run by BUST the B.U.B.B.L.E. out of Butler University. Today the movement released their demands for addressing issues of racial diversity on campus. I share their demands as a statement of solidarity.

~Create don’t Kill

We demand there be a plan to increase the number of scholarship dollars awarded to students from marginalized backgrounds, including low-income or racial minorities, be increased by 10% over the …

Source: OUR DEMANDS, from Double Consciousness: Black Perspectives at PWIs.