1000 Words on the Wisconsin Protests

Live Feed of WI Protests

In a half hour, the protestors in the Capitol are going to be asked to leave and/or be removed.

Free live streaming by Ustream

Stay strong!

Admirer in the News

Why does anyone care who this Congressman is having sex with?

I am forever at a loss as to why on earth I should care what anyone does sexually. It’s one thing if it’s illegal, but otherwise, really? Grownups worrying about what other consenting adults do with their bodies? Is that any of my business or anyone else’s? If it effects his job in some way – as in he’s too busy dealing with his sex life to do this work – then, maybe. But there’s no evidence of that.

That said, King voted *against* the repeal of DADT so he can suck eggs. I really don’t like hypocrites with power. However: liking trans women as dates/spouses is not kinky, perverted, or weird. It just is. Anyway, I think it’s lovely that he admires and prefers to date trans women.


WI Police Join the Protest

The Police refuse to leave the capital building, citing the fact that they serve & protect the people of Wisconsin, not the governor only.



Wow. As someone who grew up pro union and Polish, this is really lovely news:

In a remarkable expression of international solidarity among working men and women, the president of  Solidarnosc (“Solidarity”) – the Polish trade union whose determination and courage led to the fall of the Iron Curtain – has written an open letter in support of the public employees of Wisconsin.

Piotr Duda, president of Solidarnosc, said the 700,000 members of the Polish union wished “to express our solidarity and support for your struggle against the recent assault on trade unions and trade union rights unleashed by Governor Scott Walker.”

The letter is printed as a full-page advertisement (pdf) in today’s issue of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.

How great is that? That, plus the news that the police are now sleeping in the capital building with the protesters: gorgeous.

* Yes, I know I’ve left off the correct accents. WordPress seems to be translating them. This is the closest I could get to the Polish spelling.

No Defense for DOMA

Here’s some good news that seems to be under reported:

The Obama administration said Wednesday that it will no longer defend the federal law that bans the recognition of same-sex marriage because it considers the legislation unconstitutional, a sudden and rare reversal.

Gay rights groups hailed the administration’s move, saying it will bolster their argument that laws that apply a different standard to people based on sexual orientation are unconstitutional. At least three challenges to the Defense of Marriage Act are working their way through the federal courts.

What Democracy Looks Like

I can’t express how intense and amazing it has been to be here in the middle of all this, to see 500 people in front of the local hotel protesting the Republicans who were there for their president’s day dinner, to hear that the local high school students rallied in the local Houdini Square, and tomorrow, to know that 1000 people are gathering near Lawrence’s Mudd library to keep up the visibility of this… I can’t even call it a protest: maybe a testament, instead.

It’s a privilege to be in the midwest and to watch an American revolution happen, quietly and peacefully but passionately.

Thai Tomboy

A new clothing store catering to tomboys and FTM spectrum people has opened in Bankgkok.

“At first people probably thought it was crazy,” said Supamas “Jean” Sirimoungkalavanit, owner of Tom Chic shop. “It was quite understandable to get such responses because tomswear was something new to them.”

“People often misperceive [sic] that we want to be like men,” she says. “We have a different taste, lifestyle and identity, and so tomboy clothing is different from what men wear.’’

Indeed what we categorize in the states more often as lesbian chic than tomswear does have a unique aesthetic it has quickly spread to tween boy idols and throughout the fashion world. And though Sirimoungkalavanit tries to make it clear that her shoppers do not necessarily want to be like men there is certainly an aspect to her line that many trans-identified people can relate to.

How cool is that?

Two Tune Tuesday: To Madison’s Protesters

How could I not? Billy Bragg, modern labor troubador, at your service. (He’s damned good live, if you get the chance.)

For those labor geeks out there, there’s a recording of the original Florence Reece song “Which Side Are You On?” on YouTube. You can listen to Billy Bragg’s studio version of that song, too, which is one of my all-time favorites.

(thanks to my friend Cleo of the band Alright Alright for reminding me of the 2nd track!)

Back from Madison: No Riots, No Thugs

Okay, it’s a shoo-in for my favorite of the day, but there were plenty of others I loved:

What Would Bob Do? (reference to Fighting Bob LaFollette)

Dread Scott

I Blame Favre

In Russ We Trust (alongside Feingold for Governor)

If You Can Read This, Thank a Teacher

It’s too bad the people who could run this state are too busy teaching

You can’t scare me, I teach Middle School

Don’t refudiate our education

The Superbowl was won by a union

Unions: thanks for the weekend

This private sector bitch supports unions

. . . & for me, seeing the wildcat emblem of the IWW, a portrait of Joe Hill & calls for a General Strike = priceless. Seeing so many unions out was amazing too:  AFSCME, Iron-workers, Fire, SEIU (my grandma’s), and an immigrants rights’ group were shouting Si Se Puede until they were hoarse. My favorite chant? What’s disgusting? Union Busting! But the much more direct kill the bill was chanted to drown out the other side whenever they started trying to defend Walker’s power grab.

The attendance by Tea Partiers is greatly exaggerated. I’d say it was maybe 1:100. Really, they weren’t even a blip: a lone guy with a sign here, a group of five there, & then a kind of gauntlet on the way into the building, but that was it. The mood was peaceful, celebratory, determined, and full of joy and music. The 4PM rally started with the singing of “God Bless America”.

No riots, no thugs.

Off to Madison

I decided I need to be counted, granddaughter of a union member & all.

& Once I saw this guy in Egypt holding this sign, I thought: how could I not go?

Russ Feingold was on Rachel Maddow the other night explaining that Wisconsinites couldn’t be in a better mood: the Packers won the Superbowl, the Badgers (UW team) just beat a major competitor, and it’s been 50 degrees warmer than it was last week. It’s true.

& Just to clarify: it’s not about the budget.

Paging Senator Kohl

I received an email response from Senator Kohl:

Thank you for sharing your concerns about Governor Scott Walker’s Budget Repair Plan.

As part of his budget approach, the Governor has proposed significant changes in how the state government will interact with some unionized public employees.  Throughout Wisconsin, citizens will continue debating the most appropriate distribution of shared sacrifice necessary to help balance our state budget. At the federal level where I serve, we are having a similar debate about budget priorities and I will continue pressing for meaningful, fair, bipartisan solutions.

Governor Walker’s proposal is a state, rather than a federal matter, and will not come before the United States Senate.  As such, I have no official role. Therefore, I encourage you to contact your Wisconsin State Representative and Senator.  There is a toll-free number you may call to leave a message for your state elected officials or to find out who represents you. The number is 1-800-362-9472.

Again, thank you for taking the time to contact me. Even though I am not directly involved in matters before the Wisconsin State legislature, I will keep your views in mind. Please contact me again about issues that concern you.

First: of course he has no official role. I wrote back:

Respectfully, I would like to suggest that any public statement made by Democratic leadership in favor of yesterday’s walk-out and in favor of collective bargaining – especially those from the state of Wisconsin – would be very valuable in this debate. I urge you to speak out for the workers and citizens of WI.

Thank you very much for your response.

Please do contact your own Senators, state and federal, to get them to make a public statement in favor of the walk-out and the protests in Madison and Ohio.

NCTE Looking to Hire New Communications Person

I have good news and bad news. First the bad:
NCTE’s amazing communications person, Justin Tanis, is moving back to the Bay Area and taking a new job. Justin has provided NCTE with over 5 years of insightful strategic thinking, savvy communications, superb educational materials, and professional trainings for everyone from our members, to allies and government agencies. It’s hard to hold on to talent like that and we’re not surprised he was sought after by a smart allied organization.

The good news is that we are now hiring someone – maybe you – who is looking to be a part of an amazing team of mission-driven, wonderful people. As a small organization the communications staff person will be a key part of our team and involved in strategic discussions. The ideal candidate will be a communications person who is a go-getter with their own ideas, a burning passion, and collaborative spirit. You’ll fit in nicely if you take this work very seriously, but don’t take yourself too seriously. Juggling skills are optional.

Here’s the announcement. Please share it with interested people.

Job Description
As NCTE’s Communications staff person you will be involved in all aspects of the organization’s publications, and media relations, as well as web, email, and telephonic communications. This person will provide the information and tools that educate our members, allies, policymakers and the general public and that then motivate and mobilize our members and allies to take action in pursuit of our common goals. NCTE will consider applicants within a range of experience levels and will tailor the job to fit the right person. An experienced Communications expert will play a major leadership role in crafting messages and setting strategy. This position provides potential for growth with the organization.

Continue reading “NCTE Looking to Hire New Communications Person”

Go Massachusetts!

The governor of MA just signed a law that bans discrimination against state employees who are trans.

“This is going to make a real difference in the lives of transgender state workers and their families,” said G­unner Scott, executive director of the Massachusetts Transgender Political Coalition, and a leading partner in the Transgender Equal Rights Coalition. “No one should have to work in fear that they could lose their job simply because of who they are.”

Yay, Gunner Scott! Thanks to all your work, and to all of MTPC’s work!

Go Wisconsin!

I’m wearing red today in support of Wisconsin’s public school teachers, specifically, but also in support of its many other public employees. You know, those pesky firemen and paramedics, the diversity coordinators, the mayor’s support staff, the everybody that keeps civic society going.

Our new governor is a tight-minded, tight-fisted and logicially-challenged egomaniac who has decided that he will not negotiate with the unions of WI, that he wants the right to alter the state’s healthcare plan, also without negotiation. Sadly, he ran on a platform of being this much of a jerk and he won.

So we could use your support.

Ron Johnson & Herb Kohl are our Senators. (That has to be the saddest sentence in the world, since one of those names should be Russ Feingold’s.) Contact them & tell them you’re in support of the public employees of Wisconsin.

If we don’t win this one, you can count on this bullshit’s coming to your state.

New Trans Art & Lit Magazine

Bodies of Work, a new Art and Literature Magazine is looking for submissions.

We, the editors, are three trans artists who believe art and literature are two of the most vital parts to our world today. At this moment, there is no magazine which brings all transgender, transsexual and gender variant writers and artists to the forefront. We believe it is time to publish such a magazine!

The purpose of Bodies of Work is to publish and promote literature and art that celebrates the diverse visions and understandings of the transsexual, transgender and gender-variant international community through language and image. We want to inspire and be inspired by the innovative output of our communities and come together with trans artists of all genres in creative discourse. We want to engage and support our creative processes and learn how trans artists and writers create.

Bodies of Work will:

* Introduce a wide audience to literature and art by the trans and gender-variant community.
* Provide a unique opportunity for underrepresented writers and artists viewpoints.
* Discover and publish emerging and developing writers and artists. Continue reading “New Trans Art & Lit Magazine”

Incoming Harvey Fierstein as the New Zaza

Harvey Fierstein takes over as the new Zaza in NYC’s La Cage production:

Two Tune Tuesday: Devotchka

Uh oh. New Devotchka!

& Here’s some old Devotchka, if you missed them somehow.

A Kind of Valentine’s Day Present

I just discovered reviews of both My Husband Betty and She’s Not the Man I Married by Samantha Anne Perrin, and they were a lovely reminder of what I do, and honestly, in reading the list of quotes she pulled from She’s Not, I thought to myself “did I take smart drugs when I was writing that, or something?” because I’m always a little surprised since from inside my head, and inside my life, I do not often feel smart — emotionally or otherwise.

I am convinced there is something about the process of writing that creates another mind altogether. When I get to that point where I feel like I’m transcribing and not writing, I know I’m there.

I especially appreciate this little explanation:

One of the criticisms I have read of this book is that it is repetitive. . . If you find yourself thinking that what you are reading is a repeat of something you have read before, you are not reading it! My suggestion would be to re-read, and re-read that passage until you ‘get’ its true meaning. Repetitive? Hell no!

The repetition was in large part intentional. I wanted the book to feel like driving up a mountain on a road that winds its way up there, seeing the same peak, the same view, over & over again, or keeping it in sight, but seeing it in a slightly different way depending on the turn of the road. It’s a hat tip of Didion & Woolf (who both do it so much better than I ever could).

But mostly I put this up today because reading her reviews reminded me of the love that went into the writing of both books, that they are, still, my gift to the lovely woman to whom I’m married.