SistersTalk Radio Interview

I’ll be on SistersTalk radio this Wednesday, January 6th, at 7PM Central time.¬† & Yes, they’re on Facebook. They recently interviewed Rachel Kramer Bussell, erotica empress.

Other upcoming for me: a reading at Appleton Public Library on March 3rd, and I’m doing a reading for the Fox Cities Book Festival on April 12th. My best calendar is still on the front page of my author site, www.helenboydbooks.com (along with a list of past appearances, etc.)

In Defense of Autumn

Autumn Sandeen used to cull stories for the Transgender News Yahoo Group; she’s been blogging for forever, and not long ago became a key poster and moderator at Pam’s House Blend.

Recently, people have given her holy hell for shutting down the use of the words cisgender and cissexual because they were being used in the context of an argument that was only estranging members of the LGBT community from each other (& I’m not linking to all the posts about it intentionally as I have done so before and had my say otherwise).

The Trans-Ponder podcasters Jayna and Mila called¬† for some perspective this past Sunday night when it came to Autumn, particularly, citing the invaluable work that she has done on behalf of the trans community, and explained that even if you think someone’s wrong – in what opinion they hold, or in terms of something they’ve done – you don’t need to let the anger cause you to throw out the baby with the bathwater. (Their thoughts on the subject start around 53 minutes into Podcast #129.)

Dallas Denny said a long time ago that we tend to “eat our own” and in an interview with her a few years back, she clarified, in response to my 3rd question, the ideas she was trying to express when it came to trans community politics.

As someone who has taken heat for lots of things over the years, and someone who has seen even the champions of particularly useful ideas about trans subjectivity take heat for her own ideas, it makes me sad to see Autumn suffer so much. It is not easy work to build bridges within the LGBT, & Autumn has, in my opinion, done an extraordinarily good job of it. I’d like to see her keep doing that cool work, and even if she occasionally takes a mis-step — as we all do — the benefit of what she does far outweighs the mistakes she’s made.

I guess I’d ask, too, that people try to pay attention to the ratio of what they do to what they criticize. I’ve noticed that many people online who have the time & energy to work up a head of steam over what some other activist has said or done don’t necessarily spend as much time on positive activism as they do on the fine critiquing of others’ work. I am not saying that critics don’t do anything; I AM saying that anger & criticism sometimes are best-served by doing more instead of talking more. I say that as someone who has put my foot firmly in my mouth instead of doing something positive to fix what I saw as a problem. (As Betty and I like to joke about that one support group member who is constantly yammering on & on & on & repeating the same issues they always bring up, try not to be the person who seems to be saying, “I’d listen but I’m too busy talking.”)

In a nutshell: I’d like to thank Autumn Sandeen publicly for the work she has done, and to thank all the numerous people who keep working to build bridges within our communities.

Two Tune Tuesday: The Damned

In honor of them playing in NYC last week, when I *wasn’t there dammit* here’s some tunes from The Damned, who threaten retirement every couple of years. I’ve seen at least two Farewell tours, maybe a decade apart, at places like The Ritz, The (New) Ritz (or the former Studio 54, depending on how you look at it), Coney Island High, Irving Plaza. Oy. Yes, I am missing NYC pretty hardcore these days.


Get a playlist!

Betty was not a big fan, having been introduced to them when they were doing kitschy goth things like

  1. “Grimly Fiendish” (which dammit I love anyway), but I took her to see them live & she was, alas, converted. What I think she said was, “goddamn they’re the loudest band ever.”
  2. “New Rose” was the first punk single. They beat everyone, including the Pistols, to that one.
  3. “There Ain’t No Sanity Clause” is very Captain Sensible: stupid and funny and fun to sing along. Uhhuh.
  4. “Smash It Up Pts 1 & 2” is in the canon of great punk rock theme songs.
  5. “Anti-Pope” is well, perfect, & was especially for a good Catholic girl with a lot of anger.
  6. “Generals” is from the Strawberries album, which came in bright red vinyl. It’s a pretty record, & a good one. Dave Vanians’s Interview with the Vampire tribute is on that one, too. These last two are a bit of the politics I imbibed with the tunes.

Recent Interview

While I was in Milwaukee, I did an interview for a local paper and entirely forgot to mention it. It’s a little more recent then a million others I’ve done, so it might answer some questions about what the hell I’m doing in WI & other mysteries of life. (I especially love the bit about how my “writing exudes a Midwestern no-nonsense practicality.”)

Ashley Altadonna

When we were in Milwaukee, we were interviewed for a documentary called Making the Cut. I’m told Julia Serano was, too, when she was there recently as well. The film is being made by a young woman who is trying various ways to raise funds for her own genital surgery, and is in the process raising awareness about the financial issues behind changing genders legally.

Worthy project, no? On top of that, she’s made some other cool films. To help her out, you can make a donation via PayPal via her website, or you can buy another cool short film of hers, or you can pass this message on via Facebook or other social networking sites.