Monday, July 11, 2011

Freaky little slut

It seems that I was called a Freak that is not worth knowing last night. This from a complete stranger on Facebook, specifically on the SlutWalk St. Louis event page. As a rule, these things don't bother me. Mostly I see it as the ultimate lack of response. A good rule of thumb in life: if you cannot defend your opinion, it is not an opinion worth having. And the written attack on me was just that, a lack of actual defense of a highly erroneous opinion. As I said, not something that bothers me.

And yet, it has been kicking through my mind since then that there is something in this of great use. There is a point here that needs to be made, and it seems a random stranger has chosen me as the person to make it. Or, perhaps, I chose it myself, as this has been one of the driving reasons I chose to be involved in SlutWalk in the first place. I was going to hold this until Saturday, use it as speech material. But, I believe it needs to be said now while it is still fresh, still hot.

Yes, I am a freak. And for a girl like me, it does not matter if I wear a bondage dress and thigh high boots, or a pencil skirt and blazer. I am, as I like call it, "a slut no matter what." I have actually been accused of being a prostitute, by the police, while wearing the aforementioned skirt and blazer. This is how I know this phenomena is real. But, it does not make me special, and certainly no more or less a slut than anyone. No, the difference lies in those who would deem me such. Sad news flash, they deem you such as well.

Women are sluts, that is the puritanical, patriarchal position of male dominance. We are lesser, second class citizens, and all of us just begging for sex like depraved sluts. The difference between the average woman and a trans-woman, or queer, or sex worker is that society will tell us to our face what they only say of the rest of you behind your backs. And they will continue to say these things behind your backs, continue to believe them... until  a sexual assault occurs. At that point, if you happen to be the victim, then you too get to be "a slut no matter what." And then they will say it to your face, in the media, wherever they think it will be heard.

This is why I will be at SlutWalk, why I have done all I can to promote it, why I will be presenting (on sexual assault and diverse communities, and I assure you it wont be as dry as it sounds.) And I wont be alone. A common theme that has carried through every Walk held so far, starting with the original in Toronto, has been inclusion. Rape is about all of us, slut shaming is certainly about all of us, and SlutWalk is about all of us. The days of white bread, clean pinky, talk it out over tea feminism are OVER! The days of excluding those deemed less desirable as a way to paint a prettier picture are OVER! The days of ignoring our rape culture, allowing ourselves to cast others as second class citizens and otherwise sticking our heads in the sand are OVER! This is real, it is diverse, and it is street level.

SlutWalk has become more than a run of the mill protest. Sexual Violence? Yes, that is the target. Slut Shaming? We fight that tooth and nail. But, the bigger picture is that what we are doing represents a rebirth of  feminist activism, and this time it is being done correctly. As a rule, when you have a big fight on your hands, the people you want most are the people with nothing to lose and everything to gain. So it shall be, because inclusion is the order of the day. You will see queers, transwomen, lesbians, freaks, sex workers, street kids, everyone who has ever been othered, everyone who has ever been deemed a second class citizen. But you will also see accountants, lawyers, school teachers, parents, and everyone who knows that the rape culture is wrong. And you will see men, hopefully lots of them, because this is their fight too, and they have a lot to offer in terms of destroying the pervasive male dominance of the world by simply saying NO to it.

Whoever you are, whatever walk of life you come from, please join us on Saturday the 16th. Come see what real diversity is, and what it can really accomplish. Come make a stand against the pervasive rape culture that says we get what we deserve. Come be a part of it all, and know that the failures of the past mean very little, because this time we are doing things the right way.

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Not trans enough (Spoken word)

Not Trans Enough

Gender. In coming out as gender variant we are told to expect revulsion. From families, friends, employers, nameless, faceless masses known as the world. What we don't expect is to be condemned by members of our own community for not following somebody else' idea of transition.

And thus I am... Not Trans Enough. Impure, queer, condemned yet again.

Damn me: for embracing my individuality
Damn me: for exploring my sexuality and relishing its uniquely diverse nature
Damn me: for publicly celebrating the fluidity of my gender
And damn me: for refusing to hide in yet another closet

37 years: spent living a falsehood
37 years: dying slowly inside
37 years: conveying the image others expected of me
37 years: lost, depressed, antisocial, and desperate

I will not lose another day of my life
I will not live up to the expectations of anyone but myself
I will not present a false persona ever again
I damn sure will not accept forced adherence to a bullshit gender binary

I will not comply
I will not be trans enough

And so I exist, feminine in presentation, yet much more diverse in mind and spirit.

Unafraid of the possibilities of life
Unashamed of my body and mind
Unabashed in my public presence
Unrestrained in my diverse sexuality
Uncertain of tomorrow but always excited at its prospects

I will never be trans enough.
But I will always be Claire enough
and I will enjoy every ounce of life
and I will allow others the same

But I wonder: Does that make me Queer enough?

Trans-Sexuality (a spoken word piece)

As read live 06/03/2011 at Fluxx gallery, Tucson AZ


What is it you were looking for?

Certainly not a girl like me? And yet, there was that curiosity. A flash in your mind, a wonderment. That moment you found me approachable, and friendly, and nothing like the stereotypes you had heard. No, not like those girls on the she-male fantasy website that no one ever knew you visited. And certainly not like the tranny whores you had seen but never had the nerve to solicit. No, I was somehow more real, more human, oddly more female.

And your curiosity builds.

A whirlwind of sorts, the mind excited by the possibilities. In that first rare moment, no thoughts beyond the joy of pursuit. But a different pursuit, like no woman you had ever tried to pick up before. Your dirty little secret perhaps? Or maybe one hell of a unique story to tell your closest of friends? But, something so exotic, so rare, as tempting as it is, always leads to nervous questions. Am I crazy? Am I gay? What kind of freak am I? But, the curiosity remains strong.

And the mind begins to build a wall around your pride.

Yes, you can do this, but it means nothing. Shes just some slutty T-girl ripe for the picking. Do it, and never speak of it again. Its just a quick way to get your rocks off, and a new experience to keep life interesting. Fuck her and her heart, shes not quite human anyways. Its not like anyone would believe her if she spoke up, your word against hers and you have all the credibility. The wall of animosity shrouds your heart and your mind, and you work your best pick up moves. Yes, lets do this, your game for it, you want to know, its all about you anyways.

And I.

Not so fragile as you might think. A free and empowered soul, and not at all ignorant of the world. I wasn't pining for a loving man anyways. I had just come in for a drink. Going home alone suits me fine. But, then again, a girl does need her playtime too. No fool am I, I know what I have to offer. I know the rarity of me is naturally intriguing. And I know that, though you may build walls of distasteful vitriol, deep down I have your attention. I have your curiosity up, and I have you if I so desire. My empowerment is my sexuality, and I am free to use it or deny it. No, smooth as you are, this is my game and we shall play it my way.

And so it is.

Another evening, another body beside me. You will never call, never say hello in public. And you will never get the chance as I have left before you awake. Having taken from you what it was I desired, I shall move on, until the next night, the next guy, the next strange sexual dance. And you, confused by my absence in the AM, mind set on the devastating denial you hoped to impose but were not allowed. There is no reconciliation, no way to put this to rest in your head. It will follow you. A memory, one you do not want but do not want to lose either. Its that initial moment we met, all over again. That blend of curiosity and disgust, forever burned in your psyche.

And somewhere

Somewhere right now you are alone, hand full of your own cock flesh, mind full of my memory. Damned to remember vividly what we shared, loving and hating it simultaneously. And I, I am still here. No doubt sharing a bottle of wine with friends and laughing over the latest three minute wonder to try and break me. Yes, laughing over you. An amusing notion for those of us who know the game and use it to our own advantage. I may have been a one night curiosity to you, but I turned into a mental image that follows you forever. You on the other hand, were a toy to be used for my amusement and gratification. The gratification was temporary and, in fact, a bit weak due to your inadequacy. But the amusement shall live on, at least until the next plaything comes to hand. Your intentions were vile, your view of me derogatory, your selfishness apparent.

But: who really screwed who?  

Thursday, May 19, 2011

clarification, a positive notion

Of late the concept of HIV, and HIV testing has been popping on my radar quite a bit. Mind you, this is a good thing. It should be popping onto all of our radars regularly, and we should be discussing it. As far as we believe we have come, HIV is still with us, and there is still no cure. This is life or death stuff, but I will skip that lecture for now.

I do wish to offer a clarification however. Those who stumble across my posts on Facebook have likely seen the phrase RU+UR-?  What I wish to clarify is that that should NEVER be taken as a condemnation of anyone who is HIV+. Rather, it is a stern and appropriate question directly to those whose status is unknown. positive, negative, both imply a knowledge of ones own health, and are greeted with absolute respect by me. Those who don't know lose some points, and those bold enough to claim to be disease free without having been tested are downright dangerous in my book.

To put it bluntly, I would have no reservations about sleeping with someone who was HIV+ and appropriately safe. As a point of fact, I have done so. Someone of unknown status who plays reckless will NEVER see the inside of my bedroom. Actually, anyone who is reckless is disallowed from intimate contact with me. HIV does not scare me, ignorance does, carelessness does, disrespect and selfishness do. Simple enough?

And so, I urge you all, take the ten minutes to get tested. It is free in most locations, painless, quick and highly accurate. Test, test regularly, know your status. And please join me in refusing unsafe sex and dispelling anyone that wont get informed. When we stop new cases of HIV, we all win.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011


A quest for self definition, if only because the world seems to insist.
Per Merriam Websters:

1: to overturn or overthrow from the foundation : ruin
2: to pervert or corrupt by an undermining of morals, allegiance, or faith. 
1: the theory of the political, economic, and social equality of the sexes
2: organized activity on behalf of women's rights and interests 
 1: a : differing in some odd way from what is usual or normal b (1) : eccentric, unconventional

So, A subversive, feminist queer. Seems fitting, but perhaps a bit long. Subversive almost seems redundant, as both feminism and being queer are a subversion of societal norms.

Feminist Queer seems to cover it nicely, and I actually find it as useful as any self claimed identity. Certainly more descriptive and immediately understandable than most. And yet, it does not explain my presentation. Which matters not to me, but others seem to choke on the notion of it not mattering and so...

Femme Queer: A subversive feminist queer woman.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Checking my heart

Life goes on, things happen. Some mundane, some shocking, all in the course of life. Easy enough to say, a lot harder to live, especially when those shocking events are so often a part of life for the trans community. It is a reality in my world, that even though life is a generally positive place for me, every time I step through my front door could be my last. That is the reality of living in a community that still has a body count.

Last Thursday, Chrissy Lee Polis was brutalized at a Baltimore McDonalds for nothing more than being herself. I will save the details, by now all know or can readily find them. What I wish to discuss is the effect that has on me, and everyone else in the trans community.

I was out and about tonight, typical Monday. At one point I stopped off for a soda at my Local gas station. I car with two males in it drove up, stopped and they both very dramatically started pointing and laughing. At that moment, my mind still lost in Baltimore, I wanted to see blood. I know better than that, I am better than that, yet there it was. Almost an autonomous reaction to the helplessness of seeing a sister attacked on video, and being too far removed to possibly do anything. Something deep inside wanted to take it out on the first person who crossed me.

Somehow I doubt I am the only person to feel that rage right now. Even a quick glance of Facebook or the Blogs will show calls for vengeance. I cant help but understand that. But I also could not help but check my heart. There is no benefit in vengeance, nothing to be gained by lowering ourselves to the level of the animals who attack us. Self defense is one thing, malicious intent another, and in my own heart it did not sit well. I am better than this, as we all are.

Let us look forward to those areas where we can focus or energies to positive ends. Instead of cries for blood, let us scream for legal protection, for dignity, for unity. We cannot change what has occurred, we can use it to move forward our quest for civil rights. To this mission I will rededicate myself, and my heart is comforted by that.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Too Proud for Pride?

Yes, it is getting to be that time of year, Pride is upon us. Events are starting to pop up on Calenders and the trans-radical community is abuzz with indigent arguments against going. I could run a point by point here, maybe even paste some Facebook screen shots. But, this is the 250 word or less blog, so not happening. If you wish to see flaming rants, I suspect you know where to look.

However, the overwhelming theme against seems to have something to do with Gay Inc. casting us all aside. And yes, I get the history, I know there are some real issues in the past, and no doubt some now. But, it occurs to me that a person refusing to show up has no grounds to bitch about not being welcome. (Pardon me for being a bit grumpy, I am still a touch sunburned from Phoenix Pride last weekend.)

The trans community should be at Pride. In fact, we should be everywhere, every event, every time. Has the LGB cast us aside? I can't argue that in 250 words, and wont entirely argue against it anyways. But, assuming it is 100% true, then what better reason to show up in large numbers and claim what is as much ours as anyone's? As a dear friend of mine likes to say
"annoying and underfoot gets the job done."

Hmmm...Could we not apply that to lots of things beyond Pride? Maybe on a larger level? Just a thought.